The normal perception of being elegant seems to suggest that elegant is in positive correlation with the age and the amount of dollars you spend on clothing. But that’s not true. You could be young and elegant; you could be more mature than the people at your same age. You could be lavish while still looking shabby; you could also be classy without spending much.
The first key to become more elegant lies primarily in your intention and attitude to the pursuit of elegance. One should, firstly, develop an intention to feel that elegance, grace and classiness underneath your bones. Your mind determines your behavior, and your behavior determines the desired results you would like to pursue.
Once you’ve got that intention, there are some of the ways you can work on to further purse elegance:
Choose clothes that are well-fitted and tailor-made. Pick the classic pieces that never go out of trends, such as tailored white button-down shirt, a scoop-neck sweater, skinny jeans, pencil skirt, blazer, and of course, a little black dress. Of course, a black-and-white outfit never does it wrong. Don't be afraid to put efforts on sending the ill-fitted clothes for trimming and adjustments. Trim the hemline if it's too long; tighten the waistline if it's too loose; repair your shoes' pads if they're worn out. When you’re walking in clothes that are well-suited, not only do the clothes look more expensive than they actually are, but also it shows that you understand your own body and what clothes work well to reflect the best part of it.
|Coco Chanel in her black-and-white tweed jacket|
Walk with your head up and your spine straight. Not only would you look taller, but also it exudes confidence and femininity in the sense that you are dare to respect yourself and put yourself out to the world at large without the fear of turning your head down when others are watching you. Learning dancing is a good way to have a better posture because you will grasp the ideas of moving your arms, legs and spine gracefully to reflect the beauty of your body. That’s why dancers are renowned for having great poise.
Be calm and practice mannerisms. Never yell, scream or complain. If someone yells at you, keep your head up and walk away firmly. Don't overindulge in things that are not worth your time. Don’t forget to always wear a big smile on your face. It will only bring positiveness to others and you will be amazed by how viral the effect of positive attitude can be spread to others just by showing a small grin. Aufrey Hepburn's grace and elegance in her simple little black dress is always in our minds, standing the test of time.
|Audrey Hepburn in her little black dress|
Love yourself, respect yourself and be true to yourself. In the end, you will be always responsible for yourself, your own well-being, your action, your growth and your future. Don't change yourself to fit in others' world. If you love someone, go ahead and do it without holding back. But don’t hate. Don't follow the trends blindly just to be "of-the-moment". Trying too hard to be different never works. Also, never lose your passion in doing things you're crazy about because you can always learn something new unexpectedly.
In the end, you would realize that being elegance is all about doing the right things that are for the greater good of yourself. In the process of doing this, you might be able to do the greater good of others as well because you show confidence, grace, manners, empathy, and care to the ones that are worth earning that. It's an enduring process of making yourself become a better person. Isn't that excited?
This article is also published as an answer to the Quora question: How can I be more elegant?.