One set of earrings per body, and other ways of the lady

September 21, 1995

Trends come and go, but standards of dress and grooming are a constant. Granted, grandmother was more concerned with clean hankies than nose rings, but the basics still apply. Shock fashion is over.

Here's a reminder list on the ways of ladylike style.

* Ladies don't show their roots.

They may change color at will, but never blondness in progress.

* Ladies have a hairstyle, not an engineering wonder. Hair that shows clips, traps,rollers, visible varnish or wet-look glop is to be avoided.

* Ladies never wear earrings that hover near the collarbone, and never more than one earring per ear.

* Ladies don't wear jewelry that jangles.

They may wear religious medals or talismans, but never for show.

* Ladies don't wear gold or diamonds in their teeth. Nor do they wear jewelry in their noses, eyebrows or body parts too scary to mention.

* Ladies don't wear ankle bracelets, not even to enhance a small, refined ankle tattoo.

* Ladies don't buy fingernails; they grow their own and keep them neatly manicured in neutral or bright polish.

Claws with multi-colored decals, glitter and seasonal messages are to be avoided at all cost.

* Ladies don't wear cloying and heavy perfume or scent.

They do, however, always smell nice.

* Ladies wear underwear, but never let a bra or slip strap show. They may reveal a bit of lace, but only by design.

* Ladies will show cleavage in the evening and may even help it along with sound foundations. Outlines of anatomically accurate bosoms, in real flesh or synthetics, have no place in polite company.

* Ladies don't wear garments short enough to expose the derriere -- either intentionally or by accident.

* Red shoes are for children and tarts; ladies don't wear them.

* Run-down heels are the lady's worst nightmare. Barefoot is preferable.

* The difference between ladylike heels and the others may only be a matter of a quarter-inch. Stilettos should be approached with caution.

* Ladies always wear flesh-toned or quiet shades of stockings and save the opera mesh for Halloween.

And they always carry a spare pair.

* Ladies carry safety pins, but use them only in dire emergencies as a temporary solution.

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