Flair: Prescribing Social Graces to Revitalize your Style

Flair: Prescribing Social Graces to Revitalize your Style

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Networking with a client over coffee, the official first date, the job interview, celebratory cocktails and meeting the parents. In all of these sticky and sometime uncomfortable situations, your professional and personal polish is on display at the dining table.


By preparing for the event, you will glean an idea of the other guests and the venue. These are the clues you need for what to wear: business suit versus cocktail dress and sport coats for men. If it’s after a corporate outing, the attire will even be more casual. So, ladies, consider a non-work skirt and top. Guys can wear nicer golf shorts, a pressed shirt and polished loafers. If it’s a date, are you both coming right from work or meeting up after 6 p.m.?


All this planning and preparation should get you through the physical exam and asked back for a second meeting or date. However, if you want to achieve a stronger bill of health, here are some ways to revive your style and manners.


Revive your style by trying something new, a new color palette or silhouette. Consider shopping at a new boutique so that everything in your closet doesn’t look straight off a mannequin or out of the pages of a catalog. Try a tunic or metallic short for evening if you never have before. Look for interesting accessories from vacations or estate sales that bring interest to your outfit.


I was at a political function recently and couldn’t believe the number of neckties, necklaces and scarves with elephants or donkey details. Wear a statement piece, not only will it be a conversation piece, but it will let you shine!


Rejuvenate your closet by getting rid of unworn clothes. They just add clutter and confusion when you are running late. Review your budget and give yourself permission to purchase new outfits each season. By sprinkling in a few trends and new colors, you will add some excitement to your closet.


As for social graces, most people know the salad and bread plates are on your left side, whereas your drinks are on your right, here are a few more easy manners to master:

  • By turning your fork so the twines are curved down is the signal for your plate to be cleared.The primary business talk should wait until after the entrée plates have been removed.
  • One introduces a junior to a senior executive: Ms. Senior executive, I would like to introduce Ms. Junior Executive.
  • Accepting a compliment. Say “Thank you, I appreciate it.” You may feel embarrassed, but to respond with “oh, this old thing” is in a sense rejecting their compliment.
  • Know the difference between a toast and a roast and be willing to provide either.


Etiquette is power. Good manners open doors that position and money cannot. We all have room to improve and shine. Help yourself by keeping your appearance and manners in check. Others will notice and perceive you as more knowledgeable and confident.