Mrs. Exeter’s Occupations

How did Mrs. Exeter spend her time during her long reign as Vogue’s fashion adviser to older women?  Well, of course she was often out shopping. She was also a skilled seamstress who made some of her own clothes. Discrete about her private life, we learn that she needed outfits for elegant lunches, late dinners, and the theater.  She was photographed in art galleries. She went back and forth between her apartment in the city and house in the country.  In short, she was a wealthy urban matron with a lot of time on her hands.

However, in Mrs. Exeter’s 1950 fashion spread there is some evidence that she might have worked outside the home.  We see her here reading blueprints with an older man. Perhaps she is overseeing the construction of her second summer home; on the other hand, she might also be an interior designer or an architect herself.  Look at the understated dark clothes, the low heeled shoes, the subtle jewelry—all suitable for a work environment.  Maybe Vogue editors, themselves hard working professional women, realized that some of their older readers might have had jobs as well.

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