This is really a biggie - the woman with loose threads dangling about, run-down heels, just a generally ill cared-for appearance, will never be one of my Chic Sightings. You may not have money, you may not have access to the world's most amazing assortment of clothes, but you can always be clean, tidy, and well-maintained. Anything less just doesn't cut it!
By elegance, I don't mean decked out for the opera in the most expensive, high-fashion swank garments available. To me, elegance is a reflection of clarity and simplicity. I always feel a bit twitchy when I'm confronted with too many ruffles, studs, grommets, and other gee-gaws on fast fashion. Pile on a couple of busy prints, and I'm getting a migraine. Sleek, simple, elegant, with the focus on the person rather than on the garments and accessories.
And by fit I don't really look for someone who could finish a marathon - I'm thinking more of the way garments fit. In our current world of "buy it, wear it three times, toss it", the idea of the alteration seems to be forgotten. But the truly Chic Sightings I see never have dragging pant legs, or sleeves drooping down over the hands, or any of the other more elusive, but unmistakable signs that a garment needs the attentions of a skilled tailor. Perfectly fitted clothes are an art, the people who help us get our clothes that way are artists, and we thus are walking works of art when our clothes fit us perfectly.