How elegant are you? Read about four main factors that your elegance and classiness are decided by.
Please note that this is written for the purposes of self analysis only.
“We are evaluated and classified by four things: by what we do, by how we look, by what we say, and by how we say it.”
– Dale Carnegie, in How to Develop Self-Confidence And Influence People By Public Speaking
Similarly, our ‘how elegant we are’ is evaluated by the same four things.
What we do
The things we do fall in many categories.
The most obvious description that comes to mind is what you do for work.
The reality is that there are more elegant choices of work, and usually that involves noble purposes like helping others, welfare etc.
If you are engaged in work that has a greater cause than ‘making ends meet’, the American dream (or whichever country) and luxury – it is considered ‘more elegant’.
But who can rightfully divide the elegant jobs and non-elegant jobs? Further more, what we do is not who we are.
Therefore, in judging how elegant you are, ‘what you do’ also means what you do with our time.
What do you do for leisure? What sports do you play? What do you read?
‘What you do’ can also be read as your approach to ‘doing life’. Are you busy? Are you stressed? Do you rush around?
How we look
This is possibly the most obvious way of judging one’s elegance…at first, of course.
Your appearance speaks for itself about how elegant you are.
Most of grooming tools that you need to look elegant are found in the supermarket
and they cost less than ten dollars.
“Never judge a book by its cover,” we are repeatedly told. It is true but we are all visual, we don’t stay around long enough to ‘judge’.
Truth be told, I always feel that appearance says a lot about what one thinks about oneself.
It’s an irony that most of us are overly concerned about what one thinks or says about us, but then we forget the image we project to the world. We are probably our best walking advertisements of ourselves!
Your appearance, (to a certain degree) reflect your character and habits.
Sloppy appearances show that you can’t-be-bothered. What you wear to a meeting shows how important you think of the person you are meeting.
Do you look confident? Looking confident can help to feel confident.
One other thing, your appearance as good as a a club membership. It shows which ‘club’ you belong to. It will also draw members of the same club to you and repel members from other clubs. So we have to ask ourselves, which clubs we want to belong to…
What we say
There is such a thing as an elegant speech and an elegant conversation.
At some point in my later years, I’ve realized the importance of ‘the way one speaks’ and ‘the mastery of language’.
An elegant conversation is civil and appropriate.
Just observe the way a refined person speaks.
She keeps it light hearted and happy. She does not intrude on personal matters.
She rarely use direct questions lest it sounds like an interrogation.
She interrupts – never and rushes – absolutely not!
She is neither forceful or airs her opinions without restraint. Her conversations are neither long winded or peppered with advice or hints.
We must feed our mind with good books and take time to do some reflection, to meditate.
How we say it
Apart from elegant speech and conversation,
this is another thing that all of us subconsciously judge elegance by.
The sound of our voice, its tone, its clarity, its accent, its prose and poise.
Is our voice nasal? Can we be heard clearly? Are we understood?
Is our accent distracting?
Is the pronunciation of our words proper?
At age 18, Grace kelly begged for a voice recorder to train herself to get rid of her country accent. She later married a prince.
We do have bad habits when we speak? Do we make subtle head movements? Do we shake or wiggle or fidget when we speak?
If you want to learn how to be more elegant, you can self study and self edit. That is how all big film stars develop their glamour (as we can see in their before and after pictures).
If you aren’t happy with your accent or pronunciation, you can consider adopting a more neutral, international accent, learning phonics or getting a elocution coach.
Why Did I Write This?
I wrote this article originally for EzinesArticles when someone requested for an article entitled, “How to be more elegant”.
I told myself, this is impossible to fit into 1000 words, but since it was a rainy dreary day, I made myself a cup of tea and decided to write whatever came to mind.
After thinking about it more thoroughly, I decided to modify it for elegantwoman.org. I struggled tremendously because “how elegant are you?” and “How to be more elegant”
is not something that you can answer so simplistically. There are always so many things I want to say…but there are limitations of the web!
My only hope is that you can understand the heart and soul of it, and use it as a way of an encouraging self-analysis – that you already have most of this, you have what it takes and you have a good hope!
In a way, I hope to communicate the crux of elegance and then help you develop yourself in the way that you want to, to while I stand by the sidelines cheering you on.
Go for it! Go for GOLD!