Ten Tips for Being a Modern Lady

A lady always shows respect and consideration for others while placing a premium on honesty and graciousness. A lady also knows how her individual choices may affect others and how easy it is to choose words and actions more wisely. If you missed out on cotillion as a child, I think it best to invest in an etiquette book. ‘Emily Post’s Book of Etiquette’ is great to look up and source any question you might have and a perfect addition to any Lady’s Library. In the meantime here are my top 10 tips for being a lady in modern day society.

1. Follow Through  – Nobody likes a flaky person. Regardless of how busy your life has become with commitments to your Husband and Children, you should never agree to take on more than you can handle i.e.… rsvp-ing to events, lunches with friends or other engagements. When receiving an invitation, contemplate if you’ll be exhausted from a busy day and politely decline. Many people re-arrange their schedules and look forward to plans and get upset with last minute cancellations. If a cancellation is necessary, be sincere in your apology and reschedule as soon as possible.

2. Phone Etiquette – Calls should only be placed between the hours of 9:00am – 10:00pm.  Try to make a habit of returning calls within 24 hours of getting the message. When taking calls on your cell phone do consider other around you, keep conversations short and never discuss private matters in public. Your cell phone should remain in your purse and never be taken out during a meal. If need be excuse yourself from the table to check in with babysitters or any other emergencies. When in theatres or performances turn your phone to silent or off and avoid texting. Texting is extremely rude when in the presence of others.

3. Dressing Like a Lady – A lady always leaves something to the imagination, which is why one should choose to show a little leg or instead decide to accentuate your décolletage. When sitting down always cross your legs or ankles to avoid nearby peeping toms; it’s also important to practice getting in and out of cars without flashing the valet. (http://www.videojug.com/film/how-to-get-out-of-a-car-without-showing-your-knickers) Take the time to learn which dress codes are appropriate for certain occasions, for example if your invitation calls for “Cocktail Attire”, “Black Tie” or “White Tie,” would you know what is appropriate to wear? (Dress Code Guide: http://www.taryncoxthewife.com/?s=dress+code)

4. It’s The Little Things – When a guest enters your home, do you offer them a glass of water or beverage of their choice? When arranging for a dinner party, do you remember if one of your dinner guests has a gluten allergy? When selecting a gift, is it something your friend mentioned they wanted? Just as a gentlemen would offer his coat if you were showing signs of being cold is how you should pay attention to small details. It’s a great way to show the people around you how much you care and are listening. Go the distance to make the people in your life feel incredibly special.

5. Always The Gracious Guest – Whether you have been invited over to a someone’s home for a dinner party, movie screening or cocktails, Never show up without a hostess gift. The gesture can be as small as a bottle of wine or dessert to as grand as having a flower arrangement delivered.

6. A Mouth from The South – This is easy and won’t cost you a dime. Make a conscious effort to avoid using profanity. Every once in a blue moon I can appreciate good use of the F word to really drive a point across, but when in public lets keep it clean!

7. The Art of Conversation – When being introduced to someone try to repeat their name out loud so it won’t escape your brain as easily. If you’re at a small soiree do your best to socialize with each person, making everyone feel comfortable and included. When engaged in a conversation remember to listen well and show your interest in what others are speaking about. Try to avoid topics that will engage arguments like politics, sex and money. Other important things to remember: always accept a compliment, never flirt inappropriately and what you say can never be un-said.

8. A Lady at The Table – As a lady the first action one should take when sitting down to the table is to put your napkin in your lap; when you’re finished your napkin gets placed next to your plate, never on top. Your mother was right with the never changing rule of…. No elbows on the table. When being served always ask for food to be passed to you than trying to reach for it.  When the meal is done never apply lipstick at the table, instead excuse yourself to the ladies room.

9. Merci– A lady always writes thoughtful handwritten thank you notes for gifts received and other kind acts of generosity, for example when someone goes out of their way to make special arrangements or plans for you. Thank you notes may not be eagerly awaited, but it’s something that should be expected and most likely noticed in their absence.  If you want to go the extra mile, call your host the next day to say what a great time you had.

10. Gossip Girl – This happens to be one thing every women is guilty of doing. Let’s face it – avoiding gossiping can be hard, but is this the way you want to spend your time? Be aware of people who gossip the most. Eventually the people doing the gossiping will eventually come to gossip about you, when your not there to defend yourself. If you fail the next time you hear gossip and find yourself repeating it, try changing the topic of conversation. With practice it will get easier.


