The Woman Who Is Chic


A friend dropped off her 1945 version of Emily Post's Book of Etiquette and I can't put it down...

I've always loved the feeling of the word "chic" but I've never found a suitable definition. From Emily Post...

The woman who is chic is always a little different. Not different in being behind fashion, but always slightly apart from it. "Chic" (pronounced sheek) is a borrowed adjective, but unfortunately no word in our language expresses its meaning. Our adjective "elegant"-which, before it was vulgarized, most nearly approached it-rather suggested the mother of the young woman who was chic. Its nearest description today is a combination of sophistication (in its intentionally deceptive meaning) combined with fastidious taste. An example of chi-chi (pronounced she-she) is not a synonym for chic, but a flashy imitation of it. The woman who is chic adapts the fashion to her own personality. This is in contrast to the average woman who will merely buy the latest hat or dress and adapt herself to it, whether this adaptation is suited to her or not. When it is conspicuously NOT, it is likely to be "chi-chi."

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