Can every day mature women become elegant women?

elegant women

Happy Tuesday!  Today, I am going to return to an old discussion…can every day mature woman become elegant women.

Spring is a time to bloom, so it is a perfect time to return to a discussion I began in 2020.

I believed then that elegance could be cultivated…learned…even later in life.

In this post, I would like to share with you why I discontinued the discussion and why I am returning to it as I once again ask the question….Can every day mature women become elegant women?


Can every day mature women become elegant women?: How it began

elegant women

 Beginning at the end of 2019, many every day mature women were dealing with a pandemic and how their worlds would be affected going forward.

Many, me included, were forced into life changes centered more around home.

I had been pondering elegance for a very long time and how it meshed with the worlds of fashion and style.

I had longed to be an elegant woman most of my life…however, the pandemic highlighted how time was running out.

In fact, it was elegant mature women who had influenced me greatly as a child and young woman.  Observing them had planted a seed in me to grow to become an elegant woman.

So, in 2020, I decided to tackle the subject…can elegance be learned by mature women not born into it and started a series called Cultivating Everyday Elegance.

I enjoyed reading several books for guidance on how elegance is defined and pondered how the everyday mature woman could actually become an elegant woman.

It was a controversial series in the beginning.

Can every day mature women become elegant women?:  Elegance Defined

elegant women

 I read many comments from different women on how they defined an elegant woman:

Elegance is for the wealthy.

Elegance is for the privileged.

Elegance is for the demure.

Elegance is for the thin woman.

Elegance is for those who wear black …or predominantly neutral.

Elegance is for the simple, expensive styles.

Elegance is something inherited.

Elegance is innate…if you don’t have it, you don’t have it.

However, through many comments there was a common thread.  Elegant women are kind, graceful, and giving.

I read and listened and developed my own definition of elegance for the everyday woman:

I believe elegant mature women portray:

Dignity – peaceful strength grounded in wisdom

Grace – unearned, empathic acceptance; loving to everyone; full of kindness

Style – a confident understanding of me and the ways I communicate who I am

Elegance – self-assured poise


Can every day mature women become elegant women?:  Early Discussions

elegant women

 The idea that every day mature women could become elegant women was very popular in the beginning.

I also profiled women I believed to be elegant women.

Some were women who had changed their lives and grown to be elegant women.

However, during this time I began to make changes in my own style that clouded how I saw the posts.

I discovered my true color pallet and it did not include black or white.

Then,  I was counseled by someone I respect that I was a bohemian style and to dress accordingly.

That one really threw me off for a while.  I loved the new colors but wasn’t sure if I was ready to commit to boho.

As the criticisms of the idea that elegance could be learned grew, and my confidence shrunk with new style questions,  I was feeling farther away from being an elegant woman.

I decided to discontinue the series, because I was questioning if it could be learned.

Can every day mature women become elegant women?:  Why return

elegant women

Yes, there were negative comments, however, this comment has always stuck with me.

“I tend to think of elegance as Queenly, having a presence  (that would be confidence) and sophisticated – a bit like women on the old black and white movies like My Man Geoffrey.  They can do anything, never look out of place, and be regal.   They tend to be gentlewomen.  Loving, kind, generous, like Scarlett’s mother going to take care of a sick woman, a woman who’s reputation wasn’t spotless.  Scarlett was pretend elegant — she didn’t get it.  But, Melanie was elegant.  It’s not about wealth.  It is more about presence.  I see it in many of the older women that I come into contact with through church and the town I live in and I hope that I am taking the opportunity to learn from them too.  I, too, miss the blog asking the questions.  I think you are on to something that has been lost, and needs to be reclaimed.”  – Sara Smith

Sara, your words were kept on my desktop and I return to them often and ask…

Was I on to something?

Now, what is different today?   I finally feel like an elegant woman!

I may not be a traditional definition of an elegant woman…but I am feeling different…as if I am much closer to living the elegance I desire as an every day woman.

My inner elegance is coming out in new ways.

First, as I shared with you before, I decided to ditch the idea of dressing boho and return to dressing with my five style adjectives.

