Ask the Etiquette Expert
Etiquette Expert Diane Gottsman answers your most pressing etiquette and modern manners questions on this page. We take all etiquette questions into consideration, but due to volume not all questions can be addressed. Simply fill out the contact form and we’ll do our very best to answer it here for you.
Hostess Gift EtiquetteDear Diane, I love to entertain and often invite people over to my apartment for dinner. I am always stumpedRead more.Going Sleeveless in the WorkplaceDear Diane, It’s hot outside and my boss won’t let us wear anything sleeveless during the work day. Is itRead more.Housewarming Party EtiquetteDear Diane, My husband and I are moving into our first house and I’d like to throw a housewarming party.Read more.Mother-In-Law DilemmaDear Diane, My mother-in-law is recently divorced. She’s been spending a great deal of her free time going out withRead more.How To Effectively (and Politely) Work With a Home ContractorDear Diane, My husband says I’m too pushy when it comes to working with our contractor and his employees whoRead more.Courtesy in Office CubiclesDear Diane, I work in tight quarters and am looking for some ideas on how to maintain a productive workRead more.Staying Productive While Looking for a JobDear Diane, I have been looking for a job since I graduated in December. I have yet to find aRead more.How to Dress at a Summer WeddingDear Diane, My brother is getting married on July 1st. There will be an outdoor ceremony and indoor reception. IRead more.Parking Etiquette: Anonymous Windshield NotesDear Diane, I live in an apartment complex where we have assigned parking. My neighbor always parks too close onRead more.Asking for Time Off in the SummerDear Diane, I’ve been with my job for a little less than a year and I would like to takeRead more.Mother’s Day Gift for DaughtersDear Diane, I recently watched a television segment where you mention a Mother’s Day gift for daughters. Is this somethingRead more.Should Bridesmaids Wear White?Dear Diane, I have heard that the only person who can wear white to the wedding is the bride. IRead more.Properly Storing Your Winter ClothingDear Diane, Now that Spring is here it’s time to switch out my winter work clothing for lighter fabrics,Read more.Removing Shoes at House PartiesDear Diane, I was recently invited to a house party. When I arrived, the host asked me to removeRead more.Leaving a First Impression that Leads to a Second ChanceDear Diane, I have always heard that first impressions matter. I am wondering how important they really are when itRead more.5 Traits of a Great Virtual AssistantDear Diane, I am considering hiring an extra set of hands for my company. I have been told by manyRead more.How to Write an Effective Cover LetterDear Diane, I am interviewing for a new job and am finding it difficult to write a cover letter withoutRead more.How to Address Names in EmailsDear Diane, I recently received an email from someone who addressed me as Mr., when I am a female withRead more.How to Thrive in the World of Online DatingDear Diane, I am 23, recently out of a two year relationship and looking to put myself back out there.Read more.Helping a Friend Through a BreakupDear Diane, One of my best friends has been dating a guy for almost three years. They recently broke upRead more.Valentine’s Day Gifts for HimDear Diane, I’ve been dating a guy for almost three months, and I’m curious about Valentine’s Day which isRead more.Accepting CriticismDear Diane, I recently started working for a company that offers an extensive training program. During the training, we wereRead more.Wedding Gift EtiquetteDear Diane, After tying the knot several months ago, my husband and I are finally getting around to organizing theRead more.Easter Dining Etiquette: Gravy Boat DilemmaDear Diane, Easter is in a few days, and I always get stumped when I serve gravy from my grandmother’sRead more.Office Etiquette: Why Can’t We Be Friends?Dear Diane, I was recently brought in to assist the accounting department for a large manufacturing business. Since joining theRead more.Wedding Etiquette: Can I Opt for a Cash Bar?Dear Diane, My fiancé and I are in the process of reviewing several catering options for our wedding this summer.Read more.Formal Dress Attire: The Definition of Black TieDear Diane, My wife and I are excited to attend the annual spring business gala hosted by my legal firm.Read more.Dinner Invitation EtiquetteDear Diane, We were recently invited to a longtime friend’s home for dinner. As soon as we arrived, we foundRead more.Airplane Etiquette: How to Deal with a Talkative SeatmateDear Diane, My job requires weekly travel, providing me with the opportunity to meet some very interesting people. During myRead more.Destination Wedding EtiquetteDear Diane, Next spring, one of my friends is having a rustic country wedding at a scenic, California ranch. IRead more.Making a New Holiday Gift Giving TraditionDear Diane, During the holidays, my siblings and I typically purchase presents for each other’s children. In the early years, IRead more.Office Happy HourDear Diane, I am a part of a collaborative co-working space that has many perks. For instance, every Friday ourRead more.Losing a Gift: Friendship EtiquetteDear Diane, One of my friends, who does not have a lot of expendable cash, gave me a gorgeous pairRead more.Making a Career ChangeDear Diane, After a brief hiatus, I’m eager to jump back into a career in the tourism industry, but onRead more.Social Media Etiquette – Your Online ImageDear Diane, I have two children in college who spend a large part of their free time connected to social media. IRead more.Travel DilemmaDear Diane, Six months ago, I agreed to attend a family reunion my sister is planning. When she asked meRead more.Interview Etiquette: TattoosDear Diane, As a recent college