Stylish Living
 on a Shoestring

Since 2006

Elegant Survival: Stylish Living on a Shoestring, Since 2006

M-J de Mesterton, Author of Elegant Survival

M-J de Mesterton has been an editor, art restorer and instructor, publicity writer, three-term historic preservation officer in Ivy League Princeton, English-Speaking Union board member, photographer's model, painter, the host of hundreds of elegant parties, a resident of New York City, France....  

See M-J's Exquisite Paintings On-Line at Art Gallery Las Vegas

The Elegant Survival Mission
The goal of Elegant Survival: Stylish Living on a Shoestring is to provide resources and suggestions on how to live elegantly and comfortably without depending on expensive products, while encouraging readers to avoid participation in wasteful and embarrassing popular trends. Elegance is not to be confused with extravagance. 

Elegance is simplicity and good taste. Elegant Survival is the theme, with a focus upon functional clothing, ideas and recipes for stylish living on a shoestring. Rugged individualism and self-sufficiency in all facets of life are a major emphasis at Elegant Survival.

The survival of elegance is very important when times are hard. Paring down one's wardrobe to include only those items which have longevity in terms of style and durability will save money and increase one's confidence going forward. Tips on low-cost, elegant entertaining from a seasoned hostess can help you continue the good life in reduced circumstances. Elegant Survival is an innovative web-site that has extensions in the blogosphere in order to be of assistance to as many people as possible.

~~M-J de Mesterton, author of Elegant Survival: Stylish Living on a Shoestring, since 2006 

 Rocks and Gems: the Epitome of Elegant Survival

 Oil on Canvas 8" X 10", Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2009

Courtesy of the Havsudden Foundation 

The Need for TWEED


Posted on April 2, 2013 at 10:25 AM 


Our friend Steve Worthington, eminent storyboard artist and sculptor, has written and illustrated a tale about Tweed Cloth.

Click upon the miniature picture to see Steve Worthington's scintillating Tweed tale, an action-story that highlights the desirability of tweed cloth. My husband and I, who wear tweed eight months a year, and have done so for most of our lives, make an appearance in this cartoon--and no, we are not offended by the caricatures--quite the contrary. Tweed rocks!


Above: M-J de Mesterton at the Delano 


History Bytes

This tapestry depicts my Swedish ancestor, Birger Jarl 

 Elegant Culture Page

For M-J's Inside Advice on Elegant, Affordable Foundations and Vanity Supplies, Please Visit Elegant Lady's Boudoir

Painter M-J de Mesterton Has Been Wearing White Shoulders Perfume by Evyan Since 1960, Alternately with Givenchy III and Quartz by Molyneux

One of my favourite perfumes, White Shoulders was created in the 1943 by Hartnell, which by 1945 had become Evyan.  I had an acquaintance in Manhattan long ago, who often sang at the famous Michael's Pub, and only wore White Shoulders. I cannot remember her name, but the perfume is unforgettable. Look at the following advert for White Shoulders. The featured drawing is of a glamorous woman who resembles actress Loretta Young.


When I was five, my generous, chic uncle gave me a little grey fur stole, a string of pearls, and a  bottle of White Shoulders by Evyan Perfume.  Its sweet, classic scent always reminds me of Christmas, 1960.


Click the Photo to Visit M-J's Classic, Elegant Dressing Page

ABOVE: Please Visit M-J's Classic, Elegant Dressing Page by Clicking on the Photo 

Elegant Survival features many topics, and provides practical advice on preparing for disaster: Survival Tools.

Read about some interesting people at the Elegant Survivors Page

M-J's Original Recipes and Interpretations of the Classics: the ELEGANT COOK

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M-J's Quotes

All of the Following Quotes are Original,

Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2006, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2014, and 2015:

Do not be cowed by sheep! 

Your body is a temple--make sure it's not the Temple of Doom.

A wrinkled sack of skin on some all-too-visible bones can turn stomachs instead of heads.

Elegance is not to be confused with extravagance.

I will wear both necklace and earrings on rare occasions--like when Hell freezes over.

Sure, I will fix that hole in your painting. But, if it leads to another universe, there will be an extra charge.

Beware of Splay-Foot and Shorty-Pants.

~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2006, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2014 and 2015

 January 9, 2009 at 9:43 am

I tend to bite my tongue in order to not offend people. However, I feel it is relevant and helpful to broach the topic of jewellery. I only wear earrings and a necklace together on rare occasions–like when Hell freezes over!

It was Coco Chanel who advised women to assess their ensembles before going out, and to then arbitrarily remove one piece of jewellery. These days, one sees otherwise presentable women wearing long, dangling earrings and several necklaces at once, perhaps a broach on the hat or coat, and then enough bracelets to open a booth in a souk.  (These baubles may have sentimental value for the wearer, but to the discriminating eye, they just scream, “too many nuts and cherries on the sundae!”) Would you  rather look like an elegant lady, or be festooned like a Christmas tree?

A strand of pearls or other tasteful  necklace, such as one which features a simple jewel, OR a pair of elegant, non-pendulous earrings that separate you from the primitives, together with a watch, is a safe daytime scheme.  A well-dressed lady may exercise a bit more flair in the evening. Beware, though, of appearing overly decorated–a person’s sterling qualities can easily be overlooked by the distraction that too much jewellery creates.

~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2009



   M-J's Miscellany