The Fabulous Girl's Guide to Decorum by Kim IzzoThe Fabulous Girl's Guide to Decorum by Kim Izzo

The Fabulous Girl's Guide to Decorum

byKim Izzo, Ceri Marsh

Paperback | October 30, 2001

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A Primer for the Fabulous Girl in Training
"You know the Fabulous Girl, don't you? She's Holly Golightly, the girl you must have at your cocktail party. She's smart, fun, stylish, and of course, beautifully well mannered. She's the friend who always knows when you need a shoe-shopping expedition to lift your spirits. She's the one who calls you after your disastrous dinner party and insists that she had a marvellous time. She's the girl you admire, the girl you want to be."

From etiquette experts Kim Izzo and Ceri March comes the perfect book for perfect manners. Witty and playful, The Fabulous Girl's Guide to Decorum provides invaluable advice for the thoroughly modern woman.

The Fabulous Girl's Guide to Decorum recognized the importance that work now plays in women's lives. Advice is offered on how to present yourself at an interview, how to socialize with workmates without breaching professional barriers, how to remain poised when overlooked for promotion, and how to maintain the respect and admiration of colleagues after you become the boss.

Outside of the workplace, in a tart yet helpful tone, Izzo and Marsh address issues of urban life, friendship, family, entertaining, romance and sex (because we all know romance and sex are not the same). There are rules for conducting one-night stands, tips for balancing the demands of old friends and new lovers, suggestions for throwing the perfect dinner party and what to do when it all goes horribly wrong.

Woven throughout the book is the story of the Fabulous Girl as she learns to glide gracefully through her days, vividly bringing to life the principles of decorum.

As essential as her little black dress, and as elegant and practical, The Fabulous Girl's Guide to Decorum is something no woman should be without.

Beautifully designed in original trade paperback format with spot illustrations throughout, The Fabulous Girl's Guide to Decorum is an ideal gift for weddings, graduations or celebrations of friendship.
Kim Izzo is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to various newspapers and magazines including The Globe and Mail, Report on Business magazine, Style, FASHION magazine and Flare. She has also worked in television as a field producer for several years on series such as Harrowsmith Country Life, Flare TV, Entertainment Tonight and...
Title:The Fabulous Girl's Guide to DecorumFormat:PaperbackPublished:October 30, 2001Publisher:Doubleday CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385659105

ISBN - 13:9780385659109

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Decorum How-To. A fun, well written guide to etiquette. It's hard to make manners modern, but these authors do so beautifully.
Date published: 2018-08-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Some good advice! I think I expected more of a novel that an actual guide book. As a result I didn't finish it from cover to cover. Its not that its boring.... well its just not a novel. However it contains some good advice and tips on appropriate behaviour. I flip through it from time to time, beacuse I don't think manners should be a thing of the past! That said if you followed every piece of advice in this book to a tee; I have the feeling you would be less fabulous and more very uptight!!
Date published: 2006-06-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Witty repartee This was a wonderfully diverting book. Relevent, in that in this day in age we sometimes need a little reminder of just what is appropriate behaviour. This book let us in on those secrets in a cute little story.
Date published: 2003-01-21

