A Sparkling Vintage Life


WHO IS SHE That woman always seen lunching at smart restaurants–charmingly unaware of the interest she excites. She’s the woman who has traveled, whose leisure allows her wide cultural activities. She throws her time and energy into drives for her favorite charities, she encourages the opera, the ballet, the symphony, art exhibits. She’s the influence behind the fashions that have carried our designers’ names around the world. SHE’S SO AMERICAN (Lord & Taylor ad from the 1940s, reflecting patriotism of the war years)

From “Personality Plus” by Veronica Dengel:

“The executive type is the brisk, energetic, matter-of-fact woman, entirely capable of handling any situation, Purposeful in every movement and thought, there is no ‘nonsense’ about her. …

In the office, make yourself the girl who is trimmest, neatest, smartest in appearance. You can do it by choosing dark colors, accented with fresh neckwear, simple suits with soft blouses. Two or three basic dresses will see you through several seasons, but vary their appearance. . . . If you are going out socially direct from the office, either bring other clothes with you or else accessories that will dress up your office frock. But do not come to business all dressed up in a cocktail-time dress with the excuse, ‘I’m going to a party.’ You will be out of palce and ill at ease all day, and besides, your employer won’t like it.”

Here are Miss Dengel’s clothing suggestions for the ‘executive type’:

Colors: Clear, cool colors. Black or other dark shades.

Fabrics: Hard surfaces. Heavy “knobby” fabrics in crepes or wools. No chiffons or transparent fabrics.

Necklines: Tailored neckline, high or low. Pique, linen, or hard-surfaced silks.

Underwear: Fine tailored pajamas, initialed. Combination of silk and satin trimmed underwear, or bit of lace.

Shoes: Heavy leathers for daytime; fabric or suede for dress. Medium or low heels.

Hose: Two or three thread. neutral to darker tones.

Sports clothes: Slack suits, matching jacket. Cotton dresses.

Daytime clothes: Fine tweeds, man-tailored suits, severe blouses in broadcloth or silk. Plain, smart wool or crepe dresses.

Dress clothes: Thin wool or crepe ‘dinner dress.’ Preferably black or navy. Occasional pastel wool, tailored.

Coats: Fitted or semi-fitted; dark colors for dress. Fine ‘travel type’ in blended tweeds for sports.

Hats: Extreme; smart lines; very little, if any, trimming. Small, bright colored hat with veil for dress.

Gloves: Suede, leather in dark color. Pigskin or heavy calf for sports.

Furs: Mink, beaver, seal, Persian lamb. Scarves of stone or baum marten [Editor’s note: I had to look this up. “Stone marten” and “baum marten” (another name for “Pine marten“) are WAY too cute to kill and wear. As are most animals, IMO. Just not a fan of fur, I guess]. Silver fox if tall.

Bags: Large envelope type in leather. Pigskin, calf or grained.

What about you? Are you the ‘executive type’? I’m afraid I’m not…but never fear, we’ll be discussion some other ‘types’ in the near future.