The Lady’s Guide To Basic Letter Writing

Cherished readers, mail time at The Hooper-Brackett estate is one of the Lady’s favorite times of the day. It is when I can hope that there will be a bona-fide, handwritten letter from a cultured and thoughtful friend. Ahhh the joy of seeing pen to paper, rather than the electronic typing of an email. The Lady understands that email and digital communications are necessary, but there are times that a handwritten letter is a must! I will discuss greeting cards in another post.

I will not be covering different types of letters in today’s entry, merely going over the supplies and accoutrements that you should have when sitting down to pen a letter.

  1. Use real, honest-to-goodness paper. Not a torn out notebook sheet or recycled envelopes (horrors!)
  2. Make sure the paper is of the best quality that you can afford and be sure it is of a conservative color. Gray, Ecru, White, or a Light Blue are all acceptable. Remember, letter-writing is for all occasions. You may be writing a condolence letter and certainly do not want to only have on hand a red or other festive paper. Also, if you are penning business correspondence, conservative is the way to go.
  3. If you choose to personalize your paper, please omit any cutesy designs and choose a conservative font.
  4. The pen and ink you use matters! The Lady is fond of rollerball  and fountain pens. Continuing in the conservative vein…ink should be black or blue, though The Lady is a fan of black ink for all things. Red pen is for correcting tests.
  5. Beautiful stamps are the finishing touch to the correspondence. If the post office does a series on flowers, these are wonderful for all letters. As much as The Lady appreciates cartoons and commemorative TV show stamps (a la Star Trek etc..) these are not truly appropriate.
  6. Preprinted labels are fine for mailing a bill payment, but handwriting your return address is best on all social correspondence. Incidentally, clear seals are acceptable to seal an ungummed envelope, but avoid childlike stickers.
  7. Please, for the love of all that is neat and sweet, DO NOT load glitter, sequins, confetti or anything that will drop out of the envelope and make a mess when the person opens the envelope.
  8. Try to cultivate a neat handwriting. The Lady is from the Dark Ages when the Palmer Method was taught in school and under the stern, perfectionistic gaze of the nuns at her Catholic school, she developed her penmanship. The Lady believes that ALL schools should teach this lost art once more. It adds polish.
  9. A good writing desk is a must with all the aforementioned tools within arm’s reach.

And there you have it. Let there be more thoughtful letter writing and less emailing going forward!!!

Best Letter Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett

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