THE DANDIZETTE MANIFESTO

Chandalier hanging at Claridges purples

1) As Dandizettes we do solemnly swear to uphold the elegant feminism of our matriarchal lineage and in doing so, proudly reclaim the word Lady as a term to describe a woman of noble spirit, wit, courage and charm. In reclaiming the word Lady we honour the ladies of history and our own matriarchal lineage; saluting the poor, the oppressed, and sidelined woman who though down trodden, retained her dignity, manners good humour and charm in order to educate and raise her children and support her family. They were proud to call themselves ladies, as are we.

2) We as ladies and Dandizettes salute gentlemen and dandies as our allies and friends. We recognise that both Ladies and Gentlemen are ennobled by good manners. When a gentleman tips his hat to a lady, opens a door to a lady, pulls out a chair for a lady, when he stands as a lady enters the room or leaves the table, he is is both acknowledging his respect for ladies and Dandizettes and celebrating a gentler age reminding us all that good manners enrich and empower both ladies and gentleman alike.

3) As Dandizettes, we acknowledge and delight in remembering that inside every little old lady there resides an antique little girl and remain ever mindful that inside every little girl resides a little old lady waiting for her time to shine.

4) A Dandizette advocates good taste, wisdom, open minds and hearts, assiduously avoiding any organisation or society that promotes judgements on others and strident views that lead to Cromwellian actions.

5) Dandizettes eschew Zealots, puritans and evangelicals or indeed anyone who lacks the ability to laugh at themselves and acknowledge they may be wrong.Embarrassment is a great political and religious leveller.

6) A dandizette knows that should she find herself arguing a matter of principle, she has lost both the principle and the argument. In this situation a Dandizette will excuse herself  taking the time for a nice cup of tea, or a reapplication of lipstick.

7) The Dandizette dresses mindful of those who have to look at them. Out of respect for others, a Dandizette never gets out of bed without careful application of make up and scent. Even when in the midst of illness, grief or tragedy the dandizette thinks first of those who have to look at her when planning her costume. The Dandizette may feel like hell, but she always aims to look like heaven. It is the height of insensitive indifference to the feelings of others not to make an effort with one’s dress and positively obnoxious to look anything other than your best for every occasion, however humble.

8) The Dandizette  ensures she preserves an open mind on as many topics as possible.The Dandizette especially values lack of certainty viewing it as the path to accruing greater knowledge and deeper understanding. The Dandizette eschews harbouring too many opinions. History has shown us that opinions on mass are obnoxious, arrogant and wholly unstylish.  When acquiring one opinion it is wise to let another opinion go. Vacillation is thrilling.  Smart girls change their minds as new information comes to light.

9) To the Dandizette, politics, religion and philosophy are a celebration of freedom of choice and for the most part a private affair for the ballot box, the interior landscape of the mind and the confessional. This is not to suggest lofty debate is to be avoided, merely to suggest that that lofty debate should be witty rather than didactic. Wit does not detract from the essence of a principle or opinion but wit is a powerful weapon in bringing others around to your line of thinking. When discoursing on politics, religion, philosophy or airing any controversial view point the Dandizette first considers how prettily and wittily the topic can it be expressed.  Disagreement does not excuse insensitivity or boorishness.

10) The Dandizette does not confuse Faith with religion. Though the two are often twinned they are very different. Religion, while often a prickly topic can be a legitimate conversational gambit although it is not the Dandizette way to interest herself in the religious choices of others. Faith on the other hand is very personal and private residing as it does in the beat of a persons heart and the pulse of their soul. A Dandizette always shows respect and even reverence to the faith of others. However, should another’s faith be used as a weapon to limit a Dandizette’s own personal choice, a dandizette may legitimately mock such faith or even deliver the Bond Street Cut Direct.

11) For the Dandizette, clothing and accessories are art. We pay homage to the artisans,  craftsmen, seamstresses, jewellers, shoemakers, furriers, and hosiers.  To the Dandizette, clothing is not a shallow artifice, it is art and our gift to those that look upon us. Clothing, scent and accessories are at the very heart of how we feel about life and how much we care about others. When Baudelaire described the Dandizette as one who elevates aesthetics to a living religion, he was pointing out the power of clothes to transform and transgress. Ladies have been using their clothes as artistic expression and symbols since the beginning of time. Nipping in waists, adding bustles, flicking fans, tightening and loosening corsets and wearing wigs; every aspect of a ladies apparel throughout history has been a codified message to society, expressing what they want, what they think and at times what they plan to change.

12) To a Dandizette vulgar words and slang terms are slanders against women and befoul the air. The Dandizette’s pursuit of a beautiful aesthetic includes language and speech. A Dandizette will speak with a low voice and mellifluous tone avoiding ugly terms or speech patterns which corrode the soul, befoul the air or denigrate another.

13) Dandizette Deportment is beautiful to behold. Even when passing through tempests or maelstroms the Dandizette sallys forth with a straight back, her head held high and her stomach muscles pulled in as tightly as a drum while the merest suggestion of a slight smile about to break rests always upon her visage. Regardless of the troubles or stresses that would furrow her brow the Dandizette is ever mindful not to give concern to others by ensuring her expression does not betray her inner turmoils by even the merest hint.  There are sorrows enough in the world and the Dandizette would do anything not to give rise to concern.

14) A Dandizette will study etiquette as a means to making others feel comfortable. Good manners exist so that one does not give rise to offence or inadvertently make another feel awkward or uncomfortable. While customs vary in different  cultures it is never acceptable to diminish another or make someone feel small or worthless. If offence is inadvertently given to a  Dandizette she will brush over the incident, however should a dandizette fall victim to, or witnesses a deliberate insult she will slap the offending rapscallions face in a sharp swift lady-like manner swiftly changing the subject such as asking those present if they have seen the latest play/exhibition or performance etc.

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