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5 Misused Words in Fashion Today

fashion and elegance in today's worldHandicapped 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!

Pamela Lutrell

Pamela Lutrell began her blog, over50feeling40, July 2010 with a desire to encourage women over 50 to walk in strength, confidence and joy. Of course, head turning style makes each day fun!

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Arpana Modi

Friday 8th of April 2016

Actually I also am totally unaware of that words so thanks for sharing it with us

Elaine @ Following Augustine

Wednesday 6th of April 2016

Great post, Pam! I want to be that lady when I grow up! Regardless of what I'm wearing, I want to live life with an attitude like hers.

I love the cloche hat! Sadly, it doesn't ship to Canada and if it did, shipping would probably cost more than the hat itself. Oh well, perhaps I can find something similar closer to home. There is just something about hats that adds elegance.


Wednesday 6th of April 2016

I won't forget her either, and I wasn't even there! What an amazing attitude. I want to continue to be all of those words when I step out of the house. Not the dumbed-down versions! I would have loved to have met that woman and will remember what she said.


Wednesday 6th of April 2016

I wish I had a picture of her, stunning! I will not ever forget her and you know what was quickly forgotten...the walker, she clung to.

Meg Root

Tuesday 5th of April 2016

Even as my mom's memory fades, she still can pick out an amazing outfit from her closet and dress herself down to a colorful scarf, belt, and matching earrings. It's beautiful to watch. I loved this piece.


Wednesday 6th of April 2016

Thank you, Meg! I hope I will be doing the same no matter my age or health! I appreciate your comment.


Tuesday 5th of April 2016

Love your writing. You should write a book or two. Thanks for sharing this story so sweet.

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