Clarity

Now I don’t usually write mega personal blogs so bare with me here……

For years I have felt rubbish, truly rubbish. My health has always been a bit hazy like the feeling in my head. I seem to suffer from so many health issues (niggly ones, not major ones) that I havent had a day where I can genuinely say I feel good.

My head always hurts. This is probably a result of a) too much caffeine, b) dodgy sinuses c) not eating enough and d) I never, ever  ….stop. I’m always rushing about doing “stuff”.

My body aches. After 2 difficult pregnancies my joints have become so sore, I feel like I’ve aged 10 years at least.

I can never breathe…back to the dodgy sinuses. The consultant says I’m allergic to something I come into contact with daily.

Then there’s the fatique..I’m always shattered even if I have had 10 hours sleep.

And also the stomach issues…some days I bloat so much I look 6 months pregnant!

The list goes on. (Bear with me…this isnt a woe is me tale! It does get better!)

On the day before New Years Eve my tummy started hurting more than usual. I took to my bed and basically didn’t come out until New Years Day. I missed the champagne and the fireworks. I was feeling sore and miserable. I knew already that I had a stomach ulcer as I have had one previously.

The doctor confirmed this on Jan 2nd. She gave me 8 months of drugs and told me to eat bland food. It’s quite rare to get a gastric ulcer…apparently its more common in alcoholics (which I’m not by the way). I thought for a moment…..er, that will be the 5 cans of diet coke I drink a day then, for the last 20 years, often replacing it for food. Its quicker, easier and gives you the energy you need.

So pills, a bland diet and no diet coke. Turns out the chemicals in it do this to you:

  • rot your teeth
  • rot your stomach
  • deplete your iron levels (that will explain the tiredness)
  • deplete your folic acid
  • deplete your calcium (and that will be the joints issue)

Basically it’s shit. And it’s been my staple diet since I was 16 and this year I turn 40. Stupid huh? I even used to have 2 cans before I ate.

So, I get every side effect from the pills. I up my calcium levels – my sinuses get worse, I move onto soya milk – they get better. I havent drank diet coke or any caffeine this year. I have only had  a few glasses of wine at the weekend only. I am eating properly…although the list of what I’m allowed to eat is far smaller than the list of what I can eat (no yeast, no high fat dairy, loads of veg is off the list, no citrus, no tomato even). Right now I am drinking horlicks instead of chardonnay (this is written late at night I hasten to add)

So I decide to take it easy this January. To relax and take stock.

So here comes the clarity bit….for the first time in years I actually feel good. My head’s stopped feeling hazy. My stomach has gone down. I can actually think straight.

And I have had an amazing month. This clarity thing……is awesome (now I’m sounding like a born again christian!)

I have set targets for the year ahead, which I have met this month. I have listed stock like crazy and people are responding  really well. I have taken on some part-time staff…2 models and  someone to help with the online business. My stock will be featured in Homes and Antiques magazine at Easter. Both a channel 4 show and a BBC 2  production company have called me about work. I have reached 1000 followers on twitter (one day I got 100!) My blog stats have gone up, I have launched a new series of blogs called Fashion Friday and interviews with people about their favourite vintage era (with some amazing people agreeing to do it). I’m in the early stages of setting up a local vintage network group for Beds and Milton Keynes.  I have thought of some fabulous competitions for the year in association with another local business. I have a new trade plan for the year ahead including re doing the Clothes Show Live, Twinwood and some other exciting secret events. I have had an amazing meeting today for something that hopefully will mean achieving a lifelong dream…..


Isnt clarity grand? Your health is so important…it’s more important than all the stuff we fill our lives with. And for me….it’s given me not only a clear head/stomach/muscles..its given me probably my best month yet.

Bring on February!

(and if anyone right now has a can of diet coke in their hand while reading this…please put it down……now)

January, the 30 day de-clutter

Now before we start I must credit A Thrifty Mrs for this idea as it isn’t my own.

So my life is full of STUFF. We are great collecters as regular readers will know, glasswear, Tupperware, Fisher Price toys, costume jewellery, handbags, dresses, garden tools, Coronation tins….all vintage of course. The list is endless.

Only some of my vintage brooches

Then there is our stock. We have a stockroom and a unit but all stock at some point comes through the house.

