What is Bon Ton and How to Achieve It?
Bon ton is a French term that literally means “good tone”. It refers to the fashionable manner or style of behaving, dressing, and speaking in high society. Bon ton also implies a sense of etiquette, elegance, and refinement.
But how can one achieve bon ton in today’s world? Here are some tips to help you:
- Be polite and respectful to everyone, regardless of their social status or background. Avoid gossip, slander, or rudeness.
- Dress appropriately for the occasion, following the dress code and the latest trends. Choose quality fabrics, colors, and accessories that suit your personality and flatter your figure.
- Speak clearly and correctly, using proper grammar and vocabulary. Avoid slang, jargon, or vulgar expressions. Learn some foreign languages and cultures to broaden your horizons.
- Be well-informed and curious about various topics, such as art, literature, music, history, politics, etc. Read books, magazines, newspapers, and blogs. Watch documentaries, movies, and shows. Attend exhibitions, concerts, and events.
- Be sociable and charming, making small talk and engaging in conversations with different people. Listen attentively and show interest in what they say. Ask questions and share your opinions. Smile and laugh when appropriate.
Bon ton is not only a matter of appearance, but also of attitude. It is a way of living with grace, dignity, and style.
But bon ton is not only a modern concept. It has a long and rich history that dates back to the 18th century, when it was used to describe the fashionable and refined lifestyle of the French aristocracy and bourgeoisie. Bon ton was associated with elegance, wit, taste, and culture. It was also a way of distinguishing oneself from the lower classes and the vulgar masses.
Some of the most famous examples of bon ton in history are:
- Marie Antoinette, the last queen of France, who was known for her extravagant and lavish style, her patronage of arts and fashion, and her involvement in high society scandals.
- Beau Brummell, an English dandy and fashion icon, who revolutionized men’s clothing and introduced the modern suit. He was also famous for his witty remarks and his friendship with King George IV.
- Oscar Wilde, an Irish writer and poet, who was one of the most prominent figures of the Aesthetic Movement. He was renowned for his brilliant and witty plays, his flamboyant and eccentric style, and his controversial personal life.
Bon ton is not only a historical phenomenon, but also a contemporary one. It is still relevant and desirable in today’s society, where appearance, manners, and culture matter. Bon ton can help you stand out from the crowd, impress others, and enjoy life with style.
But how can you recognize bon ton when you see it? Here are some clues to look for:
- Bon ton people dress with style and elegance, but without ostentation or vulgarity. They choose clothes that fit well, match well, and suit the occasion. They accessorize with taste and moderation, avoiding flashy or cheap items.
- Bon ton people behave with grace and courtesy, but without affectation or snobbery. They greet others with a smile and a handshake, introduce themselves and others properly, and use titles and surnames when appropriate. They respect the rules of etiquette and protocol, but also show flexibility and adaptability to different situations.
- Bon ton people speak with clarity and eloquence, but without arrogance or pretension. They use correct grammar and pronunciation, avoid slang and profanity, and enrich their vocabulary with foreign words and expressions. They express their opinions and arguments with tact and diplomacy, avoiding controversy or confrontation.
Bon ton people have a wide range of interests and passions, but without obsession or fanaticism. They are well-read and well-informed, curious and open-minded, cultured and refined. They enjoy art, music, literature, history, politics, sports, travel, and more. They are always eager to learn new things and share their knowledge with others.
Bon ton people have a sense of humor and fun, but without vulgarity or mockery. They appreciate wit and irony, sarcasm and satire, puns and jokes. They laugh at themselves and at life’s absurdities, but never at others’ misfortunes or weaknesses. They know how to entertain and be entertained, how to relax and enjoy life.