Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Dear Glamour Puss,

Rack of fabulousness at Xtabay.

Dear Glamour Puss,

I feel so drab lately. Looking in my closet puts me to sleep. Everyone around me seems to have her own style thing going on, but I feel like the proverbial field mouse in a flock of flamingos. How can I get out of this rut?

--Dowdy As All Get Out

Dear Dowdy,

Oh my. It sounds to the Puss like you need sartorial inspiration. If you feast your eyes on enough spectacular style, you’ll eventually find bits to make you own. You might discover, for instance, that it’s high time you drew on a cat’s eye or threw out your yoga pants for 1940s rayon dressing gowns.
The secret is to keep your eyes open. When you see something that makes your heart thrum, try it! You only live once, angel baby.

Here are a few of the Puss’s favorite sources of style inspiration:

·      Old movies. Thanks to old movies—especially the 1930s pre-code films—the Puss favors bias-cut nighties and doesn’t hesitate to eat bonbons while reading novels in the tub. Try playing Dinner at Eight or Roman Holiday the next time you sit down with a stack of mending or give yourself a pedicure. And the unbeatable My Man Godfrey with Carole Lombard and William Powell is in the public domain, so you can soak up all the glamorous dressing gowns and snappy one-liners you want for absolutely free online.

Feather Coat by Travis Banton in My Man Godfrey.
·      Style Blogs. The Puss favors Garance DorĂ©I Love Your Style, and Shorpy. Garance DorĂ© will keep you up to date on contemporary style, while I Love Your Style explores style icons mostly of the 20th century. Shorpy features real life photographs back to the 1860s—watch out for the outstanding hairdos and collars.

·      The Xtabay. Well, you knew I was going to say it. You might simply need to see yourself a new way. Come to the shop and try a few dresses you’d never thought you’d wear. If you normally stick to solid colors, try a bold 1960s geometric print or a demure 1940s floral print. If you gravitate toward wiggle dresses, slip on an A-line Jackie O dress and see what happens. Pin on a hat, rope your neck with beads, or go entirely without accessories. Take a risk. How does it look? How do you feel?

You, my Dowdy darling, must embrace Auntie Mame’s dictum that “Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death.” Style is heaped on one of that banquet’s largest platters. It’s time you lived large and adorned yourself like the goddess you are. Stuff all those imagination-less Banana Republic blouses and over-priced, over-sized department store handbags in the Goodwill sack and load up on figure-hugging Dupioni silk, lettuce-hemmed gowns, and a crazy mix of prints.

Rosalind Russel as the exuberant Auntie Mame.

Life, sweet cheeks, is a screwball comedy. You may as well be a star.

Kiss kiss,

Glamour Puss

(Glamour Puss sometimes goes by the name Angela Sanders and is a guest blogger for Xtabay)

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