Better than beauty: -A Guide to charm

“There is no need for you to read this”, said my LSH (long suffering husband) “you already know all there is to know about charm.”

Still, here we are on holiday, sipping a glass of iced lemonade and stretching out our manicured toes- by the pool. I really wanted a light read, no more eurozone disasters, Greek banks and China crisis- what could be better than etiquette tips from the past?

I bought this from a second hand bookshop, thinking it would be full of hilarious outdated advice. Originally written in 1938 and so much has changed since then. It was somewhat of a surprise to discover that, not that much has changed and a lot of the advice from this book is in fact just as useful today as it was back then. It would seem that the core principles of charm are timeless.

Tit bits on how to dress well and update the wardrobe, how to accessorise (one bag and three good dresses, and don’t be fooled with new trends, into buying too many accessories, always go for quality!) and shopping with finesse and how to budget. It’s ironical that in 1938, the authors warns against ‘cheaply made clothes’, insists quality is an investment, and frowns at our absence of planning strategically, where accessories are concerned.

The book covers issues such as, having a charming relationship with money, spending it wisely and how to behave in restaurants. How to complain in restaurants! (there is an art to that) How to get lots of invitations and how to turn them down without offending anyone. All excellent stuff…

Holiday reading:
There is a small section on how to be charming when you use public transport. Londoners may find that particularly useful (though not extensive enough section!) considering there is a tube strike again, today. My heart goes out to you guys, as I’ve been there and know the struggle of trying to get to work. A little hard to be charming under the circumstances… My heart also goes to our Greek brothers and sisters who bravely voted No in the recent referendum, hope that gets resolved shortly as we can’t possibly have the banks closed any longer.

So if you are in London trying to get to work, keep calm and carry on, if you are on holiday – enjoy. (and if you know of any long forgotten etiquette books please send me details…)

© Ladysarahinlondon
Welcome to the blog of my London adventures & wardrobe fixations  Access to password protected posts: To get your password please support our favourite animal charities such as Save the Wild Elephant Or rescue a baby elephantDonate now and save our wildlife from extinction!

More essential reading…

Favourite extracts:

How to look taller


9 thoughts on “Essential reading: A Guide to Charm (lady Sarah’s choice)

  1. happyface313

    🙂 These old books are so good! I just got tow old advice books and hope I’ll find the time to enjoy them somewhere on a lounger under a huge umbrella…
    HAPPY Holidays! 🙂

  2. valentine

    My favorite advice book of all time is Elegance by Genevieve Dariaux. My mother gave me a copy when it was published. It has guided me ever since! This book sounds like another good one!

  3. dottoressa

    How to complain in restaurant and be charming( or elsewhere btw)? I could ask for an advice or two 🙂
    Hope that you and your LSH are enjoying your holidays without reason to complain
    Have a nice weekend!

  4. Archana Paladugu

    I recently watched a documentary called ‘My apology to the elephants’. I so so admire you for what you do. May I ask, what made you fall in love with this charity in the first place ?

    And thanks for sharing the excerpts from the book. In the world of oversaturated style advice market, advice from the last century is always welcome.

    1. lady sarah in london Post author

      Such a nice comment! We support a couple of elephant charities on this blog, so please donate to either one, (or both as it’s hard to choose.) 😃 I was surprised how fashion and etiquette tips from 1938 are so in tune with today! Honestly I think I may do another post about it in more detail…


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