17 May 2010

Looking The Part of the 50s Housewife

The 1950s housewife had a fairly iconic look – the perfectly coiffed soft perm, sharp make-up and a lovely dress that accentuated a nipped-in waist.

I’ll be going for the spirit of that in the 50s Housewife Experiment, if not the authentic costume. I won’t put chemicals in my hair but I will “do” my hair each day (which, sadly, isn’t the current norm). I don’t own dresses in the 50s style or petticoats, so I’ll sub in contemporary versions.

The beauty regiment of the 50s housewife starts right away. Here’s some advice she received:

I like how the advice above considered whether I had a "maidless kitchen." How thoughtful.

After getting her husband off to work, she then did a 10-minute morning exercise routine:

(Basically, a bunch of bending while wearing a bra, underwear and one of those hair handkerchiefs popularized by Rosie the Riveter and Aunt Jemima.)

She then showered, washed her face, and did her hair and make-up. She went about her day, all the while aware of her appearance. Here are some basic tips for staying 24-7 glamorous:

In addition to the daily maintenance, she had a beauty schedule for maintaining her look. Here’s a suggestion from Today’s Woman Magazine (1952):

I’m a little stumped on the washing of one’s hair just once a week (and scandalized that they mention that someone might not need to wash it that often). I’m not sure if I can handle that. Let me put it this way: You know that scene in the Breakfast Club in which Ally Sheedy’s character created a gentle dandruff “snow fall” on her drawing by shaking her hands through her hair? I’m guessing after just four days of Denorex-free living, I would create such a snow storm that Toronto would be inclined to call the military in again.

Anyhoo – apparently it was quite normal for women of the time to go to the hairdresser each week and have their hair shampooed and styled there – which seems like both underkill and overkill at the same time.

We shall see.

Image Sources: The Bride's Reference Book; Today's Woman, November 1952.


paiiige 10:24 am, May 18, 2010  

re: hair washing... have you tried dry shampoo? i've become a recent convert and where i once could barely last 24 hours without turning into a greasy, flat-haired mess, it actually gives my hair more volume and i'm able to go four days between washes!

i'm pretty sure it was betty draper's secret. maybe.

(anyway, the best brand is Batisse and you can get it at Shoppers for 8.99 a bottle)

Jen 3:25 pm, May 19, 2010  

Oooh - thank you Paige! I will definitely check that out!

mama 1:06 am, March 19, 2011  

Not shampooing is actually healthier. The natural oils on your scalp where not meant to be stripped constantly- this could be the cause of your danduff. Check out the no-poo routine- you cleanse with conditioner and water. It's awesome!

Andrea 12:32 pm, January 04, 2012  

I have curly hair and only wash once a week....my hair is naturally dry and to wash more often is a curly girls NO NO. It's mostly in a ponytail anyway...I often put olive oil in it as well

Sarena Watts 8:52 pm, February 20, 2012  

So I have really long hair and I do use dry shampoo also but after 1 day, even with the dry shampoo, it had to go up. I want to do this living like a housewife thing so I am thinking maybe I will do nice updos. My hair is definitely longer than they usually wore it in the 50s.

My husband's mom told me that she remembered her mom in the 50s going to the beauty shop once a week and she did not wash it in between. I wish we still used the same hair styles so I could get away with it. At 28 I may look silly with a coiffed hair. Any suggesting for maintaining perfect hair while cleaning?

Anonymous,  5:07 pm, February 23, 2012  

I pretty much only do 50s/60s style, and travelled overseas recently and tried this with success (I have oily, a little past shoulder length dead straight hair and wash it everyday normally) - wash at night and mousse. Sleep in soft curlers, next morning, beautiful 50s style., spray in place. Next day, use dry shampoo on roots, style and spray into place neatly. Next day, wear in chignon, or some sort of up do - 3 days without washing, I never thought I could ever do that. Scalp itched, but photos show it looked good!
There seems to have been a revival in dry shampoo at the moment (Batiste, etc) it's good, but bad for landfill!
I also wore my stiletto pumps everyday, and had my flats in my tote bag in case. Modish!