My adjectives are creative, polished, approachable, joyful and current.

I desire for each outfit I wear to tell the world I possess these five traits.

The word polished keeps my creative bent in check.

Dressing with these adjectives over- and over -again has re-established my foundation of confidence and chiseled away to discover an elegant woman underneath.

I believe elegant women are confident and strong.

Second, shopping for the wedding has taken me to new places, introduced me to elegant women, and new elegant ways of shopping for styles that still say, ME.

I not only prepared for the wedding but also took my casual style up a notch.

I want to dress now in new ways as a mature woman who works from home.

I think I had begun to buy into the line that mature women go home, put on sweats and retire somewhat from life.  That is lie.

Mature women are active, involved, vibrant, intelligent….elegant women.

Since the new year, I have met many of them and witnessed their kind, graceful spirits.

Third, I have spent time working on our home and feel like it portrays our type of elegance.  I love the space more and more every day. 

Working on it and keeping it lovely (while still on an every day budget) has helped me to feel elegant.  

Can every day mature women become elegant women?:  Action Points

elegant women


 With new confidence, I will tackle this subject occasionally going forward.

I desire to inspire those of you every day mature women who desire to become elegant women.  You may desire to join me in this journey for the legacy I leave my grandchildren.

It is not morbid at all to ponder how we wish to be remembered.

elegant women

The action points for beginning today:

  1. Build your confidence! If you do not have five style adjectives to build a wardrobe around, then select them this week and live by them. Look in the mirror and smile.
  2. Get out of the house. Volunteer, shop, lunch with friends.  Make it a plan to spend more time around other women.  Observe and take mental notes.
  3. Work on your own home until you are confident to host gatherings there…a pot luck salad lunch or brunch is very cost effective and gets women together.
  4. Write your own definition of elegance. (Don’t listen to the old definitions)
  5. Read a book. Here are the ones I recommended in the past.

Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic by Jennifer L. Scott

Lessons from Madame Chic by Jennifer L. Scott

At Home with Madame Chic by Jennifer L. Scott

Parisian Chic by Ines de la Fressange and Sophie Gachet

Parisian Chic Encore

Forever Chic by Tish Jett

Living Forever Chic by Tish Jett

The Essentials of Fabulous by Ellen Lubin Sherman

The Woman I Wanted To Be by Diane Von Furstenberg

These are old reads but you will glean something from each one to apply to your life and fill your desire to be a mature, elegant woman.

It is your turn…do you wish to see me return to these discussions of how we can be elegant women? 

Do you have a perception of elegance that prevents others from learning it?

I am here for you.  If the majority does not connect with these discussions, then I will listen.

However, I am still happy to return today to say…I am on a successful path to becoming a mature, elegant woman.  I believe it can be learned.


Pamela Lutrell

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elegant women



  1. I find it strange some of the words and phrasing you use. On a recent post you referred to a woman as “skinny” which has a derogatory connotation. Why not have used the word “slim”?
    And today you use “everyday women” with the definition of everyday being “ordinary, nothing special”.
    I don’t know if I’m alone in this, but I find this slightly offensive.
    You don’t have to publish this.

  2. Hi Lesley, I used the actual words used by others in the beginning who gave their interpretations of an elegant woman. Their word was skinny. Many believe that elegance is unique to the wealthy. The phrase here everyday…is a way for me to say that elegance is for everyone. I am an every day woman and none of us are ordinary. We are all created to be special and unique in every way and all of us can be elegant. There is absolutely no reason to see this as offensive but rather as glorious. I hope you will look at the post with new understanding now.

