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BEING THE BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF

James Andrew at home - photo: Boris Glamocanin

James Andrew at home – photo: Boris Glamocanin

My friend Sophie Donelson, Editor in Chief at House Beautiful, perfectly summed up her thoughts on Marie Kondo’s best selling The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing:

“Kondo argues that how we dress ourselves at home has an enormous impact on our self-image. Why, when left alone, do we simply let go? After all, it is hard to feel good about yourself in saggy cashmere and dated jeans. Or in an unfinished or unhappy room, for that matter. More than any other place, your home should help you feel like your truest self. If you wake up surrounded by beauty, you’ll carry that feeling of joy and confidence all day long. Then you can return home, recharge, and begin again.”

This pithy message sort of hit me like a cinder block. I took a look at myself and my surrounds, and realized I’d quietly become a bit of a slob at home! I launched into action, and marched right off to Brooks Brothers to purchase dressing gowns and pajamas (I was picturing some of those classic Cary Grant flicks – him in his smart dressing/lounging attire). I threw out the old faded t-shirts I was wearing and spruced up my at-home appearance. Among other things, I also made a major effort to sift through my endless shopping bags filled with interior design swatches and samples, (ah, the constant conundrum of a home office). I cleaned up the clutter and filled the vases with fresh flowers. A couple days of concerted effort really paid off. I can tell you that even a subtle shift can make a huge difference – clearing the mind and energizing and elevating one’s personal sense of dignity! I urge you all to consider a little clarification today – let us know your results!

9 Comments

  1. James,
    I couldn’t agree more. Why do we not treat ourselves as well when we are alone as we do when we are in public? We dress up to go out, but at home we throw on the undesirables in our wardrobe. Sending them to charity is the best medicine and ruthlessly… cut ties (literally some times) with the bits that don’t elevate you and send them on. Unfinished rooms is a-whole-nother story! Where do I start? Perfect post for me today. Thanks!
    W

  2. Brian Sheridan says:

    So I go to your blog this morning, and there you are sitting in SAME EXACT robe I was wearing! Now I feel like I am on the right track.

  3. Dean says:

    James,

    Love it when you express yourself in such a delightfully personal manner!
    Although I SERIOUSLY DOUBT you had become remotely “slobbish”!
    LOL!
    This virtual mode of knowing people has become the norm- can you believe it? What’s next? One can only imagine!

    PS, I dream of lounging in cotton p j ‘s and a silk “robe” – with a Dunhill cigarette holder…!

    Dean

  4. I wrote the longest comment……I forgot to click the box I am not a scammer……I think my entire comment was deleted. Sob!

  5. I’ll write it again!

    tomorrow!

  6. C Jordan says:

    This is SO strange as I just started that book 3 days ago. I, too, have already donated 2 garbage bags of clothing and am in the process of sorting my huge book collection. It’s quite addictive…

    My new policy is “NO MERCY”. If it doesn’t bring me joy or usefulness, it’s out. I hate housework and only create more for myself with too much “stuff”. Makes no sense…

    I also got rid of anything that was ill-fitting or damaged beyond my repair skill. I’m down to 1/2 of my old closet and it feels WONDERFUL. Everything I look at now I *want* to wear.

    Next are my vintage textiles. A lot is just fabric but I have a hard time getting rid of it. I mean, I don’t even really *sew*…

    The whole operation of find, fall in love with, buy, adore, put in closet to hoard (rinse and repeat) is RIDICULOUS. But feel free to send me your swatch discards! πŸ™‚ See, I have a problem…

    Another great post, James.

  7. James Andrew says:

    Dear Brian Sheridan,

    That is so terrific!

    Great minds think alike and Brooks Brothers does a brilliant job with old school sleep wear.

    Cheers

    JA

  8. James Andrew says:

    Dear Dean,

    Believe it or not – yes – we all have our moments I suppose and that is why it is essential to always strive to be better versions of ourselves.

    I adore Charvet robes and pajamas!

    JA

  9. James Andrew says:

    My Darling Penelope Bianchi,

    I just adore your comments!

    Sorry about the extra step – but there seems to be too much hacking etc going on!

    Much Love

    JA

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