Skip to main content

What Is Elegance to the Woman of Today

If we take a look at elegance in the olden days, we would not wish things could be more like they once were. Learning about ourselves these days by stretching in the direction of goodness, of bigness, of kindness, of patience, of forgiveness, of bravery, and of delicateness in our choices - already marks the essence of elegance.


Webster defines elegance as refined grace, dignified propriety, or quality of neatness. The word "elegance" is French (élégance) which means correct, harmonious, and tasteful.

Somehow, we tend to label something other than fashion or people as elegant, rather than a virtue that focuses on what is good. When we pay attention to what is refined, it develops an honest-to-goodness self-knowledge and discipline. It is from this simple truth that elegance is close to each one of us.

What makes us uncertain is the influence on the sense of fashion and social pressure. If we take few simple cues from the old-fashioned ways and incorporate those details that fit one's interests, it can enrich one's everyday life.

Sophisticated Yet Enchantingly Simple

To dress elegant is to make a sense that makes an individual feel bursting with delight for oneself and others. It is certainly not a matter of showing off one's finery; many of us don't even have fine clothes. Dressing with elegance is a simple matter of showing respect through subtlety and simplicity.


Most of us think of some "lavishness" when it comes to dressing socially. Some cannot be happier without a floor-length gown in a cocktail event when it's okay to come in a conservative cocktail outfit or something lighter than a business suit.

A truly stylish woman may sift through the trends but she is certain that style is more important than fashion. Being elegant is not about brands but rather about items that flatter the figure. It is about imagination that represents understated glamour, of being selective, exquisite, and delicately tasteful.

Everybody can look elegant in inexpensive clothes... even the rich buy them too. As Coco Chanel once said, "Elegance does not consist in putting on a new dress."

Poised and Approachable

Poise is not something that one can demand of us, nor it is for the purpose of appearing elegant. It must be our choice. It is an attribute that comes from deep within and transcending into our actions -- unafraid to stand alone, or stand out in a crowd.


A touch of shyness carries elegance. Many shy women gracefully manage to carry themselves in many situations. The neatness, modest and pleasant disposition they execute combine ease and grace that they are able to look at any social scene calmly.

Poise and confidence arising from within exudes attitude that does not act in a way that is snobby, haughty or arrogant.

Trying to be the best we can be through good posture is not being rigid, or to get the finest "stiff neck" there is, rather it promotes refined form and execution. It's just that difficult to control the body when poise is not genuine. This is a strong asset of elegance that explains why poise should be natural.

We like people who looked so poised yet are easy to meet or converse with. They give an aura of confidence that is so contagious. There is nothing poised about being perceived as mean and unapproachable. When we begin to be comfortable with who we are, no matter our social background, education, finances, and looks; we get beyond the need to impress anyone.

I like this quote - "You could not be truer than what your thoughts reflect who you are as a person. A man or a woman is but the product of their thoughts. What they think, they become."

Good Manners

Politeness or being courteous is more influential than what we say. It projects refined manners that make people feel comfortable. This is inline with the old adage - " It is not what you say, it is how you say it."

Photo courtesy : Zenspiration

Photo courtesy : Zenspiration

Scroll to Continue

The grace and charm of good manners are the mark of a true feminine woman. When she says Thank you and You're welcome, Excuse me, I Beg Your Pardon, Please, or I'm sorry (when she hurts someone or make a mistake) are words of a good heart that sure pleases.

Manners are not merely conventional rules, but are founded upon reason and good sense.

Dressing accordingly for events shows etiquette. Thanking the bank teller and the bagger at the grocery store demonstrates a pleasant behavior. Not talking when the mouth is full is good manners. Even talking on the phone with manners wins goodwill.

Good manners are so rare these days that people become very delighted when treated so well. When we have pleasing manners, we nurture those around us. For beauty is not confined to skin, hair, and eyes. It can be caught in a graceful movement and a soft voice.

There are many points of good-breeding which neither time nor place will ever change. Applying discipline to our thoughts teaches on refinement. It develops the art of patience.

One famous thoughts from Brian Adams - Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure. Patience creates confidence, decisiveness, and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success.

Great Prudence

Elegance resides in the attitude.

It is one that is not fast to point out the mistakes or flaws of others, rather it deals with situations gracefully that there is no reason to outwardly show anger. A forgiving spirit is a prudent character.


While elegance can make a strong impression, it does not enter the race of glamour to impress people. It refuses the approach on image over essence.

