11 ways to exude elegance and sophistication in any setting

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There are certain people who draw our attention even from across a room. 

It’s not just their looks or appearance: there’s something about them that’s mysterious, compelling, fascinating. 

They seem to radiate a kind of class and magnetic elegance. 

Here’s how to be one of them. 

1) Dress the part

First up in the best ways to exude elegance and sophistication in any setting is to dress the part. 

This does not mean that you need to go out and spend a fortune on clothes. 

It’s simply a matter of picking apparel that fits your style and is comfortable while still being stylish

Dress in a way that accentuates who you are and your identity. 

Dress in a way that emphasizes the impression and impact you want to make on the world. 

Those who make a big splash in any situation are not necessarily the most expensively-dressed or wearing the priciest wristwatch or bracelet. 

They are those who are dressed and styled out in a way that’s truly congruent with who they are and puts exclamation points on their identity. 

2) Pick a perfume

Next up in the ways to exude elegance and sophistication in any setting is to choose a fragrance to wear. 

If you’re a woman this may be a perfume like Chanel or Dior. 

If you’re a man it can be a cologne such as Armani or Nautica. 

You don’t need to prioritize price here. It’s not about showing you have money. 

It’s about picking fragrance that expresses who you are, a fragrance you actually like. 

Think of this fragrance as part of your personality and the impression you make.

I personally wear Starwalker by Mont Blanc. 

Why?

Simple: I like it and feel some unspoken connection to the scent of it. 

3) Care about hair 

Next up in the ways to exude elegance and sophistication in any setting is to pay attention to your hair. 

If you are short-haired or bald, pay attention to caring for your skin health or maintaining a neat trim of your shave. 

To be sure, some popular styles have mussed up hair or a carefree sense of styling, which can also be a ravishing look. 

The key is to care about your hair in the way in which you want it. 

It may be messy, it may be neat, but pay attention and remain conscious of your hair. 

Intentionally messy hair can look very cool, but unintentional bedhead while wearing yesterday’s PJs isn’t going to make great impressions. 

4) Groom for greatness

Next up comes the general topic of grooming. 

This means keeping facial hair well combed and maintained, wearing deodorant, showering and bathing regularly and keeping your teeth in good condition. 

It also means smaller details like keeping your eyebrows trimmed and your sideburns the way you want them. 

For women it includes things like makeup and paying attention to feeling great in your own skin. 

Skin health in general is very important, and making an impression has a lot to do with having glowing skin that looks vibrant and healthy, which is also important for men. 

5) Keep an eye on eyes

Many popular products exist that claim to reduce eye wrinkles and saggy black bags under the eyes. 

These may be something you choose to use, and they have varying levels of effectiveness depending on the product and price. 

There’s no doubt that eyes are extremely important in making an impression

In theater and film, eye makeup including use of very pale makeup around the eyes is key to making the face “pop” and create a strong impression and make the gaze more emotive. 

If you want to exude elegance and sophistication in any setting, it’s important to keep your eyes clean, free of redness and relaxed. 

Very tired eyes and being bleary-eyes tends to exude exhaustion, low-energy and even depression, rather than elegance. 

6) Move at your own pace

The next key to exuding elegance is to move at your own pace. 

This means exactly what it sounds like: proceed at a pace of doing things in the way you actually want to, not the way others prefer. 

Take that extra second or two to put away your credit card after paying for a transaction. 

Finish one task before moving onto the next. 

Wait for others to finish talking or interrupting before proceeding with what you wanted to ask. 

Move at your own pace and set your own standards

You are partly creating your world by what you accept or not in how it interacts with you. 

7) Walk this way 

The next thing to consider in addition to how fast and what way you do things is how you actually walk

The technical term for this is your gait.

Many people aren’t even very aware of their gait, and slouch, shuffle or walk unevenly without realizing it. 

But gait matters a lot for the impression you make on others. 

Many cultures even included the importance of walking in names themselves, for example the German name Wolfgang which means “Wolf gait.”

Who knew Mozart’s name meant to walk like a wolf? The more you know, right? 

The point here is that those who exude elegance and sophistication in any setting are those who walk in a way that’s purposeful, confident and all their own. 

You can watch the way people you admire walk, but ultimately the way you walk is going to be something you decide on and embody. 

As you become more conscious of your gait and decide what kind of gait you’d like to consciously have, your level of sophistication and the impression you give will go up by many orders of magnitude. 

8) Say less, mean more

The next of the ways to exude elegance and sophistication in any setting is to say less but mean more. 

What I mean by this is to generally hold your tongue until and unless you have something to say. 

When you do have something to say or respond to somebody, make it count. 

People hang on the words of those who pack more punch behind their words, rather than nervously chattering or saying whatever’s on their mind. 

When you listen more than you talk and say short and pithy things you come across as smart, confident and impressive without even trying to. 

9) Speak uniquely 

Then we get to the next of the ways to exude elegance and sophistication in any setting and it’s the actual manner in which you speak.

What you say matters, but the way you say it matters even more in terms of the impression you give off. 

Have you ever talked to somebody on the phone and come away feeling very inspired and attracted to them, or very unnerved and depressed by them?

You think about it and realize it wasn’t even what was discussed, it was their vocal tone and the actual way they spoke that rubbed you wrong or right. 

There are very deep and meaningful biological and evolutionary reasons for these kinds of reactions.

If you want to make a powerful, sophisticated impression, you need to speak uniquely in a clear and conscious way that expresses who you are. 

For inspiration, look to a figure who you admire from history or culture and try to model your manner of speaking after them. 

You’ll be amazed at the strong impressions you make.

10) Eat slowly 

The next important way to exude elegance and sophistication in any setting is to eat slowly (and chew your food). 

These seem like obvious tips and some of us may have learned things like this growing up, but they’re increasingly rare. 

The reasons are many, including increasing numbers of people living more solitary lives and working remotely such that they don’t have set mealtimes with their family or partner. 

Meals may have become an “on the go” thing for many people, but that doesn’t erase their central importance in any social hierarchy. 

When you eat like a pig, people think of you like a pig. 

11) Have good taste

Next up in the important ways in which you can make a favorable impression is having good taste.

This is at least partly subjective, of course. 

What right do I have to call your music, interior decor, style or good choices “good” or “bad” taste?

Nonetheless, if you meet somebody with good taste you’re likely to know pretty quickly, and the same goes for other folks’ impression of you. 

If you’re cranking the latest crappy Top 40 and wearing a pink camo shirt, who am I to say that’s bad taste?

I can say that you won’t be exuding elegance and sophistication! 

Nothing feels the same

When you exude elegance and sophistication, something special happens. 

It’s not just that you feel different, it’s that situations change as well. 

You thrive in your own skin and this raises the level of the places and events you go to as well. 

In the end that’s the best benefit of leveling up your elegance: it changes everything you’re part of. 

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