How to Be Classy

Three Parts:Looking ClassySounding ClassyActing Classy

Being classy is not about being stuck up. You need to cultivate respect. And that means respect for everyone, including yourself. Take care to be polite to others and to reflect a genuine interest in them. Be confident in yourself, dress how you want and act accordingly. If you want to be classy, just follow these steps.

Part 1
Looking Classy

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    Avoid getting caught up in trends. There is nothing wrong with enjoying fashion or buying clothing you find attractive, but, avoid clothing that does not flatter your physique, coloring, etc.
    • Do not become a slave to fashion, or you may be regarded as foolish, "high maintenance", and/or shallow. The clothing you wear should enhance your personality, not create or alter it. This advice can be applied to many aspects of life in which you may feel pressured to "fit in."
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    Define yourself with a clean and elegant look. Excellent presentation is half of the battle. Wear clothing and accessories, which flatter your body and never wear anything you feel uncomfortable in. You don't have to wear the most expensive clothes on the market, or even buy knock-off clothes on the cheap. It's better to go for an individualized and put-together look.
    • Good hygiene is key. Shower daily and always show up to a new place feeling and looking fresh.
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    Don't under dress. If you have to go to a formal or semi-formal event, then you better know what that means. It's better to overdress a little than to under dress, and it's not okay to show up to a formal event wearing jeans if you needed to wear slacks or a dress. It's not funny to wear sneakers if you needed to wear dress shoes, either.
    • Make sure you know the dress code and ask the host or your friends who are also attending if you're confused.
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    Don't look like you were partying the night before. Avoid showing up anywhere wearing wristbands from the club from the night before, stamps or Xs on your hands from the bars you went to, or just smelling like sweat, bars, beer, or even vomit. Get your day-old eyeliner off your face, take a shower, and don't show up anywhere, not even brunch, without looking like you're ready to start a new day, not crawl back into your lair.
    • Even if you did have a rough night, don't say, I am so hungover. That is not classy.
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    Get your look together before you leave the house. Don't put on makeup in public, comb your hair in public, button your shirt, finish tying your shoes, check out your outfit, or do anything that says you took zero effort to get your act together before you left the house. Tuck in your shirt, put on your mascara and lip balm, and do absolutely everything you need to do before you go out into the world.
    • Avoid exposed undergarments. Ladies shouldn't let their bra straps show and men shouldn't let people see their boxers.
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    Make sure your clothes are appropriate for the look you want to give off. It's okay to flaunt what you've got, but if it's too revealing, it might give off the wrong vibe if it's not worn to its intended purpose. Know what you're wearing and make sure it's comfortable.
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    Have great posture. Part of looking classy is having good posture. Keep a straight back, look in front of you instead of at the ground, and avoid slouching as much as you can. Don't cross your arms over your chest but keep them at your sides to help your chest open up. If you lift your head high you will look and feel more classy. And when you're sitting down, you should avoid slouching too.

