Being a classy man is about far more than wearing the best cologne or a well-tailored jacket.
Here’s how to separate a classy man from a pretender.
1) He carries himself with confidence
One of the top personality traits of a classy man is that he carries himself with confidence.
This is about far more than just looking good, being well groomed or having a charming smile.
It’s about looking people in the eye, radiating positive energy and being a net plus to everyone he comes across.
As Kobi Mbagwu puts it, the classy man “knows how to carry himself very well and he is very comfortable in his own skin.”
Being classy is about way more than just wearing an expensive watch or knowing some fine dining establishments to take a date.
It’s about meeting the world with high confidence and head-on.
2) He indulges his desires with moderation
The next of the important personality traits of a classy man is that he has self-control.
He may smoke, drink, enjoy carnal pleasures and more, but he does so with moderation.
He may enjoy a fun night out with the boys, but he avoids getting tagged all over social media hollering with his shirt off and words written on his chest.
He indulges his desires with moderation.
He never exposes anyone to public ridicule or embarrassment and he’s aware of how to have fun while still giving a nod to basic social conventions.
3) He chooses the right people to surround himself with
This brings up point three:
A truly classy man knows who to hang out with. He doesn’t associate with lowlifes in his personal life or his professional life.
The only exception is if he has a best friend or family member who he’s made commitments to and wants to help with their struggles.
But as a rule, the classy man knows that who you surround yourself with says a whole lot about who you are.
As such, he avoids liars, cheats and dirty rotten scoundrels.
If he comes across them or is forced to interact with them, he parts ways as soon as possible and doesn’t want such people attached to his business or personal life.
It’s not that he’s worried about his reputation, it’s that he doesn’t want his life to sink down to their level and set a new normal for him.
4) He takes both defeat and victory with grace
The buffoon becomes a braggart and arrogant upon winning and surly and aggressive upon losing.
The classy man is the complete opposite.
He never rubs a victory in anyone’s face, and he absorbs defeat with grace.
He’s got maturity enough to know that making a show of good fortune and success is gauche, and that whining and playing the victim over loss only invites more of it.
Certainly he feels strong emotions and reactions just like anyone else. The difference is he has the fortitude to stop from rubbing all these emotions on everyone else.
To put it in plainspeak, the classy man handles his sh*t without expecting other people to celebrate his wins or mourn his losses.
If they do? All the better. But he never expects it.
5) He expresses sexual and romantic interest with subtlety
Next up, let’s touch on another of the key personality traits of a classy man: subtlety in sexual and romantic matters.
If he likes a lady (or a guy) he doesn’t just up and send a graphic photo or put his hand on their upper thigh.
He says hi first, maybe even has a conversation.
Even better, the classy man may get to know someone over weeks or months before even getting into romantic or sexual territory with them.
I know it may be shocking in our Tinder age, but it’s true.
The classy man is more interested in something real than a quick fix.
6) He judges people by character, not by labels or social status
Classy men come from all walks of life and aren’t very attached to labels.
Being a classy guy isn’t about money or status. It’s about character.
And by the same token, one of the top personality traits of a classy man is that he cares much more about somebody else’s character than what labels are attached to anybody.
Classy men are ultimately authentic.
They may be refined and have distinguished tastes, but they’d rather have a cigarette with the chef who curses like a sailor out behind the restaurant near the garbage can and talk real than sit with a bunch of execs inside and brag about bonuses for the year.
7) He has a sense of style that’s not just about trends
Let’s not lie, style does matter.
Classy men know how to dress and they clean up nice.
This doesn’t mean every single classy guy looks like he materialized off the page of a J. Crew catalog.
Classy men could be tattooed from head to toe with a giant beard or clean-shaven as Tin Tin in a sweater vest.
It’s not about the outer form, it’s about the look as a whole and how it fits together.
Classy guys don’t copy styles, either. They combine elements of many styles to create their own style that fits them just right! And they switch it up by the day depending what they are feeling and doing.
Classy men know how to match their clothes and personal grooming with who they are and how they come across.
There’s no dissonance between how they dress and look and who they are as a person, which increases their impression of authenticity in those they come across.
8) He speaks clearly and eloquently
Classy men come from all walks of life, as I’ve emphasized.
But they share a common trait of making their voice audible, clear and easy to understand.
They don’t try to mask what they’re saying, mumble or use so much informal language and slang that it’s hard to understand them.
Nothing against those who curse a lot or speak very informally, but it’s just not very classy.
Says who? Every classy person and those who appreciate them.
You can have the best taste in the world and be listening to Puccini with an exquisite red wine overlooking the French Riviera, but if you talk like Sylvester Stallone on a bender it’s very hard to come across as classy.
9) He’s helpful and courteous to others
Being classy is about far more than making a good impression, speaking well and dressing in a way that fits your style.
It’s also very much about behavior.
A classy man is helpful and courteous to others.
In the face or rudeness he declines to fight or calmly walks away. He’s not spoiling for a fight or wanting to escalate any situation.
In his daily life he opens doors, says please and thank you and is generally a good guy.
Because he wants to be. Because he’s classy and the world already has plenty enough of non-classy guys after all.
10) He knows how to encourage and support others
On a related note, the classy man knows how to encourage and support others.
He’s there for his friends when they’re in an up time and when they’re in a down period.
He knows who has a good heart and he stands by them.
While he watches who he hangs out with and associates with, as I mentioned earlier, he’s also the opposite of a fairweather friend.
If he says he’s got somebody’s back then he absolutely does.
In a world of fakes, a classy man is the real deal.
11) He gives respect and expects it back, too
A classy man respects himself and respects others.
Unless he is given a reason not to respect someone, he gives them his full attention and respect.
In return, he expects the same.
He’s an honest broker and will treat everyone with honor and fairness unless there is reason for their behavior to merit a different response.
“While some people believe that respect is earned rather than given, a classy man starts off every interaction with respect,” writes Allie Lebos.
“Whether it be with a stranger or someone he has known his whole life, a classy man chooses to take the higher road and treat others in a way that shows genuine humility and regard.”
12) He shares his talents and skills with the world
The classy man is ultimately generous.
He looks after himself and makes sure that he puts his best foot forward whenever possible.
But he also shares his talents and passions with the world.
Whether it’s his business know how or advice about how to be a man who commands respect, a classy guy is happy to share what he knows and to be a guiding light for others in a humble and real way.
He knows that hiding your light under a bushel is kind of sad and also more than a little cowardly.
He teaches others about the things he’s good at and isn’t afraid to mentor, inspire and encourage people who want to emulate some of his talents and abilities.