11 Old-School Etiquette Rules You Don’t Need To Follow Anymore

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In a rapidly changing world, social norms and etiquette have evolved significantly over the years. What was once considered proper and polite may now seem outdated and unnecessary. While some old-school etiquette rules still hold value today, others have become obsolete. Let’s take a look at 11 old-school etiquette rules you can safely leave behind, along with three that remain as relevant as ever.

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#1 Don’t Wear White After Labor Day

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The outdated rule: Avoid wearing white clothing after Labor Day.

Why you can let it go: The theory is that this rule started in the mid-1800s, when fashion was formal and white was considered a summer color. Fashion has since evolved to be a lot less fussy. Feel free to wear white, or any other color, whenever you like.

#2 Always Address People by Their Last Name

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The outdated rule: Address everyone, even acquaintances, by their last name (e.g., Mr. Smith or Mrs. Johnson).

Why you can let it go: Casual settings often call for first names, and many people prefer it. Just be sure to gauge the formality of the situation.

#3 Wait for the Host to Start Eating

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The outdated rule: Don’t start eating until the host begins.

Why you can let it go: It’s acceptable to start eating when your dish is served, allowing everyone to enjoy their meal while it’s hot.

#4 Send Handwritten Thank-You Notes

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The outdated rule: Send handwritten thank-you notes for gifts or favors.

Why you can let it go: While handwritten notes are charming, digital thank-yous via email or text are widely accepted and more convenient.

#5 Stand When a Lady Leaves the Table

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The outdated rule: Stand when a lady leaves or returns to the table.

Why you can let it go: This chivalrous gesture is no longer expected and can be seen as outdated or even patronizing.

#6 Always RSVP with a Formal Card

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The outdated rule: RSVP to invitations using a formal reply card.

Why you can let it go: Most invitations now include online RSVP options, making it easier to respond promptly.

#7 Never Discuss Politics or Religion

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The outdated rule: Avoid discussing politics or religion in polite company.

Why you can let it go: While heated debates are still best avoided, it’s okay to engage in thoughtful conversations on these topics when appropriate. Also, what else is there to talk about these days?

#8 Wear a tie and formals to dinner

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The outdated rule: Always dress formally for dinner, even with the family.

Why you can let it go: It’s perfectly reasonable to want to be comfortable at dinner. Go ahead and eat in your pajamas if you’re at home.

#9 Always Use Formal Titles

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The outdated rule: Address individuals by their formal titles (e.g., Doctor, Professor).

Why you can let it go: In casual settings, people often prefer to be addressed by their first name. Use titles when appropriate.

#10 Keep Your Phone Off at the Dinner Table

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The outdated rule: Never use your phone at the dinner table.

Why you can let it go: Good luck getting anyone to sit at the dinner table in the first place. If you have kids, the phone will arrive before them.

#11 Always Bring a Hostess Gift

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The outdated rule: Always bring a hostess gift when invited to someone’s home.

Why you can let it go: While it’s a nice gesture, it’s not mandatory, especially for casual gatherings. Express your gratitude in your own way.

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12 Unwritten Rules That All Men Follow

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Navigating the uncharted waters of male camaraderie can sometimes feel like deciphering a secret language. These unwritten codes of conduct weave a unique tapestry of male interactions. We’ve delved into a social media thread to unearth some of these unspoken rules, and here they are, decoded for your enjoyment and amusement.

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Pri Kingston

Ash & Pri are the Founders of AshandPri.com and have spent the last decade building their way towards financial freedom and a lifetime of memories. Having successfully achieved their early retirement goal in under 10 years, they look forward to sharing their financial sense with like-minded people. Read more about Ash & Pri in the 'About Us' section.