The Top 10 Tips To Shine Bright at the Hamptons Gala Season by Philanthropist, Jean Shafiroff


As Hamptons gala season kicks off starting Memorial Day weekend, KDHamptons  introduces you to the queen of the ball,  Jean Shafiroff. Named as “One of the first ladies in Philanthropy” by Gotham Magazine in their ‘100 most powerful New Yorkers’ article, Jean has a served as a volunteer fundraiser and board member of Southampton Hospital Association, NYC Mission Society, NY Women’s Foundation, Couture Council (Museum at FIT), French Heritage Society, and Global Strays, to name a few.  She recently served as the national spokesperson for American Humane’s Covid 19 program which raised over $1,000,000 to feed hungry animals at shelters across the United States.

Jean’s managerial skills, compassion, generosity, and enthusiastic dedication are among her strongest traits as a philanthropist. She possesses a remarkable ability to connect different charitable groups with interested people and resources. She also chairs numerous galas and host events benefiting the aforementioned organizations.  KDHamptons  asks the pint-sized powerhouse philanthropist and author to share her Top Ten Tips for the Hamptons gala season below….

Bob Chaloner, Jean Shafiroff and Martin Shafiroff attend Annual Summer Party Benefiting Stony Brook Southampton Hospital. (Photo by Sean Zanni/PMC/PMC)

The Do’s and Don’ts of Attending Hamptons Galas by Jean Shafiroff

  1. What are the two rules of thumb regarding Hamptons events?
    1. Make sure to buy a ticket or donate! If you cannot stay for the entirety of the event, at least stay for cocktails. 
    2. Give your host due notice if you are not going to attend for the whole event or attend at all.
  1. What are the “do’s” for attending Hamptons Events?
    1. If invited by a friend to an event and they get a ticket for you, donate in honor of that friend.
    2. Follow the dress code. If the event is black tie, do not show up in beach attire or jeans.
    3. If you have a phone call or other business to attend to, excuse yourself properly and swiftly.  
    4. Do have a pleasant attitude throughout the entirety of the event.
  1. What are the “don’ts” to attending Hamptons events?
    1. Never crash or ask for a free ticket.
    2. Do not wait to buy the tickets too late. Events usually fill up quickly.
    3. If there are speeches, don’t start talking through them. 
    4. Do not be on your phone at the dinner table. It is rude and makes others feel neglected.
    5. Do not complain about the food, drinks, decorations, or seating arrangements. Never move around place cards. That goes for any dinner party, anywhere.
  1. Fashion Tips for Hamptons Events?
    1. Follow the dress code!
    2. We are still in recovery mode from a pandemic, and it’s been financially difficult for most people.  Don’t feel you always have to wear something new. It’s okay to repeat an outfit. Take something you have and make it work!
    3. Dress appropriately for a charity event. You do not want to look like you came from the beach. Dress classy, with a little bit of Palm Beach flair. Solid and Floral colors are also acceptable. 
    4. Be comfortable! Do not feel pressured to wear something you are not comfortable with.
    5. Men usually wear collared shirts and long pants. 
    6. Don’t wear anything that would be offensive to other people, too tight, racy, or low-cut. It is not part of the Hamptons “look”. Hamptons is more long or short flowy dresses.
  1. Conversation starters when meeting new people?
    1. Start by asking, “How are you enjoying your summer?” 
    2. At a charity event, you may ask, “What do you know about the charity?” 
    3. Ask if there are any other events they are attending in the Hamptons for the summer.
    4. Compliment people on their outfits! That will likely warm people up.
  1. How to network at Hamptons events?
    1. Bring your business card to exchange information when necessary.
    2. Ask about ventures they’re working on. However, if someone is not interested don’t keep the conversation going.
    3. Never bombard someone with a business proposal, especially when they are out to dinner. Learn to read the room and body language. 
  1. When it comes to dining, what are some social etiquette tips you recommend?
    1. Always stay for the main course! If you cannot stay, let the host know so they can alter any arrangements immediately. 
    2. If you are just going to be attending for cocktails, do let the host know. 
    3. During the main course:
      1. If there is an emergency, kindly excuse yourself and go to a secluded area.
      2. Do not text and keep your phone face down on the table or in your purse or pocket. 
      3. Remain engaged in what is being discussed and be cordial with your fellow guests. 
  1.  How can we respect our fellow guests as COVID dissipates?
    1. Be mindful of other people’s space even though COVID appears to be ending. Some people might be anxious about it. 
    2. If you are feeling any kind of ill, do not attend the event. 
    3. Be respectful of other’s health and requests. 
  1. If one is the host of an event, what tips do you recommend?
    1. If you’re posting pictures of friends or promoting an organization, make sure they are good pictures of them and ask permission before posting on social media.
    2. Tag the charity if you are hosting the event for them.
    3. Send out invites as early as possible.
      1. For private parties, send out the invites later and be careful on how these circulate.
    4. If you hire a photographer, give him/her credit on social media!
  1. What are three events you are looking forward to this summer?
          • Southampton Animal Shelter “Unconditional Love” Gala 
          • Southampton Hospital Kickoff
          • God’s Love We Deliver “Midsummer Night Drinks”
SOUTHAMPTON, NY – JULY 20: Jean Shafiroff attends Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation 10th Annual Unconditional Love Gala at Under the Tents at Wickapogue & Old Town Roads on July 20, 2019 in Southampton, NY. (Photo by Sean Zanni/PMC) *** Local Caption *** Jean Shafiroff