The Definition of Chic

"Chic is one of the few things that, refusing to bow down and worship fashion, is not crushed under the wheels of that juggernaut. Chic is to fashion what poetry is to prose, cold veal to roast partridge, a gadfly to a bull. What is chic may, in a sense, be fashionable, but what is fashionable cannot be chic. Anybody can wear and do what is fashionable. It is not fashionable unless a lot of people do it, and have it on - until, in three words which grate rather hard upon the ear in this connection, it is common. Chic cannot be common. You cannot put on another person's chic, as you may her boots or her hat. You cannot copy it. You never know where to look for it. It has the quickness of a hummingbird and the vitality of an eel...If you are told that this or that isn't fashionable, and you are able to reply, 'No, but it's chic,' you have won the day."
- TEMPLE BAR, The New York Times, October 7, 1877