Being a lady

"Being a woman does not automatically make one a lady."

How many ladies have you met recently?

Probably not many because being a lady has gone out of fashion — it is seen as outdated, unnecessary, a way of holding women back and making them weaker in society. But when women reject ladylike traits, they become brash, harsh and hard, more critical, more competitive, bitter, frustrated, bad mannered, more vulgar in their language and their dress, louder and we are seeing an increase female drunkenness, drug taking, violence. 

I grew up with some wonderful examples of ladies, my aunts and mother were all taught to be ladies  as young women (both at home and at school) and as a result, they acted like ladies all their lives. It wasn't just in the way they dressed, it also in the way they spoke, walked, ate, behaved towards others, conducted their business, ran their homes and treated their husbands, children and other friends and family. I feel very privileged to have had such wonderful role models in my life, but sadly, not many women do these days. 

Interestedly, whilst modern women reject the ideal of being a lady, millions flock to watch programmes such as "Downton Abby" or rave about the Duchess of Cambridge — because, deep down, whilst many women think being a lady is old fashion, they still like seeing it. Whilst many are attracted to Hollywood stars, it is women such as Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Helen Mirren and Cat Blanchett that are see as truly beautiful because they were/are ladies in stark contrast to the ugliness of women like Kim Kardashian and the like.

Of course, deciding to be a lady, isn't only because its the right thing to do, its because the Word of God instructs women to behave in a certain such as . . .
  • Be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. (1 Timothy 3:11)
  • Speaks with wisdom and teaching of kindness is on her tongue (Proverbs 31:26) 
  • Modest apparel, with propriety and moderation (1 Timothy 2:9-10)
  • An excellent wife is the crown of her husband (Proverbs 12:4)
  • Opens her hand to the poor (Proverbs 31:20)
  • Meek and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:4)
So how should a modern lady act? — here is my list of what I consider to be traits of a lady and to be honest, nothing on this is list is impossible and we can all do them.  The art of being a lady is relevant today as it was in days gone by and it is accessible to every woman — young and old. It doesn't make us weaker or have less power, in fact it makes us stronger and more beautiful on the inside. 
  1. Be complimentary
  2. Kind
  3. Meditate on what is pure and lovely
  4. Be respectful of others
  5. Walk in faith
  6. Smile—a lady knows that her smile is her best accessory
  7. Thoughtful
  8. Generous with your time, wisdom and resources
  9. Caring
  10. Gentle and quiet spirit
  11. Happy and joyful
  12. Positive outlook on life
  13. Sincere
  14. Discreet
  15. Well mannered
  16. Walk graciously
  17. Be in control of yourself
  18. Neat and organised
  19. Helpmate to your husband
  20. Create peaceful environment for family and friends
  21. Talk calmly and quietly
  22. Know when to be quiet
  23. Listen more than you speak
  24. Don’t interrupt others when they are talking
  25. Be on time
  26. Apologies when late
  27. Always say “please” and “thank you“
  28. Remember birthdays and send thank you notes
  29. Send sick notes and messages of encouragement to those in need
  30. Offer to help others in need
  31. Gives up your spot in the line for someone else
  32. Be a gracious guest
  33. Be knowledgeable and well read
  34. Thank the host for the lovely meal or afternoon tea, send a follow-up note of thanks
  35. Carry yourself with confidence
  36. Dress the part—don’t have to wear a suit or dress but a lady always wears clean, coordinated clothing
  37. When in doubt, dress up rather than down
  38. Dress with style and not trashy
  39. Dress with others in mind
  40. Ladies don’t wear clothes that are revealing and immodest
  41. Keep make-up to a minimum
  42. Keep jewellery that is tasteful and stylish
  43. When popping down to the shop, make some effort in what you wear
  44. Be nice to your server; not because it’s nice, but because we’re human beings
  45. If you make a mistake, acknowledge it and apologise
  46. Drink responsibly when out with visitors
  47. Tuck in your chair when you get up to leave
  48. It’s not always what you say—it’s also how you say it
  49. Extends your hand to the needy
  50. Undertakes good and godly work
  51. Understands that beauty is on the inside
  52. A lady never takes pleasure in the misfortunes of others
  53. Tracksuits and sneakers belong at home and not in public
  54. A lady will not flaunt herself, her valuables, or her accomplishments
  55. A lady is not self-absorbed
  56. Never lose your cool, a lady doesn’t lose her temper
  57. If you have nothing good to say then don’t say anything at all
  58. Actions speak louder than words
  59. Ladies don’t use their mobile phones when enjoying the company of others
  60. If you have to take a call on the mobile, leave the group for a few moments (apologies)
  61. Ladies don’t put down their husbands and children to others
  62. Ladies don’t take about money problems to others
  63. If you say you will do something, follow up on it
  64. Eat with others in mind
  65. A lady doesn’t start fights
  66. Always classy, never trashy
  67. Be refined, polite and well-spoken
  68. Keep your legs together when you get into or out of a car
  69. Don’t gossip
  70. Don't babble
  71. Don't force your opinions on others
  72. Don’t over indulge
  73. Don’t be drunk and disorderly
  74. Don’t spread rumours
  75. Don’t swear
  76. Don’t bite your nails
  77. Don’t talk loud and overbearing
  78. Don't talk over others when they are talking
  79. Don’t laugh loudly
  80. Don’t chew or talk with your mouth open
  81. Don't place elbows on the table
  82. Don’t be a drama queen. It’s unpleasant for those around you.
  83. Don’t groom in public
  84. Don’t spit
  85. Don't be wild, untamed
  86. Don't act masculine, macho, tough
  87. Don’t laugh at another’s mistake
  88. Don’t be hurtful to others
  89. Don’t leave mess where you go
  90. Don’t sit with your legs wide apart in a skirt
  91. Don't sit with your skirt up well pass the knees
  92. Don’t shout on the street, laugh noisily
  93. Don’t make fun of others
  94. No unsavoury jokes
  95. Don’t give false compliments
  96. Don’t take out your bad mood on others
  97. Don’t flirt with men
  98. Do not interrupt people speaking to you
  99. Don’t be ignorant
  100. Don't be foolish

