best of: glamour. do or don’t?
by victoria comment

12/31/10

I love the glamour and polished style of ‘Old Hollywood’. It reminds me that people made more of an effort to shine, and dressed up more. Were more gracious and polite. Good manners mattered. Your home was where you entertained and people dressed in fabulous cocktail attire. I have fond memories of my parents dancing to the high-fi and drinking Manhattans all slicked up. It wasn’t unusual for my mom to wear false eyelashes on regular nights out.

As a little girl, there was a woman on our suburban L.A. block who dressed up (in something like this beautiful dress above from Beklina) every evening before her husband would arrive home from work. My mother and all her neighborhood housewife friends would make fun of her and point out how ridiculous and subservient she looked. While secretly, I think they were a bit envious. She always looked so pretty and would literally stand in the driveway as her husband pulled up. She had it timed. It was the sixties, so it wasn’t so strange. Call me anti-feminist, but I thought it was cool. It felt like they were in love. They looked happy. And who’s to say she didn’t dress up for herself, because it made her feel good.

Imagine dressing up like this fabulous woman for just a typical day out and about on around town?! As much as we love our homes, I had an inkling we might be just as interested in our personal fashion style. So I just thought I’d see what you think about glamour and grace. I think it’s like living large. I mean, why not?


Do you remember how Samantha always had the cliche martini waiting for Darren in Bewitched? Don’t you think she had an ulterior motive there? He was always so cranky. I think she just needed to lighten his mood. I’m not saying we should go back to those times of waiting hand on foot on anyone, not at all. My point is only the fun part of it all. Maybe just embrace our fancy side once in a while. Just for fun. And really, just for us. I’d mix up an evening cocktail for somebody like George Clooney who quite evokes that old Hollywood glamour, any old night of the week!

My friends mock me and seem to find it funny that I haven’t been swooped up for all my love of domestication. Ironically enough, I am the single girl among many married friends, but I am the one who probably would have dressed up and had a pretty good dinner on the table. And I have may have worked hard or blogged all day, too. Not all the time, but because it’s fun and I like it, I’d dress up as much as possible. It’s just fun to be fancy.

38 responses to “best of: glamour. do or don’t?”

  1. I haven’t much to add, I’m with you here. It’s not anti-feminist at all. I’m from a long line of them & we all dress(ed) nicely, simply (which is coolest of all, I think). The thing I love most about Audrey, though, is that helping others = good manners/etiquette.

    Happy New Year. I hope to be by much more 2011. Cheers!

  2. I love this post. I agree. I got a fancy dress for a Hanukkah Ball in the beginning of December. I had to make it worth it, so I dressed up in it for Christmas and I might just dress up in it tonight for the New Year.

  3. I agree with you. Funny but it is Bewitched that comes to mind for me too. I am a stay at home mom right now and I always make sure I have my make up on when the hubby comes home :)

  4. completely agree with every word. i grew up with my grandparents in Moscow, Russia. my grandma used to host dinner parties, despised ready-to-wear clothes and generally looked and acted a lot like the women in your pictures. we were not rich at that time. my grandparents never bought a car, for one thing. but now that i’ve moved to Vancouver, when i look at all these beautiful girls wearing identical hoodies and rubber flip flops (alas, i’m one of them too), i get this bitter feeling that we’ve lost or are about to lose something very fundamental to women’s nature, so i’m so relieved to see bloggers like yourself promote the opposite trend. thanks for this post and happy new year!

  5. I agree. I think women and men have list something.

    People used to dress to go out, Fedoras and dresses and gloves just for a movie.

    It certainly takes a lot of time and effort though.

  6. agreed and what a charming post. i was/am a diehard feminist. however, something was lost in the message, somewhere along the way. what’s wrong with glamour, for heaven’s sake? women can be women and men can be men and we can treat each other (and ourselves) with respect and equal opportunities. at the same time, women don’t have to dress like men…or dress down with flip flops (guilty also) to prove a point. and besides — being pretty is fun!

