No Nice Girl Swears: Notes on High Society, Social Graces, and Keeping Your Wits from a Jazz-Age Debutante

No Nice Girl Swears: Notes on High Society, Social Graces, and Keeping Your Wits from a Jazz-Age Debutante


View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


No Nice Girl Swears is the original, trailblazing guide to the “new etiquette,” brimming with timeless advice on style, romance, and grace, and finally back in print 90 years after its original release. Forewords by today’s editor in chief of Town & Country and the editor in chief of Vogue from 1914–1952.

Heralded as the go-to guide for soon-to-be debutantes and ladies who’d recently made their debut, No Nice Girl Swears ushered in a “new etiquette” on its release in 1933, much to the shock—and delight—of the high-society crowd of jazz-age America. Today it is equal parts time capsule (how to dress for dinner on your transatlantic voyage) and timeless missive (how to ditch a date who’s had a few too many).

Worldly-wise socialite Alice-Leone Moats advises on everything from style and dating to travel and party throwing, and weeds through the dos and don’ts of weddings, weekend trips, and the workplace. Her wisdom, though steeped in the charm of her time, endures: treat others—and yourself—with respect, always put your best foot forward, and don’t throw a party without champagne. It’s just good manners.

This keepsake volume includes a new foreword from Stellene Volandes, the editor in chief of Town & Country, the original foreword from Edna Woolman Chase, Vogue’s editor in chief from 1914–1952, and a contextualizing preface. It encourages consideration of what etiquette rules we’d like instilled today, and shows how Moats helped usher in a world where women could speak—and act—freely.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781948062428
Publisher: Apollo Publishers
Publication date: 04/07/2020
Pages: 184
Sales rank: 1,197,986
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 6.60(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Born in Mexico in 1908 as the only child of wealthy and prominent American parents, Alice-Leone Moats was educated at Manhattan’s Brearley School and the Fermata School for Girls in Aiken, South Carolina, and was admitted to Oxford University, where she spent three days. As a young woman, Moats, fluent in five languages, danced in debutante balls and mingled with high society.

Moats was commissioned to author No Nice Girl Swears in 1933, which met great acclaim and marked the beginning of her illustrious writing career. She later published prolifically as a foreign correspondent for Collier’s magazine in Japan, China, and the former Soviet Union, and was a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Over her lifetime, Moats authored nine books. She died in Philadelphia in 1989 at the age of eighty-one.

Table of Contents

I: No Nice Girl Swears
II: Should She Ask Him In?
III: You're the First Man I've Ever Kissed
IV: Keeping an Amateur Standing
V: This Casual Era
VI: May I Call You Up Sometime?
VII: Out for No Good
VIII: Joining In
XX: Launching a Belle
X: Chaperons Do Exist
XI. Between Courses
XII. The Inevitable Details
XIII. Lunches and Teas; Or, Scarcely Worth the Trouble
XIV. Coming Out to Music
XV. Cutting In or Sitting Out
XVI. That Certain Someone
XVII. The Great Step
XVIII. In a Cloud of Tulle
XIX. Twice Shy—?
XX. Travel Broadens the Mind
XXI. Never Speak to Strangers Unless They Speak to You
XXII. Out of Town
XXIII. Summer, Winter, Spring
XXIV. An Old English Custom
XXV. In a Strange Bed
XXVI. Pity the Poor Working Girl
XXVII. Serious Business
XXVIII. Hot Footlights
XXIX. The Hiccuping Fifties
XXX. Our Plastered Friends

Customer Reviews