Then there is the kids toys. Anyone with children will know they have even more STUFF. Alot of it is random like my sons collection of conkers (thanks Grandma).

How many toys can 2 toddlers have?

Then there is the day to day STUFF that most people seem to have tonnes of like shoe polish. How can we have so much black show polish? I have never seen anyone in this house, other than me, ever clean their shoes!

Anyone for a storage jar?

Hence, the need for a 30 day de-clutter.  There is one rule though….nothing goes in the bin if it can go to a new home.

I had a warm up pre Christmas. I sorted approx 50 toys into a black bin bag along with a childs swing and Bumbo seat. None we need anymore, nor want anymore. This went to a nice lady on freecycle who collected as she had lots of kids coming over the festive period.

52 items gone.

Then I cleared through a small drawer of Kitty’s (yes only 1 drawer so far) and bagged up 10 old bibs and 5 pairs of tights. These have gone to the nursery she goes to, so they can be used for other younger babies.

67 items gone.

That was just the warm up. Today we start for 30 days. I am aiming to give away/de-clutter over 200 items. Why don’t you join me?

Loving that the box is labelled (in case no one knew what was in it)

First stop is the box of leads. Who the hell has this many leads? And what are they for? No one knows but if we throw one away you know it will be needed don’t you!

At the bottom of the box was 3 old mobile phones. Bingo! Straight onto a phone recycling site and I’ve earnt £18.

70 items gone, £18 made

That only took 5 minutes (it took longer to download the photo). Now for the cleaning cupboard.

 

I am a cleaning hoarder

Can you spot a theme? I seem to have 2 of everything: one almost empty and one half full. By consolidating I have thrown 6 items away (3 recycled).

Finally I have added 3 pairs of Herbie’s old  cotton pjs to the duster pile, freeing up space in his drawer but re-using them and saving money at the same time.

In total Day 1: 79 items gone or reused, £18 made.

Will keep you posted at the end of the week how many I’m up to. Mr YVL is going to LOVE this (he hates all the STUFF)

2011, Another vintage year

We have had a fantastic year here at Your Vintage Life which we are truly grateful for!

January:

We started the year by being named Website of the Month in Period Living magazine. They described the site as “attractive and well designed” which considering I did it all myself through Create was fantastic praise.

We also launched our new category “Your Vintage Playroom” in the shop which has been so successful. It’s great to think these vintage toys are being brought back to life and being played with all over the country. Even Cath Kidston bought some from us!

February:

I was featured, alongside my vintage handbag collection in Homes and Antiques magazine! Here I am surrounded by 50s box bags, 30s bakelite and 60s Enid Collins!

We took this show on the road for the first time with Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair. Before now we had only traded at local fairs and this was definitely stepping it up a gear. 1000 vintage loving students rushed through the door at Leicester and Lincoln and we were quite simply staggered at their response. We quickly went out and hired a credit card machine!

We also moved home this month, into our patterned palace. It’s a full on renovation piece of work….nearly one year on we have finished 4 rooms (7 more to go!)

March:

We had by now been writing for Vintage Life magazine for 7 months but it was in March that our article was featured on the front cover. Spring into Action was featured alongside the amazing Kitten Von Mew!

I was interviewed in the great blog by Catwalk Creative Vintage. Louise Sleigh is well known for supporting fully other vintage businesses and I really appreciated her featuring us. Read the “Vintage Perfection at Your Vintage Life” interview here.

We also traded at our first Furniture Flea in London. This was our first real taste of selling furniture and it’s something we are keen to expand on. Bringing  mid century furniture to its former glory is addictive!

April:

Wedding Fever was in the air as we traded at our first vintage wedding fairs. Not doing things by half we did 2 in the first month. The Vintage Wedding Fair in Leamington and The Curious Wedding Fair in Norwich were great: we met excited brides and sold tonnes of vintage jewellery! Selling this gown to a happy bride in Norwich made us feel great….she looked amazing too!

May:

It was at the end of May when we had our first stall at Spitalfields Market in London. It was a great day with thousands of people walking through the market. We are excited to say we now have a stall there the first saturday of every month in the biggest vintage market of its kind.

June:

This was the month when we really embraced Twitter. Before now, we had only linked text from Facebook which wasnt engaging Twitter people at all. Since then, I can say I talk regularly to like-minded people who I havent even met. Some I would now call friends. I love you guys!

