“Put style in lifestyle. Be modest, be cheerful, be positive, be charitable. Good manners are golden; they make you shine like a diamond pendant. Style isn’t always about what you’re wearing; it’s about what you are.” (Cary Grant: A Celebration of Style, by Richard Torregrossa, page 181)
Yesterday on the subway I witnessed something that melted my heart and brightened my day. As the story involves two little girls, no more than 3 years old each, I’ll name one Sarah and the other one Tara, to avoid repetition and confusions. Sarah and her mother, carrying a bunch of hyacinths, got on the train and saw Tara, who was travelling with her grandmother. Sarah’s mother handed her daughter a flower to give to Tara. Tara shyly accepted it, with a smile blossoming in a corner of her mouth. Her grandmother was so touched by the wonderful gesture that she whispered something to Tara and the next thing her granddaughter did was to go and give something in return to Sarah. I think it was a chocolate. Sarah happily accepted the gift and looked at her mother as if wanting to tell her from her eyes that she had learned that a good deed follows another. All this happened quickly, between two close stops, but it induced such a happy feeling into everyone present as if a ray of sunlight had just made it through to there. Sarah and Tara parted like two old friends, each of them looking at the mother and grandmother, respectively, smiling and satisfied, knowing that they had done something that mattered that day. True style comes in so many forms and it can definitely be taught and learned.
Later on I had a totally different kind of experience. An impeccably dressed woman: straight, perfect fit black trousers, elegant black boots, beautifully tailored knee-length navy coat and a gorgeous Chloé Marcie navy bag. What could possibly be wrong with that, you wonder? Too much perfume ruined the entire look in a fraction of a second and transformed it into what, for me, is one of the most obvious signs of bad taste. Maybe not everyone learns good manners at home, but these should at least be taught in school.