And I would like to end with a photo of the four women who had the most impact on my life, these women (all sisters) were ladies, beautiful both on the outside and the inside. The first three are my aunts (all now in heaven), the last sister, is my mother (the youngest) and she has been an invaluable teacher and role model in my life. These christian women truly were precious. 

And the reason why they were so ladylike - their mother (below), one needs to be a role model to other women, especially daughters, nieces, grand-daughters. If they see us acting ladylike, they themselves will follow. 



  1. What a wonderful post. Your mother, grandmother and aunts are all beautiful ladies - what an inspiration.

    1. Thankyou Jayne, they were remarkable women and perfect mentors.

  2. Wonderful lists - both of scripture and the list of 100 things - thank you for both. I plan to copy them and keep them with me!

  3. Survival of the fittest, always wanting to be the one in the spotlight and only caring about one's self seem to be the rules of the day. This post says the opposite - but reflects the way that the Bible teaches us to be. How much less stressful!!!

    1. It's not hard to be a lady and we like to see lady like behaviour, but it appears that no one wants to put in the effort any more :(

  4. P.S. Don't think I inherited any of the family good looks - must have got my genes from the other side! =)

    1. The four sisters were so beautiful:)) and so were their mother Jane.

  5. I agree with the things you have said. I try (and think I am successful most of the time) to behave like a lady. I can remember my mother telling me to be ladylike when I was a girl. That is a long list though...I find it something to work toward as i am certainly not capable of conquering all 100 all the time. I think I will print your list out though and hang it in my bedroom. Very nice post.