July:

July was so busy for us! We sold our vintage clothing at Lovebox festival which I can only describe as a wash out! It was so wet and cold…it felt like winter rather than a summer festival. The only good thing about the whole weekend was I met some new great friends and finally saw Blondie perform.

Then there was the Vintage Festival on the Southbank. For 3 days it was the opposite of Lovebox..it was so hot I burnt my forehead! The first day was amazing, we sold so much to buyers and designers. It was hard work but again we met some great people and sold tonnes of pretty dresses!

We launched our series of blogs this month called “Beat the Monday Blues”. It was a funny month online as there was much heated debate from vintage sellers, buyers and event managers which sometimes resulted in bad feeling. I wanted to buck this current trend and start to openly support others. So the new blog started with the idea of sharing companies and products that we love. It has been very successful and we will continue this in 2012.

August:

We took a rare weekend off at the start of August to celebrate my birthday. We all went away in the camper van to Kent and checked out all the vintage shops we could find!

Over the bank holiday weekend we had a pitch at Twinwood Festival. This is designed for lovers of 40s and 50s music, fashion and definitely dancing. WE LOVED IT! It was such a great atmosphere, and we couldn’t quite believe it was up the road from our house and we had never been there before! We will be there again in 2012.

Homes and Antiques magazine featured our 1950s products through their stunning styling feature. It made me quite simply want to restyle our lounge to this glorious look.

September:

This was an exciting month as finally re launched our eBay shop using gorgeous photos of my model Leanne. We split the shop into 3 categories: vintage, customised and boutique. We felt our eBay shop had a real disconnect to the branding on the website so now with matching slideshow, background etc we feel this has been overcome.

All the photos were taken with our 1957 Morris Oxford car (also vintage!)

October:

We launched our online blog diary called A Vintage Diary. We have been blogging for a long time but wanted a vehicle to just update you on the day-to-day things we do especially all the vintage things! We have managed musings most days! From stuff I’ve bought to things we’ve made it has been well received.

November:

We launched our ASOS boutique this month and had our first sale within a few hours! It’s a vintage accessory boutique with mens accessories still to come. We ensured it had the same look and feel as our other sites with Leanne in her purple blouse on the front page. We have taken all the photos so far against a local bright blue painted gate, with rolling hills in the background. We will be expanding this more in 2012.

In the run up to the Clothes Show Live we were featured in their fashion blog. Frankie says Shop! loved our flutter pleated skirts so much she wore 3! It really helped at the event as many girls came to see us especially for them!

December:

The Clothes Show Live finally arrived and boy was it busy! 6 full days of excited girls, loud dance music and selling vintage meant we were seriously pooped afterwards! We loved it so much we will be returning next year!

It has been a tough year with people spending less all over retail but with a late surge of sales in December we can now have a rest! We look forward to 2012, trading at new events and meeting more of you all. With our look to the year ahead article being featured in January’s Vintage Life magazine I’m sure next year will be even better than this one!

Happy New Year to you all!

Didn’t we do well, again

We had a great Christmas here at Your Vintage Life. And now it’s the clear up after 3 days of children mayhem! Before all the pressies get put away I thought I’d share some of the vintage ones (i.e. the best ones!).

Firstly the kids. Boy did santa bring a lot of toys….and clothes..and biscuits! When Herbie was asked what his favourite present was he thought long and hard. “I love all my presents” he said. “I really liked my biscuits”. Clearly the way to a boy’s heart is through his tummy!

Herbie got a new bedroom from Santa but I will leave that to another blog! He also got a train set (modern one) but there was room for a little bit of vintage. The 1980s Polaroid camera was a real hit. You load it with plastic discs that run over a wet sponge when they fire out. Just like old Polaroids pictures….flap them about a bit until they dry and a photo appears. It’s in great condition having lasted over 30 years….Herbie managed to drop it and chip it after only 3 hours!

Kitty fared much better in the vintage stakes. She got her retro fabric tortoise I blogged about some time back (read about it here). She got heaps of Fisher Price toys….a 1970s television, 1980s roller and the best of all…the 1960s pull along snoopy dog. She loved this, and has walked around pulling it since about lunchtime of Christmas day!

