How to be Elegant

I wrote a post a while back on How to Be Graceful. It is one of my most popular posts. It was more of an ode to my beautiful late grandmother, which really highlighted her interactions with friends and strangers alike. I want to expand on that and talk about elegance. While I believe grace has more to do with your external interactions, I think that elegance is more internal. It’s more about how you see yourself in the world and then how you project that self-image outwardly.

Here are 5 Things That Elegant Women Know

That beauty is as beauty does– There are lots of beautiful women in the world but we don’t always classify them as elegant. Elegance and beauty are not synonymous. You can turn on your television to a reality show of your choice or the latest music video and you are bound to see striking women looking back at you on your screen, but more often than not the way they view themselves doesn’t project elegance. Elegant women know that beauty begins on the inside. They know how to foster self-confidence and self-esteem which allows them to vibrate higher. You won’t see an elegant woman engaging in petty squabbles but you will see her fighting, advocating, and doing work to help those who are disenfranchised. I haven’t met an elegant woman yet who isn’t doing some sort of philanthropy or advocacy around a passion that she has. Elegant women are fiery on the inside and use that fire to make a difference in the world.

How to take a compliment– An elegant woman knows that there is only one way to respond to a compliment. She doesn’t launch into some self-deprecating monologue or over the top response meant to elicit more praise. She knows how to offer a genuine response and not to let flattery go to her head. In the same vein, an elegant woman knows how to take criticism and isn’t overly moved by either. She knows who she is in the world and doesn’t seek validation. She is however appreciative and sincere when she delivers the only acceptable response to a compliment, which of course is simply Thank you.

How to dress for an occasion-Elegant women know that dressing well is a form of good manners. An elegant woman dresses to match the occasion, not to overshadow a host or cause a stir. She checks the dress code and chooses her outfit accordingly. She knows her body and what looks good on her and she knows the rule I like to call- Two tights don’t make a right! Also simply known as  Balance is key. If her top is fitted her bottom is flowy and vice versa. Risk taking is okay but never at the cost of looking like she’s wearing a costume. Her clothes are always the highest quality she can afford and tasteful.

That Self Care is vital- An elegant woman knows that you can’t pour from an empty cup. A lot of what we think of when an elegant woman comes to mind might be her physical attributes-manicured nails, well-styled hair, flawless skin, but those things are a result of the time and effort she puts into taking care of her herself. An elegant woman knows that there are no shortcuts that produce the same results of putting in the work of truly caring for yourself. She also knows that running herself ragged is the opposite of elegant behavior. An elegant woman knows how to say no. She isn’t running around trying to be all things to all people! She knows her worth and that her time is valuable. While she is caring and nurturing to others, she remembers to extend that same loving care to herself.

That Evolving is key- Elegant women know that learning and growing is the key to staying that way. They realize that it’s important to be well read, up on current events and well versed in many activities. An elegant woman takes opportunities to learn new activities, new languages, new cultures, and new customs through travel and local explorations. She isn’t a relic, she keeps evolving.

The good thing about being elegant is that anyone can decide to bring a little more elegance into their lives. Remember that elegance, like class, isn’t about money. It is more about having a mindset of sophistication that starts on the inside and then shines out!

I’d love to hear what your thoughts are on elegance. If you haven’t read my post on grace yet, you can read it here.


Until Next Post,

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Tonya Parker is a counselor, author and certified life coach who believes in helping women look and feel their best! Ambassador for O, The Oprah Magazine and author of Single Mom Chic

10 thoughts on “How to be Elegant

  1. Well, after reading this I am assured I’m an elegant woman 😀😀😀 lol. I’m so modest right! This is such an amazing post. Very well written. When I think of elegance I think of my Mother. Especially on Sunday’s. That lady cleans up nice. The way she walks in her shoes and how she carries herself. How confident she is. How she loves us and her own family. I never got to meet my Grandmother but I imagine she was wonderful because of how amazing my Mother is! There’s nothing better than an elegant woman. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

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