The Art of Elegant Style
Timeless Quote on Style - When Christian Dior was asked 'what is key to good dressing?'
He said, 'There is no key! If there were it would be too easy, rich women could buy the key and all their fashion worries would be over! But simplicity, grooming and good taste - the three fundamentals of fashion - cannot be bought. But they can be learnt, by rich and poor alike.'
How does Audrey Hepburn look so timeless? How do designs become classic? We take a look at fashion, its influences and nail down styles that never go out.
The basic principles of achieving a beautiful, elegant look that is timeless are quite simple. There is of course, a more sophisticated elegance whose taste you will eventually develop, but for starters, we will stick to simple clean lines and focus on quality.
Note: You needn't go out and spend a tonne of money. An elegant woman is more materially-restrained than we realize.
There is always something very cohesive, rounded, soft, subtle, ethereal look about a woman who is elegant. It looks effortless and perfectly gentle.
Basic Elegant Style PrinciplesAn timeless, elegant woman is always
- Graceful in appearance. You'll always notice her before her dress.
- Wearing quality clothes.
- She Hhas a pleasant appearance and expression. She gives you nothing to question or frown about.
- She also dresses appropriately, according to occasion.
- Prefers timeless, classic styles.
See also How to look Chic.
How is Your Personal Grooming?
The first steps to achieving a timeless, elegant style is to be immaculate in personal grooming.
If this is an uncomfortable change, do not get overwhelmed. Take small steps. It is normal to feel uncomfortable. I remember feeling that way when I started to adjust for higher standards of grooming.
It is impossible for someone who to be elegant without being immaculately groomed. Thus, here are the grooming basics:
Skin Care, Make Up, Hair
The very very least, have a clean face, nails, and smell fresh (from having showered and not reeking with perfume). Wear fresh clothes always.
Develop your own customized skin care and hair care range. Keep it simple, pay attention what works for you and be disciplined about it!
As for make up, I find that unless you are a make up artist, try to have minimum make up. Clutter is not good for your well being. Keep your look fresh and updated. Go for a more natural look in the day, and heavier at night. See Make up Tips.See Dressing Elegant Frequently Asked Questions: But I don't wear make up! How much make up?
She is Neat and Clean
She is neat as well as clean.
An timeless look is always freshly laundered, neat and in place. I love how this quote describes,
"For all her chic thinness, she had an almost breakfast-cereal air of health, a soap and lemon on cleanness, a rough pink darkening on her cheeks" - Truman Capote, Breakfast At Tiffany's
Your facial expression and peace is also affected by how you run your life. Are you always in a mad rush?
I'm sure we all try to be neat and tidy in more ways than one.
If you are not born organized, there is help out there for you! For example, I love Flylady.net for helping me get the housework done and clutter gone! There are several great cookbooks for the messy planner.
It pays to get better at being neat and clean. They affect our self confidence more than we realize.
Quality is essential to elegance. Aim for quality over quantity. Good quality is not an extravagance, it lasts for a long time and may end up to be cheaper because you get more uses of each item.
It pays to have the very best that you afford.
Of course, many women dream of having a different thing to wear for everyday of the year. So we naturally think that the bigger the wardrobe the better. That is why I was surprised when I changed my shopping habits. I started to buy only clothes I absolutely am sure about (and loved), and stopped buying clothes and things that I'm half-satisfied with.
I also tweaked my wardrobe and was ruthless in discarding things I didn't love. I then found it easier to dress and loved my wardrobe more. You may read more about my wardrobe edit
When you really love an item of clothing, you'll find yourself wearing it over and over. So only buy what you love.
So an elegant dressing and shopping rule of thumb is to hold out for the quality stuff, buy only what you love and do more with less.
Minimize Quantity of Your Clothes
My personal story with my wardrobe
I've discovered this 'Less is More' theory on my own, even though I've listened to countless gurus telling me that Less is indeed more.
My ideal wardrobe is to have 10 really good pieces that I can wear over and over, mix and match, dress it up or down. I know it is natural to think that we have never enough, and that we need more of this or that, but I've found a small collection of clothes works well!
This knowledge came to me especially when I travel because I usually travel for a few weeks or months at a time.
Wherever I am, I am not able to buy too many things because that's all I can take, whatever I can fit into my bags!
And before I leave for a few months, I'm forced to pack the most sensible and versatile clothes, because that will be all I'll be wearing for weeks!
What if you have nothing to wear? Strangely, in desperate times, we all get creative and I've found myself creating new combinations of accessories with my lot of clothes.
I've since realized that I very much enjoy the simplicity of only having a few pieces. You get dressed much quicker and you become more creative to work with what you have!
You can start re-building your ideal wardrobe now. Begin to discard anything that does not fall under the 'elegant' category.
A final note, it is true that when someone is very fashionable, she is not quite elegant.
Edit Your Wardrobe
Start today, edit that wardrobe! Ruthlessly discard all that is not elegant, those that you haven't touched in two years, those clothes that are too big or small for you. Get the repairs done.
Analyze your wardrobe. Do you have your basics?
Do you have the right accessories?
Do you commit any of these bad fashion faux pas?
How You Dress Matters
How you dress says a lot about you. Have you considered what kind of image you are presenting to the world? Is it elegant?Maybe it is important to consider about how you are presenting yourself to the world, if that is something that matters to you. I'm not asking you to put up a facade, but you know, sometimes the way you present yourself will lead you to other opportunities you not have had, for love, career or friendships.
Read more about why how you dress matters
Coco Chanel quotes, "Elegance is refusal"
Some Recommended Readings