How To Be Classy — 21 Characteristics of an Elegant & Sophisticated Woman

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Cultivating how to be a classy woman is a characteristic that every feminine young lady should refine. That’s because although many societal trends may come and go, being a classy, elegant and sophisticated woman is something that will never go out of style.  

But in a society where it’s normalized to fly in flip flops, reapply lipstick at the dinner table, or curse someone out for cutting you off in traffic — a sophisticated woman must perfect the art of confidently embodying how to be a classy lady all the time.

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The word classy is defined as sophisticated — very stylish and elegant. 

How to be classy?  To be classy one must embody and personify exquisite elegance, etiquette, sophistication, and grace. One can be classy in a manner of dressing, for example, or speaking. To be a classy individual, however, is an overall way of being — and not just any one thing that one does. 

Because formal class structures in our society largely don’t exist anymore, on the surface at least, any woman can be classy. There’s a fascinating book named Class: A Guide Through the American Status System on Amazon that I highly recommend reading on the topic.

Even if you come from humble beginnings or are on a tight poor girl’s budget, being classy in no way is defined by how rich you are or how much money you have.

RELATED: Check out more of our favorite fabulous books on the Bombshell Book List

You can “refine your classy” every day at home, in social settings such as work and school, or in your characteristics and personality traits. 

How to Be a Fabulously Classy & Elegant Woman

A high-value classy woman is always cultivating herself and her life in every aspect and at every stage (in your teens, 20s, 30s and beyond). With that said, here is a step by step guide on exactly how to cultivate your classy. 

1. Be Kind

Beautiful classy woman smiling and eating lunch
@_alena_alena_

A classy woman embodies many traits. One personality characteristic she does not display however is being a mean girl. Whether she is at school, at work, or at home, a classy woman is always kind and gracious to everyone she encounters, all of the time.

One fabulous way of being kind is doing things for loved ones without any expectations of anything in return. Here’s an idea— I absolutely love BloomsyBox, who delivers fresh and sustainably sourced bouquets to your door monthly.

You can choose to send a beautiful bouquet to someone different each month as a very thoughtful gesture. Now, that’s classy! Use this link and code BLOOMSYA5 to get $5 off your first order.

2. Nurture Your Intellect

Classy woman reading book.

A classy woman is intelligent. To nurture her mind, a sophisticated woman reads a variety of literature often and stays abreast of current events and news. She also may enjoy audiobooks, podcasts, online courses and TED talks that stimulate and nurture her mind. 

My favorite platform for online courses is Skillshare. Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes for creative and curious people. You can use this link to try all the online courses your heart desires on Skillshare, absolutely FREE for 2 months. You’re welcome! 😉

I’m also really loving CreativeLive. Very similar to Skillshare, however, CreativeLive courses are geared mostly towards creative skills like photography, art, design, craft & DIY, marketing, business, and entrepreneurship. Check out the free courses on CreativeLive here.

3. Dress Tastefully

A classy woman is always appropriately dressed for any occasion. Whether she is running to the supermarket to grab a baguette, or attending the most fabulous black-tie gala. She dresses neatly, elegantly, and with dignity at all times.

A classy woman dresses as if life is a fabulous movie — and she is the star. 

Among my favorite sites to get classy outfits on a budget are Revolve, Mango, Zara, Pretty Little Thing, and House of CB. You can sometimes snatch some super inexpensive items on sites like Shein.

RELATED: How To Look Wickedly Expensive on a Poor Girls Budget

4. Never Swear

@piawurtzbach

You may be able to cuss with the best of em, that doesn’t mean you should, however. As a classy woman at least that is. A classy woman is refined and sophisticated enough in her language to get her point across without using vulgar or offensive language. 

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5. Nurture Your Interests

@arianarockefeller

A classy woman is a woman of substance. She may enjoy reading or writing. Perhaps she enjoys cooking or painting, playing the piano, or playing a sport. Her interests and hobbies are varied and many. She is talented in many areas and pursues things that spark joy in her soul.   

6. Be Well-Spoken

how to glow up challenge
@adutakech

A classy woman is articulate. Opting for “yes” as opposed to “yea, yup, nope, nah or um”. For “pardon me” as opposed to “huh or what”? And never forget that old saying “hey” is for horses — opt instead for “hello or hi”. Additionally practice refraining from “ums” and speaking clearly, confidently, and respectfully. 

7. Travel

@hhasselhoff

A classy woman is well-traveled. Even if she doesn’t have any money to travel to fabulous faraway foreign destinations, she enjoys exploring as far as her budget will allow. She has a healthy curiosity for learning about the cultures and perspectives of different people in her own community and from around the world.

8. Be Punctual

A classy woman is always on the go, up to things and going places. She still somehow manages to be on time (as opposed to fashionably late) where ever she goes. A graceful woman is always respectful of other people’s time. And hence, is always punctual. 

9. Practice etiquette

A classy woman practices etiquette and being well mannered by being courteous. She is polite and makes the people around her feel respected and special in her presence. 

10. Say what you mean

@aliyahraey

A classy woman is honest. She doesn’t like to beat around the bush or lie. If something isn’t pleasant to say, a classy woman approaches politely and with grace — but always with truth.