  7. I couldn’t agree with you more! I think it’s sad that people don’t wear hats or gloves much anymore. I try to celebrate the everyday in this fashion. I won’t lie, I get odd looks from strangers when I dress like this for running errands. But I’m beyond caring. I do it for myself because it’s glamorous!

    This post reminds me of an old Gilmore Girls episode when Rory & Dean are watching Donna Reed. Dean thinks it’s nice that she cares for her family so much, while Rory thinks it’s insulting.

  8. Great post. Early on, we realized going out to dinner on popular nights (Valentine’s, NYE) was awful and we’d cook up something extravagant and stay home. I would change into something as though we were going out and he’d spiffy up too (young love!) We felt good making the effort for each other. We still cook nice meals to celebrate, but now I’m in my yoga pants! Thanks for reminding me how much I loved those little dinners and giving me the kick in the butt I need to put on a dress again…Even for backyard grilling!

  9. I’m all for glamor whenever possible! Feminism was supposed to be about choices, so I see nothing wrong with making the choice to wear makeup and wear jewelry and vacuum in my pearls if that’s what I feel like that day. I mean, why save the nice stuff for the day the Queen will come to dinner? Especially since I’m not British? I dress up and use the good glasses because it’s fun and a good change from working all day in dirty clothing (I do physical work for money when I’m not writing)

  10. I love this post. There is nothing wrong with being a feminist and loving glamour. If dressing up and putting on a chic dress and gloves makes you feel more like a lady, then go for it! Embracing the feminine is what can set us apart from the opposite sex in a good way. I know I enjoy dressing up! (as I sit here in a hoodie) Nothing makes me feel more like a woman when I have stockings and heels on and a rich shade of red lipstick.

  11. Beautiful post. I completely share your sentiments and nag my loved ones to tears over the loss of daily glamour. Meanwhile, for all my complaining, here I sit in a fleece twinset and jeans. Perhaps you have identified my first 2011 resolution – to glamour up myself – just for myself. Thanks and have a brilliant New Year.

  12. do! definitely do. i agree it doesn’t have to be for the sake of the hubby coming home to, it just feels so much better to just be dressed nice for no huge reason. this is a good contender for being a new years resolution.

  13. I completely agree with you! And I try and dress up as often as possible. In the warmer months, you can always find me wearing a dress outside of work, although, certain dresses in my wardrobe are work-appropriate. I’m bad about doing my hair, but I am getting better now that InStyle taught me to do a salon-style blowout. ;) I think the domesticity of the fifties/sixties is so charming, and I too love the idea of hosting fancy cocktail parties at home. All my CA pals are so casual, and they think ‘jeans and a cute top’ is getting really dressed up, unfortunately. Let’s bring back the fancy!

  14. I love this post! I like the idea of women dressing up. And as for serving their men, I think people sometimes do this because they love their partner although over the years it has been twisted into a power issue. I am all for women’s rights and yet I cook my husband dinner each night and serve it up on a dining room table complete with tablecloth and all. I even sometimes put music on while we are dining and I serve it up while wearing makeup and in decent clothes. When I first got married my friends were shocked by my domestic abilities because they see me as an independent woman. I am indeed an independent woman and yet I relish in the fact that I can cook and clean and at the same time conduct business with ease…

  15. I love your post. And I agree Hollywood glamor should not be forgotten. Sounds like a new years resolution if ever I’ve heard one …

    P.s. I just got a fabulous, fancy apron for Christmas, and your post has inspired me to start wearing it more!

    Happy New Year!

  16. Go for the Glam! I remember admiring my Mom when she was all decked out. Actually the fourth pic down looks so much like her! My daughter loves (LOVES) when I dress up… it gives us something to look forward to when we are little girls. Also, I feel like I walk with a little more dance to my step! Nice post! Happy New Year!!!

