Top 10 Timeless Quality of a Lady

A “lady” has evolved significantly throughout the ages. While at one time ladies were expected to wear hats and gloves in public, today’s dress standard doesn’t include such wardrobe details. And while it was once required for a lady to have an escort to attend functions, today’s lady can go about independently. What is ageless are the characteristics of a lady that express her consideration and respect for others. Here are 10 timeless qualities of a lady:

  1. Accepts gentlemanly gestures: A lady allows a gentleman to show his respect and courtesy for her. She also allows other women to assist should she need. A lady understands that allowing others to be courteous is a powerful thing. (So say yes to his offer to help with your carry-on bag.)
  2. Watches her mouth: A lady uses the magic words (thank you, please, and excuse me) in her everyday language and avoids foul language. She also doesn’t assume that casual acquaintances are interested in unsolicited dialogue about personal troubles and keeps such conversations for the appropriate confidants. (And a lady knows when to close her mouth and be a good listener.)
  3. Primps in private: Should a lady need to touch up her makeup, reapply nail polish or adjust her clothes, she removes herself from the view of other people and goes to a washroom or private place. (What about perfume you ask? Same rule applies.)
  4. Greets people properly: A lady knows that it is a time-honored display of respect to stand to greet someone who just entered the room. (That rule isn’t just for men any more.) She also knows to smile, make eye contact, and give a firm handshake when meeting a person.
  5. Respects other people’s time: A lady tries her best to be on time. She understands that lateness may be interpreted as “I am more important that you or this event” which could cost her a friend, a job or an appointment. If being late is unavoidable, a lady will always contact the appropriate person to inform them of her estimated time of arrival with an apology.
  6. Deals politely with rudeness: A lady knows the true test of her grace and poise is when it is challenged by inconsiderate behavior. When someone is offensive, she gives the person the benefit of the doubt (knowing most people don’t mean to be rude) and never responds in the same way. She picks her battles, always thinks before she speaks, and chooses to be civil rather than to demean.
  7. Makes those in her presence feel valued: A lady will give genuine attention to those in her company and give them priority over those who communicating with her via phone. She understands it is rude to text or scroll through social media while speaking or listening to another person. (Yes, that means in a meeting, party, church, lecture, etc.)
  8. Knows how to say no: A lady knows how to respond to an unwanted advance in a way that will stop the behavior while not humiliating the other person. (“Sorry, dearie, I’m already taken.”) She also knows that while she should make herself available for family, friends, and career that she needs be aware of feeling stretched thin and pull back to sort out her priorities. A lady also knows to never say yes if she does not intend to keep the commitment.
  9. Gives and accepts compliments: A lady give compliments when they are deserved and sincere. She also graciously accepts compliments when offered to her. She doesn’t wave them off with a “Oh, it was nothing” but rather responds with a heartfelt “Thank you” or “You are so kind to say so.”
  10. Is prepared: A lady considers where she is going and carries items that are necessary to ensure a comfortable experience for herself and others. While certain events may require specific items (such as a scarf for the theatre or cough drops for a ticklish throat) basic things like tissues, aspirin, a pen, breath mints, and vex money are staple supplies in her bag.

A lady knows that beauty may fade and wealth may be fleeting but her character is how others will judge and remember her. Being considered a “lady” should be one of the highest compliments for a woman because it means she recognises her infinite worth and uses it to positively impact others.

Want to help polishing up your image? Contact me at laura@pearl-strategies.com for a coaching session.

THIS ALSO WAS PUBLISHED IN THE AUGUST 2017 CARE MAGAZINE DISTRIBUTED WITH TRINIDAD & TOBAGO GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER.

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Top 10 Behaviors of a Modern Gentleman

Some say they miss the ol’ time chivalry. Some say chivalry is dead. Some say they don’t even know what the word “chivalry” means. Well … dear readers unaware of the combined qualities once expected of a man, here is a quick list of the classic behaviors and manners that distinguish a true gentleman.

