False Notions of Elegance

Women in Paris

The Reason for Elegant Myths Article

Every now and then, I notice certain misconceptions of elegance and of being an elegant woman.

So therefore, I decided to write a page on some myths of elegance, which will hopefully dispel some common inaccurate beliefs about what it means to be elegant.

Elegant Myth #1 In order to be elegant, I have to dress like a nun.

Other variations of these include:

“I can’t show my womanliness by being a little sexy, I can’t show skin, I can’t wear prints, I can’t be fashionable.”

I’m also not sure where the idea of being elegant means wearing long sleeves and skirts and keeping long hair.

I’ll say that, yes, I believe that elegance contains an element of modesty, showing some restraint and taste but does not mean you shouldn’t dress up. I guess it depends on what kind of attention are you drawing to yourself!

I believe you can be elegant AND sexy. I think it has more to do with how you feel, rather than how you look.

Just like being sexy does not mean to dress in a way that shows a lot of skin, you can be elegant and sexy.

Elegant Myth #2 Men find elegant women are boring and unattractive.

What is attractive to men:

  • Femininity
  • Perfume
  • Dresses
  • Make up
  • Womanliness
  • Happiness
  • Neatness

I feel all these things can be done elegantly

Men like women who take care of themselves. They are drawn to women with good grooming and make an effort to look their best. They loved to be envied and admired, especially by other men for having a pretty and elegant partner.

As Mdm Dariaux says, “They particularly dislike vulgarity in the woman they love.”

Elegant Myth #3: Elegance is expensive. It is only for those who can afford fine things.

There is a certain elegance in fine things as they made with the highest quality. (Well, most fine things anyway)

Fine things are created from years of hard work, effort and polishing. The makers were committed to quality.

For instance, a finely made cotton shirt has had more attention and precision in its manufacture: its fabric, the hems, the texture, buttons and the cut. Thus it looks more elegant compared to a quickly and badly made one.

As more work went into the better made cotton shirt, it costs more to have a quality product made.

HOWEVER, with great advancement in technology, we are now enjoying greater quality at lower prices. There are many mass market brands that produce things with Japanese style quality (the Japanese are known for their high quality control).

Thus, to be elegant requires you to learn how to pick good quality, regardless of how big or small your budget may be.

The elegant guideline is to pick the one offering the best value, or the best quality that you can afford.

You don’t need to spend $500 on a cotton shirt if you can buy a good, reasonable quality one at $100.

Choosing elegant things for yourself and family need not be an expensive affair.

You just need to refine your tastes – learn discretion.
Enhance your ability to deduce the quality of the make of the item.

Observe, touch, feel, try it on, get reviews from others.

Hunt down bargains. I find it helpful to compile a list of my favorite shops for everything –
usually stores and brands are consistently reliable – and it cuts down wasted time on
searching during shopping.

Basically, this means to do your homework.
Although higher priced items are expected to be of quality, I know it’s not always true.
Likewise, not all cheaper goods compromise on quality.

Elegant Myth #4: Looking rich is elegant.

Paris Hilton

Looking rich does not necessarily make you look elegant

Supposedly there is a belief that people who are elegant are usually of a certain status. Thus
Wealthy people are always elegant.

Actually, it is considered bad taste to be showy, flashy of one’s wealth.
So is boasting, bragging, name-dropping. See Conversation Blunders.

The more humble a rich person is, the greater everyone’s respect grows for that person.

Wealthy people are not always elegant as you can see reports of certain highly-paid celebrities indulging in embarrassing behavior.

Understated, Clean, Simple, Two Colors, Pearls And Elegance

True opulence, like true luxury should be practiced undetectable – except for those who have a trained eye for finer things and realize her brown pair of shoes is an original of the make and they cost more than her entire outfit.

Where elegance is concerned, the greater the luxury, the more discreet it is.

Being understated is very elegant.

Elegant Myth #5 Wearing pearls is elegant.