Sarena Watts 7:43 pm, February 23, 2012  

Thank you. I am thinking that I may be cutting my hair so I can survive housework and look decent. My hair is about at my waist. The texture is wavy if I let it air dry but very straight with a brush and hairdryer. I love my long hair but the truth is...it is up 90% of the time because it is in my way..so sometimes it feels like a waste of time to work on because it will be going up. And once it is up, it cant come down without washing because I get terrible dents. You should e-mail me sarenawatts@yahoo.com and maybe you could share some pics with me. I need all the help I can get. I want to look polished and ready to go out while scrubbing my tubs!

Kate,  8:45 am, July 24, 2012  

My favourite is the part in Secrets of the Beauteous Bride about greeting her husband with joy even if she burns the pot roast, and the next sentence being "she never burns the pot roast" cause it needs to look glamourous too! Hahaha! I've just started reading about your 1950s experiment. I'm looking forward to the rest of it. :)

Joanne 12:55 pm, December 27, 2014  

Most women failed at these '50s suggestions in magazines much as they do today. My mom was a 60s mom and she and her friends sat around all a.m. or afternoon smoking and drinking coffee or watching t.v. Cleaning and shopping were weekend chores for all of them. And none worked.

iownfrodo 12:32 am, January 12, 2015  

I remember my mother having a beehive, and that going to the beauty shop on Saturday mornings was a great treat for her, she loved it. She did all the things you listed, but I know her exercise was longer than 10 minutes. LOL Her measurements were 36-24-36 and our house was spotless. Betty Crocker was the cookbook at our house. She taught us how to cook, but setting the table was one of our chores, including napkins and knives every meal. I wish I would have continued that with my son. When I got divorced, all of that went out the window. We were recently discussing this. Anyway, I did a lot of things right, so I'm not dwelling on that. I can, however, live with more ceremony now. :) By the way, I cut my hair washing down to twice a week and my hair, which had been thinning, is growing in, and it is growing faster! I have 2 inch long hairs sticking up on my scalp. LOL. I've only been doing this two months. And my hair did adjust. It now looks after three or four days like it used to look in one day.

Tiana,  4:48 pm, January 17, 2016  

I second the comment about your hair adjusting to less frequent shampooing. I've had periods where I washed it everyday, every other day & am down to about twice a week at this point in my life. Here's a tip I recently discovered: Some of you mentioned starting with your hair down & putting it up as it starts to get oily/itchy. I used to do that as well. After having children though, I discovered that if I put it up right after it dries & just keep it back each day, it goes up easier each day (even though I don't use products) & it doesn't get greasy looking as quickly. Keeping it up extends it another day or two! I think it's because when my hair is down, I touch it more...tucking it behind my ears, fixing my part, playing with it in general, etc. I didn't realize how much oil/lotion/etc...was actually transferred from my hands, rather than created by my scalp. Also, as for women going a week between appointments back then, I can see why that worked. I've worked as an extra on tv shows set in the 50's & had my hair done by the set stylists to match the period. My hair looked amazing but felt like a helmet. After the first few times, I learned not to try washing it right away. It was much easier to just wait a while. I liked waiting until the 3rd day when the style finally loosened up. Then I'd shampoo. A few times. I could have easily touched it up each day & made it last a week until my next 'hair salon appointment' ;-) Loving the 50's posts, btw!

