life curation · style

On Becoming More Elegant

Elegance is Refusal

(from one of my favorite blogs, The Vivienne Files)

I’m unclear who said it first – Coco Chanel (the person that is more often credited) or Diana Vreeland – but it’s noteworthy that this simple quote has been attributed to two of the most stylish women in history. I often heed these words when I’m inclined to pile on jewelry, or add an extra-frilly accessory, or even opt for a print that outshines my personality.

I stop. I think about it. I refuse it. I am instantly more elegant.

Even my writing style has undergone some changes and leans more towards elegance nowadays. Sure, I still occasionally indulge in wordiness, but chances are, I’ve done some heavy editing before even the “wordy” stuff reaches your eyes.

I love words. But elegance is refusal, so I opt for simplicity more times than not.

The only place I don’t apply this particular stance is cooking. I believe that “just enough is enough”, and that doesn’t always mean refusal. I don’t oversimplify my seasonings, my effort or the number of courses for a fancy meal. I seek perfection. And yes, that can mean using less. But it must be perfect, or it won’t work. I’m picky like that.

Refusal: it is elegant. It’s also liberating. It’s simultaneously classic and modern, the perfect blend of seemingly opposing sides.

 Refuse, and be free.

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