  17. I loved this post! While I am single and work a full time job, I think that I am a total 50s housewife inside. I also love dressing up super cute just for the fun of it, something we all can do with or without that hubby to cook for. Thanks for sharing this! I loved the pics and insights.

  18. I’m kind of bummed I can’t find that dress on the Beklina website. I’m always looking for the perfect dress to wear on the few times I do dress up, and that looks like it might be the one.

    For me, the biggest hindrance to being more stylish is finding clothes I like. Everything I find seems either too revealing, too complicated, or too expensive. Simplicity is what I crave. And it’s hard for me to come by in clothes. Easier in furnishings, in general.

  19. having owned a salon for over 20 years.i have experienced first hand the casualness of society.even 10 years ago women and men made an effort to look attractive.now my manicure clients are dwindelling and all anyone is interested in is removing all their body hair.thankfully all my friends are still excited about dressing for a dinner party.my girls are grown but my friends still have younger children.all are welcome and all are dressed for a party.keep up the good fight.

  20. I read this post & smiled. I recently posted in my blog 2 of the changes I have decided to make for myself in 2011. The 1st was wear more dresses & the 2nd wear more lipstick. These icons & their glamour always come to my mind when I think of those things.

  21. you are so right. although I like all the layering and casual, comfy style, I always feel we should put more effort into our style everyday. everybody wants to look like they dressed effortless and in 5 minutes only. why???

  22. i found an old pattern in a yard sale of a fifties cocktail dress and I had a talented tailor make it for me. I still can’t get over how good it makes me feel to wear it, especially because it fits me perfectly. Sometimes when I wear it out, and people notice, they say: “my mom used to have a dress like that and why don’t I have one?” It takes just a bit of imagination and an eagerness to find (or make) the romantic moments whether single or not. Your post is wonderful and every time I read your blog, I think: “I’m going to meet this woman someday!” Keep up the good work. You are a valuable asset to your audience.
    Carolyn

  23. I couldn’t agree more. I am all about women’s lib, but I have quite a domestic streak about me. I get quite a satisfied feeling making a meal for the man in my life as well.

    Manners need to make a huge comeback in 2011. Here’s hoping!

  24. I love the idea of making glamor part of every day life! I always feel great when I have my nails done, dress nicely even when just going to the grocery store, am accessorized, etc.
    I am also the single one among many married friends, and I think many of my married girlfriends, especially the moms, are a bit envious that I have the time and/or energy to glam it up!
    Victoria, I think you would LOVE taking SFactor classes…they changed my life and made me feel ultra glam and sexy from the inside out…email me if you want more info. I take them here in San Francisco and, really, they are just awesome.
    xoxo!

  25. Such a good point! And so well illustrated.
    As much as I love being casual there is no doubt about it, dressing up is such an uplifting thing to do! The great thing about it these days is that we can do it as a choice and for fun not because we are obligated to.
    Thank you for these thoughts. Lovin this post heaps – I’m telling my friends to read it!

  26. Jees people, you have to be kidding?
    Some comments really really scares me. I’m the only one so far who is sceptical.

    I love glamour, and I’m often the most dressed up one of my friends- I go all out with jewellery, dresses and make-up. But to confuse this with subservient behavior like having dinner ready for your partner every night, and bringing him cocktails, is a different thing. Looking nice and dressing up for each other, and helping each other, needs in no way be only for women.
    So to jewel and kristine- I do hope making an effort is a 2-way thing in your relationships.

    It’s very easy to swoon over an era that has been so romanticized in film and media, but it wouldn’t be so great to be in a girdle and heels every day, or for little girls to have their play hindered by having to be careful of their pretty dresses.

    So don’t be surprised to find hairy legs under my 50’s skirt ’cause that’s a part of me too. And if I’m going to work with power tools, no way I’m going to do it in my pearls.

  27. A wonderful post! You are so right about “old Hollywood” style and lifestyle, that’s why I adore classic movies, they give me glimpse of those glamorous times. Happy New Year!

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