The late Jacqueline “Jackie” Kennedy is iconic for being one of the most sophisticated and graceful First Ladies of all time. Throughout her life, she kept her poise and made a point of remembering her manners. Natalie Portman had a lot to live up to when she played her in the docudrama Jackie, which got her an Oscar nomination.
Watch: Natalie Portman Talks About Her Role
Watching Portman, you can see that she captured the essence of Jackie, from her movements to her accent. However, maybe studying her movements and speech isn’t enough; if we want to know what made her so charming, knowing her personal values might help. Beaumont Etiquette recently sat down with InStyle to give us ideas – here are 8 rules that made Jackie the First Lady we adored.
1. Show Appreciation And Be Grateful
Jackie made a point of writing handwritten thank you cards, but didn’t start them with “Thank you.” Instead, she often went for something more personal to open with, which let people know she was thinking about them. All in all, thank you cards are good for even small occasions.
2. Sweat The Details
Jackie sent formal RSVP invites for every occasion. What she’d never be caught doing is writing “please RSVP.” RSVP actually stands for the French phrase “répondez, s’il vous plaît,” which means “respond, please,” so saying “please respond, please” is redundant. Small details like that are worth noticing.
3. Be The Perfect Hostess
Maybe you can’t be perfect, but you can try! To make guests feel at home, try having three topics of conversation in your head to talk about when things get dull. Also try talking to each guest individually, and thanking everyone as they leave.
4. Minimum Information With Maximum Politeness
Jackie would never swear – she saw it as a sign that one lacked a good enough vocabulary to express their feelings. She also tried to keep her composure by avoiding gestures and pointing. Try motioning with your whole hand instead of your fingers when you want to show someone something.
5. Be Well-Spoken
Jackie was known for being well-spoken, always enunciating each word with precision. She also tried not to use shortcut words such as “yeah,” and made sure to keep both her volume and her speech moderate. She kept things simple, but elegant.
6. Look The Part
Of course, we all know that Jackie loved her fancy clothes. Whether going to the store or to a political event, she always kept herself looking sharp – but once again, less is more. A classic look with short gloves, a dainty hat, and closed-toe shoes was a Jackie must-have.
7. Straighten Up
It’s hard to keep your back straight, but Jackie managed it. After all, bad posture can be taken as a lack of confidence or interest. Of course the First Lady wouldn’t want to be seen that way, so here are some Jackie-based tips: keep your knees together, hands to your side or in your lap, and keep your shoulders back.
8. Be Gracious To Everyone
The former First Lady was said to treat her staff as she did her friends. She seemed to believe in the golden rule in that she treated others as she would have liked to be treated. You can memorize the different types of forks all you like, but respect is the most important part of etiquette.
Featured image via InStyle / left photo by Robert Knudsen