One of the books that ended up on that table was a small, robins egg blue book by Genevieve Antoine Dariaux titled "A Guide to Elegance: For Every Woman Who Wants to Be Well and Properly Dressed on All Occasions." It was originally published in 1964 (though the store copy was the 2003 reprint) and has chapters on hemlines, stockings, and veils. What I'm trying to (nicely) say is that it's a little bit dated. So imagine everyone's surprise when it became the most thumbed through book. Husbands and boyfriends of regular clients would make a beeline for the book as soon as they got into the store, flipping through the pages until they found where they left off. Many times we would hear a woman express her surprise at how quiet and patient her male companion was and he was almost always the one with this little book in hand. When one man was told it was time to check out, he asked if she was sure she didn't want to try anything else on. It became a joke that this was everyone's favorite book and it didn't take long for the dust jacket to get worn and a little bit ripped.
This peculiar little book captured everyone's attention, so last Mother's Day I picked up a copy for my mom. I hadn't read more than a page or two, but thought she would get a laugh out of the old-fashioned advice. It turned out that the advice in the pages of the book actually echoed--a little bit too eerily--the advice she had been given as a young woman. Some of you may also have been taught similar rules to elegance and style. So to bring this advice into the modern age, I will be doing a weekly read-along of the book on the blog. Each week (or possibly a couple times a week since there are 90ish sections to get through) I will summarize a section, write a response to her rules, and discuss whether or not they still apply. All you need to do is show up and comment! I'll be kicking it off with "Accessories" tomorrow and hope you'll stop by!