Fashionable or Elegant

Last night I was out to dinner with a gentleman, the kind that wears pince-nez spectacles, gold cuff links and wouldn’t dream of driving his car without leather gloves. We spoke briefly about fashion, and he said that in his opinion to be fashionable was to lack elegance. I’ve been thinking about that as I wander the streets of Paris, and I wonder if he’s right, and if he is, how can we define the difference?

There are plenty of women on the Paris streets in  fantastic get-ups that hint at stacks of fashion magazines on their coffee tables and personal shoppers on speed dial, but are these women elegant? They have interesting clothes, but are they even stylish, or do they just have the ability to mimic what shows up on fashion blogs and magazines?

And speaking again of elegance, if someone wears all the right clothes and yet looks decidedly undernourished or slightly drugged sagging on a lamppost, they can be called fashionable, yes, but elegant?

Possibly this is the beginning of a good method of distinction.


One Comment

  1. Posted March 10, 2011 at 12:31 am | Permalink | Reply

    That’s an odd statement. If a person is completely naked and deemed elegant, would that elegance go away with a well-tailored dress and trenchcoat? I think not. Elegance is inborn. Style augments that, makes it more obvious to the world.

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