August 05, 2011



In Part One of this guide, I encouraged the newly rich not to wear white. Many people, possibly some of them newly rich, objected. They were right in one sense: You can wear white, but only if you know how to wear white. When you don’t, it is simply easier to avoid it altogether.

Herewith I elaborate on that point, as well as some other general etiquette rules and how to break them.


• Men may not wear stiff white cotton jackets with black shirts unless they want to look like a cunt.

• Under no circumstances should you wear white patent-leather shoes—except if you are Elvis or Liberace, and then only in the casket. Pat Boone will be permitted to wear them again once he’s dead.

• Drive a white car only if it’s old, beaten up, or cheap. You may not roll in a white Rolls unless you are in Vegas or Monaco and you are being ridiculous on purpose. Diddy and Ay-rabs are exempt.

• You may decorate your house in all white, but for Pete’s sake, make sure it doesn’t look like an Ian Schrager hotel.


• You may eat ribs or baby lambchops with your hands, but only if you can do it without looking like a beast. Children should eat chicken legs with their hands, but adults must refrain unless they are at a BBQ wearing socks with sandals and a Hawaiian shirt. Lobster can be eaten by hand, but try to keep the sucking sounds and greasy-finger look to a minimum, especially if you are overweight.

“Never lick your fingers, unless you need to lubricate.”

• Don’t eat anything else with your hands except asparagus. If you are attractive, a French fry can be picked by hand with a delicate gesture. A salad leaf too. It’s quite chic … tres de rigeuer… it is a matter of know how. If you come from a country where eating with your hands is normal, I’m sorry for you. Learn to use a fork and knife unless you are at home.

• Plump girls should not be seen in public eating bread, candy bars, or desserts ravenously. If you want to stuff a dozen Twinkies in your piehole when you’re home, that’s OK, but don’t buy them in a shop—order them over the Internet.

• Never lick your fingers, unless you need to lubricate.


• Women should never appear drunk in public. You may be tipsy, but never pushy. You look cheap enough as it is.

• Men can drink as much as they like as long as they remain joyful à la Robert Benchley and never show a hint of aggression.

• If you must do drugs, never speak about them and don’t do them with your very young grandchildren. Remember, keep it in the family, noseleak—but only adults in the family.


• Fancy cars are for rappers.

• If you have a chauffeur, don’t allow him to drive your Maserati or Porsche; keep him in your wife’s bedroom instead.

• Bodyguards are not the new black. They’re out. To lunch.

• Collect art and wine, but don’t hire someone to choose it for you, upstart.


• Men should never, never, never dye their hair. Women can, but stick to your roots. If you’re Saudi, chestnut at best, no blonde. Red, pink, or blue-black should be avoided unless you are a rock star.

• Rattails and hockey haircuts or mullets are not a good look. Real rednecks are allowed to rock this look and any other, but not if they become famous.

• No Hamiltans. Valentino Garavani, just a bit less orange, please, but we love you anyway. Lindsay Lohan spray tans are stupid like Lindsay Lohan. Fair is fairer.

• Plastic surgery should only be for brave young men and women who have been disfigured in an accident or wounded in war. If you must fix a bad nose or get a breast lift, fine. But lip injections and too much Botox make you the Bride of Wildenstein. Period.

• Don’t get tattooed after 25 unless you’re doing time.

• Unless you worship Il Duce, don’t wear a black shirt.

• Badly wrinkled linen suits can be very attractive, but you have to be very fat or very thin to carry it off.


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