Good Manners

Having good manners means acting in a way that is socially acceptable and respectful to those around you. Your parents may have taught you all you needed to know about taking small bites and speaking with an inside voice, but technology has introduced additional reasons to talk about manners.

If I have lunch with you, I will leave my cell phone in the car or on vibrate, stowed in my bag. I will give you my undivided attention when I am with you and call you back as soon as possible if I miss your call. While in a store or any other confined space, such as standing in line or on an elevator, I do not use my phone. Checking our Facebook page, email, or taking a call while we are with others makes them feel that they are not as important as whatever is on our phones. If a phone call might be urgent, I excuse myself and step away or outside to take the call.

Doesn’t it make you sad to see young people sitting together at a table while they are all looking at their phones? Their social skills will inevitably suffer. I don’t watch TV, but I recently saw a commercial shared on Facebook. Someone tired of the distraction of phones decided to take her dinner out into the hall of her apartment building. When the neighbors heard the activity, they looked out their doors and were all warmly invited to join the impromptu dinner party in the hallway. What a lovely concept!

Today I am showing you how I wore the same top from the previous post on a different evening. We were joining friends for a casual early dinner. This is the Clara SunWoo V-Neck waterfall top in navy, and the dark wash navy pull-on jeans are by Lior Paris, both from The black sandals are by Bar III from Macy’s last year. I am wearing heels less often now, but these are still comfortable for short periods. Wearing no more than two colors on my body and then using accessories such as a scarf, bag, or flowing kimono-style open jacket to add pattern makes me appear taller and thinner.

The Thistle & Bee cuff was a gift from Mr. Mickey. The earrings are from Stein Mart a couple of years ago.

  1. We seem to be having the same weather here in Ontario, Canada as you are Susan – rain almost every day since March!
    Thank you for showing different ways you wear the same top – I like that you show it casual and a dressier. Also, I love those earrings – you should design earrings to sell on your website. I’m getting my “shorter summer haircut” today and am looking for spectacular earrings to highlight the new hairstyle.
    Wishing you sunny days ahead.

  2. Susan, that is such a good post – When I am out to lunch with my girlfriends we have a rule. The first one to grab/use her cell phone picks up the tab for the table.


  3. It is amazing to see people in a restaurant completely ignoring each other while they browse their phones. I just don’t understand it. And I become livid when someone in front of me is on her phone while she checks out of the grocery store. I don’t want to hear her conversation. So rude!

    Shoes are always a dilemma for me. I have bought uncomfortable dressy shoes so often that I cringe when an occasion presents itself where I have to wear heels. That is especially true now in retirement since those occasions are much less frequent.

    You look lovely as always, Susan. Thank you for such a terrific blog.

    1. I have bought many new pairs of flat shoes or dress shoes with low heels lately. I am sad to say, most of them are not nearly as comfortable as some of the heels I often wear.

      1. Hi Susan–if the new flat and low heels that you’ve purchased are not as comfortable as your higher heels, why are you listing them for sale? Seems contradictory. . .

    2. Regarding shoes, I have been having the best success with Clarks and Born brands. They are designed to be comfortable. Some of the styles are klunky and unattractive. But here in St. Louis, we have a Clarks store in the regular mall and a Clarks outlet in the outlet mall. Macys carries Clarks and BOC, which is a Born brand. Nordstroms also carries BOC, and so does J. Jill (by order only.) It seems each store sells different lines. By shopping all of them, I have been able to locate some really cute shoes – both flats and heels. And I can walk in them comfortably!

  4. I totally agree with you about good manners. And it isn’t just kids who sit in a restaurant with others at the table, but playing with their phone. Adults are guilty also. Rudeness seems to be the norm today with every social/cultural group in your face demanding acceptance, trashing other people’s property, not accepting another’s point of view…..sometimes I think people need a long time out. I try to make a special effort to at least say please and thank you to those who provide a service to me.

    The all black look is very slimming. I’ve been wearing more black and white lately.

  5. Yes, excellent post. Miss Lori is right: manners never go out of style and I will add, money can’t buy manners.

  6. Rudeness and outright aggression/hostility is the norm, now that people have forgotten that real people are out there, not just some unknown internet persona. It’s on the roads and anywhere people go. 🙁

    Keeping on the sunny side, it’s blazing hot in my corner of the world. I think you’re getting our weather!

  7. I absolutely hate listening to people carrying on loud, personal and annoying conversations where ever the mood strikes them. Manners definitely have taken a backseat in modern civilization.

    On a happier note, I love the beautiful earrings you are wearing. I have basically given up wearing bolder and longer earrings and wear only diamond, pearl or gold studs. You have inspired me to try using earrings more rather than necklaces.

  8. Sad to say that most of the people reading your posts already know about polite behavior at the dinner table. This message needs to be spread to parents of young adults and young adults consumed with technology. The art of face to face conversation is disappearing!