Boxing day the vintage continued with dolls and a lovely 1950s pram. She didn’t seem to get a look in though as her cousins (all boys) spent the afternoon pushing it around the house!

Then there was Mr YVL. The great thing about our job is we find vintage clothes all year round so I have collected 3 polo shirts dating from 50-70s. He put the caramel one on straight away so that was a hit!

He also got a Mucha calendar. Any regular readers will know we have a few Muchas in our lounge. He was an art nouveau artist but enjoyed a resurgence in the late 60s.

Yes, a calendar is a practical present but  with all the vintage fairs next year and inevitable children’s parties it’s probably about time he knew in advance what’s happening!

His last present was a Gaudi diary. We both love his architecture…..

and so we can see more of it as I have booked a very rare weekend off for us both to go away to Barcelona. I wonder where the flea markets are there????

Then for me. I really did well! I received 2 pieces of furniture for the house, one retro, one vintage.

This G plan stool with leather seat it gorgeous and sits perfectly in our lounge. (Read all about it here).

Then this 1950s fold down table is gorgeous and in amazing condition. Not sure where this will go yet but I’m sure I will find somewhere. It reminds me of last years folding 3 tiered table he bought which we featured this time last year (Read about it here)

I am dreaming of a pantry when we get round to doing the kitchen. A small cupboard full of shallow shelves filled with glass jars and tins. I have a huge collection already but hey this pantry in my head needs more! So more I got!

And Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without some Taunton Vale. This is the first year that I have been bought some though. It’s a chopping board to match all our storage jars, butter dish, tea towel etc etc!

Then there was 2 vintage dresses including the 10p 1950s dress I have blogged about before. This brown one is a Peggy French dress in mint condition. It has ballooned sheer sleeves, matching belt and a pussy bow neckline.

Finally the best present of all. A DRGM bracelet covered in rhinestones. We have been researching it since and all we know so far is it dates pre 1945 from Germany. It is truly stunning and ones things for sure…..I am a very lucky girl.

Now back to the cleaning and tidying……(not feeling so lucky now huh?)

Merry Christmas from Your Vintage Life

We wish you all and your families a wonderful Christmas and a properous 2012. Thank you for all your reading, comments, feedback and kind words during 2011. Enjoy!

Home at last!

Well we have now been back from the Clothes Show for two days and still I havent blogged! To be honest I have spent the last 2 days pretty much sleeping! We met some great new people, customers and other stall holders and sold tonnes of vintage clothing!

So whats it like I hear you ask? Well, here are my observations of the whole event:

The crowd is young….very young! and also tiny! I sold all my size 8 vintage on the first day…never before have I heard people complaining that my stock is too large. But with this youth comes the mother, standing 2 steps behind with her wallet open. I didn’t factor in the mother so rushed home after day 1 to pull together my MUM rail.

My neighbours I think were expecting this rail to be full of boring clothes but as a mummy myself, I filled the rail with pretty dresses, coats and sparkly party outfits. The mums loved it and shopped for themselves as well as their daughters!

It’s so so busy! Thousands literally shopping the vintage area meant we didn’t stop the whole 6 days. Thank the lord for the free Haagen Dazs and mini diet cokes which kept us going throughout. Shattered is an under statement! We turned over loads of stock especially my Levi cut offs of which we have the stock level of ZERO now!

The music made my ears bleed! Now don’t get me wrong I love music particularly loud music, but we were beside a catwalk which had the same show every 2 hours. This meant we heard the same music over and over again…if I hear Maroon 5’s Moves like Jagger again I may head for the hills and join a silent monastery. However, being next to the show meant for loads more excited girls for us to meet so all was good!

Our neighbours were fab particularly Ease the Squeeze and Vintage Life Magazine. I urge you to check out the shirts from the former…..if you are a man or even know a man, they will make the perfect Christmas presents. In the quiet times they cheered me up, in the busy times they kept me sane, and in the tired times (of which there were loads) they kept me smiling!

Thanks guys!

  • Young girls LOVE Hollyoaks and TOWIE men..they literally ran after them all around the NEC. One other trader thought these fans were doing the conga, when in fact they were hysterically charging after some celeb. I did feel a tad old when I didn’t recognise any of these boys……
  • Apart from the kids and their mums there were loads of highly glamorous ladies. We all sold so many beaded and sequined pieces…the whole of Birmingham will be sparkling this New Year’s eve.

