Most people use these words interchangeably. The question is, are they? Not really.
Consult dictionary.com and you’ll see the difference. Defining class by about the 8th definition you get “the system of dividing society” and the following one is “social rank esp. high rank”. Class just makes you think of someone wanting to place themselves above another person. Elegant gives you a different definition: tasteful, graceful, and excellent. Those are adjectives that everyone would wish to have applied to there reputation.
Class makes you think of do’s and don’ts
Elegance is something you learn by example.
There have been some high profile books out in the past few years from women with social standing. For some years now this is how class and elegance have been presented to us, as something automatically obtained by the wealthy and privileged, and if you didn’t have this blessing then you were condemned to a life of tackiness. Interestingly enough, in the late 1930’s there was a home study course on personal experience, with chapters dealing on charm and etiquette, for every woman. In our era these books now make is seem that if you are not born with a role model or with the money for classes your only hope is to be uncouth, unlearned, part of the great “unwashed”.
This might be the case if we only had the examples of women from reality TV, “celebutants” and those who married into the aristocracy, which must be making the founders of the United States rolling over in their graves that we still have this odd fascination with titles. George Washington didn’t need any title, nor did Thomas Jefferson. The wives of the presidents (if alive) didn’t ask for nor required a title. These were people that did some amazing things and they were humble enough to realize that their accomplishments were for the betterment of human kind, not singularly a personal betterment. A lesson we all need to remember. We can build better lives for ourselves, but not at the detriment to others, are you listening Mr. Madoff?
The best thing any women can do for a daughter is to be elegant and let her follow your example.