I’m over 50 and recently received the best compliment ever!
On our recent trip to Paris, something unforgettable happened to me.
Hubby and I were walking near Notre Dame and a French woman stopped me on the street to say, “Bravo, Madame!” I’m like, “What?” I had no idea what she was talking about. I was wearing a denim colored cardigan set with black jeans and had just purchased a denim beret in a souvenir shop. Now I know that local Parisiennes likely never wear berets anymore, but it’s such a classic, I had to have one.
I so looked like an American tourist! I’m an overweight woman, over 50 and dressed for comfort while walking all over Paris. I was not at all expecting a French woman to compliment moi!
But, to my surprise, she responded by pointing to my beret and then my cardigan. In a very French accent she said again, “Bravo, Madame! Your beret compliments your sweater!” To say that this made my day/week/month/year is an understatement! It became the motto of the trip. Whenever something good happened, one of us would say to the other, “Bravo, Madame! or Bravo, Monsieur!”
This simple compliment from a stranger on the streets of Paris inspired this article. It is my dream, that by some miracle, that French lady would somehow find this blog and be reminded (I thanked her profusely) how very much her compliment cheered me. It was the very best compliment I’ve ever received.
9 steps to Bravo, Madame!
As I age, I am constantly searching for ways to achieve classic style that compliments my skin, fits comfortably and doesn’t look like I slept in my outfit. As I’ve written in other articles, I want to fight the frump! I’ve reached the age where I no longer expect compliments, so if incorporating a few new fashion ideas will draw one in Paris… Well, here are a few ideas that I hope will help you achieve that “Bravo, Madame!” feeling.
- Dressing in Monochromatic looks
- Adding classic pieces to your wardrobe, like a trench coat, white button down shirt, straight leg jeans, black blazer or cardigan sweater, and diamonds are still our best friend.
- Vertical stripes that are visible and horizontal stripes under a blazer or jacket.
- Denim dress, skirt or jacket
- Add a hat or beret for fun
- Find your own style muse. Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Iris Apfel, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Katie Holmes or Diane Keaton
- Read and follow Cindy Hattersley for more style muse inspiration.
- Treat yourself to something collectible and make it your statement piece. Mine is my Hermes scarf in spring. Prada sandals in summer. Hot pink trench in Fall and a vintage brooch pinned to my coat in winter.
- Here’s the surprise suggestion! Dress in pj’s you love at bedtime. It might be a t-shirt and pj bottoms that make you feel cozy and comfortable, or for a nighttime lift of spirits, splurge on silk and wake up feeling special before you even get out of bed.
I’m hearing a lot these days about Coastal Grandma Chic style. Diane Keaton comes to mind again. Her performance in “Something’s Gotta Give” or “And So it Goes” just might achieve classic style to the point of hearing, “Bravo, Madame!” And what could be more complimentary than that? It was my best compliment ever!
What’s the most memorable compliment you’ve ever received?