Elegant Myth #6 A sophisticated person is always considered elegant.

Elegant Myth #7 Elegance in appearance is the most important.

An elegant person looks perfect and expensive and groomed. As long as she looks elegant, she is elegant.

Regarding the above 3 myths

I had a friend who wore pearls all the time, thinking she looked elegant. She spoke of eloquently of music, travel, fashion, cuisines and tried to speak a french word or two. She managed to get into parties and certain social circles and worked hard by expanding her friendship list on Facebook by checking out her friends’ friends.

However, there are many occasions where she behaved badly. She constantly took advantage of others, never paying for her own food or drinks, refusing to order but later eating off others’ plates and then refusing to contribute to the bill. She cancels on her appointments on a whim, is rude to people who are not well-off, connected or beautiful amidst of other appalling things.

Her constant bragging and name-dropping are embarrassing and she acts like she is much closer to the people she namedrop. She managed to conceal her character from most especially those who met her superficially, but soon the word got out.

I’m sure its just a matter of time she will realize and learn to be kind.

It is really not about how you dress by how you behave. Dressing or appearing elegant will only propel you forward for a short fleeting time.

Elegant Myth #8 I can’t be fashionable and elegant at the same time.

Elegant styles are boring. They stick to only classic styles and have no individuality. They do not follow fashion and are not fashionable.

Elegant styles are usually classic and timeless. However some fashionable styles are also elegant though they may not be classic or timeless.

It is possible to be elegant and fashionable as well.

(though not too fashionable).

Elegant Fashions are usually- understated- simple and clean with accents- draws attention to the person rather than the item (bag,shoes, designer logo)- not adorned with ostentatious designer logos- chic

Elegant Myth #9 Extravagance is elegance.

Not necessarily so. I find the most elegant of people are the opposite of extravagance.

Extravagance gives me the impression of impulse, excessiveness and wastefulness.

The word elegance is derived from the Latin eligere, meaning to select.

Read also about my inspiration of the non-designer elegant woman.

If you observe people whom you think are very elegant, you will notice how they take their time to select and choose.

This applies to all areas of their life. They choose their clothes with high quality because they want more value and use of it. They choose their shoes well because they want them to last. They choose what to do with their time, not wasting it, not living a life of hurry.

Despite that, they are often very generous towards people, especially their family and loved ones.

Elegant Myth #10 Elegance is only for the past.

I can see the reason for the myth. I, myself think how is it possible to be elegant in this time-poor world, endless choices of possessions, increasing reliance on gadgets which change the way we communicate or have relationships with others.

We have to make an elegant way of living based on principles, otherwise, we will get lost in the clutter and noise. I believe it is possible to be elegant in modern society. After-all, we naturally refine our lives, to make it better. A life of thought and measure subconsciously gets us there!

Being elegant is a choice. It is a series of making better choices.

Elegant Myth #11 Elegance is devoid of all personality.

“I will lose my own personal style if I try to be elegant. All elegant women look the same.”

Elegance is all about self-awareness, thoughtfulness and experience.

Many women who are not classic beauties have made a name in elegant fashion. Audrey Hepburn
was not a classic beauty from her time but is the first woman everyone thinks about when it comes
to embodying elegance. She had ears that stick out, was much too thin, had a body that was somewhat
less curvy and was flat-chested in eras were a full chest and ‘booty, curves, and women who had a bit
more to grab were prized beauties.

Aside from the basic principles, there is ways where you could
personalize your own sense of stylish elegance.

Elegant principles merely serve as a frame. Find out what you like and use that as your own drawing board.

In Conclusion

There are many myths about elegance. I hope that you’ll know be more aware of some of them and feel encouraged to be the woman you want to be. Thanks for reading!

You might be interested in

Definitions of “Elegant”
Elegant Things I Love
Elegant Women Inspirations
Have Courage
Elegant Quotes: Beautiful inspiring words of wisdom

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