Want to learn how not to look like a try-hard?
It's tough to seem chill and nonchalant without trying too hard.
Mastering that casual confidence takes practice, but luckily, you have the ultimate guide in front of you.
We're here to help you upgrade your look, attitude, and vibe to appear completely cool – without looking like you spend hours working on it.
Our scientifically proven tips will teach you the art of not trying so hard while oozing effortless coolness.
Soon, you'll be Mr. or Ms. Cool without a care in the world.
- What's the Definition of a Cool Person?
- How to Be Cool: 21 Strategies to Act and Look Totally Chill
- How to Act Cool
- 1. Master the Art of Not Caring
- 2. Wield Witty Comebacks
- 3. Complain as Little as Possible
- 4. Perfect the Subtle Eye Roll
- 5. Speak Less and Slower
- 6. Play It Cool with Crushes
- 7. Perfected Bored Body Language
- 8. Adopt an Amused Demeanor
- 9. Bring Out Your Inner Antihero
- 10. Laugh at Yourself
- 11. Cultivate Resting Smirk Face
- How to Look Cool
- 12. Master the Art of All Black Everything
- 13. Unleash Your Inner Rock Star with Band Tees
- 14. Make Them Do a Double Take with Unexpected Prints
- 15. Make Beanies Your Signature
- 16. Wield Wardrobe-Elevating Sunnies
- 17. Master the Art of Layering
- 18. Display Your Personality with Custom Jackets
- 19. Show Some Skin with Edgy Cut-Outs
- 20. Adorn Yourself with Vintage Jewels
- 21. Make Louche Leather Your Friend
- 10 Things You Should Never Do If You Want to Be Cool
What's the Definition of a Cool Person?
We all know that effortlessly cool person — the one who glides through life with style, charisma, and an air of confidence.
But what qualities make up a truly cool persona? What secrets do these chill people have that we regular folks don't?
While coolness is subjective, researchers have identified some common traits in people perceived as cool:
- Relaxed – Cool people give off a vibe of being at ease even in chaotic situations. They don't get frazzled easily.
- Authentic – Trying too hard is decidedly uncool. Genuine cool people are comfortable in their own skin.
- Rebellious – They bend rules and forge their own path instead of blindly following norms.
- Charismatic – Something about their personality draws others to them like moths to a flame.
- Mysterious – You never know quite what cool people are going to do next. They keep you guessing.
- Amused – Life is their playground. Cool people give off the sense that they're in on some kind of inside joke.
Of course, this isn't an exhaustive list. But cultivating these traits will set you well on your way to perfecting that magnetic yet nonchalant je ne sais quoi coolness.
How to Be Cool: 21 Strategies to Act and Look Totally Chill
Now that you know what defines a cool persona, let's get down to the nitty-gritty.
1. Master the Art of Not Caring
Trying too hard is the antithesis of cool. Approach everything with a been-there-done-that nonchalance. Don't get flustered in chaotic situations. And no matter what life throws your way, give off the vibe that you have zero effs to give.
The key is to appear calmly disengaged on the surface, even if you're paddling hard underwater. Channel a “nothing really phases me” attitude and breeze through stressful moments like it's no big deal.
2. Wield Witty Comebacks
Having an arsenal of snarky yet amusing quips will ensure you always get the last word. When someone tries messing with you, knock them down with a wry retort instead of getting defensive.
Just don't straight up insult them or you'll seem petty. Disarm any tense situation by throwing some wicked wit their way. Come up with some go-to zingers that subtly mock or contradict whoever is challenging you to assert your cool confidence.
3. Complain as Little as Possible
Cool people see the glass as half full. Constant complaining or venting emotions makes you seem high-strung and lame. If something is annoying you, keep it to yourself or find a subtle, light-hearted way to comment on it.
Exuding positivity and optimism will prove you’re too cool to sweat the small stuff. Respond to frustrations by downplaying them with a dash of sarcasm or wit. Or simply shrug it off by changing the subject to something more interesting.
4. Perfect the Subtle Eye Roll
Have an exaggerated eye roll up your sleeve for when people are acting absurd or basic. But use sparingly – overdoing it gets old. Deploy only when something is especially silly or cliché.
Accompany with a sly smirk for that perfect combo of mild disdain and amusement. Add in a subtle head shake while rolling your eyes to convey that you can't believe you have to deal with this foolishness.
5. Speak Less and Slower
You don't have to fill every silence or react to everything said to you. Sit back and speak deliberately instead of chatterboxing. Limit yourself to some intriguing one-liners rather than monologuing.
It conveys confidence and self-assuredness instead of neurotic energy. Master the art of minimalism in your speech. Pausing before responding to questions also asserts you are thoughtful and composed.
