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I’m grateful that timing-wise, this blog post falls in Women’s History Month and is published on International Women’s Day. I say this because for the last several months, I’ve been formulating my thoughts on the prominence of the women empowerment movement we’re seeing across the country and across the globe!
While empowering indeed, I personally think that it’s important that women remember to leverage this empowerment with style and grace. Feminism and femininity are not the same thing. Likewise, being a woman and being a lady are not the same thing. I acknowledge that not everyone may live this day-to-day (nor may want to) and that’s totally fine as each of us have our own prerogative and I respect that. However, regardless of where you fall on the issue, I firmly believe that there are certain mannerisms and social graces that differentiate one from the other and these can actually help you navigate our ever-changing world.
For those of you reading that want to evoke style and grace in your everyday life (while taking on the world!), then this post is for you, your daughter, your sister, your BFF – please share!
Top Tips on How to Evoke Style and Grace
Here are my personal tips on how to evoke style and grace and embrace your femininity. (FYI, this list isn’t in any particular order). Some of these tips I remember from childhood and some I’ve learned over the years as I developed into my womanhood. I certainly appreciate them more as I move through this journey of life.
1. Slow Down
This is one the quickest and easiest ways to channel style and grace! Simply slow down. Slow down your walking pace, slow down your speech, slow down your mind. Do you ever notice that women who are extremely savvy aren’t hurried and seem to almost literally in their movement? Think about it for a moment…I bet that women whom you admire for their style and grace are literally NOT running around town. They’re busy, yes, but they pace themselves. They move and speak with intention because they are slowing down. Doing so automatically helps one evoke style and grace.
2. Effectively Manage Your Time
Planning ahead and effectively managing your time helps you achieve #1 – slowing down. From major areas of your life to daily tasks, managing your time allows you to stay on top of these tasks, prioritize them, and not become overwhelmed. This isn’t always easy to do especially during very busy times, but use tools such as daytime planners (planner addicts unite!) or mobile calendar/task apps to keep you on a focused and intended schedule. And don’t forget to pencil in time for yourself and your loved ones! Control and planning ahead is how to evoke style and grace.
3. Be Thoughtful of Others
I hate to break this to you, but it’s not ALL about you! Each of us are just one person in our local, national, and global community. As you move through your day, consider others with your actions (or inactions). If every person did this, our world be such a different place! So be thoughtful of others – not only does it help you evoke style and grace, but it’s also the right thing to do!
4. Wear Clothes That Fit You Well
As a Personal Stylist for women, this is a core area that I focus on with my clients. There’s nothing worse than seeing women in ill-fitting clothing! Having a good tailor in your wardrobe arsenal is critical. Evoke style and grace by wearing well-fitted clothes that give you the best silhouette.
5. Wear Clothes and Shoes That Are in Good Condition
And while we’re on the subject of clothing, it’s not enough to just wear garments that fit you well, but make sure that they’re in top form! Wear clothes and shoes that are in good condition and present you well. Wearing clothes that are faded, have holes, pulls, or pills do not evoke style and grace – so don’t do it! Take care of your clothes and have them represent the best you!
6. Be Mindful of Your Appearance at All Times
I say this time and time again: you never know when you will literally walk right into your next life opportunity – so be ready at all times! Think about your overall appearance before you walk out of the door every day. This doesn’t mean that you have to dressed to the nines all the time, but you always should look neat and presentable. This is an easy way to evoke style and grace.
7. Have Excellent Poise & Posture
Stylish and graceful women do not slouch. Stand, sit, and walk tall with your shoulders back and chin up. An easy way to do this is to imagine a taut thread pulled up from your hips through your waist, backbone, neck, and head. Moving and interacting with good poise posture gives you a natural air of confidence…and, not to mention, an air of style and grace!
8. If You See Something, Say Something
Remember when I mentioned above that it’s not all about you? In this vein, I encourage you always look for opportunities to uplift others (including strangers). There’s nothing more encouraging for some people to receive genuine accolades about a job well done, how good they look, etc. The smallest compliment can totally turn around someone else’s day and give them a boost of confidence. So, share your style and grace with others – when you see something good, pay the compliment by saying something!
9. Think Before You Speak
Remember #1 up above about slowing down? Apply this to your words as well. Use the filter between your brain and your mouth. Take care and think about what you’re saying before you say it. Words mean a lot so choose them carefully. Evoke style and grace with your diction.
10. Don’t Speak with Your Mouth Full
And speaking of speaking, don’t speak with your mouth full. This takes you back to childhood, right? But it’s so true and we are taught this for a reason! If you’re eating must speak, take a few moments to chew your food before speaking or gracefully cover your mouth with your hand or a napkin as you talk. When it comes to dining, evoking style and grace is all about eating like a lady and not like a cow. 😉
11. Soften Your Edge
Do you ever come across women that no matter what, they always seem to have a chip on their shoulder? Or they seem to carry a negative armor of attitude? Well think about this…even during the most stressful times, be mindful of how you portray yourself when you’re out and about. Don’t be that woman with a hard edge that’s quite simply mean and unapproachable. Seriously, who truly wants to be like that?
Soften your edge a bit – think before you speak and mind your volume and tone. And this doesn't mean that you must be meek – it’s quite the opposite actually. You garner more respect when you are assertive, yet clear and calm in your approach and response (as opposed to being brash and ready to fight all the time – who wants to interact with someone like that?). Naturally evoke style and grace by softening your edge.
12. Send Handwritten Notes
In a world of emails, texts, DMs (and whatever else is out there), writing anything besides your signature just isn’t efficient. With that being said though, there are occasions where you should put pen to paper for a personal handwritten note. Send a note to express heartfelt thanks, share a memory, offer congratulations, etc. For example, I send each new styling client a personal handwritten note welcoming them to their new style journey. I encourage you to invest in blank note cards as they give you the flexibility for any occasion. And you can even invest in personalized stationery stylized with your name or initials. Now that’s what I call stylish, graceful, and classy!
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13. Be Kind
Toward the beginning of this list, I mentioned that I didn’t arrange these style and grace tips in a particular order. However, I thought it was meaningful for this tip to be the capstone of the list: BE KIND. Incorporating any of these tips I shared means nothing if you are not kind. Being kind to others even if they’re not kind to you. Always stand above the fray and live your life by the golden rule. If you take away only one action from this list on how to evoke style and grace, let it be this.
If this post struck a chord with you, I encourage you to check out this book exclusively sold at Brooks Brothers entitled How to Be a Lady. It’s a really good and quick read about social graces for women which apply in today’s day and age! It’s also a good gift for any special woman or girl in your life!
I’d love to know your thoughts about my list on How to Evoke Style and Grace so please comment below! Do you have items that you would add? Let me know below!
Roxanne Carne is a recognized Personal Stylist & Personal Shopper styling women in Dallas, TX and virtually! Visit www.roxannecarne.com to discover how she can help transform your wardrobe and transform your life!
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