graduate, I am in the midst of the job search process. With an interview inRead more.Office Etiquette: What to Do When You Stain Your ClothesDear Diane, Last month I was chosen to lead a team-building presentation for my entire department. While working through myRead more.Business Etiquette: When Colleagues Give You a NicknameDear Diane, I have been trying to resolve an office predicament regarding my name. I began a new job several weeks agoRead more.Dining Etiquette: Splitting the BillDear Diane, Recently, a few friends of mine planned a weekend retreat in Chicago. Our local host recommended we visitRead more.Bathroom EtiquetteDear Diane, I need your to help settle a bet. Ever since my husband and I got married, we haven’tRead more.Baby Shower EtiquetteDear Diane, My friend has moved from Florida to California, and I will be flying in for her baby shower.Read more.Dinner Party and Entertaining EtiquetteHello Diane, My wife and I are big on etiquette and entertaining and have made a real effort to includeRead more.Dinner Party EtiquetteDear Diane, I recently attended a housewarming dinner party for one of my coworkers and had a wonderful time. IRead more.Business Attire AdviceDear Diane, I am a recent college graduate and find myself in new territory when it comes to putting togetherRead more.Baby Shower EtiquetteDear Diane, My son and his wife are expecting a baby and asked to use our home for their babyRead more.Job Interview EtiquetteDear Diane, I recently landed a job at a corporation that has been on the top of my list sinceRead more.Birthday EtiquetteDear Diane, Every year I start to receive birthday cards and gifts from my family as early as one monthRead more.Business Travel EtiquetteDear Diane, I am new to my company and recently attended an out of town business meeting with some colleaguesRead more.Father’s Day EtiquetteDear Diane, My father is 85 and unable to leave his house without requiring extensive effort to accommodate his wheelchairRead more.Job Interview EtiquetteHi Diane, I interviewed last Tuesday with the HR Director of a University for a position in an academic department.Read more.Friendship EtiquetteDear Diane, I recently reconnected with a high school friend and we met over lunch to catch up on eachRead more.Business Etiquette for Late EmployeesDear Diane, I have an employee who is constantly late to work. On average, he arrives tardy to the officeRead more.Client Texting DilemmaDear Diane, With a career in sales and marketing, it’s standard to include my cell number on my business cardRead more.Baby Shower EtiquetteDear Diane, A close friend is expecting her first child and has asked me to kindly host her baby shower.Read more.Kentucky Derby EtiquetteDear Diane, Every year my friends and I plan at least one big trip and a few smaller outings togetherRead more.Graduation EtiquetteDear Diane, What is the rule of thumb when it comes to exchanging gifts between graduating seniors? My daughter was recently invited toRead more.Business Attire EtiquetteDear Diane, What is your take on sandals with hose? Our corporate policy states that sandals are allowed in theRead more.Graduation EtiquetteDear Diane, What is the difference between a graduation invitation and a graduation announcement? I received a card from myRead more.Wedding Shower EtiquetteDear Diane, My daughter is having a small, private wedding with only a few friends and family members invited. SheRead more.Job Interview EtiquetteDear Diane, I am currently interviewing for a job with a large company and am confused about the difference betweenRead more.Houseguest EtiquetteDear Diane, Is it too much to ask a houseguest to clean their hair out of the drain? After theirRead more.Dining EtiquetteDear Diane, I was recently at a New York deli (visiting from a small town in Oregon) and ordered a simpleRead more.Wedding EtiquetteDear Diane: Is it okay to exclude my friends’ husbands when sending out invitations to my daughter’s wedding? Most ofRead more.Travel Etiquette with FriendsDear Diane, My friend and I recently took a trip, each of us bringing our one daughter. She chose the hotelRead more.Thank You Note EtiquetteDear Diane, I am getting married in a few months and have received several shower and early wedding presents. IRead more.White Tie EtiquetteDear Diane, I was invited to an event that didn’t specify the dress code clearly. What is the true definitionRead more.Family Holiday EtiquetteDear Diane, My son is coming home from college and is bringing his girlfriend. I still have teens in theRead more.Holiday Restaurant Tipping EtiquetteDear Diane, Is it customary to tip my restaurant server additional gratuity because it’s the holiday season? I’m always soRead more.Holiday Etiquette: Where to StayDear Diane, My family consists of two small children and we spend every holiday shuttling from one house to anotherRead more.Gift Giving EtiquetteDear Diane, Do I have to give a present to everyone who gives one to me? I am having troubleRead more.Polite Holiday EtiquetteDear Diane, My brother is bringing his new girlfriend to my home on Christmas Eve. We generally all open ourRead more.Cyber Monday Office EtiquetteDear Diane, Today is Cyber Monday, the first day back after an extended Thanksgiving break. I can’t help but noticeRead more.Holiday Table Setting EtiquetteDear Diane, I am confused as to which side the soup spoon is placed on the table. Left or right? L.Read more.Holiday Greeting Card EtiquetteDear Diane, I am getting ready to send out my business greeting cards in a couple of weeks and IRead more.Email Thank You for Job InterviewDear Diane, Should I email a thank you note after a job interview? Thank you, JRead more.Greeting Etiquette When in a RelationshipDear Diane, I have a large group of single girlfriends and a wonderful boyfriend. We often get together for dinnersRead more.