Friday, July 12, 2013

Sophistication Made Easy

Sophistication is not a nice word. It comes from the noun "sophism" meaning a false argument,intention to deceive. Nowadays,sophistication implies elagance and a manner of behaviour which sets the sophisticate at a revered distance from the rest of us. There's a thin line to tread between enigmatic and being an outcast;knowing how to tread that line is what constitutes sophistication.To do so,consider the following suggestions:
1.Live where the rich live. Even if its a cardboard box. And refer to it as your pied-a-terre.
2.Become a gourmet. Keep freshly ground coffee(Brazilian or French roast)on hand and dry white wine. French mustard,English horseradish and Italian olive oil are a musts.(The sophisticates are fussy about their food.)Get an electric squeezer and always make fresh orange juice. Use linen napkins-never paper.
3.Profess to a hatred of flying, but try to fly as often as possible.
4. Walk slowly,even if you're in a hurry.
5.Perfect the art of understatement.Example,"It's very fresh in here'", not "Christ, it's freezing."
6.Read tony magazines.Subscribe to Town&Country,Architectural Digest,Connoissuer and anything with a horse on a cover.
7. Be cynical about the trendy and excited about the obscure.
8.Exercise in private. Let others sweat publicly.
9.Write on the right stuff. Have your stationery embossed.
10. Dress rich. They love the "impractical" colors. So sport beige,camel,cream and white.Everything should look spotless and freshly pressed as if you had a personal maid in attendance.
11. Be open about "finds".Like..." I know this marvelous place where they sell suede suits wholesale" or " I found this divine little Greek place...just a luncheonette really but the moussaka is superb".
12. Be at ease with luxury and completely at home with palatial surroundings.Admire the view,the flower arrangements...anything but the furniture.Say "it's comfortable in here," not "How do you ever keep those huge white sofas clean?"
13. Pamper your hands,feet and hair.Impeccable grooming wins you points. Say"salon or spa," never "beauty shop".
!4.Exude confidence in restaurants.Be polite but not over friendly with the maitre d's and waiters. Order with authority. Learn enough French to sound knowledgeable and make sure your accent is perfect.
15. Gift friends with style. Whether you can shell out 100 dollars or ten,don't give useful presents like pot holders and coffee makers. Instead opt for a bottle of champagne,silver swizzle stick or coffeetable book on the vanishing tribes of Borneo.
16.Laugh,if you must,deep and throatily and hardly at all.
17. Use Bristishisms. Pepper your speech with awfully,frightfully,tremendously."I must say, it was an awfully good dinner party."
True sophistication gives the illusion of immunity to the commonplace,which in turn,entails a very subtle flaunting of confidence.
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