Do you find yourself looking back in time and appreciating the style, graciousness, feminity, and qualities of women from past generations?  If that is you, I hope you’ll find yourself at home while immersing yourself in the carefully curated advice that is timeless and used to be taught in schools as well as other places where women gathered to mentor young ladies in the feminine arts and how to create loving and welcoming homes.  

Whether you are here because you are just starting out on this thing called “adulting,” are trying to juggle multiple responsibilities, or because you looked in the mirror one day and wondered who it was looking back at you and need a “refresher course” as you reclaim the woman you want to be, my desire is to inspire you on your journey as a gracious, elegant, classy, self-sufficient, and well-rounded woman.

Charm School

Charm is often described as the ability to make others feel like they are the most important person in the world to you. In the mid-20th-century, charm schools taught women social graces and poise. While often associated with the upper crust, many working and middle-class department stores, including Sears, offered charm courses. In modern times, these lessons help develop the confidence you need to be successful at home, in your career, socially…basically anytime you interact with others.

1950s Charm School: How to Have Elegant Posture

1950s Charm School: How to Have Elegant Posture

The first step toward elegant posture is good body alignment. I've seen many a girl with a beautiful face and ...
What the...?? Why Digital Age Language Etiquette Matters

What the…?? Why Digital Age Language Etiquette Matters

Is it just me? Or does it seem like language in the digital age has become rather crude? Even some ...
How to Influence Others Using Charm

How to Influence Others Using Charm

"Our influence is in direct proportion to our charm." - Margery Wilson, Charm, 1928 Updated and expanded, February 2023 Dear ...
1950s Charm School: Model Posture For Health and Beauty

1950s Charm School: Model Posture For Health and Beauty

Posture can make or break a beauty. ~ John Robert Powers, Secrets of Poise, Personality, and Model Beauty Dear Kindred ...
Are you guilty of violating social taboos? The fastest way to destroy people's gracious and elegant image of you is by oversharing details of your life. In this age of social media, stand out as a lady by keeping certain information private. ModernRetroWoman.com

Are You Guilty of Violating Social Taboos?

Well bred men and women are oriented from early childhood about certain things that are better left unsaid. --Luella Cuming, ...
Are You Suffering from Lousy Lazy Language?

Are You Suffering from Lousy Lazy Language?

Dear Dr. Julie-Ann, Do you think social media, tv shows, movies, and music have destroyed language? Just when I think ...

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Technicolor Life

In motion pictures’ early days, life on the screen was lived in black and white. Then Technicolor burst onto the screen and suddenly everything was vibrant and full of life. Posts in this section focus on helping you live a vibrant life.

Are you stuck? 22 ways to get motivated.

Are You Stuck? 24 Ways to Get Motivated

Do you ever get stuck and can't seem to get motivated to do what you want or need to do? ...
A woman sitting in a car with the words why settle for mediocrity?

Why Settle for Mediocrity When You Can Savor the Sublime?

Why settle for mediocrity when you can savor the sublime? ~Dr. Julie-Ann I’ve been thinking about mediocrity a lot lately ...
How to Let Go of the Need to Be Right

How to Let Go of the Need to Be Right

Some people are so constituted that they would rather lose a friend than an argument. Be yourself, simple, honest and ...
Ideal 1950s Homemaker is Gracious and Thoughtful ModernRetroWoman.com

The Ideal 1950s Homemaker is Gracious and Thoughtful

An ideal homemaker is lovely to look at and lovely to be around...She is gracious and thoughtful and is consequently ...
When Faced with Challenges, Defy Your Difficulties ModernRetroWoman.com

When Faced with Challenges, Defy Your Difficulties

Why don't you turn the table on your troubles? They have been challenging you, threatening you with defeat. Why not ...
How to Stay Calm and Cheerful ModernRetroWoman.com

How to Stay Calm and Cheerful

The thought that you must carry all of the time, like a big sign hanging over the stage of your ...

