The school bell has rung, class is now in session,
I would like to share ten Southern Belle tips, that can help you in society. Everyone knows there is a certain something about being in the good ‘ole South and encountering that “Southern Charm” or as the French call it, that je ne sais quoi. Let’s dive right in to the ten separate tips that make the Southern Belle shine.
Ten Tips from the Southern Belle
- Practice social etiquette as much as possible, it never goes out of fashion – Many years ago I taught an etiquette course for young girls at church, and a business etiquette course for women at a nonprofit organization. I described “etiquette” as making those around you “feel at ease.” That means making people as comfortable around you as possible, even when they do not deserve it. It does not mean you need to be a doormat, it just means you should be socially graceful, firm, and pleasant to be around. (Disclaimer: In some cases, people STiLL will not care for you no matter how polite you are and that is ok, because you cannot please everyone.)
- For heavens sakes, wear a slip – For some reason, women of today seem to believe that wearing a slip with a dress is out of season, or a thing their grandmothers did, but let me tell you, it is still very necessary. Make sure you have a short, medium, long and full-bodied slip, to accompanying all forms of skirts and dresses. There is nothing more gauche than seeing through a little girl, woman’s clothing. (In this photo of Princess Diana, she was wearing pants under her skirt, but a slip would have covered her silhouette.)
3. Be mindful the length of your heels match the environment – Depending on which etiquette book you subscribe to, the advice on the length of your heel may vary. I subscribe to the classic Emily Post book, which has evolved over time. In a work setting, if you do not like the sensible flat, aim for the 2 to 3 inch heel. On a girl’s night-out setting, a 3 to 4 inch heel will suffice if you do not plan to be in them over 3 hours. If you want to go over 4 inches, be sure not to wear them over two hours. Tip – wedge heels tend to be more comfortable.
4. Take your shoes off before walking around the house – There is an exception to this rule, if the host has given you permission to keep your shoes on. Otherwise, leave them at the door. This would be good practices in your own home as well, it allows you to keep your floors spic and span, and cuts back on the allergens and germs that tend to travel on the bottom of the shoes.
5. Cover your mouth when you yawn or cough – Two reasons, a fly/nat can go in your mouth, and secondly it is unseemly to have your mouth wide open when around others. If you don’t believe me, open wide, take a selfie and see how it looks for yourself.
6. Make sure you dress for the occasion – There is nothing worse than being under or over dressed for an occasion. We have all been there. This may take a little research, but if you are going to be in a certain setting, work, church, black tie, cocktail party and are unsure on what to wear; look online for practical ways to dress within these settings. This will ensure you are at ease. Be aware of wearing things that are stained, torn, or has missing buttons. Find a good seamstress and have it mended. I can recommend mine.
7. When to use the ladies’ room in the restaurant – Don’t lay out the contents of your purse in a public place, go to the ladies’ room. If you need to brush your hair, do it in the ladies’ room. You can put lipstick at the table, however, you should only apply mascara and powder in the bathroom.
8. Communication in the home – Don’t forget about etiquette rules when at home. For instance, it’s very rude to shout from another room. Try walking to the room so that the other person can hear you better.
9. Be mindful of your table manners –
- It’s rude to refill only your glass. First, ask if the person sitting next to you would like a refill.
- Don’t take a long time to choose the best piece of food on a plate. Take the nearest piece.
- Don’t put a soup spoon on the table during dinner or after it. Leave the spoon in the bowl so as not to make the tablecloth dirty.
- When holding a teacup, place your fingers to the front and the back of the handle. However, you can loop your fingers around the handle when drinking coffee.
10. General Rules –
- Remember: when at work, it’s not ok to lay out your makeup, purse or hat on your desk. Find a different place for it.
- If you are sitting on a low chair, don’t cross your legs. Hold your knees together, and lean them to the side. You can cross your legs only if you put one foot right behind the other.
Hope you find these tips sprinkle you with some Southern Charm!
The school bell has rung, class dismissed 🙂