All in all it was a great event. It was a challenge fitting all the stock into a tiny space but thankfully we went home every night so could replenish every day.

I’m so glad to be home now though as I can start to think about Christmas. A few Mummy Christmas dresses to add on Monday to the eBay shop and then I’m hanging up my hat until the New Year. Time to make cards, crackers, truffles and buy some presents!

Beat the Monday Blues

Beat the Monday blues by checking out something or someone we love. Here at Your Vintage Life, we feel it is important to share great finds with you all as well as support local business.

So this Monday, I introduce to you to a new magazine called Midcentury: The Guide to Modern Retro.

It is a bi-annual magazine all about retro  homewares and furniture. Anyone that has seen my house will know myself and especially Mr YVL absolutely love retro furnishings. But to have them all in your home can sometimes make your style look a bit “novelty”. There is definitely a fine art to creating a retro home that doesn’t look like you are stuck in a time warp.

Now this is where this magazine can really help. Issue 2 arrived today and is packed full of inspiring looks and homes.

The cover is simply beautiful…a patchwork winged back swivel chair. Now I wish ours were this colourful! We have 2 black vinyl ones that were bought in 1968 by Mr YVLs grandma. I love them but sometimes feel they are a bit masculine…maybe I could patchwork them up like this cover!

Like other magazines Midcentury features real homes. I totally love the first one featured…a 1968 home built by Cherill Scheer and her husband. Cherill is only the granddaughter of the founder of Hille…”pioneers of modern furniture manufacture in the 1950s and 60s”.

I  especially love their bedroom with the blast of zingy colour in the curtains and pictures. Tabitha Teuma captures the spirt of the couple and their home brilliantly.

There is also a 3 page article all about Hille furniture written by Emma Roper-Evans and Tabitha Teuma.

My favourite piece of the whole magazine is called High Street Heroes by Jo-ann Fortune. It’s all about 1950s brands which have lasted the test of time. St Michaels, Habitat, Heals and even Woolworths are featured. Anyone that knows me will see that this is right up my (high) street….20 years in retail and now with Your Vintage Life…I have a passion for branding and this sweet wrapper from M&S sums up retro style.

I suggest you all subscribe to this mag…2 issues a year will only cost you £6.95..bargain! Check them out at http://www.midcenturymagazine.co.uk

Other articles that will interest…..

Charlotte Luxford reveals the “man behind Tintin”

A buyers guide to Borge Mogensen sofas written by David Tatham

60s technology by David P Christopher (I LOVE this wallpaper!)

Mark Hill writes about the work of George Nakashima

Another great home…actually you can stay there! The Garden House Studio is simply gorgeous!

How any age can be attractive

This is my last part of the 1956 Woman’s Own feature “The art of being more attractive” This is the centre fold and it reveals secrets to be more attractive across 5 decades.

Some is the usual stuff, but some is a little more surprising!

In the Nursery

This a beauty advice for 3 year olds which in itself is something we wouldn’t read about today. Phyllis Digby Morton’s says “At 3, a girl has got all it takes to be effortlessly bewitching. She can say what she likes, do what she wants (within reason)! She can dress in the scantiest panties and get away with it.” Pardon?

Phew, at least no one thinks toddlers have beauty issues. Apparently though she NEEDS dancing lessons to “limber up little arms and feet”. This age is about needing:

  • needing thoughtful haircare with “thrice weekly shampooing”
  • needing mild soap and water and lots of it
  • needing protection against accidents
  • needing love

“Lucky Miss 3, not to have a beauty problem!”

In the teens

“Meet Miss Teenage, the girl whose life is a spell of fickle April weather. Days, she wakes up feeling light as a cork with sheer joy of living. Other days she looks at her reflection with loathing.”

Remember that feeling as a teenager? To be honest I don’t remember much of the light as a cork feeling (especially in my stompy doc martins!)