  9. You are right on Susan! Excellent post! It is very rude, inconsiderate and disrespectful to others to have your phone out all the time, scrolling to look at Facebook, checking dings, answering calls, etc….one of my pet peeves! So very sad, and so much of our relationships, nature, and the world around us is missed! The worst sadness is seeing families out at dinner eating while all looking at their phones or other devices….Sadder still is that adults are sometimes worse than children…. I have a neighbor who invites me over sometimes to watch a movie with her….during the entire movie while we are watching it, she is scrolling Facebook and texting….Think we have gone mad!!! Thanks for the post!

  10. Susan, I have a question abut the waterfall top–lately I too have been noticing body changes–not related to weight gain but redistribution, I guess. I still exercise quite vigorously three days a week, walk three days, lift weights, etc. But the changes are happening anyway. Some of my previously attractive knit tops now show every bump and lump. Do you wear a body slimmer under these tops? Do they float away from the body (if you know what I mean?) I don’t think I could stand to wear an tight, hot undergarment under them, since before I’ve never had to–but I do like the look of this top.
    Thanks for any help!

  11. Great post! I tell my grandchildren getting good grades in school is very important, but they won’t help you in life without good manners. People with good manners are so much more enjoyable! Thanks a lot, Susan.
    Sincerely, JoAnn

  12. You are an inspiration. Love your sense of style! Susan, as to lower heels, Naot shoes are comfortable and have more stylish offerings this spring. You may want to check them out on Zappos.

  13. I totally agree with you. Why people feel its ok to have long conversations while dining out or in a public place is something I just don’t understand…for one thing I don’t want to hear your personal business! My husband and I often comment on how sad it is for a young couple, sitting waiting for their food each looking at their phone not communicating with each other. I’m so happy that we have not fallen into these very bad habits.
    Want to mention your shoes….Oh Susan I probably don’t have to tell you how much I love these! I’ve commented on your shoes so often, but I can’t help myself LOl
    Have a great day

  14. Hello Susan:

    Thank you for talking about this.

    I recently purchased a cell phone after being without one for 15 years. I’m shocked by the rudeness of people and cell phones. I’m sure you see old and young in restaurants staring at phones while the little ones are ignored.

    At the grocery store some people talk so loud on the phone and don’t hang up even when they are checking out. Everywhere I go I see people looking at their phone…at the park, at the mall, at church, etc.

    What is so important that people have to text or talk all the time? Can’t they wait until they are alone?

    A friend and I would meet for lunch once a month and she would continuously check her messages in the middle of our conversation. She did aplogize but continued checking her phone throughout the meal. After several meetings like this I decided I wasn’t important enough for her and stopped meeting her.

    What happend to the old days when you returned a call when you were free? The world is changing and it’s sad.

    Thank you for your blog. I truly enjoy every one of them. I can’t afford to purchase anything from your store at this time but one day I will. I have learned so many valuable things from you. I think you are a elegant and lovely lady and I look forward to your style tips, the stories of all the trips you and Mr. Mickey take together, and of course, all the photos.

    Have a wonderful day Susan!
    Linda ♥

  15. I bought the Clara Sun-Woo top in orange after I saw you model it in a previous post. It’s a great look; very slenderizing on me.

  16. Ok but please don’t judge me if I am pulled over to the right side of the aisle in the grocery store (always the right and never blocking the aisle) checking my grocery list on my iPhone. Or maybe I am checking the price of an item somewhere else. Or maybe at the drug store counter I’ll pull it out because I keep a list of my family’s prescription numbers on it. Or when checking out at a doctors office I record the date I have my next appointment because my calendar is on my phone. And if I have to wait in line I might enjoy your latest blog post!

    Of course I don’t handle and read my phone when I am spending time with another human being. That includes cashiers. It would be like reading a book. Only if they are reading a book also. But when I am on my own, it is a delight to listen to podcasts, read a book, listen to a radio show or music, look up things I am wondering about, look for a recipe, watch a television show, check my email and send and receive text, all with my phone. It is like having a library, newspaper, TV, movie screen, communication marvel in my hands.

    If I am at a social occasion and I feel my phone vibrate, I will leave the room or move to the margin because my house is on the market and it’s an agent, or (a few years ago) the school nurse or teacher was trying to reach me. These days schools expect instant access to parents.

    Employers also expect instant access to employees via text, email and voice. Employees are judged by how quickly they answer emails.

    If I am in a waiting room or in a line or on a bus or train tapping away, maybe I am recording an idea I had, at my age I can’t be expected to just remember all my good ideas!

    I am just trying to illustrate some of the many things a person may be doing with a smart phone when you see them tapping, scrolling, reading and listening. It is a great way to manage a dynamic, full life or amuse oneself during downtime.The polite user immediately stops whatever they are doing with the phone when they reach the head of the line, or the nurse calls their name, or they see a smiling face.

  17. WELL said. I couldn’t agree more about the phone situation. I even see people checking their phones in church!
    RORY B

  18. YOU ARE SPOT ON WITH YOUR POST TODAY!!!!! The current generation is going to spawn children who have necks that just face down and an enlarged thumb from texting. Not only is the habit of texting often Rude, but also sad in that it discouraged TRUE face time! Thus speaks a LOL

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.