When presenting yourself as a woman, every detail matters. The way you act is just as important as the way you look. This includes etiquette!
Does etiquette sound like an old-fashioned concept from the 1950s? It’s not.
Knowing the proper etiquette makes you look classy and goes a long way towards a positive first impression. (Besides, you never know when you might be invited to dinner at the White House or Buckingham Palace!)
Etiquette is a huge topic, so in this post, I focus on the most common social situations. Read on for 6 etiquette tips you should know before your next en femme outing.
1. Girly Greetings
Greetings can be a landmine of potential awkwardness. Should you hug, kiss, or shake hands?
The rules are straightforward when meeting somebody for the first time:
- Shake the hand of the person you are being introduced to.
- If you are sitting down, stand up to shake their hand.
- Look them in the eyes and smile.
- Bonus points if you say the other person’s name you meet them.
Kissing, air kissing, and hugs depend on cultural norms and how well you know somebody. When in doubt, let the other person lead.
Of course, if it’s a good friend, feel free to hug or kiss away!
2. The Proper Place for Your Purse
Where you put your purse say a lot about your manners. Did you know that putting your purse on the table is considered rude? That’s because it’s unhygienic.
Here’s what you should do instead:
- In casual settings, you can hang your bag on the back of your chair. In formal settings, this is considered poor etiquette since it can trip up the wait staff.
- The other option is to place it on your lap or at your feet.
- You can also use a purse hook. This is a small hook you carry with you to hang your bag on the table. (Queen Elizabeth II is said to have used one!)
Clutch bag etiquette:
- Place the clutch on your lap (with your napkin on top) or behind you on your chair.
3. Napkin Etiquette
Napkin etiquette is simple: As soon as you are seated, put the napkin on your lap. You should never begin eating or drinking without your napkin on your lap.
If you get up to use the restroom, fold the napkin and place it on the left side of your plate.
4. How to Hold Your Wine Glass
If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably been holding your wine glass wrong.
The mistake most people make is to hold the glass by the “bowl.” This is a faux pas since it warms the drink inside and leaves smudge marks on the glass.
Instead, hold the glass at the stem by grasping it between your thumb and index finger. (Who votes for a “practice” session tonight?!)
5. Use the Right Utensils
Ah, the classic etiquette question: Which fork do I use? The answer is to start with the outermost utensil and work your way in with each course.
6. A Grand Finale
Now that you’ve made it through the occasion with perfect, ladylike manners, how do you make a grand finale?
- When you are done eating, rest your utensils diagonally (in parallel) across your plate.
- Your napkin should remain on your lap until you’re ready to leave the table.
- Never leave a party or event without saying your goodbyes. “Ghosting” is just plain rude.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Etiquette might not be the “sexiest” topic, but these details make a difference.
Curious to know more? Check out Emily Post’s Etiquette, 18th Edition.
Did any of these etiquette rules surprise you? Do you have any others to add to this list? Please share in the comments below!
P.S. Want to learn more tips on mastering your feminine presentation?
Sign up for my free 3-part Male to Female Transformation Mini Course here!
Hi Ronica, where girl friend, in this big wide world are you located? If you’re in the U.S. on the west coast, maybe I can help you with some of your transformation challenges?
I used to be approached by girlfriends telling me ” Sheri, you need to start a class to teach trans women how to
apply make up, amongst other things…” But they’ve all forgotten my “roots” , because I’m just one of the ladies in choir, or one of the girls,
anymore. Anyhoo, you asked for help and determining our proximity to each
other is a first baby step I imagine. Love n hugz-Sheri
Thanks for these tips. I am now five months post SRS and have never felt more at ease with my self, life and body. I do as expected miss not having a uterus and ovaries and feel sad for the feminine life I missed out on pre SRS. I am seeing a therapist to keep things on course and that’s going well. I am getting more enjoyment from these postings of Lucielle’s now as they are vital to the fine tuning of my new 24/7 feminine life. I identify as bisexual and fitting in with my female dates is intricate to say the least. I usually lag a little behind and follow my dates lead. Dating men is far less complicated they have a far more straight forward agenda for the most part. If I were looking for a long term commitment from a man I would be more intricate with them but that’s not the case.
Thank you, great tips as always. However, may I beg to differ on the wine etiquette?
As white wine is served chilled, it is correct etiquette to hold the glass by the stem so as not to warm however because red wine is served at room temperature it is okay to hold the ‘bowl’.
I was told this by a sommelier while dining at London’s Institute of Directors club!
Thanks for that tip, Yvonne!
Not about the subject of this email from you, but something with which I’d very much like to find some help.
Would love to find a capable someone who would come to my place and spend some considerable time working with and helping me with my transformaton.
I promise total respect and all appropriate considerations. I’m able to pay! (not unlimited, but adequate for time effort and expertise).
I am dreaming of the day when I can go public as the woman I believe I am.
Love and best wishes,
Hi All .
We are in NZ from the English stock and yes some of us do keep the long time way of doing things.
Im also an Edwardian 1900 to 1914 and dress accordingly in the fashion of the day or time,s .
The setting of the tables is pretty much correct only a few miner details different our talk is in keeping with our reinacting of the day plus we do many other.. like.. day outings and concerts and just follow on with how it was many years ago ,
Some times im in charge of setting out and serving though im doing my maids uniform so when we do an all out and entertainment day or evening I,ll be in my maids wear , most of us are woman = natal = and we have a few men join us some 20 of us plus we do have a few Victorians come at different times to enjoy the time with us , so you may think we are all prim and proper , hope so any way , and its fun,
Although this is an American website and American eating styles are somewhat different to those of the UK, this advice on etiquette and behaviour is equally valid in the UK. Not only valid for tgirls, it is the correct way for everyone to behave, although one is only likely to find cutlery (flatware in the US?) laid out for all courses in the better class of restaurant and peoples’ homes.
We should make at least all this totally second nature, no thought required. But it’s even more than what we do; it’s what we are.
Etiqiette goes a long way anywhere, and i notice it more when out in
public . EX: In a bar, too many TGIRLS continue to “practice” male-type mannerisms and exagerrate FEM -Like mannerisms, comletely dropping proper etiquette.
Using myself as an example of proper etiquette and FEM mannerisms, i generally get approached by the more ‘classy-looking WOMEN and TGIRLS for conversation, drinks,”whatever”. And often, w/ the coment, ‘You look like a Genetic WOMAN”. Great update, LUCILLE!.
Thank you, Roxanne! I wasn’t sure if this topic would resonate, but I’m happy so many people see the value of etiquette. It’s a fascinating topic for sure!