“True class can never receive the highest grade.. for its grade is endless.” – Denise Newsome


Classiness seems to be a rare breed in today’s world of me first – Me, Myself and I.  In a society where many seem more concerned with what people can and should do for them, classiness shines in its rarity. There is a prevailing attitude that seems to scream “I will do what Ii want,  how I want where I want and when I want”.  This attitude shows up in how we treat ourselves and how we treat others through our words and actions. We could possibly say that there is a certain amount of “unclassy” behavior that is prevalent in our society. Maybe that is an understatement, but I don’t want to paint with too broad of a brush.

So What Is Classiness?

How can we define it and how can we recognize it?  The Urban Dictionary defines classy not just as outward elegance, style, grace, and simplicity, but also as a matter of who we are on the inside- how we treat people. It is a matter of respecting ourselves and respecting others. As the Urban Dictionary points out:

“You can dress classy, you can stand, sit, and walk classy, but true class is on the inside. If you gossip and insult, if you’re judgemental, if you’re cruel and hateful and immature, you are not classy, no matter what clothes you pick out, where you got them from, no matter how much money you have, no matter how you sit at the dinner table, you are not classy. Respect yourself and respect others and you will be classy.”

I like to think of it this way. Imagine that you are your own business card and you represent how you want the world to see your brand. You represent your own business called You inc. If you want your business to prosper and be trustworthy, your business card – you (how you present yourself) needs to communicate the qualities of your business. On the other hand, if you neglect your branding or your company’s image (through unclassy advertising), your company –You inc. will not do very well.

So how can we be a classy person? What can we do to project a classy impression of our business You inc.?  Below are 4 areas we can focus on that will make us classy people.

Speaking With Class

Have you noticed how much unclassy language has seeped into everyday conversation? In the past, vulgar or unrefined language was usually marginal and not “mainstream”. Today it seems to be a common currency not only in certain groups of people but all across the media. It is now found in business contexts where typically it was out of place to speak this way. Now, there seems to be little distinction between what is respectful and acceptable language and disrespectful and vulgar language. The lines are blurred.

If we go back to the analogy of our business You inc. it doesn’t make any sense to tarnish our brand with unclassy language. First of all, it shows that we don’t respect ourselves and also that we don’t respect the people we are talking to. As the Urban Dictionary points out, no matter how well dressed we are, if what we say is unclassy and disrespectful, we are not classy, end of story. It is not classy to speak rudely, gossip, condescend others, or to speak in vulgar terms. Speaking with class means taking the high road each and every time with anyone we interact with no matter who they are. If we act with grace just like royalty, we will, in turn,  be respected and treated with respect.

Thinking With Class

We all know that eating junk food and unhealthy food, in general, is not good for our bodies and can make us sick. It is also important to note that what we put into our minds (what we watch listen to and read) can also pollute our bodies. Garbage in always results in garbage out.  Make no mistake, if we feed our minds a constant diet of pollution, we will end up regurgitating in some form what we have ingested.

If you think about it, no self-respecting business would allow garbage information to influence its goals and how it presents itself to the market community. Companies hire media specialists to monitor how the company is represented. Why could we not do the same thing?  If we know that a steady diet of garbage media will impact how we think and ultimately how we behave, then wouldn’t it make sense to monitor what we are allowing our minds to absorb? Thinking with class means that we cultivate our minds with useful, beneficial and impactful information that will help us develop classiness in all aspects of our lives.

Treating Others With Class

How we treat others is always a reflection of what we think about ourselves and other people. Classiness is reflected in how well we treat others in any circumstance. It is always tempting for people to want to get ahead in line, cut in front of other cars when they are running late, or respond defensively when criticized or corrected. We see these behaviors all over. The news is full of stories of people treating others as if they were obstacles or problems rather than valuable human beings.

The classy route is the high road. A classy person chooses to organize his or her days so that he doesn’t end up in situations where emotions are running high and time is running out. A classy person makes allowances for other people and gives them the benefit of the doubt. A classy person recognizes that everyone has their messes and we are all just trying to do our best with what we have. A classy person represents his company You inc. in the best way possible by treating others as he would like them to treat him.

Dressing With Class

As the definition in the Urban Dictionary highlights, it doesn’t matter how we dress up the outside, if the inside is not classy the outward appearance means nothing. That being said, how we dress does reflect how we feel about ourselves and classy dressing is also a sign of respect towards others. Classy here does not equal high class expensive, but rather simple with good taste. In a business context, it would be disrespectful to wear jeans with holes and scruffy running shoes if you are supposed to be representing the business you are in. We should dress in the way we want to represent ourselves to the world. Of course, it goes without saying that I am not referring to ignoring the uniqueness of style or individuality. The reality is that how we present ourselves whether by actions and words or by our outward appearance, we do, ultimately project and image of who we are.

Clothing is an expression. It is creative or it is simply something we put on out of necessity. For some, the body is their canvas and clothing is the paint. For others, clothing is just something they have to wear. But when we think about clothing from a wider and longer viewpoint and understand that how we dress projects our brand, our business card. It conveys the image that we want to transmit: creative, serious, laid back, artistic, simple or whatever we want to project. Clothing is individual, but we will always be evaluated by how we dress whether we like it or not. Dressing with class simply means being mindful of how we project ourselb=ves to the world.

Did you enjoy this post? Please leave a comment below.

Click and share

Diana Lynne’s passions are family, traveling, learning, and pursuing a debt-free life. She also loves hanging out with family & friends . Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca