Books · Retro Housewife: A Salute to the Suburban Superhero

Retro Housewife Intro. pt. 4

I split the introduction into 4 parts (each one page of the introduction. I think its necessary to read the introduction to really understand the contents of the book, and where it’s coming from.

This is Page 4 –

Lucky thing she had plenty of guidance from Nicole and the movies. To a parable sexy and chase, the proper wife and mommy needed to pay attention to the details – a dramatic sleep with the Max Factor brow pencil, certainly built shoes that happened to furnish a peek a boo open toe and 3 inch heels, strategically cut angora sweater sets, of form sitting pencil skirt in a ladylike pastel hue and of course the finishing touch: a demure handbag.

Hairstyles of all from the curls and updos of the 1940s to the pony tails, peroxide, and because of the 1950s, her closet hold corresponding supplies of crinoline and chiffon, bring him and polka dots. No sweat pants and t-shirts for her. Casual where was a pair of smart capri pants, striped blouse, and matching headband. At home however, when it was time to get down to work, her uniform was the house dress, which The Ladies Home Journal art of Homemaking suggested should be “wide enough for action, but not so why’d it will get in your way or make you trip on stairs or a ladder…”. Even so, how stress could achieve nipped-in, hourglass definition when Corralled to by a crisp apron.

Studies claim that the average woman’s waist line has increased over the past 50 years from a mere 23 inches to 32. Perhaps as wickedly constricting foundation garments of the past helped a bit in the illusion department. Most every child of the 1950s can clearly recalled moms grown from the bedroom as she slipped out of her pre-Lycra girdle. Between that, a brassiere strong enough to buoy Mount Rushmore, stockings that had to be held up with a garter belts, & a few layers of lace trim slips for extra protection, she had to get herself in and out of more daily trapping than a four-star general.

Like everything else about the retro housewife, her ability to achieve simultaneous perfection and grooming and home maintenance is best perceived through the gas filter of nostalgia. But there’s a reason that modern fashion designs return with regularity to her “look” – it’s classic just like her.

We can’t go back even (if we wanted to). But Retro Housewife can take us there (if only for a little while.

Now, dears, it’s time to come along with mother on a trip down memory lane – that is, if you finish your homework, wash your hands, and put your bike away.

Tillotson, Kristin. “Pg. 4.” Retro Housewife: A Salute to the Suburban Superwoman. Portland: Collectors, 2004. 1. Print.



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