practical luxuries - une femme d'un certain âge

practical luxuries


How do you define “luxuries”? Luxuries to me are those things that are above and beyond absolute needs, but that add pleasure and enjoyment to our lives. Luxuries don’t have to be extravagant or opulent or complicated; one can be surrounded by expensive things and still feel empty. But a perfect espresso, a soft, warm scarf in a beautiful color, a lovely piece of fresh fruit, a quiet afternoon with a good book…all of these are little luxuries that, if we take a moment to notice and appreciate them, can add to the quality of our lives.

Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury. — Coco Chanel

That’s one of my favorite quotes from Coco Chanel because it rings so true for me. If I’m physically or mentally uncomfortable, it’s hard to feel pleasure and appreciate what should be a treat. My favorite luxuries are those that combine practicality with pleasure, and elevate the everyday. Cashmere, a nice lotion, any everyday objects that are well-designed and a pleasure to use…these are often the first things that come to mind when I’m searching for gifts, too.

What “little luxuries” do you make a point to enjoy often?

Comfortable cashmere…

In case you want to take advantage of seasonal discounts, here are some Black Friday deals and codes from a few of my favorite retailers:

J.Crew – 30% off full-price styles and 40% off Sale items with code HOLIDAY

Nordstrom – Women’s Sale // Men’s Sale // Eileen Fisher on sale

Bloomingdales – get $25 off every $200 (some exclusions) and up to 50% off Big Brown Sale. (lots of nice sweaters and jacket included in this one, including Designer pieces)

Madewell – 25% off entire purchase, code GIFTON.

Eileen Fisher – 20% off on sweaters and cardigans, and free US shipping through Dec 26.

Neiman Marcus – 30-40% off selected designer items. Up to 50% off sale items.

AHALife – 26% off everything with code SPREADCHEER.

Gap – 50% off everything with code BLKFRIDAY

Shopbop – 15% off $250, 20% off $500, 25% off $1000 with code GOBIG14.

Ann Taylor – 50% off entire purchase with code THANKS.

Karina Dresses – 40% off sitewide with code BLACKFRIDAY.
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  1. November 28, 2014 / 4:39 am

    Is a luxury the same as an indulgence, I wonder? I love my black velours robe. It is both elegant and cozy. Hardly anyone sees me in it but with a scented candle burning and a good book in my hands, I feel pampered.

  2. Duchesse
    November 28, 2014 / 5:13 am

    Was just thinking how much I miss seeing a beautiful compact, and there it is! I am largely a drugstore makeup buyer, but would certainly love the Lauder one, which gives pleasure every time it’s opened. And sharing the love of good cashmere, which here in Montréal we call “the life support system”.

  3. November 28, 2014 / 5:59 am

    I have some hand-knitted socks that are simple luxuries. Also, the finest tea on a cool morning. Ahhhh.

  4. November 28, 2014 / 8:19 am

    I just bought three pairs of merino socks, which I love. Cashmere is even more cuddly, of course, but the merinos are very warm while not being bulky, and are machine washable. They also have pretty stripes. Duchesse, I bought them at the “Mercerie italienne” in Mile-End, run by an old couple. I have a cashmere pair (a lovely gift) but they don’t fit in all my shoes and boots. Yes, any of these items would make splendid presents.

  5. Nicole
    November 28, 2014 / 10:33 am

    A lightweight cashmere sweater that is so warm with the warmth being the greatest luxury on a cold, raw day (am I showing my age?). I love the cashmere gloves from Nordstrom and I’d like to give them as a gift but without the burden of dry cleaning for the recipient. Must they really be dry cleaned? Also, like Patti, a delicious cup of hot tea fills me with gratitude and I feel very contente.

    • une femme
      November 28, 2014 / 10:44 am

      Nicole, I’ve never had any problem hand-washing cashmere items in cold water and mild soap. (Love that one from The Laundress.)

  6. Nicole
    November 28, 2014 / 12:09 pm

    I’m sorry, Susan, but I do not know which one you refer to from The Laundress. Is it one of the ones you posted? I’m just not seeing it.

    • Nicole
      November 28, 2014 / 12:11 pm

      And thank you for the cashmere washing tip!

    • une femme
      November 28, 2014 / 12:21 pm

      Nicole, you’re welcome and yes, it’s this one that you can purchase through J.Crew:

      • Nicole
        November 28, 2014 / 12:25 pm

        Oh, ha, I was looking for a cashmere sweater instead of a soap. My mistake, attributed to cold symptoms presently, including foggy head! Thanks again.

  7. November 28, 2014 / 9:05 pm

    Hi! Slightly silly question here, but I was wondering if you could tell me the font used for the numbers in the collage at the beginning of this post? I love that 3!

    Thank you!

    • une femme
      November 29, 2014 / 6:31 am

      Hi soeurdelalune, it’s “Jellyka Saint-Andrews.”

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