A Lesson in Elegance
I was talking to a friend the other day when the words elegance and grace came up. She was suprised to find that nowadays people often tend to see elegance as a form opulence and feel like grace is a synonym for royalty and poshness. I agreed with her that I could not differ more with these interpretations. As the Oxford Dictionary states: Elegance is the quality of being pleasingly ingenious and simple; neatness. For me, this means that elegance is in the little things.
No wonder the Oxford Dictionary talks about ingenuity and simplicity. In French (unlike English – terribly lacking on this subject) there exists the most perfect expression to describe what the concept of elegance means to me, namely indulging in les petits plaisirs. For me, un petit plaisir is eating a croissant while reading a newspaper on a sunday. Drinking an espresso on a terrace on a crisp spring morning. Dancing to a jazz record while cooking soup. Staying in on a rainy day. Going out on a clear night.
Or perhaps un petit plaisir is also wearing the most perfect pair of leather loafers under the most beautiful linen trousers. Or feeling good in your clothes – no matter how fancy or plain they are. And maybe elegance is a little more like feeling exactly as you want to feel and having the complete freedom to do so. Forget shiny jewelry or the perfect matching accessories. Forget street style and a thousand pictures of ‘influencers’ and what you need to buy next in order to look good. Elegance is the simplest and most natural concept and comes without having to do anything for it. To me, elegance is a certain feeling that derives from being completely content with who you are and to feel comfortable with the things you own – and wear.