11. Mean What You Say 

how to glow up challenge
@lenaperminova

Be a woman of your word. A classy woman always keeps her promises and upholds her obligations. She’s not flaky or wishy-washy. She has a reputation as someone who is trustworthy and dependable.

12. Practice Gratitude

@signedblake

In addition to being kind, a classy lady is gracious and never entitled or snobby. She practices having a heart of gratitude and is always considerate of others. A simple way to embodying this characteristic is by always using those magic words “please” and “thank you”. 

13. Practice Good Posture

@_alena_alena_

A classy woman walks, stands, and sits elegantly and gracefully. She doesn’t drag her feet when walking or slouch when sitting or standing. She exemplifies chin up, shoulders back, and walks as if a string is pulling her up from the top of your head.

14. Don’t Complain or Gossip

Anna Bey
@schoolofaffluence

You know that old saying — “If you don’t have anything nice to say…”. It’s better not to say anything at all. Although one should always say what you mean and mean what you say, it’s never necessary to complain or gossip. Don’t like the food? Unless it’s absolutely inedible, just order something else next time. 

15. Keep Your Home Clean & Chic

Classy woman in her elegant home.
@highlowluxxe

A classy woman’s home is her sanctuary. And she always keeps her sanctuary as she does everything else in her life — in tip-top shape and style. 

16. Do Things for Others

@michelleobama

As a classy lady, it nurtures one’s essence to do things for others without the expectation of anything at all in return. Offer to help someone do something. Host dinner parties to wow your guests, write a handwritten thank-you note to make someone’s day, remember birthdays — an elegant lady makes a habit of making others feel special.

17. Listen

A sophisticated woman is a fantastic conversationalist. She engages and listens intently to others. She also listens much more than she speaks. 

18. Develop Your Style

@blaireadiebee

Taking pride in one’s appearance is important for a classy woman. An elegant woman is always refining her appearance and style to ensure she always looks her very best. Furthermore, buying expensive clothing, for the sake of it is not at all her priority.

19. Be Dignified

Oh sure, classy women get upset. Everyone does. But a classy woman always manages to control her emotions and can always stay cool, calm and collected in any scenario. When she must react, she responds to the issue and not the person.

20. Respect Authority & Elders

@piawurtzbach

Some may think it’s a bit old school, but it’s respectful to always address elders or people in an authoritative position (your boss at work, a professor at school, or a police officer) as “sir” or “ma’am.” A classy woman addresses elders as Miss, Mrs, or Mr until they’ve been green-lighted to do otherwise.

21. Disconnect

Here’s one for the 21st century. A classy woman knows how to disconnect — from the phone that is. A classy woman is not caught up 24/7 on her phone or social media.

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37 thoughts on “How To Be Classy — 21 Characteristics of an Elegant & Sophisticated Woman”

  1. Class is so lacking in today’s world…more of it needs to be taught and adopted, these simple things change ones entire behavior and hence less conflicts and misunderstandings would take place…the world would be a better environment to live in

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  3. Good manners never go out of style. “Please” and “Thank you” never go out of style. Addressing someone you know by reputation by Mr., Mrs. or Ms. never goes out of style.

    Today’s generation are lacking, which is the fault of the parents. Manners and etiquette are basic necessities in child rearing.

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      1. Loved the article! Made me feel classy. Will Strive to be classy at all times forever, beyond age 85 plus and inspire others

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  6. Jenaae,

    Hello. What a wonderful post about being a classy woma . You’ve hit the nail on the head with these characteristics.

    I particularly liked “She is talented in many areas and pursues things that spark joy in her soul.”

    If what we do doesn’t bring actual joy, then it must be stopped.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Side note…while your content is great, I had trouble reading this font.

    Alicia

    1. Jenaae Jackson

      Hi Alicia, So glad you enjoyed this post.

      I’m actually working on updating the font right now 🙂

      Thanks so much for your feedback.

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  9. starting today im going to follow these ways because i seem to forgot how i was raised till i read your article on a classy woman its just hard in a very abusive relationship that i cant seem to want to leave so does that make me insane due to the fact im hoping for batter days to come its already been 7 years of no change and it seems im falling into the pits of life as well as my class as a woman has slowly goung away into the mirage of the desert till theres none left

    1. I loved reading your article, it gives me much to think about. Somehow we have forgotten how to act, speak, and dress like feminine women. I really don’t want to be course, crude, loud, or uncivil. My mother was the kind of women you describe. She passed away this last January 2020 at age 97. She loved using makeup, nail polish and dressing up for my dad. She is my example.

  10. A great read, so many points …… absolutely true on the mark, thank you for reminding us how this is important for our growth

  11. Great article. I’m going to implement your points. Definately. The lady you used for point 3: Dress Tastfully, her name is Kefilwe Mabote (@kefilwe_mabote) a luxury influencers from South Africa. <3 Thina

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Jenaae here. The editor and founder of Hello Bombshell. We strive to inspire and empower you to become the best version of yourself and lead an extraordinary life (because nothing else will do).

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