Taryn Cox for THE WIFE

# # #

Taryn is a domestic expert. Visit her website here.


    wooow this is very informative..thank you!!

  • gknee

    seriously? While I don’t disagree that this world can be more civilized- I think Ms Cox’s “tips” are sexist and cliche. Her website combines the 50’s feminine ideal with celebrity consumerism ideal– and then we wonder why we aren’t feeling good about ourselves and aspiring to grow spiritually? How does this message fit with the rest of the Daily Love– or am I missing something?

    • our motto is take what resonates with you and leave the rest… we love it when ppl disagree :o)

  • Pingback: Modern Merci Thank You Cards()

  • scarr

    I agree with gknee…..where are the 10 tips for men on how to behave as gentlemen??

  • Several months ago I bought a bread maker, I was so impressed with it and the bread was so delicious I decided to bake cinnimon raisin bread for a family friend, french bread for a neighboor and italian herb for my sister and though they all thanked me when I gave them the bread not one of them called after to say whether or not they liked the bread. I had to track them all down days/weeks later and ask, “Did you like the bread?” Though they all answered along the lines of, “Yes! The bread was delicious, thank you.” A simple follow through, after they ate the bread, on their part would have been appreciated.

  • kwelch

    “gknee” voiced my thoughts exactly. when i think about what it truly means to live life with grace and compassion as a WOMAN, this romanticized sexism is shallow and offensive to say the least.

  • Jacqueline

    I love them…it’s just polite. There’s nothing wrong with being considerate of others and making people feel comfortable and special. Perhaps if the article was re-titled “Ten Tips for being a modern Lady or Gentlemen”… then it would be better accepted. 😉

  • Calvin

    I was wondering how “sexism”-sensitive women would respond to this, guess the answer’s there. As a man, personally, I agree that these things make a woman more gracious and respectable to me AND… ladies I’m sure you agree — most of these “tips” apply equally to being a gentleman. Gentlemen, wouldn’t you all agree?

    Maybe it’s the fact that this was written for the Modern “lady” that makes feminism-lensed women cringe and I can understand some would feel that way, and that’s ok.. I would suggest though that when we can drop our defenses, we can appreciate truth for what it is.

    Plus, these are TIPS, not rules… there’s no oppression here.. let it go! Thank you Taryn for the article.

  • Colin

    This article is great! You guy’s are all CRAZY! I love it! Wonderful job Taryn! Gknee you are missing something…your brain… cause Taryn only speaks the truth!

  • Benneh

    I feel like half the women in the world could learn something from this. Where’s the man version???

  • Sara

    Gknee and kwelch, how is this sexist? It’s not telling you that you have to remain in the kitchen all your life and be a housewife because you’re a woman!8 It’s just saying that women should behave this way and these are some tips. I totally agree with them! Women these days on tv and some celebrities are rude and obnoxious! They should follow these tips and ACT LIKE A LADY and have some sort of respect for yourself. I completely disagree that this is sexist! Is it really that hard to be curtious and proper? To each his own, but I think that this are some nice tips for a woman to be proper and well-respected.

  • Monalipschitz

    “a gentlemen would offer his coat if you were showing signs of being cold” If you need a man to offer his coat to you you’re not a woman – you’re a girl who has yet to learn how to dress appropriately for the weather.

    The title was very promising. I was looking forward to an insightful post addressing the newer issues rising from 21st century life. So it’s very disappointing see so much sexist and derogatory material allowed on a site that claims to be about uplifting people.

    Re the comment about saying thank you: it isn’t “being a lady” to do that, it’s a part of being a polite human being.

  • lingo123

    I completely agree with gknee. This is the second sexism-laced post I’ve read on TDL this week, and I am disappointed. Also, how does this sexism-based “advice” apply to LGBTQ people? The underlying assumption here is that all “ladies” wish to be “THE WIFE” described on Taryn’s website. I honestly have no idea how any of this gender-driven drivel is relevant in today’s world. However, I do think the ideas of follow-through, dependability, and courtesy apply to all humans, not to just one gender.