Part 2
Sounding Classy

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    Don't curse. Having a foul mouth is just not classy at all. If you have the urge to curse, go into the bathroom and turn on the faucet while you let loose a row of expletives, or curse into a pillow. But don't let people see you curse. This will make you look kind of trashy, and, if you're cursing because you're angry, like you don't know how to control your temper, which is a big sign of having no class.
    • Cursing in general should be avoided; cursing at specific people should be avoided even more.
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    Praise people behind their backs. That's right. Instead of talking about how someone is trashy, annoying, loud, or stupid, take some time to say something nice about a person who isn't there. That will show that you've got class, and that you're confident and cool enough to realize the strengths of others instead of talking smack the second someone turns around.
    • If you praise people behind their backs, you'll look like a positive, self-possessed person, instead of someone who is always looking for trouble.
    • If you're always gossiping, then people will think you have no class because you don't respect the privacy and boundaries of other people.
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    Don't be the loudest person in the room. Has someone ever walked into a party where you were hanging out and said, "I knew I was in the right place when I heard your voice from across the street"? If so, then you better pump down the volume. Everyone can hear you just fine. Don't think that you have to yell or shout to prove your point. Talking evenly, even if you're around a lot of people, is a sign of class because it means you're confident enough not to have to shout to get people's attention.
    • If you're concerned about this, ask your friends to rate you on a loudness scale. If you come close to a 10, or a 10 on the Richter scale, then it's time to tone it down.
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    Don't talk about how much class you have. For some reason, people who think they are classy just love to talk about how much class they have, especially in comparison to one person or another who has "no class" or "no class whatsoever." If you find yourself saying, "I've got class..." or "I'm a classy girl..." then you are not acting so classy yourself. Let other people figure out how classy you really are instead of bragging about it.
    • Ideally, if you're classy, you should never use the word "classy."
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    Avoid burping in public. Burping in public is not cool or funny or a great way to amuse your friends after you've had a burger and an extra large soda. If you love burping for fun, please stop. If you accidentally burp, that's no problem. Just put a hand to your mouth and excuse yourself.
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    Have proper cell phone etiquette. If you have class, then don't tap away at your cell phone every five seconds, barely look up from your phone in social situations, let it vibrate or buzz, even when you're in class, and pick up your phone in the middle of a crowded coffee shop and start yapping away about your most personal problem. Talk on your phone only when you're alone and when you're not interrupting anyone, unless it's an emergency.
    • It is seriously rude and not cool to let your phone ring every two seconds in a public place. It's called silent for a reason.
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    Keep your voice calm even if you're angry. Even if you're in public and your significant other, best friend, or a perfect stranger has made you completely angry, you have to take some deep breaths, close your eyes, talk slowly, and generally keep your cool. Don't let anyone catch you yelling, screaming, or throwing things in public. And try not to do these things in private, either.
    • Remember that you'll often be able to get your point across more easily if you are not yelling.
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    Don't talk about money. It is so not classy to talk about how much money you make, how much money you have, how much money your new car/kicks/jacket/earrings cost, or that you just got another $10,000 raise. Don't talk about how much your parents, boyfriend, closest friend, or anyone else makes, either. It's just not classy.
    • Don't ever ask other people how much money they make, either.

