My family has many, many close friends, who blur the line between "friends" and "family" quite well. I'm blessed to have so many "extended family members" who encourage me, entertain me, guide me, and support me. One family in particular has really shaped my life. They have exposed me to incredible art, culture, fashion, food, and style. Most importantly, they are the true meaning of "comfortable luxury". No matter how many times I may visit their house, you instantly feel an air of luxury, but without the typically expected haste or stuffiness. Nothing is off limits, everything is impeccably clean and ordered, yet you never feel uncomfortable. In fact, it's quite the opposite. Whether gazing at an incredible collection of art, drinking delicious wine and enjoying savory foods, or just relaxing and visiting, you know you're in a different place. A place of safety. A place of inspiration. A place you want to be.
There is a phenomenal campaign called "look good, feel better". In short, it's designed to provide beauty and cosmetic tips to those battling cancer. It's premise focuses on the sheer fact that when you look good, you feel better. After taking care of my Mom while she was terminally ill with cancer, I found a new respect for this program. But it also helped me realize another ideal - when you feel good, you look better. And that is so very true.
Think again. When you feel good, you look better. So treat yourself. I know the economy isn't going as well as we'd hoped. Money might be tight. But live a little. Treat yourself. Enjoy some comfortable luxury with these suggestions:
1. Pack an overnight bag. You're going on a "stay-cation". Leave your laptop, mobilephone, pager, blackberry, blueberry, and any other electronic communication device at home. Check in to your favorite local hotel. And don't tell a soul. Relax. Order room service. Watch a movie. Read a book. Drink lots of wine. Stay up late, and sleep in. And don't leave until it's time to check out of the hotel and check in with reality.
2. Make your favorite cocktail. At 4 PM. Take a long shower. And enjoy your cocktail while you lazily relax. In the shower. (Caution - only one cocktail is allowed. I don't want anyone drowning, flooding the bathroom, or injuring themselves!)
3. As it gets cooler outside, go for a run. But ditch your raggedy old college t-shirts, and opt for something more luxurious and stylish. Like a cashmere sweater. (Better cashmere can be hand washed at home. I rinse mine in the sink, and lay them flat to air dry.)
4. Purchase multiple David Yurman bracelets. Keep them for yourself. And wear them all at the same time. Especially to unexpected places, like the grocery store.
5. Upgrade your fragrances. Colognes and perfumes definitely expire. Throw away your old fragrances, and replace them with new ones. I like to buy smaller bottles. (This is easier for travel, and allows for more rotation without spoilage.)
6. And speaking of upgrades. Throw away all of your underwear. It's time you treat yourself the right way. If you're going to be well dressed and have impeccable taste, you can't neglect the garments closest to you. Wearing designer clothes and cheap underwear would be like wearing a Canali suit with shoes from Payless. It just shouldn't happen. Ever.
And the most important aspect of living a comfortable luxury, is to never, ever, be rude to others. You don't want to make people feel uncomfortable. We never know what others are dealing with in their personal lives. So be gracious. Be kind. And of course, be in style.