Proper Clothing for the Older Woman Who Plays Golf, 1949

Harper’s Bazaar, April 1949

Harper’s Bazaar, April 1949. Click to enlarge

The post World War Two years might have been a Golden Era for the older woman of fashion. Both of America’s foremost fashion magazines, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, turned their attention to this potentially lucrative market. In 1948, Vogue introduced Mrs. Exeter, an imaginary older fashion icon who gave witty fashion tips well into the 1960s.  Not to be outdone, Harper’s Bazaar started its own advice column for the older set in 1949 called “At My Age.”

Although not nearly as fun to read as Mrs. Exeter, the “At My Age” columns offered a distinct point of view on the advantages of being older and perhaps a little richer than younger readers. Consider this long paragraph on what to wear while golfing from the April 1949 issue:

“For very good reasons, the older woman is usually smarter on the golf course than the young girl. If she’s a seasoned golfer, her hair is always tidy, held in a net so no loose ends can blow. Her visors shade her eyes (squinting makes for winkles), and some have covered crowns (the sun plays havoc with hair bluing). Her shoes are the best that money can buy, well polished, well preserved, worn with socks and silk stockings. Her cardigans are classics, or if it is summer she wears long-sleeved shirts, for at her age the upper arm should always be covered. No brilliant colors—all the misty Scotch shades or the palest British pastels, usually in monotone or in a small, muted pattern.”

Note all the strictures here—blue hair, hair nets, covered arms, silk stockings, muted colors, and expensive shoes. That’s a lot of advice, and they are not done yet.  Here’s the final warning: “And needless to state, slacks never, ever.”

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3 Responses to Proper Clothing for the Older Woman Who Plays Golf, 1949

  1. Carol in Denver says:

    Gah! Rules, rules, so many rules for women! So glad that is behind me, at least to the extent I’m willing to put it behind me.

  2. Fabrickated says:

    I agree. Rules. Yet I do like them when they suit me. This would put me off golf though.

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