CHIC AT HOME: 6 Ways To Have More Style

Welcome to my new Chic At Home series – ideas and inspiration to help you have more style, embrace simplicity, and practice self-care as we stay home in lockdown, isolation, quarantine, confinement, social distancing, or whatever applies where you live.

The series will cover:

  • CHIC AT HOME: 6 Ways To Have More Style
  • CHIC AT HOME: 6 Ways To Embrace Simplicity
  • CHIC AT HOME: 6 Ways To Practice Self-Care.

Today, let’s talk about style.

Why Style Matters

It would be easy to let our standards slip while we’re sequestered at home. Why worry about something as trivial as style?

Style, however, is not trivial. Here are excellent reasons you may want to have more style:

  1. Who we are when no one’s watching is who we are. And how we express who we are – well, that’s our style.
  2. Your sense of style is self-expression. It’s a healthy outlet for creativity when our regular forms of self-expression (flash mob origami? synchronized wrestling?) may be unavailable.
  3. Maintaining a sense of style in troubled times can buoy our spirits and boost our self-esteem. Letting ourselves go may feel like an indulgence. But a more elegant and satisfying indulgence is to give ourselves the gifts of style, dignity, and grace.
  4. Staying stylish shows respect for the people we live with. An acquaintance on Facebook recently boasted she hadn’t brushed her teeth all day until her husband commented. Ew, poor husband! Keep your standards of personal grooming and style for yourself and for the people who share your space.

Letting ourselves go may feel like an indulgence. But a more elegant and satisfying indulgence is to give ourselves the gifts of style, dignity, and grace.

That’s the why. Now, some hows.

6 Ways To Have More Style At Home

1. To have more style, dress well

Being chic at home means we can dress for comfort. Still, let’s not emulate the ‘before’ model on a makeover show. Adding a level of style and sophistication will help us feel more productive, elegant, and chic.

For example, a stained, stretched-out sweater over decrepit leggings and with unwashed hair will drag you down and probably frighten the neighbour’s puppy. Your body will feel it, your eyes will notice it every time you pass a mirror. You’ll slouch at your desk, dawdle on your tasks, struggle to get motivated.

Opt instead for comfortable trousers, leggings in good condition, or a relaxed skirt, paired with a classic tee or cosy knit. Or activewear with an elegant cardigan. Add ballet flats, a spritz of scent, a dab of lip balm, et voila!

Most days I choose structured black leggings, a fitted black tank, and a chic knitted sweater in cream, lilac, or pink. I style my hair, (très simple as I currently have a pixie cut), dab Chanel Gabrielle on my pulse points, slick on my pomegranate lip balm, and I feel ready to work.

As long as your pieces are clean and have some structure, and your ensemble feels a little pulled-together, it’s a stylish choice for staying chic at home.

2. Conduct yourself with grace and poise

We’re all operating at a higher level of stress right now. It’s understandable if tempers fray. Our baseline pandemic worries get exacerbated by the deprivations of being stuck at home – either with our families or, for some, alone. Each has its challenges.

To maintain your equanimity and have more style, aim to be mindful. Notice when you’re being reactive and apologise. Expect a little less of everyone, including yourself. Breathe deeply to get centred. Try to do everything with lightness.

One trick I use is to imagine I’m in a novel where a pandemic is unfolding – I want to be the heroine who navigates her challenges with grace and poise.

Remember, this will pass. Seeing the big picture will help you to be chic at home and channel your most graceful, poised self.

One trick I use is to imagine I’m in a novel where a pandemic is unfolding – I want to be the heroine who navigates her challenges with grace and poise.

3. You need a routine if you want more style

Aren’t routines drab, the opposite of style? No – because designing a routine for yourself ensures you do first things first. There’s nothing chic about feeling harried as you’re pulled in multiple directions. It’s not stylish to end the day having frittered it on the wrong things while lacking progress on what matters.

