What Not to Wear to a Texas Barbeque, 1957

Photo by Fred Shelton from Minding the Store

Photo by Fred Shelton from Minding the Store

When Coco Chanel received the Neiman Marcus Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Fashion in 1957, she asked to visit a ranch during her trip to Dallas.  Her host, Stanley Marcus, obliged her by throwing a barbeque at his brother’s spread in her honor. The party featured square dancing and a cow fashion show. And this is what she wore—a trim suit, a fur scarf, a Chanel handbag, and white gloves.  I wonder what she thought when she saw how her hosts, Billie and Stanley Marcus, were dressed.

But apparently she was not the only one who didn’t have the right clothes for a barbeque.  According to Marcus’s memoir, Minding the Store (thanks to Lizzie Bramlett for the tip), “It turned out that she didn’t like the taste of the barbecued meat and the highly seasoned beans, so she dumped her plate surreptitiously under the table. Unfortunately, the contents hit the satin slippers of Elizabeth Arden, who was seated next to her.”(300)

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5 Responses to What Not to Wear to a Texas Barbeque, 1957

  1. That is hilarious! I’m speechless! It’s right up there with how Karl Lagerfeld and Anna Wintour looked during the recent Chanel Texas hoedown:

  2. Alexandra says:

    Hilarious! Best laugh of my day. Thank you!

  3. Lizzie says:

    I don’t know. Nothing say barbecue to me like a Chanel 2.55 handbag.

    I hope you are enjoying the book. There’s a lot to think about in that one.

  4. Jen O says:

    well, If we go with an 1883 birth year for Coco, then she certainly was a ‘little old lady’ at the time of her visit to Texas, and probably can be forgiven her lack of insight into proper apparel choices. Had she been 30 years younger, then maybe her wool tweed sport coat and trousers might have been part of her travel ensemble, altho I can imagine her borrowing from her hosts wardrobe to come up with something more spectacular.

  5. donna says:

    That’s a terrific story! I recently found out that the contents of Chanel’s country home in Provence was placed in a Texas museum. I believe the owner who bought the home from Chanel made sure the furniture was put somewhere safe and displayed in the same manner as it was in her home. Especially her quite famous dining table.

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