The Glamorous Midcentury Lifestyle Project

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Bank of America on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles advertisement

About a month ago, The Mister and I had one of those frank conversations while we were running errands that ended up being one of those life changing moments.  We were talking about how fragile I was this past fall and how it was a wake-up moment for both of us.  Out of this conversation, The Glamorous Midcentury Lifestyle Project was born.

What is the Glamorous Midcentury Lifestyle Project?  I’m glad you asked!

People often mistake glamour for luxury, celebrity, and wealth.  It isn’t.  Glamour is actually about timeless ideals and inspiring life-enhancing action so that we can create the life we dream about.  

I think one of the reasons our modern world views the midcentury time period as glamorous is because people were emerging from the deprivation of The Great Depression followed by the devastation of World War II.  They had already been through the worst, survived it, and knew that it was up to them to create a different kind of world for their children.  And the energy and optimism that emerged during that time period changed the world.  Now, I’m not going to look at that time period through rose-colored glasses.  There were some major problems that we’re still grappling with 50+ years later.  But there are many values and aesthetics that seem to have gotten lost in the modern world that are worth re-examining.

You’ll notice that this isn’t a “living history” project where we act as if we are actually living in the 1950s, for instance.  But, in many ways, The Mister and I have been preparing for this project for some time–just exploring the blog will tell you that I’ve been studying midcentury wisdom for a long time–and we’ve decided to be more mindful about living a glamorous life based on midcentury values and aesthetics.

If you were to ask me who my icon is for this project, I would have to say I lean more towards Della Street than any of the traditional glamour icons like Jackie, Grace, or Audrey.  I like that Della’s lifestyle seems a bit more realistic (if you don’t count the fact that her boss’ friends have a tendency to be murdered or accused of murder) as she lives her glamorous life as an independent woman (although, if she were smart, she would have run off with Paul Drake eons ago…but I digress).

As in the past with the blog, we will use books, magazines, and catalogs written during the midcentury as guideposts for this project.  I’ve discovered that I can get my hands on a treasure trove of these materials through the university library so I’m going to take full advantage of that resource!  Naturally, I will share what I’m learning from these books–and how we are incorporating the learning into our lives–with you.  Nothing about this project is set in stone.  Like the folks in the midcentury, I’m just making this up as I go along based on what I’m learning!

So, I hope you’ll join us as we venture into this project.  It should be interesting!

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Dr. Julie-Ann

I'm Dr. Julie-Ann, living life in its Technicolor finest by channeling my Grandma, Donna Reed, and June Cleaver with a bit of Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly glamour thrown in for good measure, too. I work outside of the home full-time as a university administrator but I nourish my soul and find my greatest happiness by trying to be the "perfect" 1950s homemaker.

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    Susan says

    I’m intrigued! I look forward to hearing more about this project. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and will have a great 2014.