Tag Archives: advice literature

Considering the Coastal Grandmother

I’ve been avoiding the topic of the Coastal Grandmother, even though it seems a perfect subject for this blog.  Why?   It smacks so much of wealth and white privilege. Everything is white, from the people, to the backgrounds, to the … Continue reading

Posted in 2020s | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Jane Brody and Me

I opened up the New York Times wellness briefing today to discover that Jane Brody, turning 79, had been working at the newspaper for forty years.  That’s just about as long as I have been reading her columns.  We started … Continue reading

Posted in 2020s | Tagged | 4 Comments

Color Advice for the Gray Haired Woman, 1945

What determines the colors that look good on you? There is an entire industry built up to help you answer that question today.  In this 1945 advertisement from Helena Rubenstein, however, you need look only to your hair color for … Continue reading

Posted in 1940s | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Medicalizing Menopause in the 1930s and 1940s

Is menopause a medical condition that needs to be cured? That was certainly the message conveyed in a series of ads from Parke, Davis & Co. published in mainstream publications from the late 1930s through the 1940s. Just a bit … Continue reading

Posted in 1930s, 1940s | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Book Review—Fear and Clothing: Unbuckling American Style by Cintra Wilson

What happens when a punk-inspired, all-black-wearing Brooklynite undertakes a wide ranging study of American dress?  You end up with a humorous, and often snarky, assessment of Americans’ love of pastels, polyester, and malls.  The book’s big message: break loose from … Continue reading

Posted in 2010s | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Book Review—This Chair Rocks; A Manifesto against Ageism by Ashton Applewhite

After reading many books about aging, I thought I had narrowed them down to two basic stories: “aging is sad” versus “aging is glorious.”  This Chair Rocks by Ashton Applewhite is something different.  Her basic message is that aging is … Continue reading

Posted in 2010s | Tagged , | 4 Comments

The Way you Wear your Hat, 1938

If 1930s fashion advisor Margaretta Byers were to come back to life today, I’m sure she would be upset that hats had gone out of style. Her 1938 book, Designing Women: The Art, Technique, and Cost of Being Beautiful, was … Continue reading

Posted in 1930s | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Arlene Dahl’s War on Pants, 1967

I wonder if Arlene Dahl, film star of the forties and fifties, was ever embarrassed by her anti-feminist manifesto, Always Ask a Man. Written in 1967, in the early years of second wave feminism, it is all about performing for … Continue reading

Posted in 1960s, 1980s, General | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Fashion Advice for Older Women—Fool the Eye

Women of every age and shape get constant tips on how to look taller, thinner, fitter, and sexier. Older women face an additional challenge: They are also supposed to look younger.  How does that trick get done? Distraction Because most … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Fashion Advice for Older Women—“Age Appropriate”

Since starting this project, I’ve read a lot of books and articles on what older women should wear.  Although the categories are fluid, I’ve broken this literature into three large schools of thought: 1) Act your Age; 2) Fool the … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , | 2 Comments