Question number 63

Where did the elegance go?

I couldn’t say I miss the times when elegancy and glamour was part of the everyday life, because obviously I wasn’t born then. But how I long for these times! Old pictures and movies tell me, it must have been better then. And the American trend setting series Mad Men, which will start airing the 5th episode in March 2012, even gives me more reason to make me think that I maybe was born in the wrong decade.

Betty Draper, played by January Jones, sitting around. Waitin
Especially around the 50ies and 60ies, when the rise of celebrities and the glamour of the stars were at it’s highest point, it seems like people had all the time in the world to look fabulous and present themselves. When opening a door, pulling out a chair or even lighting a cigarette was a grand gesture, and women surely didn’t have to do it themselves.

Mad Men in 1960ies suits
There was nothing else expected of women than looking good. And that is what they focused on. It was all about seeing and being seen. Most women didn’t have to work and were staying home all day long, waiting for their husbands to return. There was nothing else to do than looking after the kids and the household of course, but if you were lucky you even had a maid for that. What was there left than put in your elaborate curlers, do your perfect nail polish and sitting around in a fancy dress? The least you could do was to look overwhelmingly fabulous when your spouse came home at night. 
But also the men, who were working all day long, made a lot of effort for their looks. Take a glance at all their tailored vests, shiny cufflinks and sleek hats, how sharp they appeared, sigh. 

The incredible Joan Holloway
Nowadays of course, the expectations are a lot higher, women study, are business partners or single moms. How could you have time for walking around with swinging hips like Marilyn Monroe? Not that anybody would notice you; in the rush that everybody is in today.
It seems like nobody is caring for these little attributes anymore. Where did the need for glamorous appearance go? In this world there seems to be no more place for elegant strutting in the streets.
A woman in a skirt and heels hardly can put up with the fast pace her colleges set or worse the men that accompany her on a evening for drinks. I met few men that pace down for me when I wear heels. How can they not notice? Everybody is just hurrying through life. The nylons I have ripped during my everyday life, are countless. 

Christina Hendrix role as Joan Holloway would not have been the same if her character lived in 2012. Look at her, she’s the slowest moving person on the whole set. And it gives her so much charisma. Her role was written to look stunning, nothing less.
A stewardess from the Mad Men series
And what happened to traveling in style? Plane travels are no longer stylish and adventurous, but safe. And god dam ugly. People used to dress up with special travel outfits and matching bags. Now they come in jogging trousers, sneakers and aerodynamic suitcases.
To blame is of course the economics, society, life on the fast track… Time is money. But also time is elegance! 

Can’t everybody take a little time to care more? Please?
That doesn’t mean we have to go back to the corset, squeeze ourselves in high-waisted breath taking skirts (although there are some great stretchy versions available) or become a bored housewife.
It could mean that women finally would start to dress according to their body type! If I have to see one more pair of great hips pressed in skinny jeans, I don’t know what I am going to do. The media tells us that the curvy woman is the new desirable silhouette, but I don’t see it happening. In my opinion it’s going to take a lot of years until the industry finally changes their patterns, so a woman with curves can find an outfit that complements her body. 
Until then, good luck and have fun in the vintage stores! x


  1. I partially agree and partially disagree. I'd love to be able to get dressed up, and I love all the styles... I find madmen really inspiring style wise. However! I think it would be so much work daily with all the upkeep. I agree with what you're saying about how people should put a little more effort into their looks, and I like to look good and nice, but it would be so hard to look THAT put together every day!

    Good food for thought post <3

    Love & Cake,


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