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1950s Etiquette : Social Manners : Etiquette Series


In today's world it's a hardy task navigating etiquette. The rules that once applied to social situations in the 1950s don't always apply today. Some social expectations from then are in fact unacceptable today.  We've grown, and that's a good thing! With that in mind, I'm starting this series of observing etiquette from different decades in order to fully understand what place etiquette has in our lives today! The purpose here is to scour my many etiquette sources to find practical guidelines for the vintage-loving modern person.


Today's guidelines concern social graces and come from Amy Vanderbilt's 1952 "Complete Book of Etiquette."


5 Social Etiquette Rules From Amy Vanderbilt That Apply Today

1. In greeting people say, "How do you do?" We do not really expect an answer, but it is alright to reply, "Very well, thank you." You may also reply, "How do you do?"
2. If you cannot remember a name it's kind to give a warm greeting such as, "Nice to see you" or "You're looking well."
3. When greeting people who haven't seen in sometime always identify yourself quickly and gracefullly with your name and your last encounter.
4. Refrain from asking someone the cost of something, the size of someone, or personal questions that could be prying or insensitive.
5. When asked a personal or insensitive question it is acceptable to either offer a witty reply that assumes no offense was intended OR "that is a question I don't prefer to answer."

Being a performer in the showbiz world, I'm always encountering moments when I recognize a face, but can't place the name or how I know them! I'm always incredibly relieved when someone is gracious enough to give me a sweet reminder! If any of these particularly speak to you, let me know in the comments below! Would you like me to research a specific etiquette realm? If so, please ask! I'd be delighted to dig into navigating vintage etiquette for a modern world! xo, Jolie Goodnight 



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