Monday, December 28, 2009

Elegance is refusal

I think there are some things that older women are able to pull off better than young girls.  Things like high heels, makeup, and structured clothes, a woman of a certain age can carry off more gracefully than her younger counterparts.  Anything to do with a heightened artifice, really, looks better once a woman has been in her own skin for awhile.

Lately I have felt the urge to refocus my own personal style, to refine it by stripping away youthful furbelows and paring it down to achieve some kind of womanly elegance.  As Coco Chanel said, "elegance is refusal."

Sofia Coppola captures that sense of elegant, unpretentious, self-aware style that I think an older woman can really own.  She has a kind of gamine style, but without the tweeness.

Her Essentials:
- an array of little black dresses
- striped tops
- black ballet flats
- exquisite handbags and shoes
- a subdued color palette, with occasional small prints
- everything well-fitted but not tight
- unconventional erogenous zones, like the back or collar bone, but not décolleté
- shiny, washed, and simple hair


  1. Ahh! Now I remember that I discovered your blog a very very very long time ago. I remember I loved this post and the way you described older women's ability to pull off high heels etc. but then I never found your blog again and I wanted to read this post over again because it was so great.


  2. I like the Vogue age issues for this reason, even if sometimes it seems like they're suggesting that women change their personal style just because they've hit a certain marker.

  3. Hi, I've just discovered your blog through the french wardrobe thread on TFS and I love this post so much! I love Sofia's style, 'gamine without the tweeness' is such a great description of her look. As I approach my late twenties I'm also feeling the urge to redefine my personal style... Sofia's look is definetely something to aspire to. Victoria.

  4. Victoria, I totally agree that she's aspirational. She has a cool downtown feel to her style, but it's not gritty or theatrical. I like that.

    (But if you ever feel like she's so aspirational that she's out of reach, you should try to find older images of her. She definitely went through an 80s stage like the rest of us! Tee hee.)