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Home Ec 101

In the 20th century, home economics courses taught high school and college students how to be effective home managers. Although often mocked for the ubiquitous gelatin salads and English muffin pizzas, the focus was on nutrition and meal planning, human development and relationships, sewing, design, finance and being an informed consumer, home maintenance, and gardening.

A female dress form with detailed seam lines made using a Bootstrap Fashion pattern is positioned against a beige wall. The image border features a colorful retro pattern, perfect for those looking to craft their own DIY dress form. Additional text on the bottom right reads "ModernRetroWoman.com".

I Made a DIY Dress Form Using Bootstrap Fashion’s Pattern

Growing up in the 1960s, I was fascinated by a lifesize chain link object in my great-grandmother's bedroom: a My ...
Photo of Dr. Julie-Ann modeling the 1940s-style apron that she made for the How to Sew a 1940s-style Apron tutorial.

How to Sew a 1940s Style Apron | Retro DIY Tutorial

Video Notes: Are you tired of constantly ruining your clothes while cooking or cleaning around the house? Do you want ...
Woman holding a miniature pattern and measuring tape

Fearlessly Draft Your Own Patterns {What the Pattern Companies Don’t Want You to Know}

You can find more video tutorials on our Youtube Channel Video Notes: Have you ever tried to sew a garment ...
Why You Should Plan Meals Like a 1940s Homemaker

Why You Should Plan Meals Like a 1940s Homemaker

All kinds of food are good, it is the way you put them together into meals that makes the difference ...
Best Instant Pot Chili con Wiener Recipe {Easy Updated Vintage Recipe}

Best Instant Pot Chili con Wiener Recipe {Easy Updated Vintage Recipe}

Dear Friends, When I was a teenager and began cooking meals for my family, I would make chili using the ...
Are you looking for a vintage Christmas Jell-O salad recipe? Perhaps with a layer of yummy cream cheese? You'll love this easy to make family favorite!

Grandma’s Cream Cheese Jell-O Salad {Vintage Family Recipe}

Dear Dr. Julie-Ann Now that my parents have FINALLY downsized and moved to a retirement community, I FINALLY get to ...

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Vintage Just for Fun

Sometimes it’s just fun to explore mid-century ephemera. Posts in this section include short-short stories inspired by illustrations, commercials, movies, advertisements, and magazines.

Women at Quilty Bee image for Circles Short Story Jan Cooper ModernRetroWoman.com

Circles {Short Story}

Mom dragged me to the church basement. I was not happy. It was Wednesday night, and I hadn’t been back ...
The Picnic {Short Short Story}

The Picnic {Short Short Story}

“Here, put this in the basket.” Judith directed the children like a sergeant on D-Day. A flurry of activity centered ...
One_Giant_Leap_Short_Story_by_Jan_Cooper_ModernRetroWomancom

One Giant Leap

Ten, Nine, Eight… Colonel Thomas “Mac” McKinnly, watched the rocket engines ignite. His hands clenched behind his straight back, expression ...
Your Beauty Zone Vintage Commercial ModernRetroWoman.com

Your Beauty Zone {Vintage Commercial}

For your enjoyment, I offer The Story of a Star, a short film from 1956 showcasing Algilon nylon stockings (developed ...
Best Friends Forever {Short Short Story}

Best Friends Forever {Short Short Story}

“Do you want another beer?” The bottles clanked as Bill pulled them out of the refrigerator. Emma was surprised to ...
Red White and Blue Memories Jan Cooper Short Story ModernRetroWoman.com

Red, White, and Blue Memories

It was the sweater. Red, white and blue, mimicking the American flag. I could practically hear John Philip Sousa’s “Stars ...

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Get the Five Days to a 1950s-style Gracious & Elegant Life Mini-course

Subscribe (free!) to my newsletter with tips and updates PLUS get my (free!) Five Days to a 1950s-style Gracious and Elegant Life mini-course. Once subscribed, I will send you a newsletter with midcentury lessons for subscribers only. You also get access to a private Facebook group for subscribers only. How great is that?

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