I live by rules. I have a natural instinct towards categorizing things as either right or wrong, which I further refine through knowledge and careful attention. I do not subscribe to the modern notion of relativism, as there really is no such thing.
I am the guardian of my behavior, and I live in careful check of it. This sort of awareness extends to my personal dress and comportment, as well. I was raised to be careful and carefully aware of my position and to value it. Appearance communicates the level of one's own self-worth.
As With You, So With Your Children
I believe this list to be woefully incomplete, because I do not possess a written list of rules, yet these rules are as intrinsic to me as my name. Both were given to me by my family, and as with one's name, if something is consistently repeated and enforced throughout a child's lifetime, it becomes theirs, it becomes them.
Never underestimate the power of your manner and manners, your dress and comportment, or your standards or intellectual leanings; for they will surely be the foundation upon which your children build.
I am a product of the Old Guard, where it is still considered in poor taste to wear makeup. It is never present in certain circles. Women of this class understand the superiority of excellent skin, hair, and dress, and excellence is wrought through diligence and care. It is an unwritten rule, and yet quite the social marker.
It is a sign of poor manners to present oneself as untidy or plain. These are the impeccably dressed, expertly coiffed regal matriarchs of the south.
I am never without a funeral dress. I always ensure I have an appropriate one before there is need. Please, please consider getting one now. You will never want to associate one with the passing of a loved one, because you had to purchase it upon learning the sad news.
Proper funeral attire is never sleeveless. The appropriate fabric is a lightweight wool crepe. The knees should be covered, and black stockings should be worn. Patent leather is not to be worn. Even if one must stand in 100-degree heat and 100-percent humidity, it is an important tradition to uphold.
It is a sign of respect and proper decorum to wear a dress or knee-length skirt, cover one's shoulders, wear stockings, and closed-toe shoes to church.
It is vulgar to be inordinately noticeable. It is a very modern notion that one should wish for attention. This quest for recognition has so completely replaced the quiet values of decorum that the south had held as the standard, that too few realize it.
I do not wear clothing with logos, nor do I wear pieces which clearly identify any designer.
I match my pocketbooks and my shoes.
I recognize the profound impact jeans have had on society. However, I do not wear them, nor do the ladies in my family and immediate social circle. Jeans are still regarded as workman's clothing, and I respect the distinction. It seems to me that if one's work uniform is drafted into popular culture, the recognition of the workman's trade is diminished. There is job dignity expressed in the uniqueness of one's uniform.
If I find an article of clothing that is especially well made and fits me unusually well, I will buy several. For example, I have a small stack of a certain shirt that I bought nearly ten years ago. I keep them in air-tight storage, and replace its twin when necessary. It is a perfect example of choosing classic pieces.
I do not own flip-flops, and it is so deeply ingrained in me that they are shower shoes, that I simply do not consider them shoes.
I own few pairs of sandals, and I wear them only for certain lawn functions.
Tee shirts are undergarments.
Do not leave the house in shorts.
No sweatpants or yoga pants.
Proper bed clothes, neatly pressed, and for bed time only.
Dress every morning before starting the day's activities.
When I wear a strand of pearls I never wear earrings.
There are only three hairstyles worn by the women in my family from earliest childhood to one's golden years. If hair is long it is worn up. Both of my grandmothers and all of my aunts wear either a French twist or a chignon, I have never seen any of these ladies with their hair down.
A classic bob is an appropriate and flattering cut for an expecting mother and the mother of young children.
The mothers of older children wear their hair in either a bob or keep longer hair worn in a French twist.
Elderly ladies choose from a bob, French twist, or classic chignon.
Investing time and money in high-quality, nutritionally dense foods will help one obtain beautiful skin, a healthier appearance, and a slimmer physique.
Investing in fewer, but high-quality, wardrobe staples will help you look chic without having to try. Imagine how many accessories one must strategically coordinate to dress up a trendy, but poorly made t-shirt.
Invest in high-quality skin care and toiletries starting at a young age.
All skin types need oil.
Also, remember that great skin care will keep your skin supple and radiant for generations.
Children wear white exclusively until six months to one year of age.
Girls wear dresses, pinafores, and bloomers almost exclusively.
Dupioni silk for spring.
Linen and Metis for summer.
Seersucker, for boys and men, on the first of July.
Tweed for fall only.
Winter white rather than dark colors.
Wide wale corduroy for fall only.
Narrow wale corduroy for winter.
Patent leather for dress occasions only.
Crocodile for travel only.
Spectator pumps for sporting events only.
Tennis shoes for sport only.
No sleeveless clothing.
No open-toed shoes for church, funerals, or business.