Book Review: Classy by Derek Blasberg

Since my current place of work is so uneventful and incredibly boring I have taken up to reading lifestyle books in order to help myself become a better person, learning through the successes and short falls of others. One that has truly stood out to me was Derek Blasberg’s guide entitled Classy, Exceptional Advice for the Extremely Modern Lady. It was a New York Times Bestseller although as Blasberg himself proclaimed on his twitter, Snooki and Rachel Ray have been Bestseller’s so it really means nothing.

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What this book does for me, and hopefully everyone else out there who reads it, is confirm the things that everyone knows that they should or shouldn’t do, even though we chose to ignore those preconditions in the past. Accompanied by photographs of Evelyn Byrd Bell, Blasberg juxtaposes the concepts and deciding factors of being considered either a lady or a tramp. I’ll highlight a few of the things that he uses to distinguish each.

A Lady:
• wears underwear
• is always on the lookout for a good deal when it comes to stocking her closet
• if she desires a designer item, will work hard and pay for the authentic version
• knows the most fun guest doesn’t have to be the most poorly behaved
• knows to bring a gift to a house party
• doesn’t let a guest feel left out of place or ignored
• looks presentable at an airport.
• knows to be herself. Unless she’s an asshole.
• knows to pace her drinking, when to stop, and when to say no
• is careful with her words, even the nasty ones.
• knows a good boy promises a good future
• is knowledgeable about current events
•appreciates wealth and nice things
• takes any internship or job seriously

A Tramp:
• changes too many times in a day
• wishes to be defined by her purchases
• puts on enough perfume to smell like a whore
• frequently crashes parties
• is the last to leave a party that isn’t theirs
• puts on makeup at a table
• is rarely on time
• throws a party just to impress
• spreads rumors online
• shows herself online as a drunken skank
• cheats
• smokes to seem cool
• has a filthy mouth
• thinks being the drunkest girl at a party is a good look
• lies about her intelligence
• has excuses to not work
• is not tuned into art, photography, film, literature, theatre, documentaries, and poetry
• makes sex tapes or poses for nude photographs that aren’t going to be used in a sophisticated magazine.

Blasberg also covers wonderful topics like dressing sexy without looking like a skank, flirting without looking like a cyber stalker, the difference between the good guy or the bad boy or the gay guy, the difference between dinner conversations and discussions that should be reserved for a medical professional privately, how to pose for a picture, what famous cultural figures to know, how to be a good houseguest, and a crash course in how to navigate meals with plates that aren’t paper or utensils that aren’t plastic. All of these valuable life lessons are interspersed with pictorial aids, quotes, quizzes, checklists, and personal anecdotes. The book was witty and entertaining, while being informative and thought provoking, I think it is a must read for anyone seeking public success or a life strewn in the eyes of others, all though it has practical applications for any kind of person, race or social structure or gender apart.

Go to his website to learn more about his work and life. Visit his twitter, @derekblasberg, to learn about what he is currently up to.

I’ll leave you guys today with a quote from his book’s epilogue:

What I think we need to focus on are the young people, both famous and not, who respect themselves enough to live their lives in a fun, sensible manner. What we need more people to say is that the good girl always wins. Etiquette, style, manners, self-preservation, self-respect, a sense of humor, being a good girlfriend: These are the important hallmarks of a true lady. And we need more girls who know it.

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