From the category archives:


Q: I was just told by my brother that I breached proper etiquette when I notified of him of my new address via email rather than sending out a formal announcement. Do you have any input on which is correct? A: In the past, it was customary to inform people of your new address in […]


Q: If you like someone’s outfit and compliment them, is it considered rude to ask where they purchased the item?’ A: It isn’t exactly rude, but it also is not something you would ask if you don’t know the person well for it does border on being a rather personal question.

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Q: My nephew, who is gay, just got married in Massachusetts. do I send a card or a gift or both? How do I acknowledge the event?’ A: You acknowledge it just as you would any other wedding of a close friend or relative – with a celebratory card and gift, if you are close. […]


Q: I have a neighbor who just sends her three and five year old girls out to play whenever I’m out with my kids. She never talks to me to tell me her kids are coming over, she just lets them come over unsupervised assuming I or other neighbors would be willing to watch them. […]


Q: What percentage of women turn their maiden name into their middle name? My mother-in-law insists that that is the way its done and I don’t know anyone who has done that. Who is more right? A: A bride who wishes to take her husband’s last name may retain her given middle name or, more […]


Q: Are cutsie or trendy hats considered proper attire for offices or are they off limits inside the workplace? I work in an office and we have a very casual dress code, but we still try to dress differently than the people in my department. What would be the correct ruling on this? A: One […]


Q: I am staying as a guest in my bosses apartment in New York City. I will be staying 4 days. There is a doorman there but since this is a private residence, do I tip? And if so, for what services? If we don’t use his services such as carrying our bags or hailing […]


Q: What color should a person not wear for a funeral? A: The default assumption is that any color that is bright and cheery wouldn’t be appropriate for a funeral. Black or subdued or neutral colors are usually the most appropriate. Sometimes a funeral is viewed as a celebration of someone’s life and guests are […]


Q: When I was a child and had a birthday party we always opened the presents during the party in front of friends and family. Now the child never opens any presents in front of their guests. Is this an etiquette issue or what? Is it not proper to open the presents until all guests […]


Q: I would like invite my friends and family to celebrate my 40th birthday with me at a restaurant. The brunch will be at noon on a Sunday. The restaurant charges $17.00 per person. I would like to know if I am responsible for paying the restaurant charges or if it is appropriate to ask […]