You don’t think in college that you are going to have to sit down at a six-course meal, but you never know when it’s going to happen.

Dining In Style doesn’t mean you won’t run into a piece of gristle now and then. What’s a girl to do? Do you discreetly spit it into your napkin? “No,” says Susan Huston , “you take it out just like you put it in.”

Miss Texas, meet Miss Manners. Huston has been teaching the art of social graces longer than most of the current Miss Texas Pageant contestants have been alive. She’s worked as a model , even had a movie role, and began her career in fashion and etiquette in the early ’70s with Leonard’s Department Store. In 1996 she began enrolling students at Huston Fashion Concepts, and before long Huston was teaching manners all over the metroplex with four schools in Fort Worth and five in Dallas. Today, she conducts workshops in grooming, etiquette and modeling for girls ages 8 through 16; however, a main focus is business etiquette with clients such as Tarrant County government, The Design Studio of Gabberts and, believe it or not , the Texas Rangers. Wherever there is an opportunity for a faux pas, Huston is there to help.

“I think we live in such a fast-paced world today and everything is so often fast food that we don’t take the time to pay attention to the correct way to do things,” says Jean Magness, executive director and vice chairman of the board of Miss Texas Organization.

In a world where the latest polls show Americans are lacking in social graces and are downright rude, Huston continues her faux pas fight. And just remember, it’s all on how you answer the phone, shake that hand, and go out like a wave and into your mouth with the soup spoon.


Laura Lilley Smith
Excerpts from Fort Worth, Texas magazine
August 2002