Handicapped parking spaces are located directly in front of the store where I have worked part-time since last May. So I had a front row seat as I watched this woman step out of her car to reach for the waiting walker her daughter patiently held. Once she appeared, I could not take my eyes off of her. Though the walker and her bent posture communicated aging, her appearance said refinement and elegance.
Was she a visiting celebrity or dignitary? Her style certainly spoke it. (We’ve included some affiliate links to help you create this style here.) Impeccable from the simple hat she wore, to her glowing makeup, to a silk, spring pantsuit and accompanying scarf which blew from her back delicately in the April breeze, she was the epitome of chic, sophisticated, and classic. I welcomed them into the store, complimenting her stunning beauty, and asked, “Where are you off to today? Are you going someplace special?”
With a smile and an accent I am so accustomed to hearing in San Antonio, she softly said, “Why I am here, dear! Every place is some place special.”
In the past month, I have seen several words misused in fashion writing. I am absolutely a word person. This comes from my journalism degree, teaching journalism and from writing since I was 11. Words matter. So I looked up the exact definition of these popular fashion terms:
Chic: Elegantly and stylishly fashionable
Refined: Elegant and cultured in appearance, manner and taste
Sophisticated: having, revealing, or proceeding from a great deal of worldly experience and knowledge of fashion and culture
Classic: judged over a period of time to be of the highest quality and outstanding of its kind
Elegance: the quality of being graceful and stylish in appearance or manner; style
These words are being dumbed down, just as style is headed to a more casual place. I love how she said every place is some place special. I have attempted to live that way for the past 12 years, since I plunged into over-fifty-land. There are those who would say to dress with refinement in a traditional sense is boring and old-fashioned. Yet, sticking these words on just any trend or style does not make them so. She was neither, but a woman with a walker who owned the room once she entered it. She did not demand attention, but her self-respect and overall appearance brought it to her. Though her bones were curving, her demeanor and grace were held high.
“Dress shabbily and they remember the dress. Dress impeccably and they remember the woman.” – Coco Chanel
I will not forget this woman.
What do these words mean to you? Do you agree or disagree with the definitions? Are the words still important for fashion today? Please share your thoughts.
Thanks for stopping by… I hope to see you next week, right here in the Joy Boutique!