Ever wish you knew the how-tos of being a socialite gal (also known as “socials”) about town? It’s tough work and takes years of ruthless training (debutante balls, gallery openings, spa appointments–le sigh…). But The Fashion Bomb‘s got a new fast-track course for those of you too impatient to get on to the right charity committees, cozy up to publicists for exclusive invitations, or buy that duplex on Park Avenue. So, what are the essentials for occupying this exalted perch on the social ladder?

1. Have a Go-To “Ladies Who Lunch” Outfit:


Socialite style is the perfect marriage of chic and quiet elegance: subtle, timeless pieces that whisper “Wealth” instead of screaming “RICH!” A little daring is not unwelcome, and some socialites (like Zoe Kravitz) prefer a more bohemian style. Maggie Betts and Susan Fales-Hill, above, wear perfect examples of “Lunch” outfits (and don’t forget to reserve your lunch date at The Four Seasons dining room, where any social worth her salt goes to see and be seen).

2. Perfect Your Blasé Stare:


Practice diligently in the mirror, thinking thoughts like “I could so be on Roberto Cavalli’s yacht right now” or “Woe is me: another front row seat at Zac Posen.” The stare is all about projecting “I have better things to do but sure, I’ll indulge you and take a photo.” Then, of course, secretly scour socialite photog sites, like Patrick McMullan and New York Social Diary, the next day to see if you’ve got it down like Zoe and Genevieve Jones.

3. Develop a Signature Piece:


It’s important to have a fashion signature, whether it’s inventive evening clutches or headbands–a little stylish eccentricity adds some color to your social profile. Studio Museum in Harlem Director Thelma Golden is known for her bold jackets and coats, quite fitting given her artistic background. Ms. Golden is the perfect model of a career woman with socialite status, which leads us to…

4. Cultivate Accomplishments:

In this day and age, it’s OK to be smart and social (hey, not everyone’s parents can be multimillionaires). A successful career of your own lends your socialite sheen some purpose and depth. Some of the more accomplished socials include White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers, finance mogul Pamela Joyner, and fashion publicist Bonnie Morrison. Today’s socialite should have an interesting answer to the perennial conversation opener “And what do you do when you’re not front row at B. Michael?” (and if you don’t know who that is, well, I just can’t bother to tell you dahhhling…) ;-)

Finally, one of the most important requirements for flaunting your socialite status is…
5. The Quiet Statement Bag:


So exclusive yet low-key that only other socials may know the brand, the bag has to be big enough to fit your Smythson planner but small enough to carry easily in your manicured hands, have few to no embellishments, and, of course, must almost always be black. Favorite socialite brands include Bottega Veneta (for their famous woven leather pattern), Hermès’ Birkin Bag, and, of course, the classic quilted Chanel Caviar bag. Take your cue from the above socials, actress-socialite Kerry Washington, and philanthropists Prudence Solomon Inzerillo and Grace Hightower De Niro.
Ready to channel your socialite soigné but lack the trust fund? Here are a few options to indulge your inner social gal!
Toodles, daaahlings…
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7 thoughts on “So You Think You Can…Be A Socialite?”

  1. This was a great story/piece!! :) Your writing is awesome!! Now lets see if I can perfect “the stare” !!

  2. My favorite tip to get on that socialite list, number 4. Accomplishments. I just thought, wealth isn’t the only factor that brings us to that list. It’s also your sense of worth. I so love this post. Thanks for this.

    Roger Dubuis


  3. I really liked this post. (Fave part was “perfect the blah stare”. Classic!)

    Way to expand the depths of FBD a tad. Love it!

  4. Great post !! Keep it up.Would be good if you did a feature on more “black socialites”. I don’t know who some of these beautiful women are and I think I should…but we only hear about Kim K and Paris….::

  5. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! #1-5 are so true. A lot of people think a socialite is someone that just hits all the hot spots and parties but you have to have some kind of accomplishments and make sure you give back.

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