NEW YORK — Since her coming-out ball in 1937, C.Z. Guest set the tone for every aspiring socialite in America with her easy elegance and witty approach to the good life.

A staunch advocate of the old guard, who made no excuses for her luxe lifestyle, Guest died on Saturday at her home in Old Westbury, N.Y., at the age of 83, said her daughter, Cornelia Guest. With a look that was simple, sporty and offhand, yet always polished, C.Z. Guest became an icon of American style, inspiring designers from Mainbocher to Bill Blass, from Michael Kors to Ralph Lauren.

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