27 June 2011

What To Do

I recently picked up this little tome for a buck or two. Official Preppy Handbook be damned, the youth need to read this one here.

 A simply written etiquette book for teenagers dating from the late 1960s. How many adult men do you know who still dress correctly for parties, hold a ladies coat, or walk on the curbside of the sidewalk when out on a date? Forty years ago, someone was telling this stuff to the 14 year old soda-pop-and-45-rpm set.
Aesthetically speaking, the graphics really won me over. This image, from the title page, is now my new screensaver.

Then there's the actual advice, nearly all of which rings true today...

...doesn't it?

Some choice quotes:

Who needs manners? You do. We all do. Manners make life easier for everybody.

You look better when your body is clean and your clothes are clean. Dirty clothes make you look and feel sloppy. Clean clothes show that you care about yourself and the way you look.

A dress or skirt is always right for a girl, but slacks or shorts could be wrong.

A white shirt is always right for a boy (and you could put a tie in your pocket, just in case), but a sport shirt or T-shirt could be wrong.

You can borrow not only books but all kinds of records at most public libraries.

All big cities-and many towns- have "thrift shops" where alomost new clothing can be bought at a very small cost. Many people, even with a good deal of money to spend, buy clothes this way.

Good quality clothes, even if they cost a little more, are really cheaper than false"bargains". They will wear better, look better, launder better, and last much longer than cheap things. If you plan ahead and wait for a sale, you can usually get a good dress or suit for the price of one not so good.

Amen. And here I thought I made all this stuff up myslef.

p.s. The shop has been a bit neglected lately, but a slew of new items went up today. See you there.


Stu said...

What a great looking book, I think topics like this should be standard curriculum. :)

Rebecca said...

Amazing! Am I showing my age when I say I can't see anything outdated about ANYthing you quoted here?

Jho78 said...

This is great, I'm going to have to keep my eyes peeled for it. I'll leave it lying around for my sons (once they stop destroying books and learn to read, that is).

William Bezek said...

Come on Mr. G...you made up that bit about thrift stores, right?

Giuseppe said...


It's all true. And in an etiquette book, no less. Thrift shopping is good manners.

ms. mindless said...

Great find! I collect old etiquette books, and this one would be perfect for my collection! I found a copy (used, of course) on Amazon for 50 cents plus $3.99 shipping. Funny when the shipping costs more than the item!

Young Fogey said...

Love the graphic style! So nostalgic. But the advice is timeless.

You uncover some real treasures, don't you? Inspirational. Well done--again!

Thomas said...

These things are true!

Sean said...

The bad news is my father used to tell me stuff like that.

That's bad news cause it's good advice- and I wouldn't listen!

Anonymous said...


Sir Roxalot said...

Also from the 60's...

"How to add to your husband's prestige"

As well as,

"What is good taste in greeting cards?"

From the wonderful - Social Awareness, Your guide to today's manners.
Published by Family Circle Press.

notanymore said...

Normally, G, I am never negative about much if anything, although I find the lines about "right for a girl" to be a tad too sexist for my taste. The girl I am seeing now cannot stand skirts and dresses (and will only wear them during formal situations, and only when she can't escape it!), but she always looks polished in an excellent pair of well constructed slacks or shorts, paired with a nice shirt.