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Classy: Exceptional Advice for the Extremely Modern Lady Paperback – April 6, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 10 Up—This guide provides wise yet hip advice on how an "extremely modern" young woman can be a lady and avoid being a "tramp," but it is so much more. Can she learn how to travel overseas or attend social events in style? Check. Can she learn to plan a wonderful dinner party, complete with correct place settings? Check. Can she learn how to avoid the wrong guy, drinking too much, cigarettes, or drugs without being a nerd? Check. Can she learn proper social customs and etiquette, and how to be a great friend? Check. She can also gain sound advice about these and myriad other important elements of life, including sensible dressing, successfully handling relationships, being knowledgeable about the world, and making good personal choices. Quotes from famous people savvy about the ins and outs of each subject addressed, plus catchy color photos and pertinent captions, add interest and flavor to the extremely upbeat and thought-provoking chapters. Humorous "self-tests" and their results reinforce the points being made. Although the content is sometimes mature and aimed at older teens and 20-somethings, with its references to such things as going to bars and clubs, legal drinking situations, or dealing with overindulgences, girls who are a bit younger can still benefit from reading this book by being better prepared to make good decisions both now and later.—Diane P. Tuccillo, Poudre River Public Library District, Fort Collins, CO
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"Blasberg's compiled everything he's learned from Hollywood, fashion, and high society in Classy, a guide to becoming a true lady." --ELLE

"Fashion writer...Derek Blasberg has taken note of both good and bad behavior while hanging with a high-profile set." --New York Magazine

"What's a gal to do in this age of tacky pseudo-celebrity? Enter...Blasberg, whose new book...may just be the saving grace." --Teen Vogue

"Dispenses advice on everything from table manners to tattoos in cheeky essays...A thoroughly modern guide to living like a lady."

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Razorbill (April 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595142797
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595142795
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,553 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Derek Blasberg was born in St. Louis, Missouri. Since graduating from New York University in 2004 with degrees in Journalism and Dramatic Literature, he has written about the fashion industry, the New York art scene and the international social swirl for publications such as Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, W, V Magazine, Interview, the London Sunday Times and Conde Nast's Equal parts Midwestern good boy, Manhattan man-about town and international enthusiast of style, Blasberg has a unique perspective on some of the world's chicest ladies--and biggest tramps!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

275 of 302 people found the following review helpful By M. MCKEE on April 14, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think I may have to toss this one, because I can't imagine who I would want to read it.

By its description, I should love this book. I pre-ordered it at Amazon's suggestion because I do have a history of enjoying books that aim to tackle the problem of emulating the class and tact of our most beloved role models in the modern age.

Upon first attempt, I immediately realized that this book is not really targeted at my age bracket (mid 20s). There is nothing updated, new, or interesting about the conventional wisdom that a woman should leave a bit to the imagination when getting dressed in the morning, for example. Anyone who picked up such a book for herself is already in that camp. But the fact that this book doesn't apply to my age set doesn't mean it's a bad book, so I continued reading in the hopes that I would be inspired to pass it on to someone a bit younger.

Reading deeper into the book, I am disappointed to report that not only do I feel it provides nothing new for the 20-something reader, I actually don't even think it would be a step in the right direction for most teens. Blasberg calls on celebrity connections to validate his authority on the subject of class, a pretense that is odd at best, as true social graces need not be confined to (nor defined by) those with wealth and power. So much of this book is about Blasberg himself and how much celebrities love him that I'm really quite surprised that it all made its way past an editor. The me-fest gets old quite quickly, as the remarks are often either of-topic, or related but also mean-spirited and really quite the opposite of classy.
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82 of 90 people found the following review helpful By cinemagirl on May 31, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I became intrigued by this book after reading a couple magazine blurbs about this book. I actually love these kinds of books; they're can be useful, funny, and great reads at the beach or on an airplane. It looked interesting enough: someone who's often at parties and events around the world, hob-nobbing with the rich and the Botoxed, bestowing advice on what it means to be classy and the lack of this characteristic today. I figured the book would be full of insights from someone who associates with the upper crust, providing a unique perspective on the age old line, "Money doesn't buy class."

Unfortunately, if you read the premise above, sit for 5 minutes, and think about what YOU would write if you were the author of such a book, you'd be right on target. Everything in the book is quite predictable and even pedestrian. Tips for shopping online? Research to make sure the store is legit. Don't respond to unsolicited e-mails asking for your personal information. Doesn't everyone pretty much know this? Blasberg also provides a handy little chart that illustrates the logos of some luxury brands (e.g., Chanel, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, etc.), cautioning people to read the bag labels carefully so you don't end up buying a "Prado" instead of a Prada. Really? He even has a section on drugs (basically, don't do them) and cigarettes (don't smoke; they're bad for you, too).
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41 of 51 people found the following review helpful By L.D. Mit on April 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
I was thumbing through a magazine recently and came across a blurb for this book which sparked my curiosity. How did Classy differ from the myriad other etiquette books on the market? After reading through a copy I found at a local bookstore, I have to say that I was impressed with Derek Blasberg's take on topics such as drinking, how to dress, logo overload and when to put down that blasted Blackberry. The subchapter titled The "Look at Me!" Era is, on its own, worth paying for.

Blasberg, a twenty-something writer in the fashion industry, is an insider who knows the movers and shakers and addresses topics you won't find in Emily Post (stripper poles at parties, sex tapes). There is solid advise here in a fetching package that should appeal to young females who might not be so inclined to pick up etiquette books by other authors. He lays out what comes across as attractive and, more importantly, what does not, even naming names to illustrate his point. The book's many photos give effective visual references to his words. Blasberg clearly understands the fundamental truth that many girls and young women mimic the behavior of their favorite celebrities because they believe that's the way to be perceived as attractive and desirable, but oftentimes, this behavior is crass, immature, and earns them a markedly different reputation than the one they want.

I am a big admirer of the book The Art and Power of Being a Lady by Noelle Cleary and Dini Von Mueffling, and while that book remains my favorite on etiquette, Classy goes a long way in speaking to today's impressionable, highly visual, celebrity-obsessed youth. The message: being classy doesn't mean being out of touch with the times, and just because a celebrity does something doesn't mean its smart.
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