A Sparkling Vintage Life

Genevieve Dariaux

S is for Skirts

I love to wear skirts. I think they’re so much more comfortable and flattering than jeans or slacks (on my admittedly zaftig shape). I like the way skirts swish around my legs in summer, creating their own breeze when I walk. I like tucking my legs up underneath for warmth when I sit (of course, it has to be the right kind of skirt for this kind of maneuver … a pencil skirt won’t do the trick).

Skirts are versatile. In 1964, Genevieve Dariaux wrote, “With several skirts, blouses, sweaters, and an assortment of belts it is possible to be very attractively dressed and even to create the impression of possessing a rather vast wardrobe, all for a minimum investment.”

But for a reason I can’t fathom, she goes on to say “a skirt can be worn with a sweater or blouse day in, day out, from one end of the year to the other, almost anywhere at all–except on a city street (unless it is covered by a coat). What? Why would a skirt be considered inappropriate on a city street in 1964? That makes no sense to me. If anyone knows the answer to that puzzling statement, please post it in the comments.

3 Sparkling Treats for Late Winter

February may be the shortest month of the year, but it feels like the longest. Endless gray days punctuated by violent storms do little to lift my mood. Here are a few things I’ve found that are making the doldrums pass a little more quickly.

*Enjoying a lively discussion of A Guide to Elegance by Genevieve Antoine Dariaux over at the Modern Retro Woman Reading Club. First published in 1964 and reissued in 2003, this little book is subtitled “For every woman who wants to be well and properly dressed on all occasions.” It makes me amused, happy, and sad at the same time, seeing how women’s sense of style has changed (yea, fallen) since the days of white gloves and girdles (although now we have Spanx to corral our avoirdupois, so maybe some things haven’t changed so much, after all).

*Getting my “granny” on! One thing I’ve been adoring this winter is this Lanz of Salzburg flannel nightgown from The Vermont Country Store. I got it for Christmas and it’s my go-to garment for comfort and warmth in on cold winter nights. Like wearing a hug!

*Loving the podcast What Should I Read Next by Anne Bogel, the avid bibliophile behind the Modern Mrs. Darcy blog. Anne discusses books and makes recommendations for her guests. I keep a notebook nearby as I listen to jot down interesting-sounding titles.

*Finishing up one of my favorite books, Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca, in The Sparkling Vintage Ladies Reading Circle. In March we’ll be reading The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald (author of the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series for children), which will surely bring about some smiles.

*Cleaning out my overstuffed craft room/guest room/gift-wrapping room/stash-it room. In itself, decluttering is not a particularly sparkling activity, but the results are cheer-inducing.

How are you passing these late-winter days?

Newsletter
Twitter!
Facebook!
Amazon