  • TrulyOutrageous

    I think people can glean a lot of useful information for this article. It’s not about conformation (as some here are saying) it’s about Transformation into a thoughtful and respectful human towards others.
    I cannot understand the haters out there, do they Not like to be thanked for kindnesses they’ve shown, or do they like rude late-night callers, do they like being gossiped about?
    It would seem that people are just scared of this school of thought because it doesn’t seem to be “feminist”, but the typical I-am-woman-I’ll-do-as-I-please meaning of feminist is actually a very old and tired way of thinking as well. (and it’s actually quite Conformist to immediately disregard these ideas because “modern women” have some Pavlovian reaction to hate age-old etiquette and rules of thumb…) Maybe it’s time for people to stop being so worried about feministic conformity, and try to actually challenge what it means to be a Good woman. I think this article is actually more Feminist than anyone could imagine, and takes some serious woman ballzz to live it. 🙂
    PS I write hand written thank you notes ALWAYS when appropriate and I put them in the MAIL. Yes people, I know it seems primitive… Like picking up the phone to speak to someone, but there is a place for this behavior, and it’s NOT the Smithsonian. It just inspires more positivity and gratitude the receiver.
    Maybe the haters just would prefer to be men?

  • Stephani

    While I can definitely adapt some of these niceties into my own life (not swearing in public, saying thank you when someone goes out of their way for and accepting a compliment), I cannot say that I agree with calling someone (especially on a weekday) at 10pm manners.

    In our house growing up, if we got a call after 9pm, we got grounded. I think that should be revised to a more considerable hour like 8pm (especially if there are little ones in the house trying to sleep). 🙂


  • Jenny

    I usually dont write back to the articules, but after reading so many different responses I have to write somehting. TDL has helped me in so many ways, it is uplifting, has given me some great advice and to be honest with all of you, I thought most of the TDL followers will be like that!
    Reading the comments of this article really made me question: are we ever going to change? are we ever going to be able to respect one an another?
    We are not all the same and not because you like or not like something you have the right to say bad things… as Mastin said “take what resonates with you and leave the rest”. Really, why be so judgmental, express your point of view, I agree, but to really have some change in this world it needs to come from LOVE…
    Whatis wrong with women that want to be the wife? what is wrong with women that do not want to be the wife? what is wrong with all of us being different? NOTHING!
    Respect my friends that is all it takes!!!

  • C. Greer

    Civility is not a sign of weakness.

  • Jessica

    That was the best mother fuckin article I’ve read all day.

  • Really people? How is it that you do not extract the goodness from the article? Thanks for the reminders Taryn. 🙂

  • Mrs. Gyllenhallet

    I think this article is a true piece of inspiration! We should all retain a level of lady-like behaviour and Miss Taryn’s tips are priceless. We can all improve on the way we make others feel around us, and these are fantastic reminders of how we can positively impact peoples lives. Thank you for sharing!! You seem like such an amazing person and phenomenal wife material.

  • kelly

    AMAZING!!! This girl is onto somethin’ good. I come from the south and i like er style. A true southern girl always takes care of her man. Taryn you are one rockin chick! GIVE US MORE TIPS

  • Mrs. Gyllenhallet

    well….I think this article is a true piece of inspiration! We should all retain a level of lady-like behaviour and Miss Taryn’s tips are priceless. We can all improve on the way we make others feel around us, and these are fantastic reminders of how we can positively impact peoples lives. Thank you for sharing!! You seem like such an amazing person and phenomenal wife material.

  • Lisa

    Really enjoyed the article and bringing the class back to today.
    I wasn’t offended at all. I think manners and class are things that should never be outdated.
    I do however, COMPLETELY agree with Stephani. Up to 10pm calls?! Whaaaa??????!!!!! No. Inappropriate. If it is anytime after 8 on a weekday it had better be family or a friend and it had better be very important.
    Now, where are all the Cary Grant’s?

  • Ang317ie

    why r we forced to do things we dont like

    • CSS

      No one is forcing you to do anything, dear.

      • D_denise_hotpink09

        If you consciously read an article on a we page, when you could be doing anything else that you like, I believe it is your will. No one forced you to read this article. With an unlimited number of pages to look at, I am not sure why you are here, reading this, and feeling forced. Good day!

  • carolyne

    This is beautiful

  • Brittany

    This is simply lovely, darling.

  • Rizkhnakato

    wow its lovely thank u

  • Jordynia

    Thank you very much. This helped me a lot!

  • Tendai

    thank you so much.

  • JustMe0303

    I love this. Coming from a “tomboy” who grew up without a mother, or even sisters for that matter, this is awesome advice!

  • Erica

    I am not this “perfect lady” type but lately I’ve been wanting to give it a try, to be more responsible, ect. I think this could help me.

  • Tinha

    I like this. Now I need to work on getting my elbows off the table.