Read from the Book

IntroductionManners will make you fabulous. Manners are sexy. The well-mannered get invited to more dinner parties and have a wider array of friends and colleagues who admire them. These are the basic tenets of The Fabulous Girl's Guide to Decorum.The idea for this book came to us gradually over the course of one too many encounters with the socially inept, suffering through bad dinner parties and enduring thoughtless comments. Nearly once a week we would find ourselves on the phone or over tea, railing, "They didn't even put food out until11 p.m.! There was no music at all!" or "She showed up to the cocktail party in jeans and a charity fun run T-shirt" or "We ran into his ex and he didn't even introduce me."It began to add up. People are rude and inconsiderate to each other every day and in every circumstance, and what's worse, they don't seem to realize it. Perhaps they just didn't know any better. In addition to being vexed by the inadequacies of others, we were crippled by an inability to correct the offenders. As every well-mannered person knows, to correct someone else's breach in etiquette is itself an infraction.Unless, it finally struck us, we were experts.And after a lifetime of passionate interest in the subject and experience in a great many milieux, surely we had become experts in etiquette. Having lived as single girls, party girls, married women, out-of-workniks, professionals, world travellers and fashion addicts, we knew the world and, frankly, the way it ought to work.The essential equation of etiquette is simple: Be nice and assume niceness in others — just like your mother said. Beyond this basic belief, of course, there are specific details for situations, but the foundation is always the same.Manners are an integral part of good citizenship. Consideration for others and not only for one's own wants and needs is necessary if a person is to be a valuable member of her world. When people of varying cultures and economic brackets must, increasingly, live side by side, etiquette becomes a modern requisite. Pleasant manners are just plain more appealing than bad manners. Behaving in a thoughtful way helps both morally and aesthetically to make the world a better place.There is a kind of woman who understands this implicitly: We've named her the Fabulous Girl. You know the Fabulous Girl, don't you? She's Holly Golightly, the girl you must have at your cocktail party. She's smart, fun, stylish and, of course, beautifully well-mannered. She's the friend who always knows when you need a shoe-shopping expedition to lift your spirits. She's the one who calls you after your disastrous dinner party and insists that she had a marvellous time. She's the girl you admire, the girl you want to be.No one is born perfect, and we all have a learning curve toward good manners. And so this book is both a celebration of the fully formed Fabulous Girl and a primer for the Fabulous Girl in training. The life of the modern woman is wonderfully full — work, friendship, romance and sex (we know they aren't always the same thing) are all vital to her happiness. In The Fabulous Girl's Guide to Decorum we will set down modern rules for every circumstance — from bedroom to boardroom — so that we're all armed with the appropriate arsenal of etiquette. Because you need to know how to handle a one-night stand just as much as you need to know how to set the table.To illustrate this learning curve we've included the FG as fictional heroine throughout the book. Consider her a guide to ease the journey to good manners.Contrary to popular belief, manners will not make you a bore or a snob. Quite the opposite: Individuals who possess skill with etiquette are admired and desired for it. If you are well-mannered, people will want to come to your dinner parties and will want you at theirs. Manners can make you fabulous, girl — a Fabulous Girl.ConversationLanguage is a tool, and the Fabulous Girl must learn to use it. Of course the FG moves through life with an uncanny ability to converse with them and charm others from all walks of life, be they neurosurgeons or gardeners. That's right: an FG is skilled at making anyone feel comfortable and worthy. (p. 64)Men FriendsThe Fabulous Girl will have a long list of male friends — be they ex-boyfriends, platonic pals or men who wish they were the boyfriend. Male friends are an important part of a well-balanced social diet. (p. 125)The Fabulous Girl's Perfect Day Shopping with her best FG9:30 A.M.Rise after an extra-long beauty rest. A light buy energy-boosting breakfast.Wardrobe: White or flesh-tone thong, button-up shirt, skirt and slip-on flats.Grooming: Shower, full hair and makeup.Fabulous Girl Tip: A watch is your only accessory.11:00 A.M.Meet best friend at the nicest shopping district in town.Try on lots of clothes whether or not you intend or can afford to buy anything.Fabulous Girl Tip: Try on clothes only pre-lunch to ensure a flat stomach.1:30 P.M.Ladies Who Lunch: Tablecloths, and table service.Table Talk: gossip, fashion, men, goals.Fabulous Girl Tip: No fast food.2:30 — 4:00 P.M.Après Lunch: Giving the "maybes" a second look.Manicures, pedicures, magazines, shoe shopping.Fabulous Girl Tip: Swollen feet guarantee fit.4:00 — 5:00 P.M.Tea, read, nap.5:00 P.M.Unpack.Private fashion show.Remove tags and put away new threads.Fabulous Girl Tip: Revel in your good taste.(pp. 127-128)SouvenirsLike a notch in a belt, some women choose to collect items from lovers as tokens of their night together. Whether it's sweatshirts or lighters, this is not a practice of an FG — at least not one out of high school. (p. 156)VisitorsAside from overnight house guests, an FG will receive company into her home frequently and will visit her own friends too. There are a few details of which all should be aware. Never answer someone else's telephone unless you are expressly asked to. Don't open the fridge or help yourself to food and coffee unless invited to. (p. 261)

Table of Contents



The Workplace
“I was praying this morning that you wouldn’t ...”
Entering the Workforce
Jill Jobs
Be Nice to the Little People
On-the-Job Etiquette
Promotion Etiquette
Moving Up
Socializing with Colleagues and Co-workers
Office Romances
What You’re Worth and When It’s Not Enough
Bidding Adieu
“I wasn’t sure, but I think it bugged Missy that ...”

“So, yay me! I had this great new job. I could ...”
Your People
The Fabulous Girl Aesthetic
Nice and Rude
Introductions, Salutations and Social Intercourse
Street Etiquette
The Well-Mannered Traveller
The Telephone
Pregnant Women
The Haves and Have-nots: Children
Famous Friends
People in your Neighbourhood
The Nouveau Riche
“The following weekend was the National Magazine Award party ...”

