Tag Archives: advice literature

Colors for the Mature Woman, 1920s

This small pamphlet comes from the Women’s Institute, a correspondent school for sewing, millinery, and cooking, run by the famous Mary Brooks Picken.  Thanks to Lizzie Bramlett for sending it on from her large collection.  On one side it offers … Continue reading

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Advice on Aging from Glinda the Good

The 1959 advice book, With Powder on my Nose, was written by Billie Burke (1884-1970), the actress who played the Good Witch of the North in The Wizard of Oz.  Although Burke never refers to the famous role, her tone … Continue reading

Posted in 1950s | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Lillian Russell–An Older Icon for the 1910s

Although she all but is forgotten today, Lillian Russell was a big star of the American stage, music hall, and vaudeville circuit at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries. Called “America’s Beauty” for decades of … Continue reading

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Mrs. Exeter in Sews with Vogue Patterns

Since I am interested in all things Mrs. Exeter, I recently contacted Vogue Patterns for permission to track her down in their collection of pattern magazines and catalogs.  Editor Gillian Conahan was nothing but gracious, and I got to spend … Continue reading

Posted in 1950s, 1960s | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Proper Clothing for the Older Woman Who Plays Golf, 1949

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 … Continue reading

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The Language of Flowers for Older Women

For those of you who chafe against fashion rules and continue to wear white shoes after Labor Day, consider how lucky we are that so few rules remain.  Poking around in early twentieth century millinery books on wonderful Cornell University … Continue reading

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

Mrs. Exeter’s Wardrobe for Summer and Fall, 1962

Mrs. Exeter, Vogue’s fictional role model for the older woman, lived longer in the sewing world than in the fashion world. She made her last Vogue appearance in the May 1, 1962 issue, but she continued to offer advice for … Continue reading

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Fifteen Ways to Emphasize Shortness and Stoutness, 1939

Although this two page spread is ostensibly about height and weight, I think the real message is to warn against eccentric dress. The woman on the right has clothes and accessories that coordinate and follow current fashion guidelines. The woman … Continue reading

Posted in 1930s | Tagged , | 6 Comments

The New Look and the New Waist Line

The November 1947 issue of Harper’s Bazaar was all about the New Look, that big style shift from the shorter, boxier silhouette of the World War Two era. It is the first time I really grasped the role of fashion … Continue reading

Posted in 1940s | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Seventy Years Young by Emily M. Bishop

As you might imagine, I read a lot of books on aging. In general, the authors fall into two large camps. The pessimists contend that aging is a process of limitations; gradually we lose skills and eventually we die. The … Continue reading

Posted in 1900s, 1910s | Tagged , | 5 Comments