Thursday, March 29, 2012

Emily Post Etiquette, Relevant to Today?

The man and I were out to dinner with another couple this past weekend. While at this yummalicious dinner, Emily Post etiquette was brought up by the other man (weird I know) because we were discussing what is right and wrong whilst wedding planning. No one wants hurt feelings which is why it's important that you at least glance at some etiquette sites.. Any way, I thought about the way that people behave in the workplace, at social events, well... I guess basically anywhere. Do we abide by classic rules of etiquette anymore or are we a different breed of human beings?  Etiquette In Society, in Business, in Politics, and at Home, by Emily Post, was the original reference book for good behavior. Do Emily's rule's still apply today? How do they apply to us fashionistas? I took a look at her rules and learned that while times change, they often don't change.

I chose some of the quotes that interested me the most and I thought made the most sense (as in I could actually understand what she was saying) for me/ were general guidelines rather than etiquette on formal teas... because I can't remember the last formal tea that I attended. There were a lot that rang true for me and how I think.

"IDEAL conversation should be a matter of equal give and take, but too often it is all “take.” The voluble talker—or chatterer—rides his own hobby straight through the hours without giving anyone else, who might also like to say something, a chance to do other than exhaustively await the turn that never comes. Once in a while—a very long while—one meets a brilliant person whose talk is a delight; or still more rarely a wit who manipulates every ordinary topic with the agility of a sleight-of-hand performer, to the ever increasing rapture of his listeners." 
I think what Emily is saying here folks, is that when talking to people, in any type of conversation, it is often rude to talk the entire time. Yep, last time I checked, this is still relevant to today. I, myself, have to give a mental check to make sure that I am being a good conversationalist which is why it burns my biscuits when I must listen to other babble on to no end while we are supposedly in a conversation with one another. To be a good networker, especially in the blogging world, give and take is important. But alas, while proper etiquette, not everyone always follows this rule.

"CLOTHES are to us what fur and feathers are to beasts and birds; they not only add to our appearance, but they are our appearance. How we look to others entirely depends upon what we wear and how we wear it; manners and speech are noted afterward, and character last of allIn the community where we live, admirableness of character is the fundamental essential, and in order to achieve a position of importance, personality is also essential; but for the transient impression that we make at home, abroad, everywhere in public, two superficial attributes are alone indispensable: good manners and a pleasing appearance. In the world of smart society—in America at any rate—clothes not only represent our ticket of admission, but our contribution to the effect of a party. What makes a brilliant party? Clothes

Emily wants us to look our best, people. Clothes are important ( I know they are to me anyway) but they aren't everything. You could be wearing the fiercest Valentino Studded Heels but if you have a stanky attitude and poor manners, your statement heels will be ignored because people will just think you are a rude b!tch.

"Vulgar clothes are those which, no matter what the fashion of the moment may be, are always too elaborate for the occasion; too exaggerated in style, or have accessories out of proportion. People of uncultivated taste are apt to fancy distortions; to exaggerate rather than modify the prevailing fashions."

Emily doesn't want us to wear clothes that are inappropriate. I think we ALL can relate to being in a situation where something someone else was wearing has made us uncomfortable. I think we can ALL relate to being in a situation where we have worn what was making someone else uncomfortable and have regretted it.

"There is one rule that is fairly safe to follow: When in doubt, wear the plainer dress. It is always better far to be under-dressed than over-dressed. If you don’t know whether to put on a ball dress or a dinner dress, wear the dinner dress. Or, whether to wear cloth or brocade to a luncheon, wear the cloth."

Simplicity is always the better choice if you aren't quite sure how BOLD you should go. I think this is still a totally relevant thought and I am a firm believer in simplicity being beautiful (not plain, Em).

"GOOD taste or bad is revealed in everything we are, do, have. Our speech, manners, dress, and household goods—and even our friends—are evidences of the propriety of our taste, and all these have been the subject of this book. Rules of etiquette are nothing more than sign-posts by which we are guided to the goal of good taste."

So all in all, Emily Post really just wants us to put our best foot forward in our appearance, our attitude, our manners and the people we surround ourselves with. I think we can all agree that this should be relevant for the foreseeable future and that really, it's the best way to live life. We want to be the best we can be, not just for others but for ourselves. Emily Post, you go girl.

"Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use." -Emily Post

*Emily Post quotes from


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