Elegance and class seem to be reserved for the celebrity world nowadays. With our hectic lifestyle, few are those who would really care about elegance, in the mistaken belief that elegance takes a lot of time, money, and effort. In fact, elegance starts in your mind and is really not as expensive as it seems. Here’s why:
1. Politeness and good manners
Being polite doesn’t cost anything but it’s worth a lot. Think about it: when do you feel better, when you talk to a well-mannered person or to a brute? That’s a universal rule, actually, no one likes rudeness better than politeness. Naturally, this doesn’t mean false politeness, with the curses bubbling under the surface. False is not good. Honest is good. As part of being well-mannered, try to be positive about the things that happen around you and the people you meet. If you really must talk behind someone’s back, let this talk be a praise, not a criticism. Voice is also a factor here – soft and level, but not monotone voice – is classy, high-pitched and rough is not. Practise.
2. Good posture is a hallmark of elegance and class
Posture is important from a purely health-related perspective but it is also a hallmark of elegance and class. Slouching may be cool in some circles but elegant it isn’t. Stand and sit up straight, don’t cross your legs unless you really must (but also don’t sit like a man), and walk with your head raised high. Not too high, mind, lest you trip and fall in a very non-elegant way. Proper posture can add grace to all your movements but this involves you being fully aware of your own body. This awareness means that whatever your position is, you can literally feel all your body parts, from toes to fingertips. Awareness means control. Control means elegance.
3. Body care
Elegance starts in the mind but it spreads to your whole body in the form of maintenance. Maintenance does not necessarily mean high-end cosmetics, it just means regular, thorough care. For this you can use all natural means. You really don’t need to invest too much money, maybe apart from makeup, that is, because quality makeup is worth it. Eat right, exercise to keep your body fit and looking its best, and develop a good skincare routine. Exfoliation and moisturising are the two magic words that the kind of beauty that is skin-deep rests on. Get it right and your deeper beauty will shine through.
4. Elegance and style in clothes
Elegance has to do with the presence or absence of style, not the presence or absence of a designer label on your coat. Style here means finding the outfits that really make you look your best in an effortless, non-imposing way. To achieve this you need to remember three things. First, don’t compromise with size. You may think that a pair of trousers that are just a teensie bit tight around your hips are alright, but they are not. Elegance also means comfort and tight is not comfortable. The same goes for one-size-too-big clothes. Second, be careful with the colours. Nothing too brave, whatever some designer or other says is all the rage this season. Classy and fashionable are sometimes mutually exclusive. Third and last, it’s better to spend money on a couple of high-quality pieces, than on ten cheap, low-quality outfits.
5. The right choice of shoes
What goes for clothes, goes double for shoes. Never buy shoes that are not exactly the right size. This will affect your posture and we already discussed how important posture is for elegance. That’s without even mentioning painful consequences like blisters and corns. Invest in two pairs of high-quality, leather shoes that will last you a decade, rather than spending the same money on ten false leather imitations. Never leave the house without shining and polishing your shoes, making sure they look impeccable. Shoes speak tonnes about your personality. Take care of them and they will take care of you.
6. A good scent
It’s true that the choice of fragrances is so enormously extensive that it’s literally impossible to stick to just one staple scent that is your own. Still, try not to change the way you smell too often. A staple scent is part of you just as much as your outfits, shoes, and hairstyle. If you can bear it, have one fragrance for the day, and one for evening occasions. Being classy means leaving a good impression, and the power of the nose is unbelievable when it comes to lasting memories. Think Marilyn Monroe and Chanel #5, that’s exactly what we’re talking about.
Elegance also comes from control, and not just over your body. Don’t let your home be a total mess all the time, and don’t clutter your workspace. Learn to control your emotions and never lose it in public. Establish your personal boundaries and do not let people encroach on them. Be polite about it, of course. Finally, and most importantly, love yourself, don’t try too hard. Elegant people are as a rule confident people, not self-loathing, chronically depressed wretches. There are lots of reasons for which you should love yourself. Sit down and make a list right now. Then start practising your proper posture.
Do you have other tips on how to be more elegant and classy?