“The Effects of Handshakes, Hats” - Josephine Lowman’s column “Why Grow Old?” for The Montreat Gazette, November 1st, 1961
In a recent interview Joan Crawford said, “Glamour starts with a hat and a handshake. A woman should have a good, firm handshake and look people directly in the eye when introduced.”
In the opinion of this lovely star, who is now also a top business executive, men and women are not impressed by a limp boneless handshake and a vague shifting of the eyes. These mannerisms may even be irritating.
Miss Crawford continued, “One of the main ingredients of glamour or elegance is an easy poise.
A ‘dead fish’ handclasp gives away the woman who is not really sure of herself.”
As to hats – she loves them, especially large ones. In her Fifth Avenue apartment she has what could be called a small room just to house her enormous collection of magnificent hats.
Looking extremely svelte and radiant in a slim, black sheath and a great white tulle hat, Joan Crawford said, “People always ask me why I wear hats all the time. The answer is simple,” she smiled. It’s because they are intriguing, flattering, and save me from fussing with my hair all day. I enjoy wearing hats in the evening, too.
After a long day of being a rushed business woman, wearing a gay, frivolous hat to dinner changes my mood to femininity again.
All my tiredness disappears.”
Preferring to feature her hat, Miss Crawford keeps her clothes simple.
She said, “Clothes are such an important part of the impression a woman makes upon people.
It’s not the money, how expensive your clothes are or how many you have - it’s coordination.
Glamour doesn't mean that you must look like a sleek, femme fatale if that is not your type.
It means you have made the most of your best features and coordinated your dress and hat, accessories and make-up to produce the smartest effect. Don’t dress in the dark. Plan. Plan.”
I’m glad hats are staging a comeback because they are flattering, glamorous and feminine, and evening hats can dress up the simplest gown or suit.
Like so many chic women, Joan Crawford adopts current styles to her own individuality.
For instance, she likes sheaths, and although her legs are lovely, she keeps the hem-length somewhat lower than the current mode to avoid a skimpy appearance when she sits.
Most women do not know how to sit in a sheath, she says. And this results in a “pooched-out” rear of the dress.
Demonstrating the correct way, with a quick, unnoticeable motion, Miss Crawford slid her skirt up an inch or two from under her hips as she sat, so that the tension was taken off the narrowest part of it. There is quite an art to sitting any time, and especially in the narrow, short skirts today.
If you would like the leaflet, “Planning Clothes To Suit Figure & Personality,” send a stamped, self-addressed envelope with your request for leaflet No. 54. Address Josephine Lowman in care of The Gazette.