I am starting a series of posts about how to be a lady (according to Catherine Rosekelly.) Some of these fabulous pearls of wisdom come from Candace Simpson-Giles’ book How to be a Lady: A Contemporary Guide to Common Courtesy, but most of it comes from my own experience. I have been so very lucky to be surrounded by classy ladies and I am duty bound to pass down their wisdom to the rest of you.
The first bit has to do with fashion, followed by sections on housekeeping, social events, friendship, and General Ladylike habits.
o A lady always dresses weather appropriate. If it’s cold, don’t wear shorts and a tank top. Or leggings as pants with UGG boots. They are leggings, not real pants. It’s not a hard concept. When it gets chilly, you need to wear real clothing. A lady would never look like the fool for wearing something skimpy in 20° weather. Also, UGGs are unnecessary in places like Florida or the rest of the planet.
o A lady never wears shoes she cannot walk in properly. A lady walks with confidence and grace in her heels. She does not stumble like some drunk or clomp around like a horse. Practice makes perfect, so take the time to walk in your shoes before you show them off in public. I don’t care if you are rocking some 5 inch Christian Louboutins; if you stumble, don’t wear them. There is nothing more tacky than a young lady who hobbles around in her slutty high heels. We are all judging you if you do.
o A lady wears clothing that is flattering and appropriate. A real lady makes sure that her wardrobe is functional and flattering. There is nothing better looking than a polished outfit that actually fits you and your personality. Don’t wear clothing that doesn’t fit or flatter you. Edgy, fashionable pieces are great to have in your closet-if they look good on you. Just because you have on all the latest fashions doesn’t mean you y become stylish. Sometimes you just end up looking tacky, and that makes everyone hate you. There is a difference between fashionable and stylish so learn it now.
o A lady dresses for the event. You don’t wear a short purple club-going dress with black stiletto booties to church on Sunday! (True story, I saw this.) You also don’t wear jeans and flip-flops to a job interview or your Vivienne Westwood gown to a Foam Party. There is no shame in wearing t-shirts and shorts during the day, as long as it’s appropriate. But sometimes you have to be a Big Girl and dress like one.
o A lady wears appropriate make-up. If you don’t want to wear any, that’s fine. If you do wear make-up, don’t paint it on like some two-bit hooker. Make-up is meant to highlight your lovely features, not cover them up. Don’t be afraid to consult the Make-up counter ladies or Google classy make-up techniques for help. Your beauty routine shouldn’t last hours, and you don’t want to look overdone. If you literally wash off your entire face at the end of the day, you are doing something wrong. Sometimes less is more!
o A lady owns classy wardrobe staples. Every accomplished young women needs the following items:
- A crisp, white Oxford shirt.
- Flattering dress pants.
- A Little Black Dress that makes you feel like Audrey Hepburn.
- Flattering and stylish jeans.
- Pair of heels that make you feel like you own the world when you wear them.
- A pearl necklace. Do not underestimate the power of pearls.
- A favorite t-shirt
- A flirty, yet classy skirt for going out.
- Comfortable pants for sitting around the house.
- A tailored suit to wear to work and other professional things.
o A lady doesn’t buy things she can’t afford. Nor does she buy cheap articles of clothing that won’t last. A lady doesn’t flaunt her wealth with her clothing, and she doesn’t wear clothing that should be thrown away. A lady is smart with her money and that should be reflected in her wardrobe.
o A lady tries to be conscientious of where her clothes come from. It’s still difficult to find clothing that is 100% sweat free/fair trade/environmentally friendly. But a lady always makes the effort to shop smart.
o A lady understands the power of pearls. If you don’t, you are not a lady. They don’t have to be expensive to be perfect. (But let’s face it, owning some Mikimoto pearls would be fabulous!) If you don’t know how to make use of fashionable accessories, stick to pearls. You can never go wrong with them.
o A lady wears supportive and appropriate clothing when working out. It’s important to stay healthy, so a Lady knows that exercise is important. But a Lady doesn’t wear clothing that gets in the way of her workout. Sometimes you need to leave the bedazzled velvet track suit at home and stick to some running shorts and a t-shirt.
o A lady wears appropriate foundation garments (a.k.a underwear). Unless you are in an amorous situation, your underthings should never be showing. No one really needs to see your lacy butt-floss sticking out of your jeans. That’s gross. Unfortunately, sometimes you have a wardrobe malfunction and your under roo’s ride up. Ladies can all accept that fact. But don’t make it an everyday wardrobe decision.
o When a lady donates her clothing to charitable places like Goodwill or The Salvation Army or other clothing drives, she makes sure the pieces are clean and in good condition. Do not just bag up clothing that is stained or torn. It’s a little insulting to donate clothing that should be made into wash rags or thrown away. You should donate clothing that you would want to find when you shop at those places. Don’t be rude.