French women supposedly Have It. The rest of us supposedly Want It. But what is it?
“Chic” is something most of us feel we recognize when we see it, yet a clear definition remains elusive. It’s almost easier to define what it isn’t. Chic isn’t deadly serious. Chic isn’t (necessarily) glamorous. Chic isn’t a formula, and what is chic isn’t the same for all women. Chic isn’t (again, necessarily) the latest trend. Chic isn’t overdone. Chic isn’t stiff. Chic isn’t afraid. Chic isn’t self-conscious.
If une femme were to define what makes an item, ensemble or woman chic, these would be the crucial elements: simplicity, balance, functionality, timelessness, a careful balance between playfulness and sophistication, and an overall feeling of a harmonious whole, even while certain elements may be tweaked. Chic is highly individual; what would look naturally chic on one woman might look forced and ridiculous on another.
Chic hasn’t come naturally to me, but it also seems like trying consciously to achieve it undermines the effect, much like a cat chasing her own tail. Perhaps we try too hard. Perhaps it’s a question of putting yourself together to suit your own taste and then letting go. Perhaps chic is as much a result of attitude as anything else.
What do you think? How do you define “chic”? Do you do anything in particular to try and achieve it?
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