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Why is Elegance Confusing- and What to do About it

Elegance is confusing?

Elegance is an attitude

I get many questions about the ideas of elegance.

Whenever I’m on Quora I also see many of the same questions. “I have tattoos, can I still be elegant?” or “What kind of dress will make me elegant?” and even “What’s the best way for me to become elegant, even in my early 20’s?”

It usually covers physical attributes such as what people are wearing and other old generalizations.

It surprises me that younger people assume being elegant under 50 is impossible.

Almost like their life isn’t compatible with elegance.

One of the biggest misconceptions is that money equals elegance and it’s not true.

Money can help, but it is up to the woman if she wants to embody it or not.

Just like happiness, money can’t buy elegance.


With all the preconceived notions and pictures of certain women in our heads, no wonder elegance is confusing.

We rarely see it in the average woman. It is often thought of in terrible stereotypical presumptions, such as the big sunglasses, the little black dress, pearls and a Chanel suit. 

And although that is true, it isn’t the only ones that exist. 

Along with those stale cliches there are beautiful women who represent elegance, such as Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy, Grace Kelly, and Kate Middleton. They aren’t the most average gal.

Just another reason why it seems far-fetched for the average Joan to be elegant.

Before you feel deflated at the fact that you could never live up to the life of Audrey Hepburn, 

I want to let every woman out there know that you have it in you.

I feel so passionate about this because in today’s world we need to speak up.

There needs to be more elegance and chivalry!

When I ask anyone about being elegant, it is met with a snort and I am told that it is an old-fashioned term referring to the older generations.

But I couldn’t disagree more!

I know that it’s alive and wants to come back out!

Being elegant brings out your beauty and charm.

It makes you alluring!

People take notice of you without you having to say a word and that is “old” or “stale”? 

Absolutely not!

That’s why I started this blog and that’s why you’re reading it!

Because we want to refuse the idea that it is unrelatable.

Why are you confused?

Do you have doubts? Let’s clear this up. 

Suggested Reading: Is Elegance Dead?

Elegance is confusing?

Do I have to be well educated to be elegant?

No. It does help, but formal education is not necessary.

The main idea to remember is that you can always learn something from someone every day.

The beauty of our brain is that we have the ability to retain so much information.

To embrace your curiosity is what makes you elegant.

The secret is to never stop learning.

The moment you stop learning is the moment you die. 

“Once you stop learning, you start dying.” Albert Einstein

He knew a thing or two about knowledge, so keep this in mind!

The smarter you become, the more you realize you don’t know a thing! 

So keep learning, learn a language.

  • Learn how to read poetry.
  • Learn how to write.
  • Learn how to garden.
  • Learn how to fix something.
  • Learn how to paint.
  • Learn something every day. 

Elegance is confusing?

What one Attribute can I have to Make me Obviously Elegant?

Again, it’s more than just one thing, but to simplify it, I would have to say gentleness. 

I know some of you might have thought a “little black dress”, but I am telling you that elegance can’t be bought!

You might have the money to buy the most expensive black dress, but if you are rough or mean, your elegance fades fast!

Now you are just an unpleasant woman in a beautiful dress. 

Your gentleness can be shown in the way you speak to people, how you interact with them.

It is how you grab things and move.

It might sound weird or complicated but it’s easy.

Imagine everything you touch is glass, you’ll be gentle.

It might feel a little funny in the beginning because you slow down and start thinking things through a little more, but it does come as second nature very soon and then you won’t be thinking about anything.

You’ll be gentle naturally.  

Suggested Reading: How to Exude Elegance- When all is Going Wrong

Elegance is confusing?

If I’m an Elegant Woman Then People Will Walk All Over Me. Being Elegant Means that You Can’t Yell Right?

This one is tough, especially to explain. 

By no means am I endorsing you to become a doormat, but the reason why this is a hard subject is because usually it’s the people you care most about are the ones that walk all over you. 

And second, everyone has different ideas and levels of being walked on.

However, if you feel that in order to maintain your elegance you need to allow this behavior, you couldn’t be more wrong. 

Standing up for yourself doesn’t have to be as crazy and trashy as you think.

I know that you might watch movies or some talk shows *ahem Maury* where they get up in each other’s faces and start pushing each other.

Trying to show dominance through aggression and being loud.

That might make for great television but in reality, nothing productive comes of it.

How can you stand up for yourself? 

By first being polite and vocal.

The second time around being stern and vocal.

The third time you need to be clear, to the point and if it comes across as rude, you already know you’ve given chances. 

It’s good to remember to always nip it in the bud before it begins.

By not even giving it a chance to happen in the first time.

By showing the first time, it is the best way to avoid being walked over. However, I get it!

Sometimes it’s hard to say no. 

But remember, being gentle is showing more strength then being loud.

It’s easy to let your emotions get the best of you, but it’s difficult to remain calm and gentle. 

With this strength, other people will see this and will respect you for it.

Therefore, the chances of you getting walked over might be less than you think.

It has that affect where you think it would be the opposite, but if you respect yourself then others will follow suit and respect you as well. 

Elegance is confusing?

What are the Physical Attributes associated with an Elegant Woman?

Seeing as we all look very different it is difficult to answer this question easily. 

To start off as simple as possible, I would say neatness.

Having neat and clean skin and put together hair is a common look.

Your clothes should fit well and be ironed or look tidy. 

Fingernails not too long but kept simple and not trying to distract with flashy colors.

But at the same time, if that’s what your known for, then do it tastefully.