Part 3
Acting Classy

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    Be authentic. If you have class, live in a way of which you should be proud. If you have to be phony and deceptive then you should consider why. A person of honor and integrity never needs to hide behind a facade. If you can't show your true self to the world then who will people see? Just stop pretending. Though you may be tired of hearing that you should "be yourself," it's really true. If you're faking it, you'll never make it.
    • You don't have to be 100% yourself in ever single situation. You have to adapt depending on whether you're talking to a professor or your best friend. But you should always be yourself at your core.
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    Be independent. You must be courteous, but do not bend over backward to please others. If you do, you may find yourself being taken advantage of in the future. Limit your time and availability and draw boundaries with others so that they are aware of your limits. Do your own thing and get some "me time" to figure out who you really are instead of being obsessed with always having plans is very classy.
    • People will see you as a unique soul and will respect you even more.
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    Be assertive. Avoid passive-aggressive thinking; it's likely to trip you up eventually. Assertiveness demonstrates maturity, thoughtfulness, and confidence. Class requires balance, and assertiveness is a prime example of this concept.
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    Don't feign knowledge. When your group or date is speaking about a subject you don't know or understand it is prudent to either state that you don't know much about the subject at hand, or if you want to carry the conversation, ask for more information about the subject. Not only does this show maturity, but it also shows that you are keeping an open mind.
    • People will respect you even more for admitting when you don't know something.
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    Treat others the way you would want to be treated. The Golden Rule truly is a time honored guide for treating adults and children with class. Giving others advance notice before cancelling dinner invitations, speaking up for those who cannot stand up for themselves, calling your parents to update them on yourself, checking in with friends; these are all simple gestures that demonstrate your class and authenticity.
    • Ensure you choose friends who share your values.
    • Everyone should be treated as your equal until they prove to be inferior. Give people the benefit of the doubt.
    • And always, always respect your elders. Being rude to your elders is the ultimate sign of a lack of class.
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    Be open to personal development. Do not berate yourself, but be receptive to constructive change. In our world, change is inevitable. Be a positive and flexible part of it and show others the way as well. Face life rather than burying your head in the sand and others will know instinctively that you are someone whose opinion counts.
    • Take classes that teach you skills that help your improve yourself and learn new skills.
    • Remember that the learning process is never over. It's not classy to think you know everything.
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    Be knowledgeable and aware. It is wise to become politically, culturally, and religiously aware. Even the most basic knowledge can save a person from embarrassment and awkwardness. If you know in advance that you will be spending time with someone of an unfamiliar background, it is a good idea to do more in-depth research to avoid embarrassing faux pas.
    • Be well read. This is an important part of being classy and being able to keep up a classy conversation.
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    Know when to ask for help, but avoid desperate behavior. This is the kiss of death for the classy person. Only desperate times call for desperate measures. Take a deep breath, be strong, and move through the situation with elegance and grace. You will be the victor for it, no matter the outcome. If things get out of hand and you feel completely overwhelmed, ask for help from a close friend or family member.
    • It's classy to admit that you have a problem and to try to fix it. It's not classy to be in denial.
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    Be responsible. Classy people leave their surroundings in a condition at least as good as they found them. Unless they are in a restaurant with wait staff whose job it is to do the clearing up, classy people insist on taking care of their own trash and baggage, not expecting others to pick up after them. And when others do favors for them, while stuck-up or spoiled people assume it's only to be expected and ignore others' assistance, truly classy people are quick to notice and to express their gratitude and their appreciation.
    • If you're a house guest, clean up after yourself. If you borrowed a friend's car, fill it with gas before you return it.
    • If you made a mistake, take responsibility for it instead of blaming it on someone else.
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    Be considerate. Truly classy people instinctively recoil at the thought of inconveniencing others, offending them, getting in other peoples' way, or in any way making nuisances of themselves. Classy people are all about minding their own business when among strangers and putting others at ease when in social situations. Truly classy people are gracious and affable to everyone, whether the CEO, the mail carrier, or the custodian.
    • Classy people know others' names and use them when greeting people they see regularly, whether the door attendant, the security guard, or the boss' wife. Classy people treat everyone the same - with courtesy and respect.
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    Keep the promiscuity to a minimum. If you want to be classy, then you shouldn't go hooking up with random people every night. And if that's your thing, at least don't talk about it, brag about it, or walk around with lots of visible hickeys. Classy people don't kiss and tell, so don't divulge the details of your latest hook up session. Don't let people see you making out on the dance floor either, because guess what, that is not classy.
    • It's okay to experiment and have several sexual partners. But if you brag about it or treat it like a contest, you will run into trouble.
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    Have good manners. Say, "Yes, Mam," "No, Sir," and "thank you" as often as you can. Be polite to your elders. If you have to sneeze, sneeze into a tissue, not the air. Don't wipe your nose on your sleeve. Don't pick food out of your teeth in public. Generally, don't put your finger into your mouth or nose. Acquire at least basic table manners. Put a napkin on your lap before you eat a nice meal. Avoid scratching yourself in public. Don't brush your hair in public, apply make up in public, or pick at your clothes in public. Do these things in privacy; wait until you've found a bathroom or are alone. Don't break out in boisterous laughter.
    • Take an etiquette class if you need to.
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    Be a classy drinker. Don't get so wasted that you have no idea what happened the night before. That means no blacking out -- and even no browning out. Keep your control; people should see you looking in charge of your own mind and body. If people see you stumbling around and slurring your speech at night, then there's no way people will think you're classy even if you're carrying around textbooks and looking classy during the day.
    • If you have gotten yourself in trouble more than a handful of times when you drink, then it may be time to stop.


  • Stand up straight. Sit up straight. Act with purpose and think before you speak.
  • If people judge you, ignore it if it is mean or bad, but say thank you if it is good.
  • Being classy isn't about how you look; it's about how well you treat others.
  • Try to look fresh, no heavy makeup, tan, etc. That just makes you look trashy.
  • Be honest and talk exactly to the point. Avoid needless talking.
  • Being classy is acquired through manners, and then appearance. No matter how good you look, but if you don't have manners, no one will treat you well and you'll not be classy.


  • Mistakes are human. If you slip up, forgive yourself, apologize to anyone who may have been hurt by the mistake, learn from it and continue to grow.
  • Changing your behavior may feel unnatural. If it does, remind yourself that you are a work in progress. A classy person is simply one who consistently exhibits gracious, kind behavior.

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