Manners: A Prerequisite of Style?

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Manners: A pesky seven-letter word that arouses strong feelings from people who shake their heads at the rampant lack of etiquette in today’s society, and from their opponents who tire of the plea to a return to a code of conduct they feel is antiquated, not to mention that in today’s fast-paced world, there just isn’t any time for holding doors, voyons!

But contrary to popular belief, manners, as Emily Post, the late American author and doyenne of etiquette once remarked, “are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others.” Post argued that, “If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.”

While we should all aspire to be well mannered, it seems only fitting to expect that people who have a polished appearance, and as such, project an image of culture and refinement, have good manners to boot. In any case, that’s always been my first impression whenever a stylish and elegant person walked through the door. To build a smart, sophisticated wardrobe takes polish and savoir faire. In addition, it goes without saying that some people wear clothes to express their identity, and as such, a stylish bird can impress on people the idea that with style comes refinement and class simply because the clothes she wears communicate that very idea. There’s a reason iconic women in film like the late actresses Grace Kelly and Ingrid Bergman were revered not only for their acting chops, but also for the sheer poise and elegance they displayed on screen. This was in no way manufactured, as these women truly embodied the class and refinement befitting of their elegance, and the wardrobe choices of the directors who knew them well (Alfred Hitchcock comes to mind) were made to reflect just that. The graciousness with which Ingrid Bergman accepts the Oscar for Best Actress for Gaslight in 1945 is enough to convince anyone in my mind.

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Now, the question every self-proclaimed or elected stylish bird should ask herself: Do you carry yourself with the same sophistication as your wardrobe?

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Comments
3 Responses to “Manners: A Prerequisite of Style?”
  1. sagemag says:

    I do agree that those with manners are considerate of others, so sometimes I wonder about the effectiveness of teaching manners to certain people.

    • Katia says:

      The problem is that manners are at odds with the individualistic society that we live in. In a society where “me” comes before “we”, it’s very easy, and even accepted to lack consideration for others. At this point, I believe that the best way to teach manners to certain people is to lead by example. Like most, I’m far from perfect in the etiquette department, but I am more than willing to improve my manners and treat others with the same politeness and courtesy that I would expect from them.

  2. M. says:

    Lovely post. Good manners are the epitome of style!

    Best,
    Mariah

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