When one hears “elegance”, one tends to think “pearls, expensive hairstylist and gorgeous jewelry”. Let’s un-learn everything you have been learning so far. I am no professional, but I am passionate of all things related to Elegance and good manners, which makes me think I am (more or less) legitimate to talk about this subject. I think about creating a series on this blog about Elegance in general so let me know in the comments if this topic could be interesting for you to learn about. Let’s dive right into it and share with you my list of free things you can do to improve your level of Elegance, as true Elegance is a thing no money could ever buy.
What I mean by “education” is everything related to your knowledge. I think every elegant lady should be able to have a conversation on a specific topic without being at a loss for words (which does not mean “saying anything and everything in order to fill up the blanks”, obviously). I am not telling you that you should be knowledgeable on each and every subject in the whole entire world, but that you should keep up wit the news, know your classics (literature, art &c.) and have your “You-topic”, a topic you are passionate about and can always turn to in conversations.
Language and Languages
This one goes hand in hand with your education: an elegant lady should master languages. What do I mean by that?
- You should master your mother language. I am not telling you, once more, to be absolutely perfect at it, perfection does not exist and the quest for it is not healthy. I am simply saying that you should not make too many mistakes when you write, that your grammar should be correct and that people should be able to understand you easily when you speak in public.
- English as the key to open many doors: nowadays, English is not considered “the most important language” according to several studies, but I genuinely think it is still a “must-speak”. Lots of people speak English, or at least “Globish” (Global-English – a simpler version of English) which would help you be understood and defend your point of view when needed.
- A more “exotic” language. When I say “exotic“, I mean “every language that is not spoken by everybody in your town”. According to standards, German is not “exotic” at all but as the people who speak it around me are really rare, it seems exotic to them. Mastering a third language will certainly help you have access to more information (online, for instance) but will also be quite impressive and make you feel more confident.
It is not only a myth: walking with a book on your head will help A LOT. Posture is, in my eyes, a key to Elegance: it makes you look taller, slimmer, and more confident. Moreover, and it might be the most important point, having a good posture will do wonders for your health.
Etiquette is a set of rules one shall learn in order to show good behavior and good manners. Etiquette is a must-know, but a really long process. One can’t learn every rule that can fall into this category in one go, but I think the process of learning these rules is interesting in itself. Youtube has a long list of videos on this topic and there are lots of online finishing schools (schools where one learns good manners) for those who do not have time to invest in a regular school. Moreover, these finishing schools are far more affordable than most of other schools.
Here are a few topics about which you could start doing research on the Internet: “Appropriate behavior with affluent people”, “wine knowledge”, “table manners”, “questions NOT to ask” &c.
Go to charities, ask the older Lady if she needs help to hold her grocery bag or if she wants your seat. Listen to your friends and acquaintances, offer your help when you can and share your knowledge with others. Be the lady who (almost, let’s not be hard on ourselves, kindness applies to YOU before anyone else) never gossips and always celebrates her friend’s victory. That, my dear friend, is far more Elegant than a new pair of expensive shoes.
I think an elegant lady shall have a little political background. I am not telling you to study politics thoroughly but knowing what is going on in the world in the moment and being able to follow a conversation on the topic seems important. Looking at the news once a week and doing research on the topics which please you can be more than enough. Here, the goal is simply to make yourself your own idea on the topic of politics and to know the very basics in order not to feel “lost” in conversations.
I want to make a distinction between two things here: your artistic soul, and your artistic knowledge.
I sincerely think an Elegant lady must master one form of art or another. Do not think I am talking of a very strict definition: according to me, writing is an art as well as cooking. Singing or painting are obviously arts you could master, but they are only two examples of a multitude of arts you could learn about. Cultivating your artistic soul will make you appear and feel more Elegant, I assure you.
Moreover and according to me only (I prefer making it clear regularly as my definition of “Elegance” is totally personal), an Elegant lady shall be quite knowledgeable on the topic of arts. Visiting museums, going to concerts, reading books &c. are all activities you can do regularly and which will help you build your culture.
My dear Elegant readers, I hope this post helped you understand my vision of “Elegance”. According to me, being an Elegant lady means investing in your inner- beauty. I do not think Elegance to be something one can buy: it is only reachable thanks to hard work and learning. No matter how much you can invest in clothes, if you do not cultivate your kindness and brains, you will never be elegant according to my definition. Elegance is what radiates from within, not what shines on te outside.
I hope these seven ways to feel and be more elegant reassured you: Elegance is not some unreachable goal. I would really much enjoy reading about your thoughts on the topic so feel free to leave a comment down below and we could have a little chat together.