50 characteristics of an elegant woman


Pamela Lutrell, writer of the blog Over 50, Feeling 40, has been writing a series recently on cultivating elegance. Before she started, she asked her readers how they would define elegance. That led to a very interesting discussion and started me thinking a lot about what it means to be an elegant woman. 

What is elegance? Is it an old-fashioned concept gone the way of the dodo bird or is it something that today’s busy woman should aspire to?  

The dictionary defines elegance as the “quality of being graceful and attractive in appearance or manner.” It’s the “or manner” part that caught my attention. Elegance is much more than what we look like or how we dress. It’s the whole package, inside and out. 

With that in mind, I think an elegant woman…

  1. Dresses appropriately for the occasion.
  2. Doesn’t dress to impress.
  3. Knows her style and dresses accordingly. 
  4. Practices modesty and moderation in all things.
  5. Chooses quality over quantity. 
  6. Feels free to be herself. Is authentic, not contrived.
  7. Uses makeup subtly to enhance her natural beauty, not hide it. 
  8. Maintains good posture and moves gracefully.
  9. Doesn’t compare herself with others.
  10. Exhibits self-confidence. 
  11. Looks to other women for inspiration, not competition. 
  12. Practices good manners. 
  13. Accepts compliments gracefully.
  14. Has a heart of gratitude.
  15. Isn’t a complainer. 
  16. Engages in intelligent conversation and appreciates an intellectual debate.
  17. Is present in every conversation giving everyone her full attention. 
  18. Isn’t judgemental.
  19. Doesn’t gossip. 
  20. Practices discretion. Doesn’t share everything with everyone. 
  21. Is kind with her words about others. 
  22. Speaks eloquently and thoughtfully.
  23. Is never loud or obnoxious.
  24. Doesn’t always have to be right. 
  25. Doesn’t always have to have the last word. 
  26. Is comfortable with silence.  
  27. Stands up for what she believes in, but does it graciously. 
  28. Doesn’t lose her cool in public, but gracefully and calmly stands up to people who are disrespectful. 
  29. Thinks of others and puts their feelings ahead of her own. 
  30. Doesn’t try to control other people. 
  31. Doesn’t take other people for granted.
  32. Practices patience with everyone and everything in her life. 
  33. Admits when she is wrong and seeks to make amends.
  34. Apologizes sincerely. 
  35. Doesn’t speak down to children, but engages with them at an appropriate level. 
  36. Respects other people’s time and avoids being late. 
  37. Enjoys learning new things. 
  38. Recognizes her own areas of weakness. 
  39. Isn’t wasteful.
  40. Appreciates all that she’s been blessed with. 
  41. Takes pride in what she does, but isn’t a perfectionist.
  42. Isn’t boastful. 
  43. Appreciates hard work. 
  44. Lives passionately. 
  45. Isn’t afraid of getting dirty working in the garden, making mud pies with her grandchildren, or hiking a rugged trail. 
  46. Knows that life is about small and simple pleasures. 
  47. Persists when life gets tough, which it inevitably will. 
  48. Doesn’t obsess over the “what ifs” and “if onlys” in life. 
  49. Knows that the grass isn’t greener on the other side of the fence and when it looks as if it is, she waters her own yard. 
  50. Radiates inner peace. 

LogoDoes this list make elegance sound impossible? I hope not. Remember, no one is perfect. None of us gets it right all the time, but I think these are qualities that we can all aspire to and that they’re just as appropriate today as they were in our grandmother’s day. What do you think? Can you add any others to the list? 

8 thoughts on “50 characteristics of an elegant woman

    • Thank you, Anne! Colossians 3:12 is my guide… “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

  1. I am late to the party, which isn’t very elegant…ha! Your list is very thoughtfully written. I do like the Scripture you used in response to one of your readers.

    • You’re always welcome, even if a little bit late! lol Another scripture that I look to for guidance is 2 Peter 1:5-7… “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.”

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