When one thinks about being chic, smart, elegant and stylish are just a few words that come to mind. Coco Chanel said that a girl should be two things: classy and fabulous, and that statement alone may be the most simplistic, definition of chic.
What Is Chic?
But just what does being chic actually entail? Is it something that can be taught or learned, or is it an elusive quality the more fortunate are born with? When one thinks of chic they often think of fashion first, but chic is much more than fashion alone.
Chic is a quality of life or state of mind that affects or influences the way a woman or man lives and approaches life. Derived from the French, chic is a style that is both current and modern and presents an air or degree of sophistication that causes someone to stand apart from the crowd. To be chic is to be distinguished, set apart and always in vogue.
While many think that to be chic, one must wear designer clothes, that simply isn't the case. Chic is not based upon dollars and cents or price tags and isn't limited to brand names or designer labels.
The Essence of Chic
It is quite possible to be chic and wear less-expensive clothes, dress in a Bohemian style or even wear handmade garments. The essence of being chic is in the way a woman carries herself, not in the clothes she wears. However, the chic woman will ensure she is always stylish and well dressed.
To begin, chic is a state of mind and it begins on the inside and is subsequently radiated to others. Chic is attitude that originates with a definitive mindset, then it is expressed through fashion, style and mannerisms. Everyone can learn to be chic.
There is no doubt that for one to be truly chic, attention to fashionable style is in order. There is always room for individuality and uniqueness in one’s personal style and flair; however, an acute awareness of what the latest designs are, the brands that are the rage and an in-depth knowledge of the lifestyles of the rich and famous will help you carve out your own chic corner. Understanding and appreciating fashion will help make your own wardrobe selections fashionable ones.
Remember, this isn't about how much money someone has, but rather how to incorporate the ideas, inspirations and latest designs into your own lifestyle and make them work for you. Regardless of what look you are aiming for, remember that people come in different shapes and sizes. Wearing the same gown a celebrity wore on the red carpet or a favorite look you spied on the runway will not instantly turn you into someone chic simply because you put on the same clothes. In order to have true, fashionable style, you must honestly assess your body type, shape, flaws and strengths.
You must learn how to dress up your best features while camouflaging your weaknesses. Remember, there are many styles described as chic, such as casual chic, preppy chic and modern chic. It’s best to assess and determine your own, natural and preferred style then choose fashion that complements your personality, character and personality type.
The Timeless Sophistication of being Chic
Classy and smart elegance are the epitome of chic. From the fashion accessories added to a wardrobe to furnishings in the home, the chic style exemplifies taste and refinery. Images of socialites often conjure impressions of chic elegance and style. While chic style is classic and refined, it is never old-fashioned or outdated.
Though many who exemplify chic may also appear snobbish or proud, true chic doesn't reside in those who were born with a silver spoon and use it to heap condemnation on those less fortunate. Those who are playful, easy-going and friendly also exemplify the chic lifestyle and being fashionable should never be an excuse to be prideful. Smart elegance and classy style should never give someone excuse to be arrogant or display a high and mighty attitude.
Chic style shows that a person presents or carries him or herself in a stylish, elegant and classy manner, yet does not give someone license to behave superior to others. Someone who may have been the best example of chic is Princess Diana. Though royalty, she exuded great love, compassion and humility.
While she could have treated others as less worthy, she never did. She had access to the most elegant styles, designs and money was no object, yet at the same time, she expressed her true identity, personality and character. She dressed in many iconic fashion styles and every time exuded elegance. Many could describe Princess Diana’s informal dress as casual chic or preppy chic. Many women admire Princess Diana and rightfully so; she is a wonderful example of what it truly means to be chic.
Being Chic is Sophisticated and Intelligent
Sophistication is at the very essence of being chic. Someone who is très chic, or very chic, may be playful but never immature. One way to ruin the quality of being chic is with a crude, rude or inappropriate attitude and behavior.
Sophistication isn't limited only to the clothes one wears, but must be exemplified in attitude, conduct and mannerisms. For those who want to be truly chic, a close look at behavior is required. Are there any behaviors or character flaws that show a lack of sophistication, class or elegance?
No garment, jewelry, handbag or makeup can cover-up an immature, rude or distasteful personality. The art of being chic begins with a commitment to being refined, sophisticated and classy. Understand and learn proper etiquette, choose things that are edifying, educate yourself in areas where you are weak.
If you intend to surround yourself with a certain class of people, then you should ensure your mind is as prepared as your wardrobe. Pay attention to current events, develop your conversation, immerse yourself in arts, cultural activities, events and humanitarian efforts.
You’ll find that by developing your inner person, you will have the tools within needed to radiate the exemplified chic lifestyle. The world is full of many people who look chic on the outside, yet have little to offer in the way of opinions, critique or discourse.
Coco Chanel The Epitome of Chic
They may have the perfect outfit for a night on the town, but can’t put two intelligent sentences together when socializing. The truly chic person is sophisticated, elegant and intelligent as well as fashionable.
