Tag Archives: advice literature

Marjorie Hillis Roulston’s Advice for the Single Woman

Marjorie Hillis Roulston (1889-1971) made a career out of being a single woman.  I learned about this fascinating figure from a new biography by Joanna Scutts, The Extra Woman: How Marjorie Hillis Led a Generation of Women to Live Alone … Continue reading

Posted in 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Older Woman Issue of Vogue, October 1950

This issue of Vogue stands out already for its cover, featuring a stylish gray haired woman.  The content is even more surprising.  Its focus is on clothes for “the adult woman” and only older women appear to model them throughout … Continue reading

Posted in 1950s | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Book Review: Safe Conduct by Margaret Fishback

Esteemed advertising executive Margaret Fishback (1900-1985) had a lot of irons in the fire. While holding down a high level job at Macy’s, she was a prolific writer.  Her best known genre was light, witty poetry, but she also tried … Continue reading

Posted in 1930s | Tagged | 3 Comments

The War on Pants for Women, 1972

When women began wearing pants in public, they faced ferocious criticism.  I am used to biting comments well into the 1960s. “There are fortunate girls (usually under the age of fifteen) who look well in tight trousers; but I have … Continue reading

Posted in 1970s | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Mrs. Ralston’s Fashion Advice for Older Women

In the early years of the twentieth century the Ladies Home Journal fashion expert, Mrs. Ralston, wrote for a wide audience.  On her regular trips to Paris, she brought home news of the latest trends for the stylish set. However, … Continue reading

Posted in 1900s, 1910s | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Amy Vanderbilt on (and in) Pantsuits, 1971

I have always considered Amy Vanderbilt (1908-1974), America’s mid-century manners maven, something of a fussbudget.  Consider her 1952 advice on evening meals: “Every woman should change for dinner, if only into a clean house dress…Fresh clothes and makeup, even if … Continue reading

Posted in 1970s | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Who Was Mrs. Ralston?

If you have ever looked at issues of Ladies Home Journal in the early twentieth century, you probably have come across articles by one Mrs. Ralston.  She gave advice on current fashion trends for all age groups and answered questions … Continue reading

Posted in 1900s, 1910s, 1920s | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Looking Your Fashionable Age, ca. 1969

Many older women of fashion had a hard time in the 1960s.  Youth was in style and new ideas filtered up from the street rather than down from designers who might have had some sympathy for older shapes. Perhaps to … Continue reading

Posted in 1960s | Tagged , | 1 Comment

“Is the Trousers Skirt So Foolish?”

The question above, posed by the Ladies Home Journal fashion writer Mrs. Ralston, was apparently a controversial one in 1911.  I’ll write more about Ralston later; for now it is enough to know that she was an important arbiter of … Continue reading

Posted in 1910s | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Patterns of the Times

At the end of the 1940s and into the 1950s, the fashion editor of the New York Times, Virginia Pope, sponsored a series of patterns that were written up and advertised in the newspaper.  Published by the Advance Pattern Company, … Continue reading

Posted in 1940s, 1950s | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment