“A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” – Coco Chanel

I love going to the bookstore with no agenda and perusing the aisles. It’s like going on a treasure hunt; you never know what kind of riches you will take home with you. Sometimes it comes in the form of a hard-cover novel, a soft-cover non-fiction, a magazine, a quotation, a journal, an image, or a coffee in hand. You don’t leave a bookstore without something you didn’t have before.

Today, my mom and I went to Barnes and Noble. After wandering up and down a few aisles, I came across a book on one of the center tables, a place I usually like to avoid (it seems too obvious a place to find something of worth). I picked this particular soft-cover book up for two reasons: 1) the title and 2) the simplicity of the cover.

I rarely go into a bookstore with a title or author in mind. I wait for these two items, title and cover, to jump out and grab me. The trick is, they have to carry the same weight. If a cover intrigues me but a title does not captivate me, I’ll glance briefly to appreciate the image and walk along. If vice versa, I find myself making that “tsk” noise out of the side of my mouth as I slide the book back into its holding place.

This book, luckily for the publisher, author and me, posseses both with equal intrigue. Classy: Exceptional Advice for the Extremely Modern Lady was written by Derek Blasberg and has managed, in the matter of a few short hours, to shoot to the top of my favorite reads. Here is why: He preaches what I live to practice and with such accuracy that I both found myself nodding in agreement and sheepishly blushing in embarrassment. He hits the nail on the head.

Here is a small sampling of the many quotations that captured me:

  • A lady is witty as hell.
  • A lady doesn’t let a guest feel out of place or ignored; if she sees someone alone, she joins her, asks her to dance, or tries to integrate her into the group.
  • A lady can fit in anywhere.
  • A lady knows how to give a compliment – and mean it. She also knows how to receive a compliment gracefully.
  • A lady is nice to waitresses, busboys, and doormen. She knows to respect the service industry.
  • A lady understands that just because people think she can afford expensive things does not mean they think she deserves them.

The book is broken into several chapters which address partying/hosting, dressing, vices, friendships, traveling, love, and learning. At this point, I haven’t even read it from cover to cover but I have skimmed over the entire book and read several chapters. I can say without doubt that every young woman should add this to her collection of favorite reads. Being classy is not some archaic courting ritual that has no place in today’s world. It may seem like a lost art form at times, but it is an attribute which every woman should strive to cultivate within herself. What good man doesn’t love a classy woman?

Where are our modern role models? What women do we have today to emulate? I’m struggling to make a list and Google images has shot down the few that have come to mind. For now, I’ll continue to work on myself. I’m no Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, or Katherine Hepburn, but I appreciate their contribution to defining what a lady ought to be. Classy. And the characteristics which come to mind when defining these women are timeless. I will tell you, the occassions that I have been called “classy” always stick out to me as the times in which I received the best compliment. You aren’t born with class (money perhaps, but not class). You don’t happen across it. It isn’t gifted to you. You learn it and you live it.

That being said, please allow me to leave you with one more tidbit, yet another quotation: “A lady knows to be herself. Unless she’s an asshole.” – page 132. Hahaha, perfectly put 😉

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