Ask B: A Woman’s Right to Shoes

Dear B, 
I’ve recently been invited to a holiday party at a good friend’s home and the invitation requests “holiday cocktail attire,” but also notes, “shoes at the door.” Of course I’m excited for the party, and even bought a gorgeous new dress for the season that I was planning on wearing with pretty heels – the perfect holiday ensemble. But now, I don’t know what to wear. I never wear flats with cocktail dresses and am worried that I won’t feel nearly as festive if I’m in a cocktail dress barefoot, and I definitely do not see myself in Christmas tree socks. Also, I saw what happened to Carrie Bradshaw when she took her shoes off at a baby shower…I don’t want that to happen to me. Help! 
Freezing Tootsies 

This is a fabulous question and too funny that you reference Sex & The City and Carrie’s silver Manolos going missing – you read my mind as I thought of that iconic episode when I read your email! So here is my advice: thankfully the host/hostess had the courtesy (and decency!) to notify you in advance of their no shoe policy (few people enjoy a surprise like this one during the holidays!). Since they have this policy – I know it’s oh so hard to be barefoot at a party when all you want to do is sparkle in your stilettos! – it’s best to respect the host/hostess’s wishes and let your tootsies be free. Plus, all of the other guests will be sans shoes, so you will be in good company. I advise you still wear your stunning holiday dress and treat yourself to a rejuvenating pedicure so your toes are party ready. Still wear heels (even though you’ll have to leave them at the door), however consider wearing a pair that in the very rare event went missing, you wouldn’t be devastated. And if you’re frantic at the thought of someone nabbing your heels, consider bringing a little shoe bag labeled with your name to stash them in at the soirée. Happy holidays!


Holiday Tipping Etiquette

Dearest readers, now in the throws of the holiday season, many of you are excitedly shopping for loved ones, wrapping gorgeous packages, baking sweet gingerbread men, and cozying up by the crackling fire. The holidays also represent the perfect opportunity to thank those special people in our lives who help us all year long. From the loving au pair to your trusted colorist to the kind apartment concierge in your building, it’s important to show your appreciation to these wonderful ladies and gentleman in the form of a holiday tip or small gift. Tipping can be a slippery slope – often, people wonder what is appropriate, and if they give money, how much – so to take the guesswork out of this Christmas tradition, I’ve created a guide with my recommendations. Additionally, if you regularly tip this person or if you have a tight budget,  a small gift (even homemade – think a fabulous baked good!) and thoughtful note is a beautiful and tasteful gesture. Remember, these are simply MBB suggestions and tipping varies depending upon your budget, relationship with the person, etc., so it is ultimately up to you and what you feel comfortable with! Happy holidays!


Quick Tips

Holiday Tipping Guide


Housekeeper: 1 week’s pay and/or gift

Au Pair/Nanny: 1 week’s pay and/or gift

Regular babysitter: 1 day/night’s pay and/or gift

Day Care Staff: $25-70 and/or small gift

Barber: Cost of salon visit or small gift

Hair Salon: Cost of salon visit or small gift

Nail Salon: Cost of salon visit or small gift

Aesthetician: Cost of salon visit or small gift

Personal Trainer: Cost of session or small gift

Dog walker/sitter: 1 week’s pay or small gift

Apartment concierge: $25-$70

Apartment doorman: $25-$70

Pool cleaner: Cost of cleaning

Mail carrier: gift under $20

Country club staff: $50-100 per person

Gardener: $20-$50 per person