Apparently, a sixteen-year-old girl had walked into the Powers Agency looking like Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Mr. Powers took one look at her and told her to go home and wash her face and put on a simple blouse and skirt. When she came back, the transformation was miraculous and they signed her on the spot as one of their leading teen models.
Mr. Powers continues that “the results [are] just as funny as when a middle-aged woman tries to look and dress like a teenager. The secret of your charm lies in looking and acting your age–and making that age the most attractive one possible at the moment.
Now, I’ll admit that this was easier to do in the mid-century when this book was written. The cult of youth hadn’t completely taken over yet and it was still possible to find clothes for grown-ups…and they weren’t all matronly or frumpy! I think this is one of the reasons so many of us love vintage clothes. We don’t have to wade through all of the vixen-singer-wannabe clothes on the sale rack at Major Department Store. I am constantly encouraging my young fashion department classmates to create a “bread and butter” line of clothing for grown up women. I keep telling them that they will become millionaires selling to women like me who want to dress fashionably but also age-appropriately.
Living in Los Angeles, I see women doing all sorts of absurd things to their bodies in an effort to stop the clock. They also try to dress as if they were 16 years old. In an effort to look beautiful, they end up looking silly, at the very least, but like outright freaks in its worst form.
Mr. Powers reiterates time and time again that beauty, charm and poise are not the domain of the young. Anyone at any age can radiate that joie de vivre that draws people to us and makes us memorable.
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