September means a new season full of events, cocktails and gala dinners.
Whether it's a smart casual reception or an all-out formal evening ball, you should put your best foot forward, in your newest shoe, and be presented in the best light possible - from the right, my better side. But good grooming and expensive fashion won't completely cover the truly cheap and tacky. Unlike a couture gown, you can't buy good taste and manners.
To help the uncouth, here is a Do and Don't list to keep you from being the ugly Kardashian at any function.
1. Don't dress head to toe in only one designer. Unless you work for a brand, wearing one collection head to toe tells every fashionista you have no personal style or are a lazy shopper. Either way, people will laugh at you.
2. Do be patient. Guest list staff are often harried and harassed with long convoluted pages of names. If they don't find you right away, chill. Barking loudly and rolling your eyes does nothing but make you look petty. Real VIPs wouldn't be so insecure.
3. Don't bring along a cheap plastic fan. We know it's hot and humid. That happens when too many people cram into a party. But no matter how chic you look, once your little fan comes out, you resemble a Mong Kok housewife at the wet market.
4. Don't lunge for canapés. We're hungry too, but VIPs know they'll be leaving in 20 minutes for dinner at Caprice. You don't need to mosh dive for the last salmon on a platter unless you're willing to out yourself as a poseur desperate for free food.
5. Do show restraint in greetings. Frou-frou custom dictates you offer air kisses or a peck on the cheek to acquaintances, but it's creepy to be over-friendly. Don't hug or smooch people you just met five minutes ago. Too much affection is not proper whether you're drunk or not.
6. Don't ask for a gift bag before you leave. Nothing says, "I'm shallow and only here for free stuff" like carrying around a goodie bag during an event. They are meant as departing souvenirs. Then to check the bag's content will make people hope you do leave.
7. Do be considerate. At a crowded fashion show, put your bag in your lap. It doesn't need its own seat. Who do you think you are? Anna Wintour?
8. Do put down your phone during dinners. A quick reply or checking a new message is fine. But burying your nose in WhatsApp or continuing a trivial conversation as dishes are being served suggests you have no class and serious bachelors won't shoot a second glance your way.
9. Don't hog the front of the bar. If you got your drink, move on and let others get a refreshment. You don't have to catch up with your friend directly between the bartender and half the event's thirsty guests.
10. Do smile. Acknowledge people next to you even if you don't know them. Maybe especially if don't know them. Just look pleasant and engaged. Don't look like Melania Trump.