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

3.6 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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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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Review

"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." --VanityFair.com
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Razorbill; 6.12.2010 edition (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: #666,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Paperback
I thought that this book was okay. It was light, and nice, but there were a few cons.

First off, I want to say that I did not hate this book. I just thought it wasn't fantastic...or terrible for that matter. It was just okay. Here's why:

The first thing that struck me, was the fact that Derek uses himself as an example. Now, while I'm sure he is a very classy man, I found this a bit strange. A man using himself as an example on how to be a classy lady.
The second thing was who this book is aimed for. It really is for young adult girls. But the Author seemed to get a little confused about who he was writing to. Sometimes he would talk about "what you will/can do when you graduate high school" and then in the next chapter he would be talking about drinking alcohol. I'm 17 and I hardly learned anything new from it in regards to being classy and ladylike. It was just refreshed me.
Thirdly, the complete LACK of class in his writing. I'm not sure why I made this third as it should probably be number one. I'm sure we've all been taught that a lady has a certain grace about her, the author seemed to forget this. Throughout the book, there is this air of "I'm sooo classy, if you don't follow my tips in this book, you're a tramp". He bashes and bashes and bashes. Sometimes it seems like he is trying to be funny, but I found it rude and tactless.
Fourth. I'll make this short: no warrant to claim. He would say something like, " *blank* is bad", but he never said why it was. Is it agianst the "rules" of etiquette ? Does it mean something? I was waiting for the impact, but it never came.
Lastly, and this links to the first one, he goes on and on and on about all his famous friends. There is continual bragging from him throughout the book.
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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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