8 tiny behaviors that instantly make a woman seem classy and sophisticated

Are you wondering what those subtle signs are that make some women seem sophisticated and classy? Would you like to know if you’re doing those things, or how to be more that way? Well, just know that like most things, everything is relative, and you don’t always have to be this way! 

But that said, if you want to know more, here are some of the most important ways to seem classy:

1) She’s always polite in public

Politeness is important everywhere, but in demonstrating sophistication, it’s all the more valuable in public. This means treating people well, whether they are a doorman or a millionaire, and being kind and thoughtful. Being gracious and saying thank you to those who help or serve them, such as in restaurants or shops or on public transport. Being courteous and thoughtful of others in public spaces – meaning not eating strong foods or talking overly loudly.

Of course, cultural differences come into play, but that’s all the more reason to take note of these things if you want to seem sophisticated

I remember a frustrating meal time in a restaurant in Peru. There was me, and two other couples. The two couples were from countries where it’s more normal to speak very loudly – the States and Canada. 

They were shouting across the reasonably small restaurant to each other. Eventually,, they joined tables but I still had to hear every word of their loud conversation, (and they were several tables away from me!) when I really just wanted to enjoy my dinner in peace. The lack of consideration will be interpreted by many as a lack of class.

2) When she complains, she does it with grace

Don’t be a Karen! This doesn’t mean that you can never complain about something, like a subpar product or bad service. It’s more about how you do it. 

A person without class might be rude and entitled when complaining, but the sophisticated woman will be firm but friendly and polite.

I was recently in the Apple store and both myself and another person had complaints. I was cross inside, Apple customer service is terrible! But I handled it with tact. Why? 

Well, firstly I realized it’s not the fault of the people in the shop, but rather Apple themselves. (I rang Apple to tell them what I needed, and which branch I was going to, only to arrive and be told that they could not give me the charging cable. Even though their entire shop is full of those cables! Grr.)

But the reason was due to a bad policy with Apple where AppleCare products are separate from their own products (I know, it makes no sense).

So I stayed polite, friendly and patient. And not only did that make me look much more classy than the girl foaming at the mouth, it made them want to do their best to find a workaround, and it kept us all as happy as possible. I wasn’t a pushover and I asked to see the manager when the staff couldn’t resolve my problem, but I stayed classy, and perhaps more importantly – kind.

3) She doesn’t brag or show off

So that last example shows me being classy, but talking about it might make me look unclassy. Why? Well, some people might think that’s a kind of humble brag, “look how good I am”. So if you want to look sophisticated and classy, don’t brag, and especially not about how much things cost.

Now, don’t get me wrong. In a fascinating UK documentary series with artist Grayson Perry, he discovered the ways in which all British classes ‘show off’. 

Working class people are more likely to go for the bling approach and show everything they have very overtly. Middle class people are more likely to say the least about wealth while trying to exhibit their ‘uniqueness’ by having handmade toys or unmatched plates. 

And upper-middle class and upper class people are more likely to do it by having a special detail that shows those in the know that their suit or shoes (red-soled Louboutins anyone?) cost a lot.

But truly classy women don’t worry about these things and just live authentically.

4) She’s well-groomed

pic1925 8 tiny behaviors that instantly make a woman seem classy and sophisticated

So we’ve spoken about clothes and how people of every class can and does show off. But there’s a difference between this and just generally being well-groomed.

Although I don’t personally care what people do, some British people (often working class) go outside in their pajamas or sweatpants. This is frowned upon and seen as the very opposite of classy.

And while I don’t judge people like that, I have recently started to realize that I can make a little extra effort with just a couple of moments – making sure my hair is brushed and I look neat and nice. Even if I’m feeling moody I can put my grey “bad cat” top on with some harem pants. (I love this top, it has a black cat smoking a cigarette and says “bad cat” underneath).

Some people might not think that’s classy, but for me, it’s a nice balance between expressing my mood or feeling and still being well-groomed.

5) She has a signature scent

I don’t know about you but when I picture a classy Audrey Hepburn-like woman, I always imagine a sweet haze of perfume emanating from her graceful figure. Not so strong that it’s overpowering (because that would be impolite), but just enough that it adds a special “je ne sais quoi” to her overall being.

Though perfume can be ridiculously expensive, it doesn’t have to cost a lot. In fact, you can very easily make your own as I do. Get some carrier oil that absorbs well into the skin, like almond oil, and then add a few drops of a couple of essential oils that go well together. I use jasmine and patchouli.

No artificial ingredients and no crazy price tag, just a sophisticated scent!

6) She’s well-informed, and when she isn’t she shows an interest

People who only care about what they care about, don’t look very sophisticated. And at worst, it can look ignorant, as if they are the only ones who deem what is important.

So rather than “Oh I don’t care about that because it’s not in my worldview,” the sophisticated woman takes an interest in what she doesn’t know. And she tries to know a little about a lot of different topics if they are important to others.

When she doesn’t know about something that another is speaking of, she takes the time to listen and learn and show interest. This is an example of good manners and also shows an inquiring mind, which is a hallmark of sophistication.

7) The way she gets out of a car

This might be old-fashioned but there is a ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ way for a woman to get out of a car. (And to get in one!) And it involves keeping your knees together as you do it. 

This is because a classy woman doesn’t want to be flashing her underwear! But even if you are wearing trousers (that’s ‘pants’ for the Americans reading this!), there is still a more and less elegant way to do so.

This video explains perfectly how to do it.

8) She’s well-spoken

A sophisticated woman tends to be well-spoken and articulate. This means avoiding excessive slang or swearing in conversation (though the true upper classes in the UK frequently swear, so in the UK at least, this is more of a middle class trait).

Instead, she uses more sophisticated language and vocabulary, which can be picked up from literature. Blogs and newspapers are often written to be inclusive to people with a relatively basic grasp of English, so they don’t make for the best vocabulary resources.

Reading widely – whether novels, poetry, philosophy or academic writing – introduces new words and turns of phrase. It also provides good examples of eloquent self-expression. With time, these more sophisticated modes of speaking become second nature.

The cadence and tone of voice also matter. A classy lady speaks confidently and fluidly. She pronounces words clearly and correctly. Her speech has a natural ebb and flow, avoiding excessive filler words like “um” and “uh.”

Essentially, a sophisticated woman takes care of how she expresses herself. She sounds educated and articulate, not just in what she says but how she says it. This commanding yet graceful mode of verbal expression creates an air of sophistication.

Picture of Louisa Lopez

Louisa Lopez

Louisa is writer, wellbeing coach, and world traveler, with a Masters in Social Anthropology. She is fascinated by people, psychology, spirituality and exploring psychedelics for personal growth and healing. She’s passionate about helping people and has been giving empowering advice professionally for over 10 years using the tarot. Louisa loves magical adventures and can often be found on a remote jungle island with her dogs. You can connect with her on Twitter: @StormJewel

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