Louise Tallmer: Don't Gain Any Weight!
Clip Job: an excerpt every day from the Voice archives.
October 28, 1959, Vol. V, No. 1
By Louise Tallmer
Lots of Voice Feminines - if you don't like the name, think how I must feel - lots of voice feminines are so busy with high rents, or analyst's fees, or supporting artistic husbands, that they have very little income left to devote to their wardrobes. This column is addressed to these poor unfortunates. Some time-tested methods for saving money on clothes:
1. Stay in bed as often as possible. It probably suits your general lethargy anyway, and besides your apartment must be cold, and it does save wear and tear on clothes.
2. Get a job where clothes don't matter. Maybe something you can do in blue jeans. Become a house-painter, farmer, or auto-mechanic. Don't become a receptionist in an ad agency. If you're really clever at the game, you may even get one of those jobs you do at home, thereby combining rules 1 and 2.
3. DON'T GAIN ANY WEIGHT.
4. If you've been paying careful attention to the above, you've saved those two dresses your mother bought you your first year out of college. You are now faced with a choice. (Pay close attention - you can't afford to throw away your clothes.) Do you keep those slightly-out-of-focus clothes, or do you get rid of them? If they were really good to start with, and you've been out of school long enough, they can look interesting; with the proper attitude you can palm them off as precious finds from Third Avenue. If you've only been out of school a few years, and your mother never was too generous - forget about them. Go to parties in old jeans (throughout I am making the assumption that you own jeans; if not, what are you doing in the Village?). Wear jeans or an old sweater and skirt. It's hard, I know, when you see the others in their dresses from Lord and Taylor's fifth floor - probably your toughest moment. But you've got to pretend to be above the world of the flesh. If that doesn't suit you, you can say that you lost your trunk in Paris.
5. Become pregnant. Women have a way of giving their old maternity clothes to friends. If that's too drastic, you might find one of those awfully stylish women who gives away last year's un-maternity clothes. This whole rule is very iffy - don't put too much faith in it.
6. Cultivate the right expression. Not too hangdog - if you look terribly sad and dreary, no one will be able to stand the sight of you. You won't get invitations to parties. That may solve one problem - but it puts the solution to your general situation much farther away. Probably the best note to strike is an air of charming sadness. Sort of like Leslie Caron in her early movies. All this youth and gaiety just waiting under that delectable little surface.
...You're so used to looking shabby, nothing looks good on you any more. Besides, in a little while the stores will be having end-of-season sales. And if you've waited so long, you might as well wait just a little more - see what Paris has to say. It's too hard to make decisions. What the hell, get back into bed - it's nice and warm there. But first brush your hair and put some cold cream on your face - there may be a better tomorrow. Ah! Remember the days when you thought you'd own a white satin ball gown when you grew up?
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