6. Play It Cool with Crushes
Getting obviously flustered around your crush is a rookie mistake. Be friendly but not overeager, relaxed but not indifferent. Don't bombard them with attention or compliments.
Act like you think they're cool but aren't falling all over yourself to impress them. Your chill vibe will draw them in. Smile and make eye contact without gushing or fixating on them.
7. Perfected Bored Body Language
Slouching gives off an air of not being impressed or invested. Lean back with your shoulders relaxed instead of sitting ramrod straight. Let your gaze wander around the room instead of staring intently.
Drum your fingers lightly or stifle subtle yawns here and there. Just avoid overtly rude behavior like checking your phone constantly or falling asleep! The goal is to seem blasé yet thoughtful, not apathetic and zoned out. Project just the right amount of casual boredom.
8. Adopt an Amused Demeanor
Coolness conveys being in on some kind of inside joke the rest of the world isn't privy to. Maintain an aura of subtle amusement by regularly letting out mysterious chuckles and sporting a wry half-smile.
Even if you don't find things overly hilarious, projecting a generally tickled perspective makes you seem confident and intriguing. Like you're privy to entertaining secrets no one else knows. This lighthearted yet mischievous vibe draws people in.
9. Bring Out Your Inner Antihero
Having a slightly dangerous edge casts an air of brooding coolness. Think James Dean with his rebel persona. Be bold and break minor rules here and there to hint at your wild side without going overboard.
Little touches like a metaphorical chip on your shoulder, a leather jacket, or playing the loner at times add to your complexity.
10. Laugh at Yourself
People obsessed with seeming “cool” lack the ability to be self-deprecating. Occasionally, make fun of your own flubs or quirks. It shows you don't take yourself too seriously, which is ultimately way cooler than trying to be perfect all the time.
Sprinkle some light-hearted jokes at your own expense into conversations. Letting your silly or dorky side show proves inner confidence and wins people over way more than pretending you don't have flaws.
11. Cultivate Resting Smirk Face
Practice smirking like you know an inside joke no one else does. Combining this signature smirk with an amused glare gives off vibes of being mysterious and mischievous in a cool way. Just avoid full-on sneering at people, which seems more contemptuous than charming.
Allow the corners of your mouth to naturally curve up slightly when listening to others or pausing in conversation. And don't be afraid to let a subtle, smug half-smile emerge when you nail a witty comeback line. This hints you're able to handle challenging situations with a dose of wry humor.
How to Look Cool
12. Master the Art of All Black Everything
Can't go wrong decking yourself out in head-to-toe black. It's the color of mystery and automatically makes you look sleek and sophisticated. Invest in some slim black jeans, a leather jacket, a v-neck tee, and boots. But mix up fabrics like incorporating lace or velvet, so it’s not boring. And break it up with bold silver or red accents here and there.
Walking into a room wearing an all-black outfit makes a statement and conveys that casual coolness. For women channeling an all-black look, up the ante with feline winged eyeliner and matte red lips for that slightly dangerous yet totally glam vibe.
13. Unleash Your Inner Rock Star with Band Tees
Channel famous musical legends by sporting their tour shirts, especially from eras past. Think Bowie, The Ramones, Nirvana, or Led Zeppelin. Pair with destroyed black jeans and chunky boots. A vintage band shirt signals both your rebellious spirit and your appreciation for icons of coolness.
Customize your own tee by cutting strips off the neckline or tying knots in the waist. Show off your range by mixing classic rock statements with modern pop idol attire. Contrast a Jimi Hendrix shirt with the newest Taylor Swift merch item.
14. Make Them Do a Double Take with Unexpected Prints
Leopard print, graphic checkerboard, even subtle herringbone…make onlookers pause with eye-catching print mixing. Contrast a fierce animal print skirt with a preppy button-down. Set off a vivid graphic tee with basic blue jeans. Keep prints as the focal point of your outfit instead of going overboard mixing patterns.
Challenge traditional notions of matching by playing with unanticipated combinations. Polish off clashing prints with clean-cut accents like a fitted blazer or mini backpack. Express your bold and artsy spirit through stand-out textiles that demand attention when walking into any room.
15. Make Beanies Your Signature
A beanie instantly gives off artful vibes and, when paired with the right outfit, conveys chill nonchalance. Go for neutral colors like grey, black, or tan in soft materials like cashmere or merino wool. Tilt at an angle for subtle flair.
Experiment with textures and silhouettes to create interest. Try a slouchy oversized one, then switch it up with a snug cuffed version. Top off tailored blazers and sleek boots with a beanie for the essence of casual, refined coolness.
