On Sophistication.


Image from JAK & JIL.

What is it that makes someone sophisticated?

One of my ultimate aspirations when it comes to the prodigious subject that is fashion is to look stylish – of course – but also sophisticated. I have a pretty fine idea of what sophistication looks like in my mind; the fabrics, colour palette and shape – right down to the darts and type of stitch used (it’s beautiful, trust me). But this could be a completely different perception to someone within five feet of me, yet sophistication is somewhat a universal term in publications, programmes, social media and general conversation.

I think it is fair to say said term is something every woman at some point aspires to, so what does it really mean? Maybe it is subjective to your class, how feminine you may appear, or even the colour of your hair. The image above for example, subconciously I may have chosen it for the purpose of this post because it may marry slightly with my interpretation of the term, but I think I chose it more so because it seems to fit well with a majority of the media’s perception.

I consulted the trusty Merriam Webster on the definition of the term ‘Sophisticated’ and this is what she had to say for her fine literate self –

1a : deprived of native or original simplicity: as highly complicated or developed : complex

b: having a refined knowledge of the ways of the world cultivated especially through wide experience <a sophisticated lady>

2a: devoid of grossness: as finely experienced and aware <a sophisticated columnist>

b: intellectually appealing <a sophisticated novel>

So there you are. Even more confused? Yes, me too. Maybe Sophistication really is one of those words that can adopt various meanings subjective to the person as well as becoming a universal nod to a aspirational style. Conceivably it’s not what the person wears but the way they wear it; so in that context it’s safe to say if Sophistication were of the female species, she would be one masquerading little madam.
My question to you is this, can someone combine joggers and trainers and still be sophisticated? Who are we to judge such sartorial inclinations after all, if sophistication is each to their own.

How do you define sophistication? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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