Part of being preppy means being polite. I am currently coveting Kate Spade’s etiquette trilogy. According to Neiman Marcus, “Manners, Style, and Occasions, designer Kate Spade invites you into her world of festive entertaining as she shares her ideas about etiquette in lighthearted, down-to-earth terms and provides humorous and practical guidance on how to create your own elegant style.”
These delightful descriptions by Simon and Schuster explain why these books are a necessity for navigating the post grad world:
“Making a good first impression, tipping for a haircut, dispensing with a large handful of cherry pits, and determining the so-called pedestrian passing lane on a crowded sidewalk are just some of the many etiquette conundrums we all face. As liberated as we’ve become in our dress and in our lifestyles, good manners are still essential.
Whether you’re in Boston or in Phoenix, and whether you’re a record producer or a dog groomer, the same quandaries can occur: Who goes through a revolving door first, a man or a woman? When is it polite to correct someone’s mispronunciation of your name? And what if you can’t see over the head of the person who has just sat in front of you at the movies?
For Kate Spade, growing up in a large family required good manners, and to this day they are a natural part of her daily routine. In Manners, she shares her ideas about etiquette in lighthearted but down-to-earth terms. Kindness, common sense, and levity are the foundation for good manners at home, when dining, in the office, or out in public (at a sporting event or on an airplane). The art of communication is still important today, especially when it comes to written correspondence and being considerate when using cell phones, and Kate has something to say on both subjects. A ‘Manners Miscellany’ concludes the book, casting a wide net over topics such as air kissing and “we must do lunch” to competitive parking, rain checks, and re-gifting.
Manners is an unpretentious guide to navigating the social shoals of modern life. Kate’s sensible commentary coupled with the nearly 200 captivating watercolor illustrations make Manners a welcome addition to any home library. As portrait photographer Slim Aarons writes, ‘good manners are never passé.’
Remember, etiquette is one thing that never goes out of style.”
“A few lucky women have been born with style — think Diana Vreeland and Jacqueline Onassis — but for most of us, style is something that comes with time and experience. Above all, style begins with a sense of who you are and your self-confidence. Style comes from opening yourself to the world around you — to books and movies, art, music, travel, and especially to other people.
In this upbeat and engaging book, designer Kate Spade talks about the many people and experiences that have inspired her. For Kate, movies as varied as The Swimmer and The Red Balloon have influenced her vision of style, as have such places as Mexico (where she and her husband, Andy, vacation each year), Napa Valley, and her hometown of Kansas City.
In the pages of Style, you’ll find a large section devoted to the colors Kate most loves and suggestions for combining them. Accessories, which are the backbone of her wardrobe, are given full treatment here, including shoes, handbags, hats, gloves, and jewelry; and a portfolio of Kate’s personal favorites from her own closet is showcased. Style in the office, evening style, even ideas for style when you travel and when you play are all featured here. The last section of Style focuses on maintaining your wardrobe, including tips on organizing your closet, caring for vintage clothes, and keeping your jewelry in good condition.
Style, with 230 watercolor illustrations, is a wonderfully personal and friendly book intended for readers of all ages and style temperaments. If there’s one rule Kate espouses, it’s that true style comes when you follow your own rules. Moreover, as the writers William Strunk, Jr., and E. B. White once wrote, ‘To achieve style, begin by affecting none.'”
“Every occasion calls out for something extra, whether it’s flowers you set on the table, foods to honor a special gathering, or the selection of music. For both hostess and guest, consideration of those around you is among the most important qualities for any enjoyable occasion. A smile and sense of humor are also essential, and before the canapés and night lighting a good hostess is ultimately defined by a welcoming and gracious demeanor.
In Occasions, designer Kate Spade invites you into her world of easy, festive entertaining, where the emphasis is not on ‘the perfect meal’ but on having ‘the perfect time.’ It’s a world where laughter and conversation at dinner parties are encouraged and where spilled red wine on the couch is no reason to stop the music. As Kate says, “Making your guests feel at home is truly an art and it’s one worth cultivating.”
Any occasion begins with preparation, and at the outset Kate describes such basic components as lighting (votive candles are a must); table linens, flatware, and glassware; flowers (trimmed short and tightly massed); even bedding for overnight or weekend guests. Party shopping lists, hors d’oeuvres and cocktail favorites, and dinner party menus are all included. An “Alphabet of Special Events,” from baby showers to tailgate picnics, is both anecdotal and useful for would-be hostesses everywhere.
Whether you entertain a lot or a little, and whether your style is casual or formal, Occasions, with more than 230 charming watercolor illustrations, is a handy and fresh approach to the subject, a book to be treasured today and over the years. Above all, at any gathering ‘hospitality makes for infectious fun.'”