This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Hester Browne's latest novel THE FINISHING TOUCHES is a real gem. Perfectly pitched, charming and witty. Each chapter begins with a modern etiquette tip. I loved these so much that I asked Hester to give us some more of her tips for modern etiquette. Here they are…
Old-style glamour, new-style world by Hester Browne
1. Turn off your phone. It’s the gracious way to say, ‘You’ve got my full attention’. Turn it off if you’re at lunch, in the cinema, driving, in a meeting. And if you can’t do that, at least put it onto silent. There’s nothing more depressing than seeing two people who’ve presumably got together for a chat checking their emails in silence.
2. Find your signature. Whether it’s a particular perfume you always wear, or being the go-to pop culture girl for the quiz team, it’s chic to have a trademark that makes everyone think, ‘you’. (NB You have to love it though – forcing yourself to drink martinis or feign an interest in French films is not the way to go. Ditto, ‘being able to drink three pints of lager in under a minute’ and ‘getting my whole fist in my mouth’.)
3. Be kind. It’s really easy to live in a bubble-for-one these days, but making the effort is elegant and always appreciated. Have postcards and stamps to hand to send a thank you note; pay compliments; help people with pushchairs and doors. Send flowers now and again – you know how gorgeous it makes you feel to get them.
4. Remove Mr Toxic Ex from your phone, your email, andyour Facebook account. In the old days, it would have taken you at least two minutes to dial his number on your big Bakelite telephone, by which time your best friend could have wrenched the wineglass and your special dialling stick out of your hands. Now, it’s far, fartoo easy to keep in touch with men you should really dig out of your life by the roots. Think Hollywood on this one – would Elizabeth Taylor snivelled over Twitpics of her ex at a party? No. She would have been posting ones of herself. In a tiara. On a yacht.
5. Red lipstick isn’t just make-up, it’s an attitude. With red lips, you don’t need anything else on your face. There ’s one for everyone, from sheer glosses to full-on Marilyn lips. The key to avoiding the mad drag-queen look is finding exactly the right shade for you. Go to a department store, choose the make-up counter girl with the most acceptable face of slap, and ask for a demonstration.