Pleasure exists everywhere, every day; being elegant simply reveals it.
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”
– Clare Boothe Luce
“How do I become more elegant?”
This was the question I was asking myself often, trying to figure out how some women just have this aura around them.
It was something I wanted but it wasn’t always this way.
The best part is that I had a role model the whole time, living her life with passion and fully in the moment. I was too blind to see the simplicity, but once my eyes were opened, I never looked back!
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Chasing the Elegant Life
There was me, young, naive and trying to find ways to live my best life. But like many people, I was lost and confused and didn’t know where to begin.
Since I was slightly desperate to cling onto anything that would guide me to living a life that I thought I was supposed to, I went through a chain of women who I tried to emulate. It started with the people around me first.
It began in high school and seeing the popular girls and wishing that I could be just like them. They really seemed to have it all, the friends, the clothing, the beautiful hair, and the clear skin.
Like many girls, I longed to be popular and fit in, but my goodness, I couldn’t be further from it! No matter what I did, it never worked and I was disheartened, and for a sweet seventeen year old, the wounds stung!
After I was finished high school, there was a split second where I thought, “Now I am an adult, it will all come easier now!”
Obviously I still struggled!
After university classes I would catch myself home alone and binge watching ridiculous reality tv shows.
You know exactly what ones I am talking about, where they follow these women on their “every day” life. The women where their hair is huge and their bank accounts even bigger!
After I realized I would never have that kind of money and drama in my life, entered the elusive french women. They had it all, and really they could do wrong.
Was French the answer to my elegant?
There were countless books and articles written about them. I couldn’t help but feel relieved that I finally had the answer that I was longing for.
But after the regular attempts to dress like them and try to act like them, I was left again feeling that I was just being a fake who really didn’t know who I was and what I wanted my life to be like.
When I think about this as I’m older, it makes me sad, not because I was like a lost little puppy, but because so many women also deal with this. I’ve talked to many women who just want the secret to living well and having a life they are not only excited but also proud of.
My head was spinning with all the frustration because I was left feeling just not good enough or beautiful enough. If you think about it, I spent almost my whole life comparing myself. Having quick glimpses of superficial happiness with long moments of inadequacy and just not feeling good enough.
I was almost ready to give up and settle.
The Elegant Lifestyle I was looking for
Cue in my Nana.
This whole time I had the answer right infront of my nose.
While I was stressing to look a certain way, there she was embracing her body, all the way into her 80’s. All the time I would spend fretting about home decor she was savoring one of her pieces of chocolate she had hidden for secret moments of pleasure throughout the day.
My Nana didn’t worry about keeping up with the Jones’ in her one bedroom apartment, she savored everything she did with zest. Nana was elegance personified. She knew just how precious everything was, perhaps that was the left over mentality of coming to age through World War Two.
One day she said to me, “Why do you stress about something that doesn’t exist?“, and I told her that if I could only be as effortless and chic as a Parisian then I might have figured out life. If only I had the ability to look in the mirror and say, “YOU LOOK BEAUTIFUL“! and truly mean it every time!
With that sweet smile of hers, she let out a cheerful, “Good luck!” and continued to say that when I figure it out for me to let her know, all the while she was fixing her white hair and went to sit in the living room.
When I went to join her on the sofa, she said that she has the secret, but I was to keep it only between her and I.
I dutifully promised and with eager ears leaned in closely. Nana, with that miscevious twinkle in her eye leaned in and whispered, “The secret, chocolate” and she popped another one of her chocloates, leaned back in her chair and not-so-secretly enjoyed her chocolate. She was very elegant in everything she did.
Well, seeing as I can’t call my way of living chocolate, I called it what she embodied and what I learned from her for years after that – I call this way of living, Elegant Living Everyday.
Where you can find the answers to:
“How is she elegantly beautiful?
“How is being classy elegant?”
“How do you define elegantly?”
“How do you describe elegant?”
And much more.
Does Elegant Mean Beautiful?
Easy answer? Yes.
Being elegant and charming, living elegantly, having elegance is about seeking pleasure in every moment. Life is terribly short and in between sad and hard moments are moments where living is amazing. But to be honest, even in the sad and hard moments are times where you should savor them.
By fully experiencing them, it allows you to understand life in a deeper meaning. It really lets you feel happy, excited, sad, angry. There is nothing wrong with feeling these emotions, but you can’t let them define you.
Elegant means beautiful, but it also means being graceful, spending every second being grateful, looking for what makes your life exciting, finding a reason why living is a gift.
However, elegant does not mean layer over your sad or anger with a fake facade of elegance and charm and everything-is-perfect.
If you take anything away from this site, I would want it to be that living with elegance is about making your life more fulfilling. More meaningful. More beautiful.
You aren’t elegant for others, you are elegant for your own happiness.
You are elegant to make your life one that you are excited for.
You are not elegant to impress people with your ability to eat well, talk well, or dress impeccibly.
No, you are simply elegant for you.
What do you mean by elegant?
Of all the things I could be, why would being elegant be something that I love, write about, and try to live every day? Simply because it enhances your life in so many different ways.
For starters, it makes you look and feel beautiful.
Have you ever just woke up in the morning, and took one good look at you in the morning and thought about digging your head back in the pillows?
Or working out and eating well, just to have gained a pound and thought “What’s the point?”
Living in an elegant way helps to prevent these moments from paralyzing you and will hopefully either prevent them or minimize their occurrences.
Remember, you are elegant for you.