  3. Hi Pam! I’m glad you are returning to this discussion. I’m not convinced that elegance is something you learn, though I suppose you can, as much as it’s something you practice. If one really wants to be elegant, she probably already is, it might have just been pushed aside. You never want it to look like you are trying to be something you aren’t. There’s nothing wrong with being an athletic, natural girl if that’s who you are. I have always thought of myself as being elegant, but there have been times, long ago, that I have tried to fit in with the noisier, party types and being the elegant girl was something I tried to hide, briefly. For a much longer time, however, I have been embracing it. There is a woman (you’d call her mature) where I sometimes shop for groceries, and she is the epitome of elegance. She’s a cashier. I have told her before that her style and manner are inspirational and she radiates elegance. What makes her this way is nothing forced, it’s her being herself. She is kind and helpful, but she is quiet, dresses well (she has to wear the typical store jacket, but she often belts it and adds a scarf or a delicate piece of jewelry, pretty earrings), a stylish top underneath; she wears makeup and has her hair in a current, pretty style that flatters her. She listens well, smiles softly and appropriately, she’s a lady. I think being what we used to think of as ladylike is sadly missing in our culture, and it’s something that can’t be forced. I think if a woman truly wants to be elegant, she probably already is and needs just a few tweaks to bring it to the forefront. I’ll be interested to see what others have to say.

  4. I love your story about the cashier, Karen. I met a shop owner in Mexico who I would call an elegant woman by her demeanor, smile and how she carried herself. I also am curious to see what others say as we return to this discussion.

  5. I like queenly/presence as an element of elegant. For me, polished is also a major element of elegant. But that can be clothes ironed, shoes polished, don’t get rumpled during the day. I’ll never be polished. I get rumpled in 5 minutes.

    I think our stereotypical image of “elegant” in the US is “the lady who lunches,” examples of which would be Jackie Kennedy, Grace Kelly, Christine Baranski.

    But that’s not the only manifestation of elegant. For example, I contend that Miss Edna Lewis was elegant.

    She never had much money. She didn’t “lunch;” she cooked the lunch! She didn’t stick to black & pearls. Instead, in her later years she embraced fabrics & jewelry drawn from her African heritage. Which would likely be called ethnic/boho. But that didn’t mean she wasn’t elegant: look at her presence. Look at her style.

    I think another example, but I can only base it on his written description, would be Andre Leon Talley’s grandmother.

    Look up info on Miss Lewis at the Edna Lewis Foundation. Also, I can’t recommend her Taste of Country Cooking, a cookbook/memoir, & The Gift offSouthern Cooking enough.

  6. Thanks for sharing examples! If anyone wants to include a link please send those links to me separately in email. Thank you for understanding.

  7. Pamela – I really enjoyed your article today – Looking forward to your future articles on this subject. Your 5 action steps for today really hit home!! For the past few weeks I have been rearranging and replacing 30 year + furniture that fit great into a larger home of the past. I found that it was not working in my downsized space. It is amazing how simple changes can make such a change in ones outlook. Also, working on how I want to project myself moving from the big city corporate world to working from home in a small rural area. I Again, thanks for a great article today!!

  8. Thank you, Janet. I join with you in seeing how amazing it is that simple changes can change our outlooks. Glad you enjoyed the post.

  9. Hi Pam! I find this discussion quite interesting actually. My friends and I have never tackled this subject in discussion. Like Sara I see elegance as bordering on regal, confident, and attractive in dress, grooming and manners. Although I’m well mannered I think I’m not altogether elegant as I’m very very casual ( unless I need to be something else for an event). My clothes are model retirement. My hair style is current but flyway at times. I don’t fuss.
    And yes, elegance can be learned but it must be practiced. I’ll be interested to hear what others say.

  10. I’m one who thinks the word “elegance” should be used loosely and not associated with negative connotations such as snobbery. I like Karen’s comment that an elegant woman is a lady. My grandmother was very elegant. Long before it was the norm, she was a working woman (as a district manager for cosmetics brand Max Factor, then a department store brand) who flew all over the country. She had a restricted fashion color palette of black, bone and camel that suited her platinum blonde hair (again, decades before the idea of a capsule wardrobe). If she had a bad hair day, nobody knew it because she never ran herself down. Most importantly, she was gracious, never superior, had a true smile, and despite some life challenges, was always optimistic and (sometimes stubbornly) believed the best about everyone. That to me is elegance.

  11. I agree with the idea that it must be practiced. Glad you and Karen introduced that word!

  12. I loved hearing about your grandmother, Linda and the legacy of elegance she left with you. Legacy as a grandmother is a big part of this discussion for me.

