Saturday, February 26, 2011

Woman and Beauty, 1954 and The Art of Being a Well Dressed Wife, 1959

Many women virtually ignore hats in their wardrobes, a tendency to be mourned.  Historically and romantically, hats have been a symbol of a woman, yet today men wear more hats than women - which is a deplorable situation.

Don't shun hats.  They are a difficult part of the wardrobe, but worth perfecting.  The cliche about a woman buying a hat to cheer her up couldn't be truer.  A hat can buoy your emotions as well as your looks.  Since every wardrobe must have basic headwear for church, community affairs, and extremes of cold and hot weather, don't take the first hat that comes along or least conspicuous one as a 'necessary evil'.  Develop your own hat stylishness as a means of expressing your own individualism.

Anne Fogarty, The Art of Being a Well Dressed Wife (1959)

I found a reprint of Anne Fogarty's treatise on "wife dressing" on Friday, and since then have been enjoying browsing her advice on dressing the part of the perfect helpmate, 1950s style.  A few years before she penned the words above deploring the demise of the hat Woman and Beauty published this delightful millinery confection on its cover.  However, both Fogarty and the magazine were fighting a losing battle: the hat slid from favour for everyday wear and now mostly appears on the racecourse on in extreme weather.  I know at least one person who was young in the late fifties who was heartily glad to see it go!

1 comment:

  1. I wish hats were back in fashion for the sun protection (not that this one would offer much) and for bad hair days.