Stylist Files: Elegance; Simplicity Is Key


Elegance. What comes to mind when you hear that word? A ball gown? A familiar perfume? The color black? All of these things and more can be elegant. But there is so much more that the word can mean.

One thing that is true of elegance in any form is that it is simple. Elegance is always simple.

“Elegance is not the prerogative of those who have just escaped from adolescence, but of those who have already taken possession of their future.” ~ Coco Chanel

Elegance: On the Town

Elegance is not just limited to ball gowns and black-tie affairs. It does not have to be formal; it can be simple, classy, and balanced.  It is mature, and confident. Confidence comes from knowing where you are going in life, and living your life on purpose.  The energy one puts into living a life of purpose allows for a means of balance and simplicity.  Confidence is not flashy, it’s streamlined, simple, and balanced. It is elegant.

Above we see a stylish outfit for a fall day or night on the town. Fall/Winter colors are represented in hues of plums, olives, browns, and neutrals. The outfit is simple and clean-cut. It is minimal, warm, and bold. It represents a woman who has a destination, and her clothes do not over take her. She shines through the outfit that augments her confidence and highlights her balance. She has taken possession of her future. Therefore, her clothes do not speak for her.  She has already spoken, and has been heard.

“Elegance does not consist in putting on a new dress.” ~ Coco Chanel

Elegance; The Sophisticated Look

Elegance is fun. It plays off of personality and it should not be boxed in, neither should one’s personality. A steadfast personality is balanced and emits light. It lies within one who is level headed and who is not afraid to promote positivity.

Here we see a look that is based in black, which many believe is a color of elegance (hence the term black-tie affair). The color black is minimized; the focus is on the plaid top, which is on trend for fall and the peplum skirt that represents femininity and fun. The pencil skirt balances out the top for a unified look.  The cropped jacket is a bold color, and the heightened hem does not disturb the peplum. The shoes are also bold, but in a different color. The lack of a colored pattern allows for the color blocking to work. The solid colors are simple and the metal accents found subtly in the accessories provide a glimpse into the wearers personality. She is fitted and well thought-out. She is sure about herself, and very put together. She is neither loud nor quiet.  She is present.

“Look for the woman in the dress. If there is no woman, there is no dress.” ~Coco Chanel

Elegance: Bold Dress

The woman makes the dress, the dress does not make the woman.  Who is in the dress will be considered when people interpret the look. And that should be figured out long before stepping foot into a frock. It is nice to look good, but it is more important to be nice. When these two are married together, you have a sure win.

The dress. As seen in this look, the dress can be identified as elegant. The designer Zac Posen is known for making “elegant” looks with tailored details that posses a sense of desire, glamour and romance. The silhouettes he creates are youthful but sophisticated. The modernized ruffles and fabrics flow with the woman in his dresses. When wearing a dress of such stature, it is important to streamline all other effects of the look. Hair, shoes, accessories, and makeup should all be played down to a minimum. Again, elegance is not flashy. It is simple. It is an asset to one’s true being, translated into dress.

One must identify themselves prior to determining their style. Finding out who you are is a goal that should be reached for each day. What is elegance? It is mature, classy, simple, sophisticated, and focused. It is kind and creative. It is not boxed in, it is an extension of one’s personality. 

Be elegant.

~ Yana B.

This article was  featured in the Fall 2013 edition ofNaturalHollywood Magazine

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