  13. I think this is an interesting discussion, but it seems to me that elegance is generally is for privileged people but not always. My mom was elegant. When she was a young woman, she bought few but expensive pieces. But middleclass women don’t have time or resources to be elegant. One thing I want to add — and it may be unpopular — is that elegance has nothing to do with the type of person you are inside. You can be elegant and tough as nails or even cruel. In The Devil Wears Prada we are introduced to an unpleasant and scheming woman who is the epitome of elegance. If we don’t acknowledge this, then we’re back to ‘clothes make the man,’ and I don’t believe that.

  14. Hi Pam,

    I always grouped classy and elegant together. My etiquette classes in 6th grade has taught me that elegance can be learned. I would enjoy reading blog posts on elegance and cultivating it.

  15. I think we all have gifts that come naturally, but we can all learn to things that aren’t inherently part of us. I think elegance is like a sport or musical ability; the more we practice the better we get. Practice enough and it becomes a part of who you are.

  16. Hi Maeve, I respectfully disagree…I think women can be elegant no matter their income. I see the Meryl Streep character very differently. Yes, she was fashionable, talented and an accomplished businesswoman, but I never saw her as elegant and would not aspire to be like her. She was rude, cruel, unkind, and at times pathetic. I have met women who have 1/8 of the implied income of that character who possessed elegance….without an expensive wardrobe or high powered job.
    It is so interesting to read you perspective and I am glad you voiced…hope others will share their interpretation of that character and if she had elegance. I believe it has EVERYTHING to do with who you are inside.

  17. Elegance is not attainable for me, but I like reading about other women’s journeys. Do you know the book Sarah, Plain and Tall? Sarah says she is plain, tall and not mild mannered. She is clear-eyed and accepting of herself. I am clear-eyed and accepting, too. My personal attributes are obvious to others, but I don’t verbalize them because it makes others uncomfortable. Today I’m just going to put them out there. I am overweight, homely-looking, introverted, hard working and capable. I do love clothes though and learning about other women from my age group. That’s why I love your blog.

  18. Hi Linlee, I believe humility and kindness are attributes of elegance. You may not see it but touches of elegance are there… ready to be practiced!

  19. I love this subject, Pamela, and Sara Smith’s insightful quote. I’m keeping all of this on my desktop and look forward to more! You never fail to give me lots to think about.

  20. I did enjoy your previous posts about elegance, Pam. In fact, they prompted me to write my own post about 50 characteristics of an elegant woman in September 2020 which has proven to be quite popular amongst my readers. As I said in that post, I think that elegance is much more than what we look like or how we dress. It’s the whole package, inside and out. I think it’s something we can all strive for. Thanks for returning to this topic! I look forward to what else you have to say about it.

  21. I think of elegance as being a refined and relatively simple way of dealing with all sorts of things…. our wardrobes, homes, gardens and even the way we treat the people around us. Of course there can be an elegance that is snobby and cold, but who wants that? I much prefer a more casual and welcoming sort of elegance. Kindness is elegant. Love is elegant.

  22. So interesting Pam that there was negative feedback on your initial “elegance” posts. (I don’t remember but it has been awhile.) Even in today’s response from readers, as though they might have personal issues with perceived elegance. I certainly cannot equate the “villain” in The Devil Wears Prada with elegance, there was nothing elegant about her. And as you and others have stated elegance is not about wealth or privilege. I once had a friend I envied for the elegance with which she led her life……until I realized it was a façade to cover her need to be perceived as better than everyone else
    This post about elegance feels different than the original, more focused and perhaps as you mentioned more confident. Your communication style has always been elegant.
    I AM ALL IN on this topic.

  23. Thanks for sharing, Suzi! I appreciate how this topic initiates such diverse thought!

  24. I think the idea of using body type to determine personal style is bunk. If a woman has curves, she’s boho? Body type does not determine personal taste and lifestyle. A woman can dress for her shape with drama or simplicity. I consider myself more gamine in taste than boho. I wear silhouettes that honor my curves, but tend toward one color head to toe, with few details. You’ll never see me layer on necklaces and bracelets. I’m straight forward, so that’s how I dress. Formulaic wardrobes don’t account for the huge variety of personality types and lifestyles.

