|Courtesy of Vogue.com|
"You can do anything you want in life if you dress for it" Edith Head
I have a confession to make. I cherish vintage fashion guides. Specifically those written in the mid to late 1960s. I have spent hours unearthing these treasures at my favorite secondhand bookstore. What makes these guides unique is their gentle wit, charm and no nonsense approach to dressing elegantly. I'm not nostalgic for a bygone era, but I find that these style guides provide an abundance of timeless advice for building a wardrobe that will work for every occasion. In addition to their focus on style, these guides also speak to manners and etiquette. Manners and etiquette are intricately related to style in my opinion. The vintage fashion guide is unapologetically ladylike, which I find appealing.
Many of the best vintage fashion guides had limited print runs. The New York Public Library is one of the best resources for looking at these books. The demure illustrations and humorous tone of these guides can provide hours of enjoyment. If you've read A Guide to Elegance or The Deb's Dictionary then you know how tongue-in-cheek and divine these books can be. While my wardrobe is carefully considered, I do have a healthy sense of humor.
Years ago I began collecting vintage fashion tomes. I have a tendency to collect items that allow me the thrill of a good hunt (e.g. my vintage/limited edition Chanel necklace collection). How To Dress For Success has been on my list of books to source for quite some time. Needless to say I was thrilled to discover that How To Dress For Success has been reprinted. I won't be wearing gloves or hats anytime soon, however I strive to cultivate a wardrobe that is appropriate for all occasions. Edith Head dressed some of the most iconic women in Hollywood (Grace Kelly, Katharine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn to name a few) and was ahead of her time in many ways. I can't wait to read Head's sartorial musings on the creation of a succinct wardrobe. You can expect a follow up post once I have read this book.
I believe in dressing for success. In the morning when I select what I'm going to wear, my thought is always 'what is my most formal event of the day?' It's about being ready for whatever meetings or appointments might present themselves. Thankfully I have created a wardrobe that is versatile and interchangeable. When something works why invent the wheel? There's something nice about having a style that is uniquely yours. Dresses are my go to for dressing for success. Dresses make life easy- Zip it up, throw on a gorgeous shoe, accessorize with a scarf or necklace and I'm out the door. I plan on doing future posts on elements that pull together an elegant look to me. Looking poised and elegant is something to strive for.
PS- The cover of How to Dress For Success features my signature high bun. How could I not adore this book?