The chic person often displays a distinctive mode of dress that exudes matchless style. If you have ever seen the “who wore it best” photos, you are familiar with celebrities wearing the same outfit. This is often viewed as an embarrassing situation and not something a celebrity wants to be known for.
When celebrities walk the red carpet, they want to stand out; not wear the same dress as the celebrity next to her. While there are many designer labels that are described as chic, it is never recommended to wear an outfit without adding something unique and distinctive to it.
There are many classic and timeless pieces that work in a chic wardrobe, but you should always find something unique and distinctive that will separate your outfit from others. The truly chic woman can wear a pair of blue jeans and a basic, white tee and make it an individual outfit that stands out from the crowd. The chic woman is no stranger to accessories and pays great attention to detail, ensuring that even the simplest garments in the wardrobe are always unique, distinctive and original.
By using accessories in a creative manner, you can ensure that even the simplest, basic garments in your wardrobe express your fabulous personality.
Being Chic Is Being You
Popular appeal helps create fashionable style and ensure clothes are chic and in style. While popularity is an inherent aspect of being chic, it should never be an excuse for conformity or losing a sense of individuality.
Ask yourself if your outfit would stand out in a crowd, and not for appearing gaudy or tacky, but for its style, class and elegance. Some examples of celebrities known for appearing chic in their downtime, and when away from the red carpet include Reese Witherspoon, Taylor Swift, Sarah Jessica Parker, Halle Berry, Gwen Stefani, Victoria Beckham, Iman, Sofia Vergara, Kate Middleton, Kerry Washington, Lupita Nyong’o, Katie Holmes, Alessandra Ambrosio, Vanessa Hudgens, Nicole Scherzinger, Norah Jones and Sandra Oh. Each of these is an example of how to express individuality and uniqueness in a wardrobe when off the red carpet. This is the essential ingredient in being chic.
Being stylish and attractive are key elements in being chic and the chic lifestyle. As there are many types of chic style, it’s important to understand what your own, personal taste is. Someone who loves bohemian or vintage clothes can incorporate that trend into their chic wardrobes.
Likewise, those who favor modern looks over classic designs can opt for modern chic. There are no hard and fast rules about a chic wardrobe and creative people may choose to borrow elements from different genres and styles when forming their own, unique looks.
The chic woman is unforgettable because she makes an impression wherever she goes. Women may feel they are not pretty enough, smart enough or rich enough to be chic, but that is simply untrue. To be chic, a woman must begin by being self-confident.
Regardless of what she feels her weaknesses or inferiorities may be, every woman has strengths that she may focus on. By embracing your strengths and working on your weaknesses, you can learn to accept yourself and build your self-confidence. This in turn will radiate through your personal fashion style and exude your true, chic style.
The Chic Wardrobe
Making your style exclusively yours is part of being chic. Popular styles include avant-garde, bohemian, classic, preppy and whimsical. By blending styles to create your own, unique expression, you create a wardrobe and lifestyle that is exclusively yours.
It’s important that those who are chic ensure they do not become a fashion slave. There is no reason to constantly change your wardrobe to the latest fads or trends, or have to buy every new thing on the market.
As a chic wardrobe consists of timeless and classic pieces, it is imperative to create an exclusive and unique look that not only brings out your feminine side, but also is a true expression of your personality. Ultimately, you must live in your wardrobe on a daily basis. Being chic is not about wearing styles that look best on other people, celebrities or models, but one that is a perfect expression of your own individuality.
Staying up-to-date with current, fashion trends is an important aspect to being chic. While many classic pieces are incorporated into a wardrobe, someone who is truly chic will know how to use current fashion trends to create a current look.
Blacks and neutral colors often work in chic wardrobes and many feel that a chic personality is one that is sharp, to the point and direct. This is often reflected in the choice of clothing, whether looking for current styles or classic staples.
One area where careful attention is paid to when choosing chic clothing is in fabric or material used. While a chic wardrobe can include timeless pieces such as pearls, jeans or tee shirts, it also includes luxurious pieces crafted from silk, cashmere, velvet, satin and more. Choose material choices carefully and watch the latest, current fashion trends to ensure your wardrobe is in style.
Trendy and in control describes the chic woman. Her wardrobe displays the same type of power she exudes in her personal life. To be truly chic, one must embrace her strengths and be fearless. Never should a chic woman let others intimidate her into denying or displaying her power, assertiveness and self-confidence.
In Vogue, stylish and timeless all describe the chic woman who knows how to dress and behave. Fads come and go, but the truly chic woman always appears modern and in command.
The chic woman knows how to wear the classic, black dress in any season and turn it into an outfit that makes others envious. She understands being chic is the importance of quality, yet never sacrifices comfort for style. By cultivating the inside first, refining tastes, exploring culture and developing your own, unique sense of style, anyone can become chic.
Author: Tanna Mayer
Published: November 13, 2014
Updated: February 12, 2015
BIGSTOCK:Stock Photo ID: 66898447
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