  25. I do agree! That is why my adjectives have helped me create my own style that is unique to me. It is so helpful in contrast to a one word style that only confused me!

  26. I was at first discouraged by the topic. I always wanted to be elegant, but I don’t see that for myself. I have a son that will always be with us and a grandson that we are helping to raise. I’m almost 70 and I work. My house is rarely in good order but it is filled with my paintings. . I hear my mother saying hold your head up and stand up tall and I do that. I wear meaningful jewelry with jeans. I want to be optimistic, kind, gracious and not whine. So I think this was a good post for me. It made me think about what I do want and maybe, occasionally, I will have an elegant moment.

  27. Sounds like you have a lot of elegance to me, Kathy. The strength, love and perseverance it takes to raise a son and grandson are in exceptional women. You are creative, gracious and kind. I think that you are more elegant than you realize.

  28. It is interesting for me that you are revisiting this topic at this particular time. I have been doing a lot of journaling lately & was just reading some of my journal entries of 2020. The word elegance was featured in several of them. I am starting to rediscover who I am after being a caregiver & losing my identity in that role. During that chaotic & all-consuming time of caregiving, I always strove to be kind & polite as those are traits that were ingrained in me by my mother. Most would consider my mother as a simple country woman, but she was so much more. She never wore expensive clothes, but she was a kind gentle woman. She lived her faith & was grateful for the simple gifts that live gave her. She never tolerated rudeness, unkindness or gossipy talk from her children. She was elegant. I am also in the beginning stages of turning our house into my home, so I am pleased that you mentioned your home being a part of becoming of your elegance journey. I am using my style adjectives when I think about how I want my home to look & be.

  29. Thank you for sharing.Becky. Your mother sounds as though she left a powerful legacy of elegance. Enjoy this new stage of life and my it bring you smiles each day.

  30. Elegant has the connotation of being aspirational for me. Perhaps that’s why I don’t see myself as elegant. On the other hand, my definition of elegant might be a little different from some: kind, creative, unique, inspiring curiosity, not overly ornamental and maybe somewhat outside of the norm in terms of current trends. For visual elegance I think posture is one of the fundamentals. So many times a beautiful look can be ruined by poor posture. I remind myself of this often and have a friend who always stands very straight. It is powerful and very elegant and a great example. I would love more discussion on this theme, especially because I know you will approach the topic from the perspectives of inclusion and compassion, Pam.

  31. Thanks Mary…the first round of elegant posts included a whole post on posture. I agree with you that it is important for an elegant woman to have good posture.

  32. Thought provoking post. I was just wondering what had happened to the “elegance” posts. I think an interesting, and perhaps more attainable adjective, is “polished”. My son came home from work recently and mentioned someone had told him he was polished. I feel one can be polished, at any age or any sex. To me, polished is neat and current in appearance, but also so much more. He is well educated, well traveled, can speak about art and music and do so in a grammatically correct manner. I’m not polished, and most definitely not elegant. Too much work. I’m more the laid back, casual type.

  33. Pam, what a great topic, and I look forward to more. The comments are so interesting how women perceive elegance in different ways. I agree that elegance is the whole package, inside and out, but mostly inside. I really love and agree with Sara, and the reference to Scarlett and Melanie is thought provoking. Thanks for the book recommendations. Jennifer L. Scott’s books and thoughts are wonderful.

