Have you ever walked away from an interaction with someone else and wondered,”What must that person think of me?”
Have you ever wished to have a better understanding of how to be like the classy people you admire? Behavior is so important, because as Benjamin Rush tells us, “Remember at all times that while you are seeing the world, the world will see you.” At this point, like me, you may be asking yourself, “But how do you do it right?” Let’s take a look at a few classy people from history and see what they have to say.
1) Considered one of the premier fashion designers for classy clothing, Ralph Lauren actually started his company by selling ties and spent more time learning business than fashion design (don’t worry guys, Lauren also has an awesome car collection). Here is what he says about his style, “I know I have a signature. I know there’s a New England sensibility. I know there’s a cowboy sensibility. I think there’s a sports sensibility. They’re all mixed. But they all come from non-fashion. They all have an origin of being natural, timeless, real—comfortable sensibilities.” Natural, timeless and real, pretty good advice for achieving your own classy image, even if you don’t wear Ralph Lauren. To be truly classy you cannot simply follow trends, but you have to incorporate these elements and be yourself. This way the world is looking at you and not a concoction of other people’s ideas.
2) Audrey Hepburn is another American icon. Known for more than her good looks and style, she is considered by many to be The Example of class. Probably because of quotes like this: “For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” This quote shows that the backbone of being classy is character, a positive attitude (looking for the good in others), self-control (prevent yourself from speaking negatively), and confidence. These qualities will go a long way towards keeping it classy and will certainly help you in other aspects of your life.
3) It might surprise you to find this last person on my list, George Washington. Most commonly known as the first President of the United States, as a young man he wrote out multiple times the Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation. This work, thought to be his school writings, has 110 rules about etiquette and though many are no longer applicable (how does one politely deal with fleas?) he covers some of the most important aspects of being classy. For example, “Every action done in company, ought to be with some sign of respect, to those that are present.” This is one of the best rules to follow if you want to be classy. It’s so simple too – be respectful to people around you; not only will you win friends this way, but you will never be seen as trashy or obnoxious.
These are just a few people with some good advice for you on how to keep it classy. Check out Pearls Before Bling next week for an article on Coffee Shops and intellectual discourse.