A week or so ago I was intrigued by a headline that was a list of 10 vintage perfumes that should could back in style. As a wearer of a older perfume I was curious to see if my favorite made the list. It did. Shalimar is a classic but it is also totally unique and for some reason it fell out of favor, replaced I suppose by celebrity scents and fashion brands. Shalimar was the first perfume I ever wore, the first perfume I received as a gift (for my eighth grade “graduation” from my parents), it was the first scent I loved when I smelled it on my glamorous aunt. According to the article it was a scent that deserved to be back in style because there is nothing else like it in it’s earthy, oriental sophistication. I think it smells a little spicy, a little rooty and dark, and deeply calming but sultry. There is a lot happening in that perfume, kind of like me which might be why I like it so much. I was excited to be on the list, it made me feel like I knew myself confidently, wasn’t a slave to trends buy could retain style in the classic way I prefer in fashion. And then it got me thinking about all the “classic” things I like that I think should be brought back into regular use. In no particular order my top five:
- Courtesy. Perhaps you think this has never gone out of style, but I disagree. I believe we have lost our basic sense of how to courteous to one another in the simplest ways. For instance let’s bring back the vintage luxury of responding to invitations promptly. We most of us carry our calendars with us everywhere we go, and e-invitations don’t require more than a click, no burdensome picking up of a pen, sealing of the envelope and posting. Just click. Yes or no. You are attending or you are not, if you are keeping the option open in case you don’t get a better option then you are a jerk – just say no because if you are hoping something better comes along then you don’t really want to go anyway.
- Say “Thank you.” This might fall into the first category but I want to call it out independently. Two words, not hard to say and necessary to acknowledge all of those people who help us through the day. Despite our culture of ‘look at me and look at what I did,” the truth is you probably didn’t do it 100% alone. It’s nice to appreciate the help you get along the way.
- Honesty. Have you watched any political discourse lately? Look, the “truth” may not be the story we want to tell, but when we all work in the reality of a situation it makes it much easier to solve problems and progress toward our goals. If we insist the sun orbits the earth because we prefer that story despite all evidence to the contrary, well we just can’t have a conversation about anything having to do with seasons. This is a metaphor of course for all preference for not-truth. Just be honest, with yourself, with each other – it makes life easier.
- Put some clothes on. When did sexy come to mean naked? Or so scantily clad as to be beyond shocking and just be corse. Maybe I am in the minority here but I don’t think you need to see 80% or a breast to believe it is there and that it is alluring. Neither do I think it is alluring to wear nothing but strips of fabric flashing everything to the whole world while you call it a dress, or strips of metal, or tulle or fabric of choice that has been cut into ribbons and called a garment. Elegant can be sexy. Covered can be sexy. I’m not suggesting burka style covered but how about jean shorts that don’t leave the bottom third of your butt hanging out? I’m sure your butt is lovely, save it for a special occasion, not the airplane.
- Listen to your companions. We harken back to number one again, but really when you want to be cared for, when you need companionship, when you need connection that metal box in your pocket is not going to provide. When you are with other humans go ahead and put it away and be fully where you are – it might be fabulous.
Not everything old is good, not everything new is bad. It’s a balance of course, and if being a little out off trend means that I am little more me, a little more engaged in my life then I maintain that classics retain their value precisely because they work so well.