Owlish Contemplations · The Classy Lady

A Ladies’ Guide to Keeping It Classy, Part I

Classiness is something that is quickly becoming archaic in our culture. In a society that has our female role models swinging nude from wrecking balls or wearing dresses made out of meat, it’s easy to forget that such a thing as class even exists. What happened to our beloved icons of style and manner such as Audrey Hepburn and Julie Andrews? What has become of the feminine yet subtly powerful concept of a “lady”?

It’s sad to say that they seem to have been replaced by a “liberated woman” who talks dirty, plays dirty, and wears as minimal of clothing as possible because “it’s my body and my right to show it off.” Forgive me, but don’t you think the more you show off every little thing, the more it belongs to those who now have that image engrained in their minds?

Oh yes, I realize I’m old-fashioned. I will gladly accept that label and the scorn that goes along with it. I just happen to believe that the version of womanhood that modern America is selling our daughters will not bring them happiness, long-lasting respect or a sense of timelessness. Rather, it’s a popular brand that will fade with the new decade, leaving behind the plastic baubles of a trendsetter. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be the lady remembered for her style, grace, and poise – the kind that endures generations – than the woman who lives up to the TV sitcom ideal of “American beauty.”

“But what does it even mean to be classy?” a poor, misguided youngster brought up on a steady diet of popular culture might ask. A good question, my friend … one that we will seek to answer through various means. I was fortunate to have an older sister who always taught me that the style that lasts for generations is the one to have … and with her guidance, I’ve learned a thing or two about being classy. But in other realms, we have the good examples of (as previously mentioned) Audrey Hepburn, Miss Manners, and Jane Austen to help us out.

A definition from Merriam-Webster:
CLASSY: adj: having or showing class as:
a: Elegant, stylish
b: Having or reflecting high standards of personal behavior
c: Admirably skillful or graceful

When one thinks of being classy then, one will have several reference points with which to align – all of which seek to create a long-lasting, timeless effect.

We’ll begin by exploring this little treasure gleaned from our friends over at Pinterest, and from there we will explore what legacy classy women of the past have left us …

1. Stay Classy
The over-arching theme of all of this. Follow the other rules and it seems we shall accomplish this one.

2. Smile at Strangers
A face lit up by a smile as you pass someone instantly becomes beautiful. And I don’t know about you, but it sends a thrill of joy through my heart that said person took the time to send a smile my way. Don’t be the shy one – look them in the eye, smile intentionally & genuinely, and you will be remembered.

3. Say Please & Thank You
Really, though … manners mean everything. A classy lady has them, knows how to use them, and doesn’t forget to send her thank you cards – written by hand not by text.

4. Chew Like You Have a Secret
This one makes me smile … it goes along with manners, but it’s the truth. Be discreet – in more ways than one.

5. Modesty Is Not Overrated. A Little Mystery Never Hurt Anyone.
I’ve already mentioned it, but I can mention it again. A lady covers up that which she deems important enough to only share with one man. She has enough confidence in herself to not have to go searching for compliments (or hit-ons) by what she wears.

6. Shy Away from Gossip
Do, though. A lady has better things to talk about than the lives of people around her. She knows that a gossip only ends up getting what she dishes out … and it will come around to bite her.

7. Be Intelligent But Not a Know-It-All
A lady is well-read. She is able to hold a decent conversation with anyone (and be interested in it) because she doesn’t limit herself to her favorite realms. She does not, however, dominate conversations with her own wealth of knowledge – she graciously asks good questions of others to draw them in.

8. Stay Loyal
Loyalty is such a dying trait these days. How rare it is to see the lady who is loyal to her friends through thick and thin, who stands up for them if they are misaligned and who goes to great lengths to preserve a friendship, though distances separate it. That is the kind of lady who generates meaningful friendships.

9. Think Before You Speak
Don’t we too often just say the first thing that pops into our heads, regardless of the effect it may have? A lady is the one who has enough self-control and discernment to realize not every thought should be verbalized – and exercises it accordingly.

10. Do Not Swear; Class is Defined by Elegance and Dignity, Not by Vulgar Language
This one needs little elaboration. A lady has better ways to express herself than swear words … for filthy language tends to mar the beauty of a woman just a bit.

In the interest of not becoming long-winded (and therefore losing YOUR interest!), I will tuck in here and call it a good night. However, this topic is most definitely to be continued … so please join me again next time as we explore what it means to be a lady of class.

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