16. Wield Wardrobe-Elevating Sunnies
A killer pair of shades takes any outfit up a notch instantly. Go for an iconic wayfarer, aviator, or cat-eye shape in a bold hue like red, white, or yellow. Or channel old Hollywood mystique with big Jackie O-style sunglasses. Always keep your sunnies perched on your head when not in use so you can slide them on during candid moments.
Experiment with materials like colored acrylics and mirrored lenses. Invest in quality UV-blocking lenses from designer brands to prove you mean business. Switch out lens colors and shapes to match your mood or wardrobe.
17. Master the Art of Layering
Effective layering creates visual interest while projecting an aura of nonchalance. Start with fitted base pieces like a crisp white tee, dark wash skinnies, or faux leather leggings. Then, artfully pile on items like chunky knit cardigans, plaid button-downs, graphic tanks, and activity jackets.
Don't be afraid to play with proportions, textures, and colors as you stack different items. Finish the assemble with unexpected accessories like a newsboy cap, patterned scarf, or vintage backpack.
18. Display Your Personality with Custom Jackets
Set yourself apart style-wise by DIY-customizing jean, leather, or denim jackets. Make them distinctly your own with fabric paint pens by adding lyrics, cool graphics, or inspiring quotes on the back. Sew on quirky pins and patches featuring favorite fandoms or indie bands.
You can also unleash your artistic side by taking a basic jacket and going to town splatter painting masterpieces all over it. Distressed effects using scissors, sandpaper, and even bleach amp up the visual edge. Broadcast your essence through a one-of-a-kind outer layer that others will envy.
19. Show Some Skin with Edgy Cut-Outs
Celebs like Halle Berry and Jennifer Lopez rock daring cut-out dresses on the red carpet. Embrace the sultrier side of cool by showing strategic flashes of skin. Seek out tops, skirts, and dresses featuring sassy cut-outs around the waistline, décolletage, or sides for that wow effect.
When flaunting skin, keep the rest of the look sleek and modern. Pair cut-outs with leather leggings or high-waisted trousers. Finish with strappy heels and chunky gold necklaces running along the neckline cut-outs. Or add edge with combat boots and a cropped jacket nonchalantly thrown on.
20. Adorn Yourself with Vintage Jewels
Skip mass-produced pieces and get your bling at vintage stores and estate sales instead. Clustered brooches, cameo necklaces, and Art Deco rings inject old-world refinement into everyday outfits. Mix eras like pairing Victorian drop earrings with midcentury bangle stacks.
Vintage jewelry reveals depths of taste and personality. Plus, it’s an instant outfit elevation for cheap. Search nearby antique malls and thrift stores for unique destroyed finds waiting to be treasured again. With one-of-a-kind adornments, you'll stand out from the status quo crowd.
21. Make Louche Leather Your Friend
Leather jackets and pants convey an essence of boldness and mystery. Go for classic moto-jacket silhouettes in classic black or saturated jewel tones. To avoid seeming too biker gang, balance edgy leather items with polished accents like a printed silk scarf or gold aviator sunnies.
For an unexpected twist, play with leather in non-traditional ways, like a ruffle skirt. Luxe leather backpacks, purses, and Oxford shoes are more refined touches. Colored leather trousers make a sleek style statement when going out..
10 Things You Should Never Do If You Want to Be Cool
Now that you’re armed with expert tips on channeling effortless coolness, let’s talk pitfalls to avoid at all costs.
It’s just as important to know what not to do on your chilled-out quest. Some rookie behaviors will torpedo your cool factor faster than you can slip on shades and slouch indifferently. Steer clear of these cringe-worthy moves no matter what:
- Try too hard – Obvious attempts reveal your inner poser.
- Pose for social media – Stop trying to manufacture “perfect” moments.
- Gatekeep interests – Policing what people enjoy is never a good look.
- Lose your temper – Cool people don’t fly off the handle easily.
- Talk too much – Those close-lipped do more mystique-building.
- Laugh at others – Playful self-deprecation wins over mockery.
- Beg for attention – Coolness cultivated in the shadows gets noticed.
- Be a sloppy drunk – Loss of control lacks chill.
- Judging others – True coolness comes from confidence, not criticism.
- Stress over temporary fads – Stand the test of time by just being you.
It comes down to this: relax, retain authenticity, and radiate positivity. Master that, and you’ll be the coolest cucumber slicing through life without breaking a sweat.
While complete coolness ultimately comes from within, adapting certain behaviors, styles, and mindsets can elevate your effortless fab factor exponentially. Armed with these tips, you are now a veritable pro at applying the polish of nonchalance and mystique to your persona. Let that inner confidence shine while breezing through life with laughs and flair. Congratulations, you cool cat, you!