If you’d like to be a success in business, start working!

If you’d like to be a success as a housewife, start cooking!

If you’d like to be a social success, start smiling!

If you’d like to get married, start looking!

I am sitting down with Miss Head’s reissued manual after a long morning (it is only 8 am) of cooking breakfast, gardening, cleaning, conference calling, laundry and assorted cat wrangling.  It is delightful and charming to read her advice, even though I seem to be in direct violation of the bulk of it. I am in a simple jersey dress that will take me from home, to the office, to the market, and to dinner (hopefully) without a single judgmental glance (and I haven’t stocked my handbag with gloves or pearls).

Her advice for a bygone era is captivating, often relevant, and inspiring.

I love the illustration below from page 145 – and the quote to go with it from the opposite page: “No one knows better than a studio designer how important underthings are in changing a woman’s appearance.”  As a girl who likes to collect pretty “underthings,” I couldn’t agree more.

Don’t miss the “Color Aura Chart” starting on page 123 and the “Successories” from page 133.

Lipstick and perfume before breakfast? Tomorrow- just maybe.

How To Dress for Success by Edith Head with Joe Hyams – Originally published in 1967 and reissued by Abrams in 2011, including  illustrations by Edith Head.


22 comments on “EDITH HEAD REISSUED

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  1. Harper

    Edith was right about the underwear, The Success of your Dress depends on your Undergarments!
    I’m a fan of perfume before bed, myself :)

  2. Monica

    Although I do not wear it every day, I’ve found that wearing perfume a/o lipstick not only improves my mood and makes me happier and ready to face the day, but I makes those around me perk up as well! Those little things really make a woman glow!

  3. Amy Greer Cruce

    Pearls are my saving grace…on the soccer field, at the grocery store, weddings, funerals…t-shirts or linen. I left them on a friend’s dresser in Bham once and she hadn’t mailed them back by the weekend. I finally called and told her, “I’m going to have to buy makeup if you don’t hurry up and get my pearls home 😉 “

  4. Carla Prael

    Stories of Edith Head and her wonderful designs always make me happy. She added such interest and style to the movie industry. I travel a lot for work and rely on linen clothing. It flows well, is lightweight, does not scorch under international irons, packs well, and can be worn more than once before a good sink washing. A blemish stick, one lipstick, an eyeliner, a pair of silver hoop earrings, and a handful of scarves accessorize any outfit when necessary.

  5. katie

    i don’t know that this is necessarily a beauty trick, but my number one practice for not looking and acting like a lunatic is to get up before my children. coffee, reading, writing, and Quiet make be more graceful the rest of the day.

  6. Lynne

    Always where a smile, smirk or grin… it makes others wonder whats within! Of course the proper shade of lipstick is always a picker upper :)

  7. Eleanor

    My new trick for dressing with pizazz, or getting out of a wardrobe rut: build an outfit around an accessory (bracelet, shoes, earrings – whatever!) Planning an outfit in reverse helps me recategorize individual pieces and use them in new ways.

  8. Melissa

    As an historic costumer I know the importance of well fitting and period appropriate undergarments. There’s nothing like a tightly laced stay to change your posture and deportment. They also make me really appreciate the ease of wearing modern clothing. I also love wearing one really unique or spectacular piece of art jewelry to make an outfit special.

    1. Sloane

      Keep a strict amount of closet space, which forces you to shop thoughtfully, and get rid of items that you no longer wear. Result: a closet full of only things you love, making getting dressed a simple affair.

  9. Rose

    I’ll have to agree with the underwear and perfume bit. As a homeschooling mom, I need to feel “put together” even if I’m not leaving the house. Keeps me from becoming a total slob. Also, take the time to iron if needed. Nothing worse than looking like you slept in your clothes. (Which us Mamas can attest to, happens quite a lot.)

  10. Emily

    When it’s hot I wear light summer dresses. Not only does my husband love them, but they make me feel feminine, even when I am doing mundane housework.

  11. Heather

    This looks like fun! I’m like you- one dress lasts all day, but the illustrations look so interesting and I think it would make me smile!

  12. Michelle Shopped

    couldn’t agree more considering we’ve been selling them online for a number of years ;), a couple of my favorites being grenier and silhouette! now back to catching up on your most recent posts…