  1. Go to their door: When a gentleman picks up his date, Granny, or little niece or nephew, he should go to their door and politely make his presence known. (Honking his car from the street doesn’t count.) And when the outing is complete, the man should walk his companion back her door or otherwise ensure she safely makes it back inside her home.
  2. Open the doors: A gentleman never lets a lady’s hand touch a door (on a building or a car) if he is around. This also applies for holding a door open for any one of any gender going through a door directly after him.  There are few things that show you have complete disregard for someone else than allowing a door to swing back in their face at full speed.  (Hello man at the bank.)
  3. Stand up: When a lady enters a room a gentleman should stand to acknowledge her and wait to sit until after she takes her own seat. If she doesn’t have a place to sit, the gentleman should offer the lady his own seat. And if he really wanted to make an impression he would assist her with pulling out and pulling in her chair. (Nice and slow … no bumsie-hit-floor fiascos please.)
  4. Walk along side of your companion: A gentleman doesn’t walk ahead of his lady companion, providing a challenge for her to keep up or to not lose him in a crowd. Rather, a gentleman should walk at his companion’s side (hey … even have a conversation). If the pair is walking on a sidewalk, the gentleman also should walk on the side closest to the road with the lady on the inside to offer her protection from traffic.
  5. Assist with carrying objects: A gentleman will always offer to assist a lady with lifting or carrying an object, especially if it is heavy. And he should carry it all the way to its intended location. (No halfsies please.)
  6. Offer your jacket: If the movie theatre is cold or the breeze outside turns chilly, a gentleman should offer his jacket or sweater to the lady in his company so she can be comfortable. He also should keep a handkerchief in his pocket to assist in a myriad of situations: sneezing, sticky hands, wet seat, etc. (He also would find it valuable to learn how to fold it after it has been used, too.)
  7. Is never rude or crude: A gentleman keeps his burps and other bodily noises in check when he is in the presence of others. (Yes, that means noises emanating from up high and down low.) And his language is as clean and appropriate as if his saintly grandmother was listening. Vulgar words and actions never add polish to a man.
  8. Demonstrate courage for others: If a gentleman sees an injustice against any one of any race, gender or age, he has the courage to stand up for them. This doesn’t mean starting a fistfight or a shouting match, but rather he will politely defend their right to be treated fairly.
  9. Ensure proper introductions are made: A gentleman always ensures his companions are properly introduced when joining a dinner party or family lime. He will always try to prevent his companions from feeling awkward and out of place. (Ummm … so who are you again?)
  10. Keep commitments: A gentlemen always keeps his word. If he says he is going to pick you up at 7 p.m., he will be there on time. If he said he will send that email, it will be sent. And if he promised to keep your secret, it will remain confidential … always.

While some may think that these gentlemen gestures are out-of-date and old-fashioned, there is nothing more timeless than a courteous man. A person who shows respect and consideration for others will always be in style and in demand.  True chivalry is a two-sided effort in which both men and women are equal warriors.

What to help your big or little man unlock his inner gentleman? Contact me at laura@pearl-strategies.com for a coaching session.

THIS ALSO WAS PUBLISHED IN THE AUGUST 2017 CARE MAGAZINE DISTRIBUTED WITH TRINIDAD & TOBAGO GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER.

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The Unspoken Mom Dress Code

As I navigate through the adventures of motherhood sometimes I find myself wishing I could relive some highlights of my youth: my body (oh how I wish I had my 20-something body back), relaxing weekends (there are no days off for parents), an uninterrupted meal (family dinners are lovely but I’m always the last to finish), and my wardrobe. Recently I pulled on a pair of my old shorts and … well … fellow mothers … there are just some things we should not wear anymore. Here’s my list of top Mom Dress Code do’s and don’ts.

Do cover your tail.
Strutting through the grocery with kids in tow and your bumsie hanging out doesn’t reflect a confident, composed woman … rather it reveals more of you than what others want to see. If you have to keep pulling down your shorts or skirts, they are not the right fit. Shorts and skirts should cover your bits at the top AND the bottom.

Do not let clothes cling on you more than you child already does.
Clothing that clings to your EVERY curve, bump, and lump means it SHOWS every one of them – even the unpleasant ones. Instead wear pieces that skim only certain curves. If you wear a form-fitting top, pair it with something flowy on the bottom. If you wear something form-fitting on the bottom, pair it with a loose top. On the flip side, don’t go for tent-like shape-less clothes. Bigger clothes create a bigger visual so a little body skimming is flattering.

Do avoid peek-a-boo clothing.
While the game of peek-a-boo may be part of your everyday mom life, peek-a-boo with your clothes should not be. See-through shirts exposing your bra (or lack thereof) are just wrong and so are belly-baring tops. And, sure, it may be handy for breastfeeding, but low-cut tops and overly exposed cleavage as part of your normal attire isn’t appropriate.

Do not let your clothes say what they will about you.
As tempting as that funny “More Issues Than Vogue” t-shirt is, think twice before putting on shirts with childish statements for your school parent-teacher meeting. And please SAY NO to butt messages. Pants with anything printed on the seat are neither attractive nor appropriate for mothers. It doesn’t matter how comfy those Pink sweats are.

Do ask yourself “Can I chase my child in it?”
I love myself a gorgeous part of stilettos but I save them for a girls’ night out and instead pull on wedges or ballet flats for family activities. Also, as easy as it is to reach for the easy flip-flop slippers, trade them for low-heel sandals or trendy Converses for a more put-together look.

Do not wear vanity and other people’s judgments.
You’re a mom. You’re gonna have the occasional spit-up spot, pencil mark, lap-child wrinkles and messy-mouth smear. While you should try to stay neat and tidy, wear the imperfections with pride! There are some days when you will feel like you have it all together and there will be days when you won’t. Accept it and love yourself anyway.

Do remember who you are.
Lead by example. Remember as a mother you should be an example for your children and their friends. If you don’t want your daughter running around in a barely-there dress kept together by a string, then don’t wear it yourself. Even if you look and feel amazing in that teeny-tiny number, maybe just keep it for the bedroom.

No. 1 Take Away: If people focus on what you’re wearing more than they focus on you, you are wearing the wrong clothes. Always consider where you’ll be and who you’ll be with and make your clothing choices accordingly.

MomDressCOde6.30.2017

This also was published in June 2017 CARE Magazine distributed with Trinidad & Tobago Guardian newspaper.