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| Sunday Style / Tips For Being More Elegant |

by - July 31, 2017

Hi there, ya'll! =)

The other day I was pondering something over my morning coffee, and I thought I would share it with you all.  Today, it's considered "normal" for teenagers to be awkward, lost, and uncomfortable in their own skin.  A century or two ago, teenagers were starting families, ruling countries, and just by looking at their photographs or reading their journals and letters, you can tell they were quite comfortable and at peace with the person they were. Why is it so different now? Why is practically every young person literally stumbling around, tripping over their own feet, trying to figure out how to act and and what is the correct way of living their lives?
This is an issue for guys as well as girls, but I'm just going to focus on the girls for today.  Everywhere on the internet you can see young women posting about how they "aren't the kind of girl who wear ribbons and pearls" or "hide in the corners because they'll never be pretty" or "I'm so awkward I trip over everything" and it makes me so sad to see it.  All these young girls blame their clumsiness or lack of elegance on themselves and feel like there's something wrong with them, when it's really not entirely their fault.  Grace isn't something that a woman is magically born with; it's an art that is only achieved by practice and careful attention paid to your actions and behavior.  Learning to be graceful and elegant used to be part of every young ladies schooling; before she was sixteen she would learn to walk, sit, dance, speak, sing, and behave as a refined woman.  All of these skills were very important because they helped make a girl into a lady.  In "My Fair Lady" (one of my favorite musicals), Professor Higgins makes a bet that he can turn an ordinary flower girl from the streets into a lady simply by teaching her how to speak and act correctly, and when he is finished and takes her to a ball at the palace, everyone there is certain she must be a princess because of her flawless speech and graceful way of carrying herself.

Unfortunately, these days young ladies have no one to to train them in these areas (unless they are lucky enough to have a mother or grandmother who taught them) because these things aren't considered important anymore (thank you, feminists).  It's not until they're adults that they begin to realize what they're missing and try to improve themselves, and most never realize that something is missing because everyone else around them is just as lost and ungraceful as they are.  It's rare that one meets a graceful, elegant woman now, but when you do, you'll never forget her.  Something about her makes you want to be just like her; her grace, her poise, the soft and measured tone of her voice when she speaks, the way she stoops instead of bending over, the ways she sits with her ankles gracefully crossed, etc. Something about her inspires you to want to better yourself, but she never appears to consider herself better than anyone else.  She is kind and gracious and makes everyone feel special, regardless of who they are or how she feels towards them.  I have a dear friend who fits this description, and she was one of the first young women I ever met who really inspired me to try to become a graceful lady like she was, and still is.  It takes a lot of practice and self control to behave like a lady, especially when you don't feel like it, but if you practice it enough, soon it will become a habit and you won't even have to think about it.  I thought I'd share some tips on how to be more graceful and elegant below to help you get started; it's by no means a complete list, but it's a good starting point, and if you follow these rules on a day to day basis, they will soon become natural to you. =)

1. Always sit up straight

Sitting up straight and engaging your core muscles will help you breathe easier and strengthen your abdominal muscles ( giving you a flatter stomach), as well as make you appear more graceful.  Slouching makes you look lazy and slovenly.

 2. Always look people in the eye while conversing with them

A lady makes sure that whoever she is speaking with, or listening to, feels like they have her whole attention and are important enough to interest her with their conversation, regardless of their age, or how interesting they actually are.  Also, do not use your phone or other electronics when with others unless it is an emergency; show your neighbor they are more important to you than checking your social media.

3.  Always say "please" and "thank you"

Even for small, insignificant favors, like someone holding the door for you, or saying "bless you" when you sneeze or cough.  A lady always shows gratitude and appreciation.  On this same note, you should always address those older than you (I'm referring to people a good deal older, not just a year or two, btw) as "sir" or "ma'am"; a lady knows to show respect to her elders. 

4. Always speak in measured, even tones

Try speaking in front of the mirror and observe how you appear and sound.  Does your mouth open really wide, or do your find your voice to be loud or shrill?  Practice speaking in a more subdued tone and not letting your voice crack or sound rough.  Pay attention to your laugh as well, and take care not to let it be harsh or painful to the ears.  Listen to the actresses of the "Golden Age" of Hollywood; Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Jeanne Crain, Shirley Temple, etc., and listen to how musical their voices and laughs were.  And a lady never, under any circumstances, uses foul or rude language.

5. Always speak kindly of others

Regardless of who they are, what they may have done, or how much she may dislike them, a lady always speaks kindly of everyone, and doesn't allow those around her to speak ill of someone else in her presence.  If you look hard enough, you will find something good in every person, and that is what you should focus on and call attention to instead of their faults.

6. Always move gracefully, with your head held high

The age old trick of walking with a book on your head really does work, and helps tremendously to improve and add grace to your movements.  I still practice occasionally to make sure I'm not becoming lazy and letting my shoulders or head droop when I walk.  If you want to be even more graceful, try practicing while wearing heels.

7. Always put a little effort into your appearance

Even if you're just running to the grocery store, make sure your hair is neat, and your clothes are clean and ironed.  Putting on a little lipstick wouldn't hurt either, and it will make you feel more put together.

8. Always have a cheerful face

Don't let the bad day you're having, or the problems you're facing affect those around you.  Always have a cheery smile for everyone you see, and soon enough you'll find yourself feeling as happy as you appear.  On the same note, a lady never complains, especially about her personal problems.

9. Always send thank you notes

Hand written thank you notes are always beautiful and meaningful.  They show the person who receives them that their gift was appreciated and you cared enough about them to take the time to actually write a note to show them.  Pretty stationary makes the gesture even more special.  

10. Always be mindful of how you are sitting

When you sit, make sure your skirt is smoothed over your legs (obviously you don't have to worry about this if you're wearing pants) and your knees are together.  A lady either sits with her feet flat on the floor, her ankles crossed to the side, or one knee crossed over the other (make sure your skirt is long enough to sit this way and those around you can't see up your skirt), but her ankles and knees are always together no matter how she sits.  Her hands should be folded neatly on her lap, and her back should be straight.

//Outfit Details//
Dress: Originally from Old Navy, altered by me
Sandals: Thrift Store 
Earrings: Victorian Trading Co./ $19.95
Necklace: Gift
Bracelet: Gift

I hope these tips were helpful to you and that you'll try putting some of them into practice! If you do, be sure to tell me how it turned out and what you think. ;)
If you'd like to read a more complete list of ways to be more elegant, I've linked it here.
Have a beautiful week! =)

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This blog is dedicated to Our Lady, the Queen of Heaven, and the perfect model of modesty and feminine virtue.