No man has a right to expect others to display confidence in him if he has no confidence in himself. ~ Roy L. Smith
Mid-century flight attendants seemed to exude beauty and glamour. They traveled the world and met some of the most influential people in the world. Young girls wanted to grow up and be just like them.
What was their secret? Their personal grooming enabled them to have confidence in themselves.
And, as we’ve learned from studying mid-century beauty, self-confidence is the most mesmerizing thing in the world.
To boost their self-confidence, according to a 1957 Everywoman’s Family Circle, they practiced these grooming for confidence habits:
▪ Hair clean and shining
▪ A soft feminine hairstyle
▪ Skin soft and smooth
▪ Delicate flattering make-up
▪ Teeth clean and healthy
▪ Voice well-modulated
▪ Modest tasteful clothing
▪ A minimum of jewelry
▪ Hat and gloves for streetwear
▪ A well-fitted girdle
▪ Fresh lingerie daily
▪ Hemlines of becoming length
▪ Body skin fresh and clean
▪ A light, pleasing fragrance
▪ Daily use of a deodorant
▪ Armpits hair-free
▪ Hands soft and manicured
▪ Legs smooth and free of hair
▪ Feet well-groomed and well-shod
Some of the grooming taboos included:
- Ankle bracelets (When I was a girl in the 1960s, I was taught that only women of ill repute wore ankle bracelets. I no longer believe that to be true but many professional environments still include this in their dress code.)
- Platinum nail polish
- Decorated or dark heeled hosiery (Again, many professional environments still include this in their dress code)
- Shabby unpolished shoes and run over heels
- Uneven, ill-hanging hems (Keep double-sided tape in your desk for those hemline emergencies)
- Long shaggy hair, streaming pony-tail hairdos, boyish haircuts
- Heavy artificial makeup
- Loud boisturous voice
- Profane or rude language
- Unsightly unladylike position of feet and legs when sitting or standing (or as my friend says, “Not everyone needs to see your ‘good china.'”)
- Pretentious jewelry
- Sheer revealing blouses and gaudy dress of any kind
- Any form of unladylike behavior
- Use of cheap-smelling perfume
Now, not all of these reminders are still valid today. But, they are good reminders to carry yourself with confidence and others will have confidence in you. Conversely, if you aren’t feeling confident, others won’t have much confidence in you, either. So, if you’re having a less-than confident day, just pretend you are a Pan Am flight attendant and fake it until you are feeling confident again.
To Your Fabulous Technicolor Day!
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?