Monday, April 27, 2015

Social Graces

Proper etiquette has always been a nonnegotiable in my family. I'm pretty sure my first foray into the ability to distinguish the salad fork from dinner fork happened while I was still in my highchair and I was gifted White Gloves and Party Manners at the age of four with the subliminal message "those tea parties for your America Girls are cute but here's how it's really done". Every passing Christmas my etiquette book collection has grown exponentially into an anthology that would make Emily Post take note. But even with such an expansive library of references I often find myself questioning whether Mad Men era protocols still pertain to today's culture. Vogue's Modern Manners column has become one of my favorite sources to consult on what is still considered inappropriate, and where we can afford to make a few more allowances.

(In case you need a brief refresher on dining etiquette, Chloe Malle's video is perfect.)

While nothing boils my blood faster than a cell phone on the dinner table (here's when it appropriate to use them), and I will continue to wish a bride-to-be "best wishes" (congratulations should be reserved for the groom), I realize that, unfortuately, in today's day and age, fighting some of these things may be a losing battle. Regardless, I will strive to maintain a connection with an era when it was acceptable to drink in the middle of the day and it's reassuring to know that even a few publications still find a certain level of decorum to be expected.

If you're looking for a passive-agressive gift for some friends who many need to brush up on the basics, (I know I would personally love to hand a copy of this book out to every resident of Manhattan) here are a few of my favorites references:
Social Graces

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9


  1. Love that video! Especially after having no one open the door for me this morning when I was clearly carrying a tray of coffees! I'm going to scatter a few copies of that book in the lobby of my building.

  2. I LOVE this post! My boyfriend thinks i'm crazy because oneof my favorite things to buy at estate sales and antique stores are old etiquette books! I have three copies of Emily Post from the last 80 years and I just love to read the "proper etiquette" and see how times have changes certain rules and some most certainly have remained the same!


site design by designer blogs