Lessons we can learn from Jackie Kennedy

Updated: Dec 3, 2021

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, America's most elegant First Lady and one of my biggest role models.

Here are some lessons we can learn from her and her good manners:

Tip #1 - Look the Part

Without a doubt, Jackie is perhaps most famous for her elegant, timeless sense of style. No matter if she was traveling or simply running an errand or going to a black tie event, she never left the house with putting effort into her fashion choices. She was always classic in her choices, played with plenty of colour, loved to color-block and was a true believer of less is more. Classic Jackie items?

  • Pearls

  • Day gloves

  • Closed-toe shoes with a moderate heel hight

Tip #2 - Minimum information with maximum politeness

One thing Jackie would never do: star. For her it was a sign that you did not have a sophisticated enough vocabulary to communicate your feelings and instead would just blurt out an offensive word to express yourself. Jackie also did not often talk with her hands by using over-exaggerated gestures when explaining something or telling a story, as it can make you look less composed. Another gesture to avoid? Never point. Jackie was very well-spoken and had a clear voice. When speaking, she would articulate every word and speak at a pace where she was easily understood. She was assertive and did not use short cuts for words. Additionally, Jackie would never talk too loudly or too much. Think less is more.

"I want minimum information given with maximum politeness" – Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Tip #3 - Show appreciation and be grateful

It was no secret that Jackie loved giving handwritten thank you card and notes. It was known she usually never started her thank you cards with "Thank you for..." and instead wrote something more personal as an opening line. In the current digital era where a quick text or e-mail is often more common, try writing a thank you note for added impact, which shows you took the time and effort in doing so and are truly grateful.

Tip #4 - Be the perfect hostess

The minute that Jacqueline Kennedy entered the role of First Lady she began to turn the White House into a home. She redecorated the state rooms, created a guidebook to the house and its history for those invited over, held tea parties for her family and friends, and, most importantly, created a comfortable and inviting environment in a building known for having a rather stiff, formal interior. Not only did she make White House visitors, whether tourists, or state dinner attendees, feel adored and appreciated, she gave them the chance to network, to learn, and to leave full of good food, great conversation, and a joyful spirit.

Tip #5 - Be gracious to everyone

Jackie was known to show through her actions that everyone deserved the same treatment and respect, being as gracious and polite to her wait staff as she was to her friends. Someone can know all the place settings of a dinner table but without respect for others, one can still have very bad etiquette. She would treat everyone the way she wished to be treated and was famous for having wonderful etiquette in that regard, no matter if she was interacting socially or professionally.

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