Elegance doesn’t mean to fit a mold. (Another reason why elegance isn’t always best explained through physical features!)

The shoes always need to be clean and if possible of higher quality. 

Okay, this is where I think it’s acceptable to spend a little bit more money on something.

It’s true that you can wear mediocre clothes, but pair it wil beautiful shoes and you instantly look like a million dollars. 

I’ve read that besides your hair and face, your shoes are one of the first things people notice about you. 

Now with all that being said, I’ve personally known women with crazy colored hair sporting sleeve tattoos who were one of the most elegant women I know.

So this begs the question, do YOU believe you are an elegant woman?

Because yes, you can look the part, but be a jerk and feel above everyone else (not ever elegant).

You might not like this simple answer but here I go. 

The best physical attribute to be an elegant woman is your face, especially your “resting face”.

If your face is mean looking or you are always looking miserable, it is very hard to look the part, no matter how beautiful you are. 

Elegance is confusing?

If I were Beautiful, Then it would be Easy to be Elegant

And who says you’re not beautiful?

You know what I hate about the English language?

The lack of words to describe something so important. 

The French, whom we all adore, secretly or not, have a word that embodies beauty. It’s called jolie laid, which when translated, pretty ugly.

It’s about not being classically beautiful, which we can admit is sometimes a little boring. 

Find your beauty trademark.

The attribute that you love about yourself and emphasize it!

Again, I think this warrants its own post.

Being beautiful isn’t the answer because not only is beauty subjective, but it fades. 

I heard somewhere that resonated with me and it goes a little like, you’ll never be as beautiful as you are today.

Since tomorrow you’ll be a little older, your just a bit more beautiful today. 

Whether that’s true or not is up to you, but what is true is that elegance is still there.

It can increase with age because of experience and wisdom.

It is not something you are born with, but rather something you acquire. 

Elegance is learned and practiced like a skill. Beauty is only a miniscule part of the equation. 

Elegance is confusing?

I’ll be Elegant When I’m Older. Right Now I have Young Children Who Suck All the Energy From Me!

I’m sure many women can agree  that people without children, their life is just easier.

Although, that’s really not true, I can empathize with where you’re coming from.

Let me tell you, every single person out there has a problem.

Everyone struggles. 

I struggle with this elusive “someday”. 

I’ll start eating healthier “someday”.  Or when this happens, then I’ll be better, or get into shape, or start saving money.

This sad reality is, the first part rarely happens or if it does there is nothing different that comes of it.

So what you’ve been waiting for, never really happens.

I catch myself doing this with many things and I try to force my thoughts differently.

If not, it will never happen.

Back to the original thought, I get it!

I have three boys who needed a lot of corrections, thankfully not as much lately, but the amount of scolding and yelling is appalling.

It’s funny because after the first six months I was telling my husband that I don’t remember yelling so much in my life! 

And to me, that is not very elegant.

However, I can’t wait until they are grown up to “start being elegant” 

You must start today! 

This second.

When you catch yourself “messing up”, you shake yourself off, analyze what you could have done better and move on! 

Life doesn’t wait for you to have it all figured out. 

You’ll never be perfect, but trying and attempting is really all anyone can really do.

But I do promise that the more you try and fail and learn there will be a day where it all just clicks. 

Elegance is confusing?

In Conclusion

Elegance doesn’t need to be confusing because down to the core, it is just a way of existing. 

Like any other way. It’s not about the money, beauty, or being a socialite. 

It’s simply about being a good, gentle, and loving woman.

When you break it down to that, it doesn’t seem so hard.

We’ve been told that elegance only comes in forms of royalty or Hollywood (not as much anymore) but they’re skipping the most important part. 

Elegance is attainable for everyone.

It is up to you as the woman you are to choose to take that path.

It is rewarding because you feel that you have become better.

You are learning new things daily.

Your hobbies can become things you truly enjoy, but also enrich your life.

Elegance will make you a better person and it just starts with taking action right now. 

David D.

Friday 18th of February 2022

I came looking for ways to define a web design that's been requested to be elegant, sexy, bold, and powerful. After reading your eloquently written explanation of elegance, I can only wonder what the client is imagining this website to be as one might not normally associate such descriptions with a website intended for healthcare. But, I digress and simply wanted to thank you for taking the time to write about such an elusive topic and although it did not prove fruitful in pressing forward with a website design, it has deeply reminded me of the type of woman I most certainly find attractive. It was also nice to hear someone mention chivalry aside from myself again. In any case, bravo to you. I wish you well and if you ever post about explaining the difference between elegance and sophistication or classiness, I'll most certainly have to find out. Thanks again!

Jennifer Lynn

Monday 21st of February 2022

This has to be the most unique, yet heartwarming comments I've ever had! I really appreciate what you wrote David and it means a lot that even a man, who might not care about elegance can see how it can improve yours and your family's life! This one made my day! Thank you so much for reading and I hope you have a great rest of your day!

Leslee Rau

Sunday 18th of August 2019

Dear Jennifer, so lovely to find you! Elegance has long been my quiet journey. So how encouraging to see this in print. You’ve tapped into my soul. I have even taken notes from your post to reflect on and do some self scrutiny. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom. I look forward to more inspiring tips from you. ,

Jennifer Lynn

Sunday 18th of August 2019

Hi Leslee! I am so happy that you enjoy elegance! It's been a life long passion of mine and I love finding other women who share in that passion with me! I hope you have a great rest of the day! :)