Instead, if you want to have more style you can design a daily routine (I’ll share my personal daily routine soon) – one that prioritizes your key tasks.

As well as work and home tasks, make sure your routine includes personal hygiene and grooming, so you look and feel chic at home. We may be unable to keep up our beauty appointments, but let’s do our best to maintain hair, skin, nails, dental hygiene, eyebrows, and personal care.

If you’ve never created a daily routine, it may surprise you how stylish it feels to have priorities built into the structure of your day. And you’ll soon form habits that will make you even more motivated, productive, and chic.

4. Clear the clutter to have a chic home

Style and clutter don’t go together. Clutter disturbs the eye and mind. It overwhelms and confuses. None of which is chic.

Clutter also impedes style by blocking self-expression. Style reveals who you are, what you like, what matters to you – it requires curation. There is no style in being, liking, and valuing everything. As Coco Chanel said, Elegance is refusal; it is refusing that allows what remains to reveal your style.

If you want to have style, then embrace refusal, curation, discernment. Only by letting things go can you throw into relief what you retain.

My tiny apartment is not its usual model of minimalism because my husband now uses the living room as his office and the pantry is stuffed from my panic-buying of chocolate. Still, it gives me pleasure that even under these circumstances our home contains little ‘stuff’ and expresses a sense of style.

Could you use this time to begin a personal home curation project? Choose 5 things a day that don’t reflect the stylish you. Day by day, declutter each room, every drawer and shelf. We have time! Collect everything in labelled boxes or bags to donate when this is all over.

Clutter impedes style by blocking self-expression. Style reveals who you are, what you like, what matters to you – it requires curation. There is no style in being, liking, and valuing everything.

5. To have more style, get organized

Here I’m advocating a philosophy of mind rather than a particular system.

You don’t need lengthy lists or rigid rules, you needn’t be uptight or persnickety. But to have style, grace, elegance, and poise, you do need control of yourself and your environment, a sense of personal mastery. And the key to personal mastery is to be organized.

Tidy your desk. Maintain a shopping list for weekly groceries. Put your clothes away each night. Create a roster for family chores. Design a set weekly menu for meals. Print out school and work schedules. Keep similar things together – all the remotes in the drawer under the TV, all the cords and cables in one large storage bin. Wipe down surfaces and store away items not needed at the end of each day.

Take some time to list frustrations related to disorder – things you can never find or keep forgetting – and devise simple systems to better organise yourself. It will take a minor investment of time and energy. But oh, mes amis, it will feel très, très chic!

6. Be more you to express your style

Here’s my last idea for how to have more style and be chic at home: add flair to your life. As Madonna said, ‘touched for the very first time’. Oops – ‘express yourself’!

This could be a marvellous time to be more of who you are, to explore what’s inside. You could:

  • Get a little fancy with your recipes
  • Choose rarely worn colours or shapes from your closet or try new pairings
  • Start or restart a hobby using online classes or what you have at home – I’m considering calligraphy, French, or art history
  • Write ‘letter’ type emails to keep in touch (My beloved Constance, I trust this missive finds you well… you get the idea)
  • Rearrange the furniture
  • Begin a creative project – organising photos, sketching, gardening.

Is there something your soul has been whispering about? A neglected part of you longing for reconnection? This idea may be a perfect, natural way for you to have more style and be beautifully chic at home.

Will you try any of these ideas to add style to your life? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

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The ‘Chic Life’ Philosophy

To live by conscious choice and not convention or habit. To have less, but better quality. To do more of what matters and less of everything else. To live with grace, elegance, style. To show love, kindness, compassion. To experience inner peace and joy…  Read More

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C’est Moi, Michele

Salut, I'm Michele. For me, 'chic' is more than how you look - it's how you do everything. A chic life is personal style, an organized home, elegance, confidence, living well, self-care, minimalism, joyful work, and happy relationships. And it all starts with knowing who you are. Thank you for joining me! Read More