The word “comme il faut” is of French origin and literally translates “as it should”. However, even in the 18th century, its meaning went beyond literal translation. The word has become a complex, all-encompassing concept that defies clear definition.
Meaning of the word
Historically, the word "comme il faut" meant compliance with the rules of good form or the generally accepted laws of high society. That is, comme il faut is not easy observance of the rules, but the highest observance of all the nuances accepted in the world. This also applies to appearance, behavior, and manner of speaking, and gait. Even a person's character must comply with the rules of the upper world.
The word "comme il faut" can be synonymous with decency and good manners. They reflect its meaning to some extent. Even Alexander Pushkin in the poem "Eugene Onegin" could not find an exact translation of this word to characterize Tatyana Larina. How accurately it characterizes the girl and how difficult it is to retell it in other words.
Initially, the word "comme il faut" was used mainly to describe the men of a secular society. It was believed that ladies by default were supposed to comply with this status. In society, there simply could not be a lady not comme il faut.
In the nineteenth century, the term "comme il faut" was often used in noble statements. This is also due to the fact that the nobles freely expressed themselves in French. Many words have been borrowed in everyday speech. Thanks to the Russian classics, an adjective was formed from the word "comme il faut". It sounds a little harsh, but Leo Tolstoy often used it in his works. So, he had a "comme il faut style of furniture." True, the adjective did not take root in colloquial speech, unlike the noun. Perhaps this is due to the fact that phrases such as "comme il faut gentleman" or "comme il faut lady" do not sound very euphonious. Already in the middle of the twentieth century, the word was outdated. Even explanatory dictionaries noted this.
At the end of the twentieth century, the word took on a rebirth and began to appear very often in all kinds of names. These are trade marks, shops, and various drinking establishments. They began to call furniture items, clothing models and even hairstyles. The very meaning of the word has become vague and not entirely clear. This word owes its return to spoken Russian to the advertising business. Its foreign origin and euphony determined the future destiny.
The most widespread Russian brand using the word "comme il faut" is the candy of the same name by the Nestlé company.
Now it is just an advertising marker that gives a positive description of the product. And not just positive, but immediately great. There is no need to explain that a dress from the Comilfo collection is intended for a special, solemn occasion that happens once or twice in a lifetime.