Tag Archives: Helen Gurley Brown

Let’s All Go to the Movies

“Don’t just admire…study beautifully-gowned women”  Helen Gurley Brown, Sex & The Single Girl.

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I, too, like to relax in my lemon costume

I never leave the house in just any old thing.  For me, fashion is such an art, a way of saying “This is who I am today.”  It’s a trait I share with Olivia, the fictional pig in Oliver Falconer’s children’s books. And much of my fashion inspiration comes from beautiful women (and occasionally, men) in movies.  It’s hard not to feel glam when you’re pretending to be, say, Geena Davis.

My first outfit for this stunt week of dressing in the study and style of others is inspired by the late, very beautiful and very darling Brittany Murphy in Sin City: The Big Fat Kill.  Now, putting aside the fact that I used to refer to one of Catch’s girlfriends as “The Barmaid” (as in “The one who never shuts up,” to which he would, with equal parts affection and irritation, reply “Damn it Gail, not now”) I have always liked Shelly and alwaysImage felt a little sorry for her, even if I liked Gail more.  However, I cannot go out dressed in a series of belts and assorted pieces of fishnet, so Shelly it is.  

The cowgirl shirt my dad bought me for Christmas is my essential white shirt, just barely covering the very tiny shorts underneath.  I am also wearing a Siouxsie and the Banshees tank top (rather than just a bra) and the fedora rounds it out with a little playfulness.  If you get a fedora, ladies, make sure it is a full fedora and not one of those weaslely little short-brimmed ones from Hot Topic that guys wear to announce the world, “I am a date-rapist & Reddit misogynist”

This is a specific variation on a uniform of mine; with dark eyeliner and pale lipstick it has a certain “Up All Night With a Man” vibe to it.  If you can borrow one of his shirts, well, all the better.  And if he won’t let you borrow his shirt, well, then, why are you even with him, what a jerk!

Shelly Outfit

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Scents and Sensibility

“Into my underthings…I tuck a cotton ball scented with my favorite perfume” Arlene Dahl, Always Ask a Man (although Helen Gurley Brown recommends it too)

I approached this one with some trepidation–after all, it required me to wear a bra, which I hate doing and because I was worried about being that girl with the stink cloud of perfume, setting off allergies and smoke detectors wherever I went.  But I went ahead and doused a cotton ball with Love’s White Vanilla, crammed it into my bra, and went off smelling sweet.

And boy, did I smell sweet!  It was nice to have that little whiff of yummy just under my nose.  Especially because, in my race to get ready on time and smell lovely . . . and this is so embarrassing . . . I forgot to brush my teeth.

So it was gum and perfume all day, and I’m happy/disappointed to report that no one commented on either.  But hey, I liked smelling nice!

Slinky Thing

“When we were first dating, he said to me, “Get into something slinky black.  We’re going over to meet my friends Jackie and Ernest.”  Naturally I wanted Jackie and Ernest to like me, so I got right into something slinky and black.  Well, everybody was out by the pool in wet swimsuits and faded denims and there I was–Vampira at high noon.”  Helen Gurley Brown, Sex and the Single Girl

ImageIan and I haven’t been out to a nice dinner in awhile, and we had a few things to celebrate under the auspice of our 7 1/2 year anniversary.  I also haven’t gotten dressed up since New Years, and one the things this project has really gotten me back into is LOOKING FINE.  I was just going to wear my LBD, but one accessory lead to another, and soon I was wearing a hat, dark lipstick, a scarf and a pair of my grandma’s white gloves.  Ian was wearing shorts and a black button down.  He looked at me, lets out a sigh and went back upstairs.  I was overdressed, and it was cramping his style.

Like HGB illustrates, being overdressed next to your mate can make all parties uncomfortable.  Ian’s reasoning for not wanting to get dressed up was that it was hot and muggy, and he’d be miserable, ruining the whole evening.  And I understood that.  He apologized for groaning at my outfit, put on black pants and a black shirt, I took off the gloves and we went to Jay’s Place (our favorite) for a lovely time.  And it was air conditioned, so he was comfortable even in long pants.

Maybe we were a little overdressed for the occasion, but we didn’t care.  I like to think it added an air of mystery to us, so that other diners wondered what fancy party we’d just come from .  . .

