Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Blast From the Past

Today I'd like to share some images with you that come from a 1940's book about dressmaking. This book is awesome for a number of reasons, but one section I particularly enjoy is all about poise, posture and charm! I love the choice of words the author uses to describe every move from gesturing to properly sitting, standing, descending stairs, dressing and even getting into and out of cars. Really. When you consider the difficulty that many celebrities have getting out of cars these days without flashing their lady-bits it's a wonder we don't have a modern version of this book.

"Avoid awkward gestures" is the advice given with the drawings at left. "You don't point, of course, but you may know someone who does. Help her to lose the habit by showing her these pictures." Anyone care to share pictures?? According to the author you should practice every move in order to avoid awkwardness. By the way, don't talk with your hands as it causes you to appear older! Hmmm, and I thought it was the lines, wrinkles and grey hairs that did that...

Now then, shall we examine how we sit?

Sitting isn't just about posture, although she does devote several drawings and paragraphs to that subject. Sitting is actually about being naked! Yes, judging by these pictures, sitting around naked is a-ok! Sitting is also about what you do with your hands and feet. "Feet together is the smart way." According to the author, if you get in the habit of crossing your legs at the knee you may "embarrass yourself and others" while in a drawing room, ballroom or church. Well, we wouldn't want that now would we? Remember, your feet don't need anything to do while you are sitting: "Let them rest side by side on the floor. They have a decorative function." I'm not kidding - it really says that! Your feet are decorations, damn it! Treat them as such!

The book goes on to discuss exercise, diet, and supportive undergarments, as well as the importance of keeping our stocking seams straight, and our belongings tidy.

Which leads us to the dresser.

Is your dresser a delight or a despair? Your dresser drawers should be in "..such immaculate order that they are a delight to you..." If you fall into the despair category it is recommended that you "..prop this book on your dresser, open at this page; then set about putting things to rights." Well, I'll get right on that! Again, be reminded that your dresser serves a decorative purpose and you shouldn't just pile it up with stuff. Oh, I'm failing miserably on that one...Isn't that why we have furniture in bedrooms? So that we can fling our clothing and pile up our stuff rather than just toss it on the floor? If by chance your dresser is not enough of a challenge, the author has a detailed system for sorting, packaging and labeling the contents of your handbag.

Well, what are you waiting for?! Practice away those awkward gestures, strive to be pleasing and smart, and delight in your immaculate dresser!


happyian said...

There is a guide book to women!
Now all of your secrets will be mine!
Tell me guide book
about these... 'wonderbras'
what about them invokes wonder?
Tell me guide book! Tell me!

Oh 'for'...

scaramouche jones said...

Ah, those where the days - when women knew their place ;)

Significant Snail said...

happyian: what about the wonder bra invokes wonder? Bra's have come a long way since back in the day..I always wondered how women made their bodies conform to those things...

scaramouche: you don't really want an old fashioned girl do you? I'm sure working out with a personal trainer would be quite unladylike and not at all dainty!

happyian said...

I think that marring his daughter was Woody's misguided attempt at being self confident.

I'm rich and famous
and people like me
I can marry whoever i want.

You there!
Girl I adopted, marry me!
(It worked!)

She was just the closest girl around.

Scaramouche Jones said...

Haha. Some of the things we do in training, you're not worng!

I think I'd like someone who was modern and equal, but still acted like a girl. Not an old-fashioned girl, just... feminine. If that makes any sense :)

BSH ADMIN said...

Wow, I never realized how "ugly" and "awkward" my seated posture is! Also, I'm totally guilty of pointing... especially at badly dressed people. I'm going to need to take these tips to heart; thank you for posting this PSA!

Significant Snail said...

Always glad to offer assistance...that's what I'm here for. Oh wait, feeding my kids...that's what I'm here for. The PSA's are extra!