Monday, January 8, 2018

Authentically You...choose your role model....

We've been talking about being your authentic self, and in my last blog post here, I shared my love of glamour and dressing up. My role models include women like Grace Kelly, Sophia Loren, and more recently Dita Von Teese.

These women demonstrate a rather uncompromising approach to their personal presentation, never being seen in public with anything less than impeccable grooming and dress. I could very well have been setting myself up for failure two or three years ago with those! But my time is my own now in ways that it's not been for over 40 years. My youngest child is finished school, and my husband will soon retire, so if ever there was a time to be 'uncompromising', it's now!

My point is, that in choosing a role model, do be sure to choose someone whose style you can emulate on a practical basis. There are reasons and seasons in life for us all.

My friend Jane, a long time reader and supporter of A Tray of Bliss, shared in a recent comment that her style idol is Babe Paley.
She feels that she has a similar athletic build to Babe Paley, and favours her pared back, elegant style.

Now I'd never heard of Babe Paley, but she was quite an interesting woman.

Babe was a socialite and style icon in New York in the early and mid part of the twentieth century. Born into a wealthy family, she and her sisters all then went on to marry into further wealth and prestige. She worked as fashion editor for Vogue, and was named second only to the inimitable Wallis Simpson as Best Dressed Woman by Time Magazine.

A heavy smoker, Babe was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1974. She planned her own funeral, right down to the food and wine selections that would be served at the funeral luncheon. She carefully allocated her jewelry collection and personal belongings to friends and family, wrapped them in colorful paper, and created a complete file system with directions as to how they would be distributed after she ultimately succumbed to her illness in 1978. Clearly this was a woman who was particular not just about personal appearance, but about every aspect of her life.

First of all, thankyou to Jane for introducing me to such a fascinating woman. I'll be off to the library shortly to see whether I can find more information on Babe Paley and her cohort. Their era continues to be a source of style inspiration for me.

Secondly, I want to share how Jane, despite living in Tropical Queensland, Australia, strives to emulate her role model.

I love Janes strategy of assembling an outfit, complete with shoes and accessories, and photographing it. I did this once for my daughter when she was about 8 years old, but I've never thought to do it for myself.

And yet I have those moments where I go 'damn, this outfit looked so much better last time...why?'. It's usually something simple like a different pair of earrings or a slightly different heel height, or undergarment. A photograph would solve the inevitable 20-30 minutes I'd then spend trying to figure out where I've gone wrong.
So this alone is a brilliant idea.
Note that Jane has adapted the Babe Paley look for her climate, and location. But she has strived for a streamlined silhouette, timeless colour combination, neat classic pieces, and a pop of colour in this red white and charcoal ensemble. Note the pop of blue in the feather in Babe Paleys fabulous hat in the photo at the top of this post...all black...with just that pop of vivid sapphire blue. Stunning.
Further down, is another neat, timeless look. Denim, crisp white shirt, and cute heels looks good on just about everyone. And again, that pop of colour in the heels just elevates the outfit from nicely presented, to sleek and chic.
Jane lives in a beachside community so unlike Babe Paley, doesn't need to extend her wardrobe to silk ballgowns and statement millinery.
Nonetheless, she has taken the elements of the style of her role model...the classic tailored lines, timeless colours and shapes, quality fabrics...and adapted them to suit her. It's not about mimicking precisely, it's about emulating in a way that is practical for you.
Who would like to be featured next? Please send your photos and details to me at to be the next featured reader.
And thankyou to Jane for sharing her Style Icon.




  1. Dear mimi , firstly I thought I’d commented on your previous post on authenticity but doesn’t seem as if I have , must have been in my tired head oh dear . So I wanted to say how much I appreciated that post title as that is what I’ve told myself this year will be about as much as possible .
    Janes outfits are lovely and not sure why but that is not how I imagined you ,Jane :-)
    I’m a dress girl mainly and was out with my little grandson today and we passed oh so many sale dresses sighh I do not need any and trying to be good for January .
    Thankyou Mimi and Jane !
    Also mimi I want to thank you for reminding me of your Mum’s motto,”just do one thing” as it has kept me going through my tiredness over the last 3 days with tidying up and meals while I have family staying and babysitting duties .
    With love , Maria xxx

    1. Dear Maria, I'm glad these posts are speaking to you. I think we all get to the stage where we need a personal overhaul. It's good for our self esteem. You're a trooper for not succumbing to the sales! And I am so touched that my Mums motto has helped you. I find it immensely restorative to get through a few tasks using that idea, and then allowing myself to kick back and relax. Mimi xxx

  2. This is so good.... please keep these posts going! Maybe I'll find my style this year!


I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx