We Moved!

We Moved! We Moved! We Moved!

Please reset your bookmarks and follow the new blog:


How to be Sweet & Charming - Lesson One Part One

Section 1
Lesson 1

(the bracketed italic comments are mine - the rest verbatim as written by Alma Archer from the 10 booklet set, How to Be Sweet & Charming, copyright 1939)

SMART WOMAN ARE USUALLY IN LOVE. (Now THAT is a great first sentence - highly debatable but points for capturing her audience straight off the bat!) Being in love does something for the eyes, the complexion, the carriage, the voice-everything. It makes woman attractive. ALWAYS BE IN LOVE! I tell this to every woman.

(What is interesting is that if we were reading a modern day how to -the author would now proceed to tell you how to love yourself, not literally of course - that is an entirely different kind of book found in a different section of the bookstore. But you know that is what would come next. I suspect Miss Alma is going to bring us down a more "dependent" road to love. If you were to write in a book nowadays that the secret to being smart is to always be in love, you would have the proverbial wrath of the feminist goddesses on your ass within moments. What is funny is that I suspect most woman secretly still believe that being in love equals happiness don't we? Not that it doesn't, because love does makes you happy, its just that we have a few more options these days to keep our complexions in line - like a good dermatologist.)

BEING IN LOVE will crowd out unhappiness, sourness and a lot of mental hazards that pull against a woman's looks. Focus your affections where they will be appreciated. Don't get all tight-lipped and wrinkle-skinned playing the martyr through living without love, thinking that you're going through a life of burdens and grief (Don't worry, be happy..dooo dooo ddoo a looda looo....seriously though this is not such a bad idea - the being in love part or not - feeling positive does make a difference on how your face looks)

ERNEST DRYDEN, the philosopher Viennese, made these observations to me on his first trip to America:
"The men of America are missing something. They are unaware of the charms of gallantry.

Therefore, their women are unimpressed with them (giggling) The American man does not know the thrill of having a woman live and dress for him (BIG giggles) The life of a woman is instinctively around the man, and she will live, dress, breathe and die for the man
(outright burst of loud laughter. Followed abruptly with the sad realization that I know a LOT of women that do just that. But they must be doing it wrong cause none seem that happy. Let's forge on to see what the secret must be then, shall we?)

When a woman leads her life around a man, it acts as a spring to both of them (OK back to giggles) Men should give woman more presents (!!!!!) - any time. Its silly to wait for special dates, like birthdays, anniversaries, etc. (Do I even need to tell you to leave the computer open where he will see that sentence? ) Attention is a stimulant" (Not even touching it)

HERE ARE THE TEN COMMANDMENTS this interesting Viennese taught me for saving the fair sex from the pitfalls of bad taste in dressing:

1. Remember good taste is noiselessness. This applies to colour, design and trim.
(She means don't wear tacky, gaudy shit)

2. Never overestimate or underestimate occasions. American woman overdress
(This is funny if you look back and see that American woman of the time seemed sooo conservative. Personally, in light of the present day tendency to wear sweat pants in public, even if with logos and at the cost of a few hundred dollars. I am all for over dressing - please do so. In fact start today America)

3. Look like today instead of tomorrow. Better to dress in the classic manner than to be 1 hour too early in a new hat. Be new in a nice way.
(This is not going to go over well with a modern girl - we are much more out there and experimental fashion wise. Though we do bash girls that are TOO early - remember Jennifer Connolly and the Balanciaga outfit? Case in point for this rule. She was later admired for it but at the time - bashed)

4. Wear only good quality
(Wear only good quality)

5. Dress for "Him"
(I knew it was coming but the modern sensibility in me still rebels against it.)

6. Avoid glittering things regardless of cost. It is indelicate and bad taste to display wealth, and retracts from "her". A man can't be held with diamonds.
(Well Alma, I hate to break it to you but this rule got SO broken starting at about 1989 that I fear it might never recover. You probably rolled in your grave at the last two Balmain collections too then - sequins, glitter and baubles are firmly "in")

7. Keep your personality.
(Keep your personality)

Dress to keep a man's attention on you

See in his eyes a feeling for you, not what you wear. If you're 40, don't be afraid to dress it.
(She is saying to dress appropriate for you and your age - no crop tops and daisy dukes mixed with Grey locks. Alma and I both beg you)

8. Own the best umbrella you can buy - preferably mannish
(Whoa how did we go from talking rules of dress to an umbrella -
did that just throw you for a loop too?)

You can tell everything there is to tell about a woman from her choice of umbrella

9. Because 99 out of 199 woman are dressed in bad taste don't buy the hat you like in the window
(Now these are rules supposedly coming from the Viennese guy remember,
I think this is just a thrown in rule to keep his wife from shopping)

10. Be in Love. Be Happy. Keep in Love and you will avoid that look of "hunting" for something. Women in love, therefore out of general circulation are much more charming.
(Well he is sort of right - have you ever watched a girl desperate to find a guy that VERY NIGHT. God, it makes me want to cross myself and leave the room - imagine the poor guys on her radar screen. In love or not - don't be a desperate stalker type of girl)

MR DRYDEN believes many woman fail to look well in good clothes because they wear a look of "hunting" which means they are not in love, but hunting instinctively for it - unconsciously. He claims the expression changes and becomes casual, contented and amazingly happy the moment a woman is in love-mentally out of circulation

(I think that Mr. DRYDEN probably had a lot of affairs with woman "in love" with other men)

End of Part One

Part Two of Lesson One tomorrow. Feel free to leave comments and discuss.

If you missed the Introduction to the book and my new project, I am tagging all these posts with the tag How To Be Sweet and Charming.

Now go forth and be Charming and Sweet today and don't forget to look happy and save your face from tight lips and wrinkles whether you are "in love" or not.

Oh and buy an umbrella why don't you?
A mannish one


Sandra Eileen said...

Sadly, I probably already carry Mannish umbrellas... I wonder why?

I prefer a nice, large, black umbrella - go figure?

JP said...

Sheesh... they really wanted to irk my inner feminist, didn't they?

Sometimes, the boy doesn't like what I wear. It adds fun to my wardrobe... so what? Ugh. :)


fabulous finds said...

i have to agree with mr dryden on many points...i like you have known those women desparately completely consumed with finding a man...

your commentary is hilarious...and then i love when you know that additional commentary is not necessary...as in #4 & #7...

i'm not off to be sweet and charming...and possibly finding my mannish umbrella...i know it is here somewhere... =)

La PETITE Blogette :) said...

great piece !!

keenonboys said...

best part of your commentary?

(She means don't wear tacky, gaudy shit)
oh god, you dont know how many people i see wearing TACKY GAUDY SHIT every single day! i almost throw up at least 4x a day.

and i believe all things should have sparkles. im sorry. lol

Birdie! said...


You are so spot on. Let's overdress for once! Alma begs you to dress appropriately! Do not act desperate!

Web Analytics