This decade is all about discovering:

  • discovering cold cream to soften her skin
  • discovering pale pink nail varnish (I seem to remember more black nail varnish)
  • discovering the right bra
  • discovering the “value of a night and morning face” wash with soap
  • discovering different hair styles (mine were shaved, purple hair dye, orange hair dye)
  • “the way to shed spots and puppy fat is a firm no thank you to fried potatoes and gooey cakes”
  • and the most important discovery is “charm, nice manners and a ready smile- and that being a girl is more attractive in  a man’s eyes than being just another tomboy”. So as early as this a girl shoudl start thinking of being attractive for men!

“Cheer up, Miss Teenage, remember that your beauty’s still in the shaping!”

The Twenties

Oh no….this is apparently the “age of roses and wedding bells and high romance”. Beauty comes to its peak now (gosh how depressing). Although I agree with “at twenty, a wise girl starts laying the foundations of the person she wants to be”

This age is all about learning:

  • learning all about clothes, about accessories ” good gloves are plain, simple shoes make legs inches slimmer and longer”.
  • learning to discriminate about face creams and cosmetics
  • learning the value of money (not sure I did this in my twenties). She should “plan thriftily before each major expenditure”
  • learning to count to ten before making an angry comeback.
  • learning to wear hats on important occasions without feeling funny
  • this is the time to turn from  a girl into a delightful woman

The thirties

A woman in her thirties (my age…just) is at the peak “of her attractiveness, assurance and poise”. But as she has now more responsibility she should care more for her looks. Being 30 is all about caring:

  • caring for her bandbox freshness “defending it against the wear and tear of household chores”.
  • caring for her skin
  • caring for the right cosmetics, being “lavish with toilet water for the splash of elegance”
  • “and above all, she cares for her man. taking pains to ensure that she’s more than ever worth loving, now she’s in her thirties”.

WOW! you definitely wouldn’t read words like this today. Nothing about looking after yourself just for you.

The Forties and after

Now as I’m to turn 40 next year I better get reading this section!

“Time was when any attractive older woman was liable to be labelled “well preserved”.” Now though, in 1956 an older woman was seen as slim, eager, vital although “never making the mistake of aping kittenishness!” Ha Ha..I think I plan to ape kittenishness, whatever that may be!

The 40s is all about knowing:

  • knowing her skin will lose firmness, muscles will sag, firm contours will disintegrate
  • without exercise the “firmest body will become flabby”..gosh how depressing!
  • knowing that chin firming exercises will help
  • rose tinted powder and foundation are key
  • knows the value of an odd day in bed (I wish!)

And finally, she knows “that serenity, humour and a lively interest in people and things-outside the home as well as in it- keeps her, in many eyes, the most attractive age of all”

Hurrah, Phyllis at last feels attractiveness comes with age and knowing..there’s hope for me then!

In the mean time, what have I learnt from this and the last 2 articles?

That I need rose tinted powder, that my daughter is lucky as she can dress in the scantiest of underwear, that I need to work on my beauty and personality EVERYDAY, and that I need to do this for my man.

Oh well. Finally, here I am approaching 40 embracing the inner kitten!

The art of being more attractive part 2

So, yesterday we should have established what our friends thought of our appearance. How many of you were brave enough to actually ask them?

No, don’t worry I havent gone mad. I was sharing an article called “The art of being more attractive” from an old Woman’s Own magazine dated 1956.

Now its time, in the words of Phyllis Digby Morton to discuss our personality. It’s a survey again…and yes, you guessed it..we are supposed to ask our closest to analyse what we are like.

She does remind us, “Don’t be dismayed or discouraged, whatever the results.”

So here is the personality test. You or a friend are supposed to tick which one you are…so you can learn what you need to “work on”

Manners: charming, easy/mostly pleasant and considerate/a bit abrupt, ill at ease/sometimes ungracious

Conversation: always lively and stimulating/fine with friends but you dry up with strangers/painstaking-just a little on one track/lacks sparkle

Intelligence: above average (lets not say a lady is intelligent huh?)/good/brighter than you let on/just ordinary (heaven forbid)

Sense of humour: terrific/fairly keen (what?)/you usually see a joke/needs cultivating

Tact: you invariably say the right thing/generally pretty good/you try but often fail/you’re always putting your foot in it

Popularity: tremendous, you can’t help collecting friends/pretty high, most people take to you/just fair, you’re not the best of mixers/you just don’t get along with others

Sympathy and responsiveness: universal, you’d charm a bird off a tree/strong-but not to strangers/not very marked/cold, unsympathetic

Poise: outstandingly perfect (for real?)/good, seldom embarrassed/obviously nonplussed in strange surroundings/still a bit gauche

Temper (mine is starting to show with this character assassination): sunny, even tempered/good, except for the odd outburst/patchy, you need more control/ a little spiteful or sulky

PHEW! Well I think I will need a lot of work to be the perfect 1950s lady and be more attractive.

