Have you ever found yourself saying “That’s a classy lady” or “He’s one classy guy?”
What does that mean exactly? Don’t we all hope to be described that way? Don’t we want our children to know what that mean too?
Etiquette and communications expert Gloria Starr can tell us what it means. “What you do is the substance of class and the way you do it is the style of class,” she writes. “Class is an inner quality that does not relate to financial status or family background. It is the essential qualities of integrity, intelligence, sophistication, generosity of spirit, grace under pressure and ambassadorship skills.”
She has presented four areas that define class.
She points out that just because you have influence, fame or money, does not automatically mean you have class. Her examples include certain athletes and celebrities; they have influence but not necessarily class.
This is something very important to stress to your children. Their role models may not behave in the best way.
How You Look
You don’t have to wear the latest fashions to dress with class, Starr says. Wearing clothes that look good and compliment your coloring displays class.
She recommends the 10-point system. For women, score your outfit with everything you are wearing – shoes, stockings, hat, belt, etc. When you have 10 points, you have the right mix. Less is boring; more is over the top. For men, your suit counts as a point. If it has an interesting pattern, give yourself another point. Give yourself one point each for a patterned or colored shirt, cuffs that are a different color, cuff links, tie tack, collar pin, patterned socks or an interesting belt buckle.
She also recommends a signature piece – her favorite is a hat. She says interesting hats help her with getting upgraded on flights and getting better tables at restaurants. Beautiful and interesting shoes can also have the same effect.
How You Behave
Your behavior is a perfect indicator of what’s going on inside you – showing grace under pressure, being respectful (even if you don’t feel like it is deserved), using polite words such as “please” and “thank you” also show your class.
What You Say and How You Say It
Be clear and articulate. Use words with two, three or four syllables. Avoid slang, vernacular and of course swearing. It leaves such a good impression when you can say what you mean clearly and politely.
When you follow these behaviors, you not only impress others with your composure and grace, you also are a perfect role model for your children. If you don’t show them class, who will?
Learn more about Starr, her experience, her business etiquette materials and etiquette training seminars at www.gloriastarr.com.]]>