MKSaxy 4:42 am, October 15, 2016  

I also only wash once a week... it is "impossible" to create any 50's hair styles with just washed hair... my hair gets so many fly aways if I try to use my just washed hair that I have to hair spry the heck out of it! 3rd or 4th day hair styes the best ;) After a month or 2 of the no-poo or once a week shampoo, your natural hair oils redistribute and get used to the routine and it isn't so oily as you might imagine

Sharid57 7:07 am, August 09, 2017  

Pity those last two most recent comments before mine (2017) are turning this post into a "Spam Farm." Consider removing them?
Have enjoyed reading the posts and the (legitimate) comments. How's it going now?

jeje 3:33 am, August 24, 2018  

Les grands asics gel lyte 3 homme bleu marine joueurs ont remarqué et ne tirent pas de coups non plus. La génétique est-elle [url=http://www.williamleday.fr/asics-gel-lyte-3-homme-solde]asics gel lyte 3 homme solde[/url] importante? Pour ma part, dans le cadre de l'exploration air jordan 31 que j'ai accomplie et d'une expertise particulière, c'est un minuscule [url=http://www.coffret-parfum.fr/acheter-chaussures-nike-tn]acheter chaussures nike tn[/url] des deux. L'économie difficile s'est révélée difficile pour de nombreuses soldes adidas a troyes entreprises Stockport, et même des entreprises à travers le Grand [url=http://www.zigzagproduction.fr/nike-pas-cher-chine-paypal]nike pas cher chine paypal[/url] Manchester.

jeje 3:34 am, August 24, 2018  

À mon avis, new balance noir homme pas cher ce sont quelques-uns des meilleurs briquets à cigares là-bas pour votre argent air jordan 1 mid bleu durement gagné. Célébrités telles que Def basket nike air max 95 enfant Jam Recordings? Président, Pharell Williams du hip hop productions cortez nike bleu marine et les Neptunes, Fall Out Boy et le air jordan 1 mid champs rap-artiste Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy et le Clipse, chanteur R asics gel cumulus pas cher & B J. Certains dunks Nike sont adidas zx flux noir et rose pas cher très légers aussi! Rock les rues en utilisant ces chaussures uniques.

Maya Bansal 10:50 am, May 09, 2020  
This comment has been removed by the author.
holdpuris 2:46 pm, November 03, 2021  

If you are looking for an individual stockbroker then HOLDPURIS provides a Demat Account and other trading services with an individual stockbroker all over India We are providing our services in Indian Stock Market for the last 10 years. 24 hours trading support will be provided in the Demat account or other facilities

Urmi Shghal 3:05 am, January 23, 2022  

My marriage crashed about two years in the past and I tried all I may want to inside my powers to restoration it however to no avail. I noticed distinct posts and stories about the precise matters Dr. Larry has been doing so I determined to provide it a try. Though he is continually a busy man, when he replied again to my email, he gave me forty eight hours for my marriage to be restored, and simply like he stated my marriage was once restored, given that then I am completely happy and I am dwelling fortunately in my marriage.

Visit Our Service Link:-
Sexy Girls
Spa Girls
Independent Dating Girl
High Class Adult Service

SURGASLOT777 6:02 am, May 28, 2022  

SURGASLOT777 | Situs judi slot online Terpercaya | Live casino Terpercaya
SURGASLOT777 adalah agen situs judi slot online terpercaya di Indonesia yang
menyediakan judi online terlengkap dan daftar slot gacor mudah menang online 24jam terbaru di 2022
slot, slot gacor, slot online, judi online, situs judi slot online, judi slot, slot online terpercaya

Ashish-Life-Science 4:39 am, June 20, 2022  

Great blog. I really like this

At Ashish Life Science Pvt Limited (ALS) poultry drugs distributors in ethiopia, we believe in creating values in the human-animal ecosystem. Our range of cutting-edge Veterinary products, World-class manufacturing infrastructure and relationship driven approach are the testimony to this belief. Built on this belief, we have grown manyfold since the beginning as a Veterinary pharmaceutical manufacturing company in the year 2002.

Poultry drugs distributors in Ethiopia

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

Blog Archive

I have no shame

Need words? I'm a Toronto-based freelance writer who injects great ones into blogs, websites, magazines, ads and more. So many services, one lovely Jen (with one 'n').

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP  

Real Time Web Analytics