An elegance expert has revealed the top 10 things to avoid if you want to be considered ‘elegant’ and ‘classy’.
Anna Bey, who is based in London and Geneva, posted a video on her YouTube channel explaining how people could appear more elegant by simply avoiding a few social faux pas.
The expert noted several things to avoid while dining at a restaurant or at someone else’s house, including being ‘too helpful’ towards your host.
Among her advice was to avoid things like being passive aggressive towards another person, and she also revealed the best time to use the bathroom while you are dining out at a restaurant.
Here, FEMAIL looks at Anna’s top tips for what you should avoid doing if you want to appear more elegant…
Elegance expert reveals the 10 things you should never do
Anna Bey (pictured), who is based in London and Geneva, posted a video on her YouTube channel explaining how people could appear more elegant by simply avoiding a few social faux pas
The expert (pictured) noted several things to avoid while dining at a restaurant or at someone else’s house, including being ‘too helpful’ towards your host
1. Don’t be rude or snarky to another person
According to Anna, behaving in a passive-aggressive way towards another person is a sure way to signal you are not an elegant person.
To demonstrate her point she took an example of an awards ceremony when Joanna Lumley introduced fellow actress Jennifer Lawrence as ‘the hottest actress on the planet’.
In response, Jennifer said: ‘That was a bit much but thank you Joanna.’
Criticising Jennifer’s words, Anna said her behaviour was ‘really passive aggressive’.
She said: ‘Even if you feel like someone was inappropriate with you, there is no need for passive-aggressiveness because elegant people are never rude or snarky.’
2. Don’t push away your plate at the end of a meal
Among Anna’s (pictured) advice was to avoid things like being passive aggressive towards another person, and she also revealed the best time to use the bathroom while you are dining out at a restaurant
Anna explained that elegant people always have the very best etiquette when it comes to sitting down for a meal.
Anna explained there are several rules people should adhere to while dining out as well as at someone’s house.
And according to the expert, the first rule comes immediately as a person walks into the restaurant.
If you are dining at a finer establishment, the host or hostess will often ask if the staff can put your coat or jacket in the cloakroom while you sit down to eat.
According to Anna, elegant people always accept this offer. She said it is not considered elegant to sit down to a meal with your jacket over your chair.
Using a real-life example of a high-profile person making this mistake, Anna referred to Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue.
Referring back to a show at London Fashion Week, the elegance expert pointed out that the fashion editor, who was sat next to the Queen in the front row, apparently had her coat draped over her chair.
‘The coat is literally dangling on the chair and I find this not to look very elegant or refined,’ Anna said. ‘Come on Anna, you can do better.’
In particular, she noted that the way a person behaves at a dinner party can be a good indicator of whether or not they are elegant.
She advised not pushing your plate away at the end of the meal, as this is not considered an elegant thing to do.
For diners who want to show gratitude to their host, Anna suggested asking the person who has cooked for you if they need any help with the dishes, and obliging if the answer is ‘yes’.
However, she warned against being too helpful at a dinner party.
‘Be aware, if she says “no”, it’s a no,’ Anna said. ‘You don’t need to intrude and force yourself into the kitchen.’
Anna argued that, while it’s always ‘sweet’ when people want to help with something, they can become ‘intrusive’ if they end up taking over the kitchen to do the washing up. ‘It’s actually kind of rude to the hostess,’ she said.
4. Don’t go to the bathroom during a meal in a restaurant
Sometimes nature calls while we are sitting down to eat a meal and there is not much we can do about it – and according to Anna, there is no strict rule as to when is the right time to visit the bathroom when you’re out for dinner.
However she added people with elegance try their best to wait until the end of the meal, however many courses that may be, to relieve themselves.
For those who desperately need to go to the toilet while out for dinner, Anna advised the best time to go is shortly before dessert is served – although she admitted it was not ‘ideal’.
She added it is typically considered very un-elegant to visit the bathroom before or after the first course is put on the table.
Another thing Anna advised people not to do was announcing where they are going if they do need to use the toilet.
‘What [elegant people] do is they simply say “excuse me” and they simply disappear,’ she said. In particular, Anna said it is ‘vulgar’ to tell your fellow diners you are ‘going to the toilet’.
Anna (pictured) explained there are several rules people should adhere to while dining out as well as at someone’s house
5. Don’t speak loudly on the phone on public transport
Declaring it a ‘pet peeve’ of hers, Anna said it was the opposite of elegant behaviour to loudly take phone calls in public. In particular, she said people who do this on public transport are guilty of incredibly rudeness.
‘It is against etiquette to speak loudly on the phone in public places,’ she said.
‘Staring is considered rude and not classy at all,’ Anna explained. She added that it is considered even more disrespectful and ill-mannered to stare at someone while your mouth is open.
‘You can’t look more ridiculous than that,’ she said.
For the people who consider themselves more ‘curious’ and who want to take a closer look at others, Anna suggested taking a quick glance instead.
But she insisted a cardinal rule in exhibiting elegant behaviour was not staring at others.
However, despite being staunchly against people airing their phone conversations so everyone can hear, Anna said she had recently found herself in an embarrassing phone situation.
After sitting down to a session with her therapist over the phone, which she took in her car, Anna decided to put her mobile onto the car’s speakerphone.
It wasn’t until she noticed people giving her funny looks that she realised the speaker was loud enough for everyone outside the car to hear the conversation.
7. Don’t chew gum in public
Elegance expert Anna explained that chewing gum in public is one thing that ‘elegant people are never seen doing’.
But for those among us trying to live a more elegant lifestyle, we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves – as even the most famous people in the world can be caught out forgetting such rules.
Anna singled out footballing legend David Beckham for breaking elegance conventions and chewing gum while out in public.
She noted him chewing away while sitting in St George’s Chapel in Windsor on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding day in 2018.
With the eyes of the world on him, David sat next to another guest and subtly chewed on some gum – albeit with his mouth closed. ‘What an elegance disaster Mr Beckham,’ Anna said.
8. Don’t show the sole of your shoes when you sit down
‘At night you should always wear something small like a clutch or an evening bag,’ Anna (pictured) said
Although Anna said she tends to advise ladies on how to be more elegant, she had one or two tips for the gentlemen as well.
In particular, she addressed something men should avoid while sitting down with their legs crossed.
According to the elegance expert you should never angle your feet so the soles of your shoe are facing another person, and should always keep them facing the ground.
Describing it as ‘a big elegance and etiquette mistake’, Anna said it was ill-mannered to show your soles to another person while seated.
9. Don’t explain why you cannot attend an event
‘At night you should always wear something small like a clutch or an evening bag,’ Anna said.
Saying women should ‘never’ bring a big bag out with you in the evening, Anna conceded a ‘medium-sized’ bag is just about acceptable.
However she added: ‘Those big work bags or leather totes – no. They are for daytime or when you go to work.’
When declining an invitation to a social event, it might seem natural to tell the host why you’re not able to make it – but according to Anna, these explanations can be a sign that you are not an elegant person.
She said: ‘[Elegant people] are never going to be there telling the hostess a bunch of reasons as to why they cannot make it and always over-explain everything. You know, it almost sounds like they are giving a bunch of excuses.’
However, while Anna said elegant people do not give too much information when declining an invitation, she added there are many things elegant people do ensure when responding.
‘Elegant behaviour is of course responding to an invitation in a good time and manner,’ she said. ‘You don’t want to let your host wait for ages to receive an answer from you.’
If you cannot attend an event, all you need to say is that you are unable to go.
Anna added you can show your thanks for the invitation by sending a gift or flowers in your absence to show you wish you had been able to attend.
Read More: DailyMail