So if you have done this with me, you will now have a list of which areas need work. Phyllis, suggests “every morning read this aloud until it is etched in your mind”.

“Dont dismiss this advice as childish (as I clearly am). It was a method advocated to me by a psychiatrist who finds it of practical help to many of his patients.”

Gosh being a perfect 1950s woman is tough. Not only did she have to look after the family and home, often working too….she also had to work extra hard to ensure she was attractive. This is probably the expectation now to be fair…maybe things havent changed that much in 50 years.

In the mean time lets look at some real attractiveness….stunning….and they may even be a bit gauche, or catty, or need a bit of cultivating…just like you and I!

Jane

Liz

Katherine

Lucille

Audrey

Grace

Doris

and finally, Maralyn

The art of being more attractive

Think you’re quite attractive? Well before you answer that, let me share with you an article from Woman’s Own magazine  written in 1956.

It is a 6 page guide with the opening questions:

  • Why do some women attract friendship and success
  • How can you make the most of your looks at any age
  • Men, what is it that draws and holds them

It is in 3 parts: the first being a survey to establish how attractive you really are. The second is how to be attractive to men. The third is how to be attractive at any age. I thought I’d share it with you to see how opinions differ today (or not). And maybe enlighten you so you can work just that little bit harder!!

Lets start with the survey. “How to discover the true you” is to “set you thinking-possibly to test your courage”.

Phyllis Digby Morton writes this article. She asks “attractiveness, what is it? Lovely figure, pretty face, soft voice, smart clothes? All of these. None of them. Some women have a way with them despite an almost lack of dress sense or a single lovely figure. They can draw attention away from the most stunningly pretty rival”….Ok, true so far I suppose.

“Could the secret lie in infectious good humour, or in a capacity of enjoying life?” Maybe

Or “could it be the art of making other people feel themselves attractive?” Now I’m getting a tad lost here. Does she mean that if I convince you I’m attractive then I am. Or am I attractive if I make you feel attractive? Gosh this is beginning to be hard work.

She goes on: “Sympathy, placidity, serenity will prove irresistible to some. Gaiety, impetuousness, vivacity will lure others. Haughtiness, stand offishness, even arrogance have an undoubted appeal for a few.” What?

“While wit in any shape, even wit strongly spiced with cattiness, will attract, round its owner, a pretty-near-permanent circle of fascinated admirers (particularly men)”

Ok now I’m even more confused. Should I be catty, stand offish, arrogant and still be attractive..surely not?

Lets move onto the questionnaire. We can answer this ourselves or get someone else to answer it. Apparently leading psychologists have been consulted for this.

Your Appearance. You need to tick which ones you are, or what your friends think you are so you can understand what you need to work on. Are you ready for this ladies????

Face: pretty/quite pretty/plain but nice (how kind)/ordinary

Hair: lovely/could easily be lovely/don’t make the best of it/rather neglect it

Hair style: tops, always/tops,sometimes/doesnt really suit you (hey let me down gently)/spoils you

Complexion: clear and lovely/nice most of the time/never looks really clear/bad

Figure: perfect/fairly good/too scrawny/too heavy

Posture: noticeably good/good when you remember/not too good/ungraceful

Hands: pleasure to look at/lovely on special occasions/just get by (hey I’m a working mum remember)/neglected

Make up: work of art, always/good sometimes/slapdash/just don’t bother (ha ha)

Dress sense: excellent/mostly good/somehow a bit lacking/undeveloped

Teeth: white, lovely/nice , average/could be whiter/time you had them seen to

Personal daintiness: bandbox fresh (er what?)/mostly perfect/not always particular/in need of a helpful hint

And that’s it. How to enlighten your friend on how attractive they are. There is more…we will move onto your personality later. For now have a think ladies…maybe ask a friend to help! By then end it will be a help, Phyliss promises.