Stiletto – The Modern Girls Guide to Being a Lady by Grace Brighton (aka Lauren Layne)
Introduction from the editor:
Hi Stiletto Readers!
Last week we heard from Julie Greene, Stiletto’s expert on flirting, kissing and all things involving a little wink and hair flick.
This week we’ll be hearing from columnist Grace Brighton, who’s all genteel classiness on the outside, ovaries of steel on the inside. Grace’s usual schtick is love & relationships: keeping the spark alive, anniversary gift ideas, etc. Today, however, Grace asked to take on something a little different …
THE MODERN GIRL’S GUIDE TO BEING A LADY
And when I say lady, I’m not talking about the generic term for women that you’ll see written in plastic beneath the little female icon in the triangle skirt you see on the bathroom door at Applebee’s.
No, I’m talking about being a lady in the old-fashioned sense of the word. I’m talking about capturing that elusive quality of Helen Mirren, Kate Middleton, Audrey Hepburn, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Grace Kelly, Ingrid Bergman . . .
You know. Ladies. Elegant but not stuffy. Smart, but not smug. Sophisticated, yet approachable. Gracious, but never ingratiating.
And while there probably are some women who are just born with this elusive lady-like aura, there is hope for the rest of us that didn’t emerge from the womb with all of the effortless sophistication of Grace Kelly …
TEN RULES FOR BEING A LADY, STILETTO STYLE
1. No more selfies. Sorry. I know they seem harmless, but pictures taken of yourself, by yourself? You’re either coming across as narcissistic or lonely, or both.
2. Know your drink when asked. It can be red wine, or iced tea, or a Makers Mark Manhattan. It can be a gin-and-tonic, a white wine spritzer, or Diet Coke. But under no circumstance, should you respond to “Can I get you something to drink?” with ummmmmmm….Actually, this goes for all areas of life. You’re an adult. Know thyself.
3. Read at least six non-fiction books a year. Come on, don’t you kind of want to be the one at girls’ night who knows more about World War II than The Bachelor?
4. Learn how to walk in heels. If you don’t like high heels, fine, but if you do plan on wearing heels to the annual Christmas party, don’t offend your fabulous stilettos by doing the foot-dragging, heel-slipping wobble walk so many of us are prone to. Practice. Wear heels to the grocery store and carpool pick-up and date night until they’re second nature.
5. You know what’s more unladylike than dropping the occasional four-letter word? Sanctimoniously sneering at those who do. Ladies know there are more important issues to worry about than the one letter difference between darn and damn.
6. Check your posture. I bet it sucks. Next time you’re waiting at the dentist’s office, sitting at a restaurant, or at teacher-parent conference, keep your spine straight, and shoulders back. You’ll feel weird for a few minutes, but you’ll look fabulous for a lifetime.
7. Enough hating on other women. Yeah, I don’t particularly “get” the appeal of being a beauty pageant contestant either. And Miley’s tongue grosses me out. But let’s not not let womanhood and sisterhood be defined by gossip and judgement and hate. Rise above.
8. Learn how to cook one thing really, really well. Brownies count.
9. A glass of wine with lunch doesn’t make you a lush. Ignore those who raise their eyebrows at your suggestion to drink before before 5pm. They’re probably the same one’s talking about you because you said damn when you slammed your finger in the car door. A cold glass of Chardonnay with your Cobb salad at lunch perfectly respectable. Indulge.
10. Terrified of hosting? Here’s one easy rule to master: always put out napkins before the party. They can be cute pink cocktail napkins, bargain paper towels, or pristine pressed linen, but don’t wait until your poor guest has ketchup on her lip to remember them!
That’s our list. What are we missing? How do YOU define being a lady?