Monday, June 7, 2010

Rule of Fourteen

This "studio secret" style chart from 1950 tells you how to dress appropriately. You add points for every item you're wearing. Hose, one point. Feather, one point. Bracelet, one point. Gloves, one point. Veil, one point. More than fourteen--whoo boy, you are overdressed, you hussy. Less than fourteen--going for the spinster schoolteacher look, eh?

In short, you had to be just right to be well dressed in the 50s. I remember my mother had a closetful of purses. Dad could never understand that when you bought a pair of shoes, you also needed a purse to match. Even as a little tapper in the 50s, I wore gloves, petticoat, frilly socks, patent leather shoes, Sunday dress and purse to church. And I always had a hanky. On Easter Sunday a hat was de rigueur for all women including toddlers.

So I have to imagine the point system at work at Wal-Mart today. How many points for flip flops, an exposed bra strap, a bare and bulging midriff, a tramp stamp, a parole bracelet, etc. It's a lot easier to dress in the 21st century. But you know, it's a lot harder to dress well. No rules apply so you're totally on your own. And quite frankly, Wal-Mart attire proves that modern women could use a little more guidance.

This wonderful four page pamphlet printed on heavy cardstock is on sale in my shop. Check it out!

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