Elegance is not something that you can really put your finger on as it is in every fiber of the person who possesses it. In other words, you cannot choose to be elegant on some occasions and act like a rowdy party animal with no class at other times.
There are many factors that come into play when you look at a person and think to yourself how elegant he/she is. With all this being said there is still hope for someone who would be like become an elegant individual. The thing to remember is that it will require a total personality overhaul and it is not going to happen overnight.
Debunking the Myth That Having Money Equals Elegance
Some people think money and wealth when they think of elegance. The truth of the matter is that the most financially challenged people can still maintain a sense of elegance in the way they carry themselves. Wearing a Christian Dior dress and a $500 dollar pair of stiletto pumps does not make a person elegant. It is the way they interact with the people around them and the demeanor they carry that make them truly elegant. It is entirely possible to keep your appearances up and look fresh and clean even by shopping at the Goodwill.
Appearance Does Matter
We have established that expensive clothing and accessories are not necessary for a person to be considered elegant but does appearance make a difference? Of course it makes a difference. An elegant person will never want to go out in public looking like he/she just rolled out of bed after having had an entire bottle of tequila the night before. An elegant person will be sure, no matter what budget he/she is working with, that he/she is properly groomed and cleaned up before going anywhere. Again, a $5.00 dress from a thrift store will do just fine. Even if you cannot afford a trip to a beauty salon you can surely keep your hair brushed and kept in nice up styles on days when humidity has not been kind to you.
Proper Etiquette in Public
This is perhaps one of the most important considerations when deciding whether or not a person possesses elegance. In today’s world there are only a handful of people in some circles that you may consider elegant. So many people have forgotten the general rules of etiquette. This could be because younger generations have developed their own set of rules for etiquette or it could just be a lack of proper upbringing. However, whatever the reason is it is important to understand what it means to be elegant and how you will be perceived by your general attitudes toward life. One aspect of being elegant is being polite no matter what the situation is. This is inline with the old adage; it is not what you say it is how you say it. For example, you can gently critique something you have ordered in a restaurant without shouting at your waiter. An elegant person will smile and point out any problems in a soft voice, never allowing other guests to hear what is being said.
Listen More Than You Talk
One very elegant trait is being able to remain intent yet silent when someone is telling you a tale of some sort. Continuous interjection by you may be perceived as rude. This is not to say that at some point you cannot respond but the most important thing is that you never interrupt someone who is speaking to you. This is a display of poor manners and will become annoying quickly to the person you are having the conversation with. When all is said and done, be cautious about offering your opinion, if it is asked for. Remember, you do not want to appear pushy. You can state your case without over doing it.
Keep the Volume Down
Have you ever been sitting across the room from someone who is literally yelling when they talk? This gives you the impression that this person is completely unpolished and ill-mannered. Speak in a voice that can be heard by the people in close proximity to you but no one sitting at the next table or waiting in line behind you should ever be able to make out your conversation. Being soft spoken is a very elegant quality and people will find being around you much more desirable.
Do Not Be Critical or Judgmental
Elegant people are not fast to point out the mistakes or flaws of others. This does not mean it is not ok to gently correct someone but there is no reason to be harsh. You can give someone constructive criticism without embarrassing them or belittling them. An elegant person will use grace when dealing with situations in which an error has been made or some wrong has been committed. A forgiving spirit is one of the most common qualities of an elegant person. There is never a reason to outwardly show anger. If a situation arises that causes you to become upset or angry it is best to walk away with your dignity intact.
Elegance is a state of mind really. It is not something that can be acquired in a short period of time but with awareness of your actions and thinking before you speak you may very well be able to train yourself to act in a much more elegant manner. Keep in mind that you can be elegant no matter what social status you fall into. You do not have to be the wife of a CEO of a major corporation or the President of the United Sates in order to show grace and elegance.