 

Saying No To New Clothes

“Don’t buy anything you don’t adore.  Yes, this could easily mean fewer clothes!” Helen Gurley Brown, Sex and The Single Girl 

I love clothes and always have.  My first apartment had a walk-in closet, so I used to buy, alter or make clothes on a whim.  I doubt that in my freshman year of college, I ever wore the same outfit twice!  

But my tastes are in the process of changing, and that means admitting that I will never wear that long black lace Lip Service dress from Hot Topic or that pleated skirt I’ve had since 9th grade (and still fits!)  So into the garage sale pile they go, to make me a little extra cash to spend on, say, a new Betsey Johnson dress.

The other side of that is that I’m less impulsive about what I buy.  I’m now buying less on what I think I “should” have or what “might” work.  It may look good in a magazine, but I am not a paper girl!

The other day, I was at TJ Maxx and I saw this beautiful blue peplum dress.  I thought “I bet I could wear that to work,” and, even better, it was only $16 …but when I tried it on, I didn’t gasp in wonder at what was looking back at me in the mirror. 

Would it have worked?  Yes.  And I would have gotten plenty of compliments on it too.  But I didn’t adore it, which meant it had NO PLACE in my closet.  I barely have time for the clothes I wear–why waste time on ones I don’t love?*

 

*If you have tee-shirts, don’t throw them out–instead, pick up Generation-T and make them into cool skirts and housewares!

 

The Braless Wonder

“Forget” some of your lingerie.  Anything you’re not wearing out thread by thread is money in your piggy bank. . .  if you’re small but firm-busted, you don’t need a bra.”  Helen Gurley Brown, Sex and the Single Girl.

First things first.  HGB is one cheap little tart.  Pennies?  Seriously?  My favorite purple bra, which I don’t even like that much, cost me $14 at TJ Maxx and I’ve had it for over a year.

That being said, I love going braless and the thought of going back to one (even my not-as-terrible purple one!) makes me want to cry.

I could probably still fit into my first bra (which was also purple!) because my boobs have not gotten any bigger since about 7th grade, when they just sort of showed up.  I am a 36A, the flattest in my family.  I’ve never liked wearing bras; I can never find the right strap-to-cup ratio.  

I was never too bothered by my lack of boobage.  My ex bought me a big gel-padded push-up bra, which I wore because the gel part was kind of like a pillow.  But otherwise, all my bras have all sucked.  I can’t think of one where I thought to myself “Yeah, I’m glad I’m wearing this extra layer of fabric when it’s 108 degrees out!”

I like that I can wear cute halter tops without a bunch of straps hanging out.  I like that I can wear low-cut shirts without being told to cover up–what would I cover up anyways? My boney clavacle?

Plus, I’ve rediscovered the great joys of the camisole.  All silky and whisper-thin.  Lovely.  Now I just need to get a few better slips for under my dresses.

So you win this time, HGB.  Burn ALL the bras!

 

The Day The Blogs Crossed Paths

“An affair can overlap, of course” Helen Gurley Brown, Sex and the Single Girl

HGB is all about dating married men, so today, I asked my friend Eeon, (married to the awesome Bridget) to accompany me to see G.I. Joe: Retaliation.  And since Eeon does the Canned Laser podcast with Pete (one of my Most Eligible Bachelors) I decided to invite him along too . . . after all, since HGB says I can date two men at once, why not go out with them at the same time?  I’m a busy girl, after all.  Also, this way, I shielded Ian from having to sit through a movie that was almost as good as The Room.

Some quick thoughts about the movie: Walton Goggins was extra-Goggins-y, just eating scenery and loving it.  He rocked a pink oxford (Note to guys: You cannot do this.  Do not even try) and his scenes were over too soon in a really drag way.  It wasn’t as clever as his performance in Predators or as deep as his portrayal of Shane Vendrell in The Shield.  But it was amusing for a few minutes in an otherwise torturous movie devoid of soul, heart, or original dialogue.

But the company was great.  We had pizza and wings afterwards at the Depot, and they made me laugh, like they always do.

Guys, here’s the secret to getting a great girl (like Bridget).  Be funny.  And not funny in that way that you can quote Anchorman.  Be genuinely funny.  Learn to tell a joke or a good story.  That way , no matter what, you can always show a girl (even ones you’re not dating) a good time.

Even at G.I. Joe.