E for Elegance

“In all that you do, practice a detached elegance.”

That quote popped into my head last night and it set the tone for today’s installment. Today we will talk about a much needed, yet often ignored factor in cultivating a personal style – elegance.

People associate elegance with skirts, never crossing your legs and always folding your arms in your lap when you sit. Yes, those are very elegant affectations, however, elegance is more about how you carry yourself, and less about what seemingly cultured habits you have cultivated. Elegance in a contemporary sense does not mean you have to wear skirts all the time, or put on airs, or act like there’s a permeating smell of garbage in the air, non mademoiselle. Au contraire, elegance is a detached, effortless carriage and a necessary part of every stylish woman’s wardrobe. It is a way you carry yourself that says, I am a woman of class and this outfit looks so much better with me in it. Here are some pointers:

  • Be classy with your style. Never flash too much skin. Keep butt cheeks and 3/4 of your cleavage out of sight at all times.
  •  Learn to flash one layer of skin at a time. If your legs come out to play, put away the cleavage. If the outfit is low-cut in front, keep the back and the legs covered. The same principle applies if it is low-cut at the back.
  • Walk with the confident assurance of royalty. Not too fast, not too slow. Do not stomp and do not drag your feet. Those beautiful shoes will thank you.
  • Handle everything you touch like it is made of fine china.
  • Keep your hands, feet and nails in pristine condition. Buy hand lotion and moisturize regularly throughout the day. Dry hands and feet do not look good in any outfit.
  • Practice smiling. Cultivate a genuine smile and use it often.
  • Avoid confrontation. There is nothing elegant about a screaming woman, no matter how beautiful her clothes are.
  • If you do find yourself in a verbal exchange, fight nice. Breathe slowly, do not dwell on what the other party is saying, but the intention behind it. Watch what you say, if you’re too angry, stay silent.
  • Buy jewelry that suits your build and style. With bracelets and watches, it is always a good idea to buy one that is neither too chunky nor too thin.
  • Always balance your accessories. Wear one statement piece at a time, do not pile them all on.
  • Keep your hair in place and suited to what you’re wearing. Bold earrings such as chandeliers and large hoops require an up-do, for your sake and that of your ears. Getting your hair caught in jewelry is very frustrating.
  • Your shoes should always match the occasion and complement the outfit. (We will tackle shoes and hair separately in different posts, there’s a lot to be said)
  • Practice minimalism. Less is always, always more.
  • Never be fake. Elegance is a genuine attribute. If you’re not amused, do not laugh, there is nothing quite as annoying as a fake laugh. If you’re not inclined to do something, demure sweetly and say no, resentment does not pair well with Gucci.
  • Learn, read and consume knowledge about everything. Practice the ability to hold a conversation in anything but know whom to converse with about what. No one wants to hear about the state of affairs in Syria at a baby shower.
  • Never discuss politics, religion, money or sexual orientation. Nobody wins and nobody leaves happy.
  • Last but not least, dance! (No, dry humping and pelvic thrusting do not qualify as dancing, neither does flailing about like a windmill) Learn the jive, learn ballet, do the twist and the funky Charleston. Ballet is great for your posture and your carriage, the rest are just really fun to do.

Elegance greatly enhances any outfit. The Queen of England does not wear the most beautiful clothes, in fact, some of them are borderline ugly; but her carriage makes them look great. Be elegant in all you do and you will always look like a million dollars.

I wonder what the F is going to be next installment. (Come on, you had to have seen that coming!) Haha. Cheerio!


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