Wednesday, June 01, 2005

How to be a Gentleman or a Lady

Following on from Alastair's idea of an Edwardian "boot camp", some pointers for the 'upper-class' members of the cast...

How to be a Gentleman
A gentleman is always neatly dressed, his clothing is never loud or ostentatious. His nails are always clean. His hair, beard and/or mustache is always neatly combed and free from dirt and oil. A gentleman avoids excessive use of pomades and scents. A gentleman carries himself erect but not stiff. He keeps his spine straight and shoulders back. A gentleman aspires to convey calm confidence rather than loftiness. A gentleman does not gesticulate with his hands when speaking nor should he put his hands in his pockets. His hands should hang comfortably at his sides or clasped before or behind him.A gentleman never smokes in the presence of a lady, on the street or in church. Smoking is for the smoking room in the presence of other smokers. A gentleman will always ask permission before lighting a cigarette. A gentleman must never, ever spit. When in the company of a lady, a gentleman must see to her every need and want. A gentleman never makes anyone feel awkward. Upon entering a room he greets everyone pleasantly and introduces his self to those he does not know.

How to be a Lady
A lady must be immaculately groomed at all times. She must wear the appropriate dress for each occasion. Her dress must be clean and becoming to her figure and never be composed of bright, garish colours A lady does not wear makeup. A lady’s hair must always be neat, pulled back from the face and free of dirt and oil. It is in poor taste to dye one’s hair. A lady’s hands must be soft and clean, her nails should be kept short and clean. A lady may wear a small amount of scent so long as it is an inoffensive and light scent.A lady does not cross her legs, even at the ankles, while sitting. She must not engage in activities that might cause her to perspire or breathe heavily. If she is too cold or too hot he must give no indication. Anything that detracts from the pleasure of society is in bad taste.When walking a lady takes short steps, less than the length of a foot. A single woman must remain decorous and keep flirtatious behaviour to a minimum. A lady must carry herself with respect and dignity and must convey gentleness. A lady walks with her back straight, and head and shoulders back. She must appear comfortable and at ease at all times. A lady should never appear stiff, nor should she appear to be lounging.