“Cardboard. No, not cardboard. Another C. Carpet ...”
Girl Time
FGs like Gilt not Guilt
Ending Hold-Over Friendships
Mo’ Money
Soap Dish
Relationships and Friendships
Fair-Weather Friends
Kill the Messenger: Gossip
Three Musketeers?
Married Friends and Their Little Angels
Stalking and Other Bad Ideas
Men Friends
The Fabulous Girl’s Perfect Day Shopping with her best FG
“I knocked on Missy’s door at around 11:30 that night ...”

Sex and Courtship
“When you’re only seeing someone on the weekend ...”
Sex and Courtship
The Art of Flirting
First Dates
Post-First Date
Cancelling a Date
When to Move from Supper to Sex
Admitting Important Facts
Sex, Sex, Sex
Dating Variations
“I wondered if there would be a message from G.G. ...”

“There we all were, about to partake in our first ...”
The Real Rules
Jealousy and the “X” Factor
His Issues
Family and Friends
Living Together
Breaking Up
“Things were cooking along until I noticed that Groovy ...”

Weddings and Divorce
“Suddenly Missy was the coolest girl ...”
“A couple of weeks after the wedding I started ...”

“Of course, Missy’s marriage had also meant yet ...”
What the Fabulous Girl Needs
House Guests
Buying Your First Home
“I just hate it when I have to wait around here ...”

“After so much fun living like a grown-up...”
The Zen of Hostessing
The Guest List
The Dinner Party
The Cocktail Party
Accidents and Other Fiascoes
Dress Codes
The End
The Gracious Guest
Dealing with the Press at Your Parties
“Six months went by and I attended many dinner parties ...”

Fabulous Girl Epilogue
“The next day Missy rang up Elenor at work ...”


Editorial Reviews

“Can a girl be absolutely fabulous and a pillar of civility at the same time? Ceri Marsh and Kim Izzo think so, and their smart, authoritative guide to modern urban manners gives life to the girl of our dreams: sexy, sophisticated and well dressed, yet never less than perfectly considerate. She’s a gem, and so is the book.” — Mark Kingwell“’She’s smart, fun, stylish and, of course, beautifully well-mannered. She’s the girl you admire, the girl you want to be.’ And ‘she’ can be ‘you’ — with the proper amounts of aforethought and home study. Such encouraging notions come by way of Toronto fashionistas Kimm Izzo and Ceri Marsh in their updated book of etiquette for the modern girl. The chic duo tackle these life complications and more, all with a view to arm readers with a ready sense of what the savvy, confident career gal would do to save the hour.” —Toronto Star, Arrivals“…it’s a fun, quick read because of its elegant prose and cheeky voice…there is something truly admirable about The Fabulous Girl’s Guide…I liked the book’s honesty and non-judgmental tone…it assumes the voice of a truly excellent girlfriend, who gently advises but never reprimands, no matter how shocking the situation.” —Daphne Gordon, Toronto Star“In a world filled with rudeness, it is refreshing to read a book that dares a young woman to be ‘grand’ — in the same way that Jackie Onassis, Holly Golightly and Coco Chanel were models of taste and diplomacy…Izzo and Marsh…give advice that seems ‘retro’ but is actually as solid as the pillars of civilization itself…This timely, self-help guide also functions as a crash course in survival for those sweet young things who have been dazed into dysfunction by watching Melrose Place, Jerry Springer and Limp Bizkit videos. Absolutely everything is covered in this book, from what to wear to a job interview, to how to leave your lover, to what kind of utensils should be stocked in your kitchen.” —Donna Lypchuck, Globe & Mail“I graciously admit after reading this Carrie Bradshaw-meets-Peggy Post handbook that I had a thing or two to learn about being fabulous…These tips we should know (but don’t always) are cleverly dispersed between clips of fictional tales of girls with decorum getting by in the real world — fabulously.” —Flare Magazine“The Fabulous Girl’s Guide to Decorum by Kim Izzo and Ceri Marsh hauls Ms. Manners into the new millennium…In bright, snappy prose, they offer solutions to such dilemmas as sex with your boss (not always a no-no for ambitious FGs), the classic how to meet his/her parents (courteously, of course), and what to do when the condom breaks (a fast call for the morning-after pill). A fair bit of tongue-in-cheekery makes the book witty as well as wise.” —Elle Canada