  34. Thanks for sharing, Lily! Remember you are the one who raised that exceptional young man!

  35. Love this discussion. It is truly how we see ourselves and how society sees us in terms of the word ..elegant …
    Elegance , to me , also implies one has GRACE , a word I haven’t seen used here ..
    grace …meaning carrying oneself with confidence , kindness to others , paying careful attention to good grooming , to one’s own personal style and to GOOD manners… no matter what you are wearing .
    I see elegant women wearing simple jeans , pants, or ALSO dressy dresses , who exude class and style because of how they look put together or polished with whatever they wear .and how they radiate kindness .
    .. i think elegance shows when a woman cares enough about her own self worth and inner happiness that she is kind to others and pays attention to her grooming , her accessories and how her clothes and outfits reflect and fit her body , style and way of life ! I see too many older women who seem to have just given up on loving themselves enough to care how they look .
    I think it took me years to be comfortable in my own style , color and fit choices , to know what looks good or bad on my body type ! and to finally have the time away from caregiving for others and an emotionally draining career , to be able to prioritize time to really look and feel elegant .
    now I do ! ..
    and I enjoy dressing with my own style adjectives as you do every day …even if im just home !. Im not saving things for special occasions . I wear what makes me happy every day !
    I DESERVE IT . And my husband appreciates it ,
    Thank you for teaching us all about how we see ourselves with adjectives .. it helps ..

  36. Oh, I will be embracing this topic! When I was teaching, I felt much more elegant than I do in retirement, and I miss that feeling. When I was teaching, I always had a craft or writing club after school; my colleague and I would sometimes surprise the girls with etiquette classes or scarf tying. I was thinking about this topic while culling my closet last week. I want to make a few tweaks to regain that elegance or as my fashion friend likes to say, “laid back” elegance. I am reminded of my elegant parents and my grandmother. Although they were from two differing generations of style, there were always many of the same attributes of kindness, attitude, posture, demeanor, and interest in the world around us. I have read all but one of the books on your list. Madame Chic was such a fun read about the French culture, and how they would do much more with less. I will reread that. Have you read Fiona Ferris’s books? I can’t wait for these pithy posts of your thoughts and research as well as read your followers’ responses. We never should stop learning

  37. You are so right Becky . Taking care of our home and our happinesss enhances our inner elegance as well as taking care of ourselves..

  38. When I think of Elegance there are a few women who stand out for me, Grace Kelly, Princess Diana, Audrey Hepburn, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to name a few. What strikes me about each one is not their beauty, but their sense of kindness and humanity that they gave to the world. Lord knows each one of these women could have worn a flour sack and still would have been the most extraordinary humans who had graced this earth. They led with kindness, grace, refinement and gave hope, love, encouragement to others. I could add many others to this list to include Mother Teresa as well. Her garb was simple, but her presence was unmistakable. In my mind “elegance” is not contained within how we choose to adorn our body’s, but is more closely tied to kindness. Thank you so much for your thought provoking post Pamela!

  39. Pamela, your hair cut in your early picture is stunning. It’s perfect in that straightened style and would be perfect for your natural curls. Your stylist nailed that cut.

  40. Two comments:
    1. Elegant will NEVER be my style word. Not interested
    2. I’ve seen pictures of Annie’s interpretation of boho: loose unstructured, unfussy style, not fitted or tailored; jackets and blouses with natural expensive fibers. (Not one kimono). I think that definition still fits in with your figure and what you are trying to achieve.

  41. Thanks Anne…I do better with my style adjectives! But I love Annie and she really helped me with my colors.

  42. As a long-time reader, I’m delighted to see you return to this topic. I also think you have evolved into your own kind of elegance – still down to earth, but living out your style adjectives every day. The new wedding outfits definitely lean toward a more “elegant” style, but they also embody your five adjectives and you are wearing them so well. The green rehearsal dinner outfit and the merlot pants outfit are just two that come to mind embodying elegance and confidence. I also see “elegance” in the polite, respectful way you handle critics who post here. I loved your original list of the four attributes of elegant women, and agree that “self-assured poise” is one of the key ingredients. I grew up wearing homemade or hand-me-down clothing, with a mother who didn’t know or care about fashion, makeup or hair. I spent my 20’s and 30’s learning to imitate middle class behavior and dress through formulaic lists like “the ten pieces you must have in your closet” or “what not to wear,” etc. It is only since becoming a single empty nester in 2013 that I started trying to better define a unique style of my own through methods like the five style words. I have often thought about including elegant in my style adjectives, but was afraid I couldn’t live up to that one. A decade later I am still evolving into a new life stage (newly retired, caregiver for my elderly mom, doing weekly volunteer work at my church, babysitting the grandkids at least once a week and coordinating weddings or other special events at my church. I am very interested in any future posts you may publish on this topic and will also be adding your recommended books to my reading list. One that has been enlightening for me in terms of choosing style adjectives was “Style Statement” by Carrie McCarthy & Danielle LaPorte and another that was helpful in narrowing my style focus was “The Curated Closet” by Anushka Rees. I like to think that elegance is a work in progress for me. I believe different life stages or geographic locations may cause your readers to desire less or more elegance, but we can all learn from your journey. Thanks for tackling this, knowing there would be naysayers!

