My “BRECK GIRL” Adventure … 1958
I’ve never been a blond and I don’t think I’ve ever fit the image of the “girl next door” but I did have a “BRECK GIRL” experience in 1958. My husband (of just a few months) and I were living in New York City and we’d been invited to the wedding of the daughter of one of his clients, an Argentine diplomat.
Shelia was his only daughter and, although she was somewhat of a tomboy, I knew that she would bow to her father’s wishes and that the wedding would be a very posh affair. I mentioned to Dick that I felt like a frump and that I wished I could look like one of those fabulous Breck girls that were all the rage then.
I had very long hair at that point and I would usually just pull it back in a sort of ponytail and let it fall down my back. One day, as I was looking in the mirror and trying to make up my mind how to style my hair for the wedding, I spied Dick coming through the door. He had a big grin on his face and an envelope in his hand.
“A gift for my bride”, he said and I couldn’t wait to see what it was. “Oh, my gosh,” I cried as I realized that it was a certificate for a ½ day at the Breck Salon on Fifth Avenue. This was a completely new experience for me. I even had to call one of my wealthier friends for her advice on who to tip and how much !
I made the appointment for just one day before the wedding and when I got there I told them to do whatever they wanted. This was my first experience to get a complete head-to-toe work-over and when I was finished I hardly dared to move. All 20 of my nails were shining with pink polish, my cheeks and my lips were glossy and my HAIR … I couldn’t believe what they had done.
Since I was not a blond and did not have the “all American girl” look they decided to concentrate on my long hair. They clipped just a small amount off the ends and the rest they fashioned in a combination beehive and bouffant style. You can see the results in the picture above…taken with Sheila.
I felt extremely elegant and could hardly wait to get home to show Dick. I will say, in his defense, that he tried very hard not to laugh. He told me that he was glad that I was happy with the results and that he hoped it would stay that way until after the wedding. This proved to be easier said than done. I wrapped my head in a scarf that night and slept (or tried to sleep) with a small pillow under my neck so that I wouldn’t flatten the new “do”.
I was a tired, but fashionable, spectator the next day at the wedding. Shelia was a lovely bride and the whole affair was just as elegant as I had expected. I held my head high (did I have a choice?) and I did make it through the festivities which included dancing and a formal dinner.
Finally, Dick and I said our goodbyes and as soon as we reached the street it started to pour. Down came the rain and down came my beehive ! Dick laughed and said, “welcome back” as I shook my hair loose. We followed this with our own corny version of Gene Kelly’s “Singing in the Rain”. A perfect ending for a perfect day !