Who is Miss Abigail?

Abigail Grotke
Silver Spring, MD
email: missabigail at missabigail dot com
twitter: @DearMissAbigail

Find me on…

Get the feed

About

Miss Abigail has a collection of over 1,000 classic advice books, spanning from 1822 to 1978 and covering a variety of topics, from love and romance to etiquette and charm. The collection sparked the idea for this site, then a book, Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating, and Marriage, which has inspired an off-broadway production of the same name!

Archives

Archive for March, 2012

Glove Personalities (1961)

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

One of my more popular posts on this site has been one I did many years ago on glove etiquette. I recently (re)found in my piles of smaller thinner books the pamphlet that this came from, and thought it would be fun to share another excerpt. Gloves: Fashion & Etiquette was published in 1961 by the Hansen Glove Corporation.

I can just imagine the personalities of some of the gloves that they manufactured!

"…sometimes it’s the way a glove falls into folds that says ‘elegance’

…sometimes the very opposite creates the effect ~ a short snappy jauntiness like the flip of the wrist

…sometimes it’s what a glove is made of that suggests its role: narrow-wale corduroy to point up fashionable tweeds or country-life leathers; doeskin in pale colours with the look of thick Devonshire cream for pure luxury; jersey for a sophisticated teaming with coats or suits with bracelet sleeves; string gloves in colours or combined with leather for a made-to-order air; a polka-dot cotton for a smart young thing; a hand-embroadered floral, frankly feminine

…it may be the season of the year or the time of day that is immediately associated with the picture of the glove you were wearing on that very important occasion

…and because gloves do have personalities of their own, many women make a certain kind of glove a fashion signature … a fashion editor who keeps several pairs of pale chamois gloves in her desk drawer so that she always seems to be wearing a fresh pair … the best-dressed woman who wears nothing but white kid … the collector of handsome accessories whose glove plan spotlights fabric gloves because they offer such a variety of textures, colors, patterns "

Deciding on a Color Scheme (1956)

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

We’re about to embark on a bathroom renovation on Monday, so we’ve (well, let me clarify  ~  I’ve  ~  the hubby is tolerating all of this with good nature) have been obsessing about large tubs and tiles and fixtures for quite some time.

I should be cleaning out the old bathroom right now, but instead decided to dig through the books to see if there was any advice that could help me as they start to tear up our bathroom. Didn’t immediately find anything on dealing with the chaos of construction, but I did enjoy this about selecting paint colors from a great book I received from my family at Christmas. The book is called The Complete Book of Absolutely Perfect Housekeeping: An Uproarious Guide for Disorganized Housewives (with Neat Solutions to Sloppy Problems), published in 1956 by Elinor Goulding Smith. Since our house is already filled with a crazy color scheme (selected mostly by yours truly), I really enjoyed the following:

"The very first thing [when decorating your home] is to decide on your color scheme. Now is the time to fling off the yolk of convention, and let yourself go. There is no color scheme that isn’t right if you like it. It would be too bad to finish the whole job and then find that it was really very ordinary, so don’t be afraid to take chances. What you want is something different. something that will make your friends talk. Try doing a room in black and purple, with perhaps puce accent just for laughs. Then invite your friends in for an evening of Russian roulette.

Remember that color, and color alone, will give your home its individual character, and an exciting choice of colors that suit your own personality can give your living room an air of distinguished sophistication and good taste that will endure even after it’s all dingy and shabby again, which will be soon. Very soon. Probably, with a little extra effort on the part of stray children, cats and other extraneous matter that drift into your home, day after tomorrow.

If you follow accurately the following few simple rules, you should have really striking results. So pay close attention, follow the easy steps, and go ahead with confidence:

I. Choose your favorite color and then immediately eliminate that as a possibility. If you go spreading your favorite color all over your walls, you’re going to get awfully sick of it. Choose one you’re not really crazy about, and you’ll find you’re far less likely to tire of it. This is your basic color.

II. Now, for the proper accent, choose carefully a color that is much darker or much lighter than the first, and of a different hue and intensity. Should it happen, by some horrid mischance, that at any time you select Cream, Oatmeal, or Tan, discard them immediately as possibilities. The reason for this is extremely technical, and without professional training you probably wouldn’t understand the reason which is that I can’t stand the sight of them.

III. For the next two colors, to be used in small areas for that exhilarating touch of spice, you can safely let yourself go, even to the wildest flights of lime, avocado, or persimmon. Watermelon and raspberry are nice, too, if in season and thoroughly ripe.

This is now your personal color scheme selected by you, to suit your personality. Only you will have this highly individual color combination, chosen to enhance your complexion, hair-coloring, and your favorite nail polish."