True elegance speaks by displaying effortless beauty presenting that which is quiet, steady, and genuine. Therefore, despite the artificiality of the world today, elegance is still concerned with the quality of being honest, and not pretense.

A prudent woman is free to choose the finer things in life, but she is not the sort that spends money for high life, rather, on what is good for her and others. This is a kindly nature that indicates she is a happy person.

When was the last time you did an unexpected act of kindness?

Living a Refined Life

Photo courtesy : Simple Everyday Glamour

Photo courtesy : Simple Everyday Glamour

It is refreshing to know that many of us still value the beauty of living simply, but well.

Cherishing life's simple pleasures is spontaneity of a beautiful quality. We want only quality in everything we possess. Our being unafraid to soar styles and experiences and then setting out to make it, brings a sense of optimism that shows fine taste.

We are not interested in achieving the most expensive lifestyle, nor put other people at an envy. We are interested in the small things that bring goodness in life. We are interested in what can make us feel special.

It could sound glamorous, but there's only one thing to it -- thriving a lovely life in the manner we can afford proves elegance in each one of us.


Can We Achieve Elegance?


Elegance is not a matter of superior intelligence, nor art of lavishness. It is grace in a style that is not overpowering. That which is cultured, discerning, established, dignified, understated, and welcoming, means elegance. This explains why it is so rare, and yet so desirable.

Elegance comes naturally when your attitude is correct. Beautiful... quiet... spontaneous... and unforgettable... is what you become when you possess a touch of it.

I'm leaving you my own quote: Elegance is not the prerogative to impress others, but of being an inspiration of beauty to all.

Cheers to the many elegant women around the world! :=)

Good Things Last


Diana Abrahamson on May 31, 2017:

Lovely hub that explains the true nature and meaning of the word, elegance. Thank you!

manatita44 from london on May 20, 2017:

Very nice. I like how you address this charming grace. Well done!

Tonette Fornillos (author) from The City of Generals on May 20, 2017:

I agree limpet. Honor Blackman's stylish allure is timeless - still amazing to this day! Thank you so much for reading and sharing. Best!

Ensorcelie from Albania on April 14, 2017:

Sometimes I think that Elegance is something that is given and not built upon time. Somehow people just don't change, their character and behaviors remain the same, no matter how hard they work on them, your character will come to light in every given situation when you get frustrated, angry, sad, etc.

Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on December 16, 2014:

For me, the height of elegance are ladies such as the glamorous English actress Honor Blackman who simply oozes charm, grace and dignity. Bold and sassy, Miss Blackman has an eloquent voice, that purrs.

Kelly A Burnett from United States on December 15, 2014:

Truly beautiful! Elegance I believe simply starts with self confidence.

Loved your ending - you are absolutely correct! "Elegance is not the prerogative to impress others, but of being an inspiration of beauty to all."

Voted up and beautiful! Very glad I found you out on my comments. Looking forward to reading more!

Emma on December 14, 2014:

What a pleasure to find someone who ideniiftes the issues so clearly

Lena on December 13, 2014:

Frankly I think that's absteuolly good stuff.

Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on December 05, 2014:

The inimitable 'Zoella' a self taught fashionista and style icon is currently the talk of the town. Real name Sue Sugg, 'Zoella' is set to be the next supermodel and perhaps even the Audrey Hepburn for the 21st century.

Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on November 01, 2014:

Tis a pity we did not get stuck in a 'time warp' of the 1950s. This was the era of sheer elegance. An Oxford University students sorority thought so and formed their own college group the Aristasians. Elegant Ladies deserve to be respected by all.

Kelly A Burnett from United States on June 02, 2014:


That was truly beautiful! Oh, we must strive for elegance. Life is better with a tiny taste of visual indulgence!

manatita44 from london on May 25, 2014:

Extremely beautiful article on elegance. You argue your points well and with great prudence. I can see why you say that you are old-fashioned. A bit like me, really. I think that your spirituality and humaneness speaks here.

Elegant pics and beautiful ending. Nellieanna did something on elegance also. Salaam and Dios the bendiga Y acompane.

Rose on December 30, 2013:

Just with the related elegant dress with cheap price. Here link sale at €13,01

Women Fashion Slim Solid Black Lace Slit Open Long Prom Dress

Tonette Fornillos (author) from The City of Generals on June 12, 2013:

Hello Natashalh. Thank you for reading my hub. It's so nice that you too love those attributes of elegance. I think we all do :=) and this desire will help us to become one.

