The opposite of showy excess was neatness. Neatness was an utterly positive quality with many nuances of meaning. Indeed, neat emerges as a Georgian keyword of unexpectedly wide social purchase, which could be applied to towns, houses, objects, personal appearance, and even events. […] Neat conveyed a simple elegance of form, finely made and proportioned, free from unnecessary embellishments. Neatness often connoted a spare elegance in keeping with Palladian or Neoclassical architectural ideals. In its emphasis on regularity, proportion and simplicity, neat sat comfortably with classical vocabularies of decorum and harmony.
—Amanda Vickery (Behind Closed Doors, p. 180)