30+ Ways to Tell a Regular Girl From a True Lady

4 years ago

There are very few true ladies out there. They’re well-educated, well-mannered, well-groomed, they respect other people and themselves, and they’re kind and calm. And, of course, they know etiquette rules which allow them to feel confident in any group of people and manage to avoid a lot of awkward situations.

We at Bright Side decided to write about some of the etiquette rules that you can use to be a true lady wherever you go.


  • A lady wears the right size of clothing. She knows that if her skirt is too small or her blouse is too tight, it doesn’t make her look good.
  • She doesn’t fix her look in public: she doesn’t pull her skirt or move her underwear around. She goes to the lady’s room to do all this.
  • She wears flip-flops only when she goes to the pool. She doesn’t wear them in the city — even when it’s hot.
  • She wears sportswear only where it’s appropriate: at the gym, while camping, or while jogging.
  • Her underwear is never visible.
  • She doesn’t forget to remove labels from shoe soles after buying them.

At the table

  • A true lady knows that if there’s a napkin on the table, she has to put it on her lap. And the napkin has to be folded so that the upper layer is shorter than the lower one. One of the signs that someone doesn’t know the etiquette rules is when the dinner has started and the napkin is still on the table (like it is in the photo on the left).
  • If she needs to leave, she apologizes and leaves the napkin to the left of her plate instead of putting it on the back of the chair or on the seat. And she doesn’t need to tell anyone why she needs to leave.
  • She’s not going to pick up a napkin from the floor if she dropped it. A server will do it and bring back a new one.
  • Ladies don’t wipe their mouths with napkins, they just dab the corners of the lips carefully.
  • If she doesn’t drink alcohol, she doesn’t tell everyone about it and doesn’t refuse it when someone offers. She says thank you, holds the glass for some time and pretends to drink. After that, she puts the glass on the table. The same goes for diets — there’s no need to tell everyone around you this information.
  • She never uses a toothpick at the table or puts on lipstick. She goes to the lady’s room for this.


  • There have been many debates about if it’s okay to wear sunglasses on one’s head. Some women are convinced they can do it. But etiquette experts are quite sure that a true lady shouldn’t. She might do it only if she stops by a store for a few minutes. In all other situations, it’s better to take the glasses off and put them in a case or a handbag.
  • Ladies take off their sunglasses when they enter a room or when it’s cloudy or dark outside.
  • When she sees a person for the first time, she always removes this accessory. If someone talks to her in the streets, she takes off her glasses and then replies.
  • If she needs to keep wearing glasses, she should ask whoever she is talking to if it’s okay.


  • She doesn’t use filler words, swear words, or slang.
  • She doesn’t use the word “toilet.” She can say “restroom” or “bathroom.”
  • Instead of bad words, she can use euphemisms which are neutral substitutions for bad words that are inappropriate. For example, she replaces “fat” with “overweight” and “old” with “senior.” There are a lot of words ladies can use and they only make them sound more polite.
  • It’s not necessarily important what she says, but rather, how she does it. It’s about the speed and softness of her speech. A true lady has to speak slowly and calmly — she’s in no rush.
  • She doesn’t ask people questions that might embarrass them. Like, for example, “How much do you earn? Are you married? Are you planning to have children? Are you pregnant? How old are you?”
  • If someone says something unpleasant to her, she lets them know about it and asks them not to do it again. Otherwise, she just smiles and leaves.
  • In small talk, she avoids topics such as private life, health, politics, religion, diet, and tragic events.

Body language

  • A true lady knows that we speak even when we’re silent. Our body speaks for us through gestures, mimicry, and posture. Additionally, makeup and clothes can say a lot about us.
  • A lady never relaxes in an armchair. She holds her back straight and sits down slowly instead of crashing into it.
  • She doesn’t just walk or sit with a straight back — she lives with it. She knows how much one’s posture can influence the way people treat them. It’s our posture that says a lot about how confident we feel, how healthy we are, and many other things.
  • She knows how to sit in an elegant way. She remembers that her knees have to be close to each other and the tips of her feet have to face the same direction.


  • A woman can be called a lady if she can control her emotions. She is kind to hotel employees, restaurant workers, shop-assistants, and taxi drivers.
  • Even if she’s in trouble, you can’t tell by looking at her. She smiles and knows that it does her no good to look unhappy.
  • She never argues with people in public. If she has any trouble with her husband or children, she discusses it privately.

At the theater

  • A true lady dresses appropriately and understands the difference between La Scala and a small local theater. In the case of the latter, she doesn’t need to wear any long dresses or expensive jewelry. But her clothes should still be elegant and not messy in any way.
  • When she goes to the theater, she wears pumps or boots with heels. She understands that wearing uggs, sneakers, flip-flops, or something else casual isn’t the best choice.
  • She takes a clutch instead of a big bag.
  • She doesn’t wear any big hairstyles because she knows there will be people sitting behind her. The same goes for hats.
  • She knows that she can use only one armrest.
  • If she goes to the theater with a man, she knows that he has to show their tickets at the entrance. It’s not her responsibility to find the row and the seats. The man enters the hall first and shows the lady the way to her seat.

Which of these etiquette rules are you ready to start using in your daily life (or maybe you already are)? And which of these do you think are unusable in the modern world?


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How about we respect all women and stop holding them to old and outdated standards?


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