Thanks again for dropping by. It's great knowing you. :=)-Tonette

Natasha from Hawaii on June 12, 2013:

I love your concluding description - beautiful, quite, spontaneous, and unforgettable. That is what I want to be!

Tonette Fornillos (author) from The City of Generals on May 20, 2013:

Hi MsDora. Yes... it's probably among the most neglected asset caused by the "whirlwinds" of modern living. "Brought home" - thanks to these words - they mean a lot. True elegance resides in the home. So nice you made it by. Loveliness all the time. --:=)Tonette

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on May 20, 2013:

"Elegance comes naturally when your attitude is correct," is a good summary. You really brought home the true showing us that it is within the reach of everyone. Thanks!

Tonette Fornillos (author) from The City of Generals on May 19, 2013:

Express10, how are you? It's truly a big challenge these days to acquire these components. But like you said, that it's like winning the lottery to find someone elegant in a world of too advanced busy-ness and lifestyle, it probably is the perfect answer as why elegance is so rare.

It takes a modest heart to embrace elegance and an accepting attitude that we cannot do everything. We couldn't go wrong with "slowing down" to pick these pieces of us back up. It's so nice to hear from you. Thank you for reading and for sharing your thoughts. All the best to you and blessings. - :=)Tonette

H C Palting from East Coast on May 19, 2013:

I agree that simplicity and refinement are easy to recognize elements of elegance. A person's actions and demeanor are also components. On a daily basis in many areas of the US in particular, it's like winning the lottery to find someone that is elegant in both demeanor and dress. You have provided some very good reminders here.

Tonette Fornillos (author) from The City of Generals on May 12, 2013:

Thank you Rose. Elegance is innate -I'm with you all the way! Blossoming elegance is like growing a beautiful flower plant. Care in cultivating is what would grow the flower to bloom into true loveliness. Two things are constant to the royal examples - poise and compassion.

It was so wonderful of you dropping by. Cheers for the beautiful woman in you....and us all. :=) -Tonette

Tonette Fornillos (author) from The City of Generals on May 12, 2013:

Hello Cathie. It's a great feeling, as well, to know my hub has made you feel good. It's a beautiful feeling. Thank you for reading. Wishes of loveliness are on the way. Keep up! -:=)Tonette

rose-the planner from Toronto, Ontario-Canada on May 12, 2013:

Beautiful article! Personally, I believe that elegance and grace is innate. Certainly, one might achieve the semblance of elegance and grace over time, (Late Princess Diana for example was very awkward almost clumsy at first and blossomed over time). However, I believe that one is born with it, (Princess Grace of Monaco aka Grace Kelly is a great example of pure elegance). It was wonderful reading your hub. Thank you for sharing!

Hamza Arshad from Pakistan on May 12, 2013:

really great hub.. i am feeling so good

Tonette Fornillos (author) from The City of Generals on May 11, 2013:

Blessings to you Thelma. I too fell in love with how the photos express everything about elegance in this hub. It took me longer, though, to find the perfect pictures, lol. Thank you for reading and sharing the elegance in you.

Wishing you Happy Mother's Day...good health and loveliness all the time. -:=)Tonette

Tonette Fornillos (author) from The City of Generals on May 11, 2013:

Hi Faith. It probably is why a touch of old-fashioned is elegance, because it carries a strong definition of how modest and gentle-spirited a Godly woman is. The must-beauty of everyone of us.

Thank you so much for the votes and for sharing. I'm all smiles. Blessings and Happy Mother's Day! :-)Tonette

Thelma Raker Coffone from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA on May 11, 2013:

What elegant pictures you chose to use in this hub! Enjoyed it very much.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on May 11, 2013:

Oh, what a lovely and elegant hub here! This reminds me of the scripture for women to be clothes in that unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.

Voted up ++++ and sharing

Blessings, Faith Reaper

Tonette Fornillos (author) from The City of Generals on May 11, 2013:

Hello Ruby. I see that home is always beautiful to you. Just reveals how beauty begins in the mind... in yourself... and in your home. For the elegant woman in you, cheers! Thank you for the lovely visit. Blessings and loveliness! :=)-Tonette

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on May 11, 2013:

I love the word ' elegance ' To me it is not riches , it is making your home beautiful , yourself attrictive in a way that pleases your inner self. To me, simple is elegant. I am sure elegance means different things for different people and that's good. Great topic! Thank you..

Related Articles