You’re probably well aware that having money and having what we call “class” are not synonymous. (The same can be said for having megabucks and exquisite taste.)
At the risk of perpetuating an unfair class structure, I recently read Ginie Sayle’s research on rich people. Naturally, Ginie hails from Texas, and is considered an expert on rich people. She’s written several books on the subject and she even gets paid to consult other people on how do deal with rich people, or how to find them. It just goes to show there’s a market for everything. Well, Ginie spells out what is to be classy, in the following “14 Layers of Class.”
1. Wealth. It can be new or old, and old money status comes at the 4th generation of wealth.
2. Lineage. In other words, old money, or in some cases, fresh out of big bucks. Mixonian calls the latter case, nouveau pauvre.
3. Memberships….in the right clubs of course.
4. Education…the great equalizer.
5. Arts: patron, artist, or appreciator.
6. Social Savvy, noblesse oblige.
7. Political Clout. Sayles doesn’t refer to political parties, but rather the ability to make things happen.
8. Travel sophistication.
9. Sports. Sport of class include snow skiing, crew, tennis, squash, racquetball, lacrosse, polo, sailing regattas, soccer, rugby, field hockey, and mountain climbs. Also equestrian competition, foxhunting, skeet shooting, gold, badminton, and croquet.
10. Values. The operative value is “people first.” That’s the value behind the story of the host following the guest’s example when he drank the water in the finger bowl.
14. Manners and Self-Care.
Well, this probably confirms what your mother taught you. No matter what your income level is, you can be a class act if you want to.