The fine art of Purse Etiquette or Bourse Etiqutte, yes there is a way a woman carries her bag or purse that sends a message….

When was the last time you picked up a copy of Emily Post’s Guide to Etiquette? Although I’m sure it has been a while, it is important for Mademoiselles to know the subtle nuances of etiquette when out and about on the streets and social society.

bluepurse
1. Let’s take, for today, the proper way to carry your bag,
(*Note: the difference between a purse and a handbag is price.
A purse is valued at under $100, a bag at over. ), I found that to be quite the factoid.
2. When you are walking around, your bag should be situated in your left hand, in the crook of your left elbow, or on your left shoulder. Notice a pattern? LEFT.

3. When passing a friend on the street, you should be able to easily offer your right hand to greet without jostling your bag out of the way. Your right hand should always be available to socialize.

4. When you carry your bag in your right hand, on your right shoulder, or particularly in the crook of your right elbow, you are, in essence, flipping the world off and letting them know you are rude and socially unavailable.  In other words….leave me alone if you please.

5. If you carry a briefcase, this rule does not apply to you as rigidly. It is commonly accepted that one who works, and therefore has a briefcase, does not always have time to be sociable. Your purse may then be carried on your left and your briefcase in your right hand. (good to know)

6.When you are dining, your bag may not be placed on the table. Ever Ever. Really. It is considered incredibly rude, even if you are carrying a Haute Couture, to place your bag on the dining surface. Your bag has two possible resting sites:

A.  If it is day, you may place your bag in an empty chair (at the same table, do not drag another chair to your table just to avoid the floor. Yes, germs and bacterial are there but you should remedy that with a wipe of your choice.

B.  You may also place your bag on the floor to the left of you. (Why the left? Because the server should be coming to your place setting from the right, and you certainly do not want to trip him. Also, for your protection–it is much more obvious to reach with your right hand to the place on your left to try to steal someone’s bag than it is to lean with your left.

C.  Finally, because when you stand up at the end of your meal, you should be able to seamlessly pick up your bag with your left hand and shake hands with your meal partners.) You may never place your bag on the back or arm of the chair. We are Social Ladies, and, therefore, we are not tacky or risky to allow for a quick snatch and grab.

D.  If is it evening, you may place your bag in your lap, under your napkin, or behind you in your chair. Those are your only two options. Well, if you are sitting on a bench-style seat, you may place your bag between you and your date.  Bench seating is not very classy but in any seating arrangement you can carry off grace and elegance by sitting up straight, head held high and smile invitingly.

Thank you to Emily Post for your Etiquette to dos.  I think next we will look into the dos and don’t of the world of Haberdashery.

Marelle Couture

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