    1. Being a lady comes naturally to some women, other women need to work on it much longer but everything takes the first step!!!! Glad you enjoyed the post :)

  6. A really beautiful post. Your family line of lovely, dignified ladies is a wonderful heritage for you. I felt really blessed by everything you wrote here, and also challenged to do better and exhibit more ladylike behavior towards my 3 daughters and grand daughter.

    I think I will also print out your list. Thanks so much. God bless you for sharing this lovely post.

    1. Thankyou for your lovely words Kaye, I feel very blessed to have had older women who were such great role models in my life :)). Have a wonderful wee ahead:)

  7. Wow, what a wonderful post and I love the list you shared. Reading it showed me that there are definity some more points I need to work on with being a lady! Thank you so much for sharing ... I was so inspired and encouraged that I passed this along to my other sisters to read as well:) Blessings, ~Sarah (visiting from Radical Femininity)

    1. Thanks Sarah, let's start a new movement and make being a lady popular again :))

  8. Such a great list Jo, and great reminders to all of us. And your mother and her sisters were beautiful.

    1. My aunts and mother were very beautiful ladies and all their lives they were beautiful people, always kind and gentle. Meek women.

  9. What a lovely mother honouring post and you have some excellent points on how to be a lady. You are so right that this is fading into the recesses of history and it is great to have a reminder to be a lady. Thanks for sharing at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

    1. Thankyou for enjoying it :)) wouldn't it be lovely to s more ladies and gentlemen about :))))

  10. Thank you for the inspiration!

  11. I love this list. Being a lady is a lost art in today's society. I'm trying to show my daughters the way though.

    1. Sadly it is a lost art :( but slowly we can make a change. Thanks for stopping by.

  12. This is a beautiful and needed post.

  13. I have known few true ladies in my life, sadly, and even more sad is how little I have done to emulate those few! Thank you for this needed prodding to get my act together! I am definitely copying this list and am going to do a bible study on the subject! I have one daughter and another on the way and I watch my older daughter becoming more like me as she grows, which is not exactly flattering. Most of the things on the list, I notice, can be summed up in the idea of acting with others in mind--the golden rule!
    May God help us in this endeavor!

    1. Perhaps you can be the trail blazer in your family and show them what a lady looks like :)) Being a lady is not just about the way you dress and act, its very much about how you treat others - its the entire package :)) I hope i have encouraged a few women to give it a try.

      In God's Grace.

  14. Such a thoughtful list. It's important to consider the kind of legacy we leave our children, and I think you've covered the bases on the types of choices one should make.

    I've pinned your post, thanks for sharing at #SmallVictoriesSundayLinkup ...hope to see you again this week!

  15. Such a beautiful post Jo, I have saved the list as a reminder for me.

    I love those old photos, they are so precious. I was reminded of something a friend mentioned to me recently that you can tell the kind of person by looking into the eyes. A true Christian person has the softest eyes and one can see kindness and compassion within. I see these caring eyes in your photos :)


    1. So very true - all my aunts had a softness in their eyes and in their voices, they were gentle meek Christian women who loved the Lord and reached out to anyone in need - in saying this, they were also very intelligent and very educated ladies which shows that Christian ladies can be bright and learned and ladies as well!!

  16. What an awesome list to live up to ! I love the old photo's . A few I even recognize from my own Pinterest board titled Class . I want to be an example of a Lady to my 2 daughters and all the other women and girls around me . Thank you for linking-up this Post at Wearing with Wisdom !!! The Wednesday link-up party will be available again next week . I hope you will come by and share with us again . Blessings , Leticia from

  17. Great post, great reminder. I think it's important for us to remember that being a lady isn't just what we wear/how we look (eg. feminine clothing & feminine hair) - it's something that is on the inside, too. Feminine beauty --being a lady -- comes from the inside out and is so much more pleasing for others to see and so much more pleasurable for us to feel, too. I love being a lady as much as I possibly can (not that I'm anywhere near perfect)!
    Our relatives really were/are beautiful women! :) :) :)

    1. All fours sisters were very beautiful, likewise their mother - it must run in our genes!!!


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