Social Etiquette and Good Manners/Zipper Etiquette for winter coats


I am very cold natured and I tend to wear my winter jacket or parka most of the fall and winter. I always zip my zipper all the way to the top of my jacket, especially when it is cold, 40 degrees or less. It bugs my girlfriend that I keep my jacket zipped up all the way to my chin. I don't usually let her opinion about my zipper position but she keeps bringing the subject up.
I asked my best friend (who has know me since 1st grade) if it bother him about my zipper and he laughed and told me maybe it's time to get a new girlfriend? A should also note the reason I mention my best friend's opinion is b/c he is more like a bother having been there when no one else has been. Can you please advise to keep the peace and so I don't lose my girlfriend.

Dear Bill:
It seems that if you want to please your girlfriend, you are going to have to understand first of all why your zipper to the top bothers her.  You may also want to consider that as children our mother tells us repeatedly to zip up our coat so we won't catch cold and we do so to please our mother.  As we mature, we tend to do things we prefer with our dress. Your girlfriend may be thinking that you are still following your mother's instructions and haven't broken out to your own thinking yet.  That can be a turn off to women who look to a man to stand up for himself and be independent.

My guess is that your girlfriend perceives the look not to be sexy or "normal" and she wants you to be both and it bugs her.  Since you zip your coat up because you are cold, perhaps a compromise would be that you wear a sweater over or tee-shirt under your shirt to give you more body warmth.  If you are warmer without your coat zipped up tight, you may be comfortable wearing it unzipped a little to show your clothes underneath.  Many women think that is a more macho look and are attracted to it.

If that doesn't work to keep you warm enough, I then suggest you unzip a little and wear a scarf around your neck.  Ask your girlfriend for her assistance with your new look.  I think you will find she reacts quite positively to your request and in the end you will still be warm but a bit more relaxed looking.  

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Cynthia W. Lett


Proper manners with friends,family,colleagues,neighbors and everyone else you know.


I have been an etiquette expert teaching and consulting on the subject worldwide since 1983. I started and serve as the Executive Director of the International Society of Protocol & Etiquette Professionals and am considered a leader in the field of etiquette and protocol training and execution. I edited "Etiquette for Dummies" and have recently written "Lett's Talk - Everyday Etiquette Dilemmas and What to Do about Them". My book, "That's So Annoying:An Etiquette Expert on the World's Most Irritating Habits And What To Do About Them" was published in 2009 and is available wherever books are sold. I taught the Business Protocol class to Master's level students at the George Washington University, Washington, DC for seven years I served as Chief of Protocol for MCI Telecommunications for three years.

International Society of Protocol & Etiquette Professionals, ASTD, PCMA, National Speakers Association

I have been quoted over 700 times in the past 5 years worldwide. Publications include Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Washington Times, NY Times, Washington Business Journal, USA Today, Associated Press, London Times, Newsweek Japan edition, Newsweek US edition and many many more.

I am a Certified Etiquette Professional (CEP) and Certified Protocol Professional (CPP) earned by examination through ISPEP. I have a Master's degree in hospitality law and undergrad degrees in Restaurant & Hotel Management and Public Relations/Interpersonal Communications from Purdue University.

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Who's Who Worldwide,Who's Who of American Women, Distinguished Darden Professor (Purdue University).

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