  43. Thank you so much for the support! I am definitely a work in progress so we will do it together…that would be a Texas Aggie Mom and Texas Longhorn working together..,but I am also a Texas Aggie Mom!! Ha!

  44. The photo of you in this post looks like maybe your backyard- your hair color, style, make up, lipstick and dark rimmed glasses you look absolutely stunning and most elegant but still friendly and approachable. There is something about that darker hair color that makes your skin tone look radiant!!!

  45. That is sweet, Christine. My lighter hair is more natural and I no longer wear these colors. I appreciate your kind words about 2020!

  46. Elegance is just a word. It is in the eye of the beholder. I much prefer your emphasis on JOY!!

  47. I’m new to this topic and it is much food for thought. Since reading your very warm and vulnerable blog, I’ve started really looking at the world differently. Elegance has sort of dropped away from most women’s way of dressing. Some of this has to do with the current materials inexpensive clothing is made out of in my opinion. And how things are cut to fit or not fit the body. The idea of what makes an accomplished, beautiful, strong woman has changed over the decades. I’ve been noticing my friends and who dresses well or elegantly even though their outfits are ten years out of style. Elegant can perhaps just mean when we put effort into dressing up a little, even in pants, so our outfits are eye pleasing to others. I think how we dress can affect our moods or self esteem. My husband dressed elegantly when we were dating and early marriage as he had pride in his appearance. Now he is retired and wears t-shirts with holes and looks like a schlub. He doesn’t care. We can have a small budget and still care. Because elegance is a mental attitude shown in how we dress, speak, and carry our bodies. How we see ourselves internally comes across in our outer being most of the time. My mother and father dressed very elegantly as a way to hide their inner low self esteem. People don’t tend to do that much anymore. Great topic!

  48. You are so right! We can still care on a low budget. Dressing well affects our state of mind in positive ways. Life is short…so say no to messy.

  49. Hi joy will always be the main focus of this blog. But elegance is more than just a word or it would not have evoked so many varied responses. It is worthy of consideration, but by no means the main content focus here.

  50. LOL – you know that “merlot” pants outfit is really maroon, right? Thanks for a smile on another long hospital-sitting day!

  51. I love your study in elegance. When I was a teenager in my small hometown, a middle aged woman walked through town late each afternoon to visit her mother. She was always elegant to me. She wore light makeup, had beautiful clothes, but the way she carried herself so confidently and smiled at all she met made her seem elegant to me. She is long ago deceased but has always been my model.

  52. I smiled as I read your story. Thank you for sharing her legacy with us. We just never know who is watching us!

  53. Thanks about the part about posture. That was part of my list too. I never had good posture and had to learn it. Presentation is a part of elegance. Not the whole of it but it certainly comes into play. The kids (we are in our 60’sand 70’s)used to tease my one brother because he could wear the most expensive of clothing and look shabby. Another brother wore clothing only from WalMart but carried himself well and always looked fantastic.

  54. I agree, thank you for referencing Edna Lewis – I am not white & used to be disheartened whenever I see descriptions insinuating that the clothes/ jewellery/ accessories that honour my heritage automatically make a look ‘boho’ (which is already loaded, when you look at the origin & usage of the word bohemian) instead of elegant/ minimalist/ classic/ formal any of the more ‘sleek’ style descriptors. Different colours, scale, materials & levels of dressiness also exist in other cultures – & can still be work/ special event appropriate!

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