Elegance is one of those well-known but little-understood qualities that we just know someone has, even without prompting.
It’s something that you or I can usually just recognize, even if you can’t immediately put your finger on the specifics of what makes them so elegant.
But even with that limitation, everyone knows that there’s nothing quite like an elegant man: which makes this characteristic a great thing to have.
But what exactly makes an elegant man?
As someone who knows a few elegant men myself, here are some rules that all of them have in common:
1) Confident, Not Arrogant
The very first thing that a lot of people notice about an elegant man is his confidence.
An elegant man’s confidence isn’t something that announces itself like cockiness or arrogance – an elegant man’s confidence just “is.”
A lot of people think that this is limited to clothing choices.
But in my experience, the confidence of an elegant man isn’t something limited to their fashion sense.
Confidence is apparent in everything that they do, outside and including what they wear.
2) Classy Choices Of Clothing
The classic suit-and-tie ensemble is a hallmark of what most people think of an elegant man, but it’s not necessarily their defining feature.
Some elegant men dress in nothing but suits every time they go out and some just throw on a button-down and a blazer with some chinos.
What separates elegant men from other men that do the same thing is simply how they pull off their outfits.
The easiest way to do this?
Simply get your clothes tailored.
You’d be surprised at how a few alterations can make a lot of the clothes you buy off the rack seem like they’ve been made to fit you.
3) Can Laugh At Yourself
A popular outlook of the “standard” elegant man is someone who seems always perpetually at ease with themselves.
But make no mistake: elegant men laugh.
They possess a sense of humor that’s very much something that you can relate to – and perhaps most surprisingly of all, they can laugh at anything. Especially themselves.
Elegant men see the humor in day-to-day life, and more importantly, understand that a good laugh (even at their own expense) is always something worthwhile.
4) Well-Adjusted Emotions
Elegant men get angry — they can cry, feel annoyed, or otherwise go through the entire range of emotions you’d expect everyone else to go through.
What makes them so elegant is the way that they handle emotions in general: they acknowledge they’re there, go through it, and don’t wallow in it.
They’re not stoics either: elegant men are just as human as the rest of us are.
However, they do understand that emotions have their time and place, and acknowledge that they’re a healthy thing to have.
5) Great Interpersonal Relationships
You can always count on an elegant man to be a good friend.
That’s how I’ve met a few elegant men throughout life – and they’ve always made me feel welcome in their own lives.
Elegant men treat other people with respect, and that results in excellent interpersonal relationships across the board in their lives.
Elegant men value these relationships, though you’ll notice some subtlety about how they express their appreciation of this value.
It doesn’t mean that they respect people they’ve known for a short while a little less; rather, they’re far more willing to express their appreciation for you if you’ve known them for longer.
6) Comfortable With Being By Themselves
Hang around elegant men long enough, and you’ll realize early on that they’re extremely comfortable being by themselves.
Sure, they can be invited to all the parties in the world: but you’re just as likely to run into them enjoying a quiet coffee by themselves in public.
An elegant man is comfortable with their own company and isn’t afraid to spend some time alone once in a while.
I’ve personally met a few elegant men who actually prefer being alone most of the time – they’re not anti-social, but simply choose their company carefully.
7) Excellent Listening Skills
Elegant men understand the value of silence, especially when that silence is because someone else is talking.
All the elegant men I’ve met are extremely good listeners.
They won’t necessarily let you ramble on by yourself since they’ll respond with their own takes on whatever subject you’re talking about, but they’ll definitely make you feel at ease just having a conversation with them.
It doesn’t even have to be intellectual talk: any conversation with an elegant man is one that you’ll always feel comfortable with.
An elegant man puts effort into listening to what you have to say, no matter the topic.
8) An Attention To All Detail
An elegant man pays attention.
They’re always detail-oriented without being pedantic, and they know that a lot of things hinge on getting the details right.
While they may handle the big things with appropriate care, they pay just as much attention to the small stuff as well.
This attention to detail is something you’ll see them do with anything, from ordering food to arranging their books.
It may not necessarily be “tidy” or “organized” – rather, it’s an understanding that everything in their lives is placed in a deliberate order.
9) Have An Open Perspective
Overcoming your own prejudices or limitations of your own experiences can be very difficult for most people, but not for an elegant man.
While there’s a good chance that they may be the most knowledgeable person in the room, they’re always willing to own up to the fact that they don’t know everything – or might even be wrong.
An elegant man is always willing to hear out another perspective, even if it’s something that clashes with their own.
By no means do they always let it affect their judgment, but they will always acknowledge that their own experiences are never the be-all and end-all of other people.
10) Adhere To A Strict Personal Standard
An elegant man leaves their “signature” of sorts on anything they do.
Whether it’s a personal touch, a distinct habit, or some other thing reflective of who they are, you’ll instantly know if something’s been done by an elegant man.
That’s because they understand who they are as an individual and how that interacts with everyone else: and as a result, they hold themselves to a specific standard that they will always stick to.
Work ethics, morals, personal style: the elegant man knows who they are in that space, and will hold themselves to a standard no matter what.
11) Knows How To Compromise
However, elegant men are far from rigid. While they may stick to a personal standard, they’re willing to compromise to meet the needs of others.
They’re agreeable without being a pushover, and they’re always ready for a discussion if it’s appropriate.
In my experiences with elegant men, compromising with them never feels like either side is giving up something more than the other.
They’ll work closely with you to find the best agreement that helps both of you get what you want, without having to dramatically adjust the goals of either party from the beginning.
12) Great Personal Grooming Habits
If nothing else, an elegant man is always clean.
While the specifics of their “look” may differ depending on the man, you can always count on them to maintain their look and their own grooming as well.
I’ve always wondered why elegant men never seem to get sick until I noticed this trait.
They do: it’s just that their own grooming habits account for things like this happening too.
They’ll never look disheveled, sloppy, or dirty – presentable is their default look, no matter the occasion.
13) Never Pretends
It’s easy for most people to fall into habits, mannerisms, or lifestyles of something that they want to aspire to be.
On the other hand, elegant men don’t see the need to jump through all of these hoops.
Because they understand how they are and their confidence in it, they never pretend to be anything that they’re not.
You’ll notice the behavior quite frequently, especially if they’re online.
When I take a look at the social media feeds of the elegant men I know, I can tell that they never post anything just because it makes them “look better” – all the snapshots of their lives are genuinely who they are and what they do.
14) Always Strive For Improvement
An elegant man understands that true elegance isn’t a final state where you cross a line and stay elegant forever: it requires work, personal improvement, and commitment.
I’ve noticed that all of the elegant men I know never rest on their own goals: they’re always trying to improve or learn something new about themselves.
It doesn’t have to be significant or life-altering either – elegant men understand that the little changes have their value too.
What really matters is that they’re always moving forward, adapting to new situations, and learning what works and what doesn’t from day to day.
And personally, I think that’s what makes them (and their embodiment of elegance) stick around most of all.
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