How to be Classy and Elegant

Updated February 21, 2017

The classy and elegant person stands out in the crowd for impeccable manners, polite demeanour and tasteful attire. Class and elegance are not simply fashion statements; they become a part of your lifestyle, and ultimately, how you identify yourself. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word "classy" defines a person who has high standards of personal behaviour. Elegance pertains to "refined grace or dignified propriety." Elegance also implies a person or setting that has a tastefully rich and restrained beauty. Therefore, to be classy and elegant, you must carry yourself with confidence but not smugness. You must always conduct yourself in an appropriate manner for the situation, show respect for others, and never dress outlandishly.

Speak with consideration for others. Never openly harass, harangue or otherwise taunt anyone. If you must speak on the phone in public, keep it short and to the point. Listen attentively and allow the other person to finish speaking when having a conversation. This shows you value what others say.

Be aware of what you and your friends talk about while in public. Keep conversations about your love life and other personal matters behind closed doors. Derek Blasberg, author of "Classy," told "Elle" magazine, "I'm shocked by how many supposedly sophisticated girls . . . believe menstrual cycles are appropriate cocktail conversation."

Avoid sending sexy text messages or compromising your reputation by posting risque photos of yourself online. If you don't want your mother, friends or total strangers to see or read it, keep it to yourself. If you must talk dirty with someone, do so in person. In this day and age of technology, your poor judgment can quickly go viral on the Internet.

Be calm in relationships. If the object of your desire does not reciprocate your feelings, accept it and move on. Never air your dirty laundry in public or online.

Be a good friend. Oscar Wilde once said, "True friends stab you in the front." Tackle difficult topics head-on, and don't say anything about a friend to others that you would never say to her face. Avoid acknowledging rumours and gossip aimed at hurting your reputation, but defend your friends when you hear gossip about them.

Carry yourself with poise and dignity. Do not shuffle your feet or slouch your back. Graceful elegance is a learnt habit. Walking with poise and grace takes a balance of a straight back aligned with your head, shoulders rolled back and a confident stride.


If you must, take a modelling class to help you with your posture and walk. If you cannot afford modelling classes, you can achieve better poise by exercising regularly. Being classy and elegant are not mutually exclusive. One can be classy without being elegant and vice versa. For example, a woman dressed elegantly in pearls and expensive bouclé loudly disparaging the poor is less classy than the tattooed biker who donates his time to helping the less fortunate.

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About the Author

Based in Dallas, Sophia Cross has been a writer for more than 16 years. She began her career with a local newspaper and has also worked as a realtor and social worker. Cross holds a Bachelor of Arts in history.