All that is
What we want to know is: what defines taste? Admittedly, trying to define taste is an elusive proposition (which is what made the book's premise so appealing:
I would have liked to see more suggestions on how one can refine his/her taste, or at least how to gain more exposure to the finer things that have long been exclusive to elites. Instead what we get are meandering anecdotes that don't really seem to have a point. To acquire taste, she writes, one should look look look look look at everything. That is the extent of her advice. It would have been nice if she had suggested some criteria to determine what is tacky and what isn't? Workmanship? Quality of materials? Popularity? Beauty? Utility? Value/Market price? I don't know. That's why I bought the book. I returned it for a refund the next day, by the way.
All of her examples were of the super wealthy. I grew tired of the author's name dropping; also finding it to be a bit hypocritical. I find that sort of conversation to be distasteful. The Jackie Kennedy references were moslty appropriate, but repetitive, and at times, irrelevant.
I believe it was Letitia Baldridge I once heard saying that, "Manners are simply ways of putting other people at ease." There is NOTHING stuffy or elitist about REAL manners
Manners are about consideration, it's as simple as that, just ways of putting people at ease.
Instead they promote a) having fun and laughing and b) reading constantly to to fill yourself with topics of conversation that don't involve gossip. Here's the kicker, they discard the old rule that you shouldn't talk religion, media or politics in company and actually encourage women to watch out for propaganda and to "Read several newspapers with different points of view and get into a violent argument on the obvious coloring of the news." What?!!