In the times when we celebrate and embrace pluralism – in fashion in general and in personal style in particular – figuring out how to look on point on a daily basis and without much effort is definitely a goal to pursue. There are no limits to fashion and what you can do with it. Depending on your lifestyle, your preferences and the inclinations of your inner rebel, you can stick to the vintage, go full-on bohemian, rock business attire as if you were born in it, set your femme fatale free in black and red and all kinds of animal prints, or wear matching girly outfits with your daughter… the list goes on and on.
What does this overwhelming diversity of options tell us? You can pick and choose and play, and there are so many in-betweens that sticking to one style is not always possible (and, let’s face it, can get quite boring).
So how do you make sense of it all – and look good every day without the help of a personal stylist, without spending a fortune in designer boutiques, and without torturous planning of your outfit for the day ahead?
If there’s one infallible key to personal style, it’s Elegance.
And, it’s much more than just a collection of pretty clothes that go well together.
Think of Elegance as a lifestyle. Just like being an entrepreneur is more than just a job, or being a vegetarian is more than just a diet, being Elegant is more than just a style… it’s a whole approach to how you present yourself to the world every single day.
Elegance is like your second skin.
It’s great for the day.
It’s perfect for the night.
It’s an eternal style of refined grace that goes hand in hand with femininity.
Elegance brings out the woman in you, taking the viewer’s attention off your clothes and drawing it to your femininity.
Remember Coco Chanel’s “If you’ve ever been astounded by a woman’s beauty but you can’t remember what she was wearing, then she was dressed in the perfect outfit.” ?
That’s elegance at its finest.
Now’s the hard part. What constitutes elegance? What is the secret formula?
The bad news is, there is no formula. Again, elegance is not about certain clothes or certain accessories. It’s a mindset that translates into your look. There are no rules set in stone, but these pointers may help you get started:
Only wear clothes that look good on you. Period. Life is too short to wear something that makes you look less than perfect. Just because you own a piece doesn’t mean you owe it an outing. Same applies to shopping. Never buy anything just for the sake of it or on an impulse. Buy clothes that you fall in love with at the first sight – clothes that sit on you like they were meant for you.
Dare to be feminine. You may prefer dresses or you may prefer pants. It doesn’t matter. Every woman possesses a boundless source of femininity – it’s in her nature – but not every woman dares to let that femininity out. Don’t be afraid to slow down, keep your back straight and your head high. Being a woman doesn’t mean you have to let your strength go – being a woman means enveloping that strength in a beautiful scarf made of the most delicate silk.
When in doubt, go classic and keep it simple. White shirt, black pumps, a string of pearls, and a little black dress will always have your back when all else fails. Unless it’s a multi-coloured ornament, don’t combine more than three colours in an outfit. Keep your accessorizing concise and to the point. Same applies to hair and makeup. There are special occasions when you can go crazy, but for daily life, a neat blow-dry and laconic makeup bringing out the best in your face will suffice.
Put on the most important accessory before you go. Smile adds more to an outfit than any diamond necklace ever will. Smile conquers people’s hearts and touches their soul. Before you leave, look in the mirror and smile.
Post Scriptum from Coco Chanel: A sense of freedom is always stylish.
Now, there are times when you want more than just a perfect outfit. There are times when you’re up for a show-stopping experience. Be it a change in the routine, or a special occasion, you want to make a bold statement – in the most elegant way possible, of course. And I suggest you go a bit grotesque.
Grotesque within the framework of elegance, of course.
Simply put, grotesque implies some sort of distortion. A slightly absurd fantasy, it is very different from the ordinary. In fact, it challenges the ordinary.
The most notable example of grotesque in the world of fashion is, without doubt, the one and only Alexander McQueen. But although his creations are meant for walking haute couture runways rather than daily walks of life, they can give you ideas on how to make a grotesque statement within the confines of the ordinary and without compromising your elegance.
If you are preparing for a special occasion, here are a few ways to spice up your elegant outfit:
- Fitted skirt and jacket suit paired with a masterpiece of a fascinator
- Turtleneck dress with an elabourate necklace
- Delicate lace shirt with a fur jacket and strings of pearls
Remember, if you’re going grotesque, accentuate only one part of your outfit. Accessories, headpiece, or shoes, for example. If you go full-on grotesque head to toe, it will look like you’re going to a masquerade.
Posted on November 6, 2016 in Elegance Atelier by Dasha Bosaya-Lazareva