Sunday, January 07, 2007

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 !

10 Comments:

Anonymous Terri said...

I'll say it again...you can take the most mundane experiences and turn them into classic reading. Really enjoyed this post.
Love the stunning do... but bet you felt great to step back into your authentic self. Being glamourous is nice...for awhile...lol
As soon as I saw your Breck photo, I could instantly smell that wonderful fragrance. I loved that shampoo! Wonder why they took it off the market?

6:51 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Yiz looks priddy durn sophistimicated.

7:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How I remember the Breck craze! And, of course, the infamous B-hive. I always thought it a strange concept for hair but must say, you looked great. Must be the pretty face under the hair that carried it off so well.
You are a wonderful story teller, Ginnie, I smiled through the entire narative.

8:34 AM  
Blogger Cazzie!!! said...

I just love this story and the acompanying picture too. I have had my hair and make up done b4 but only twice ever. My wedding and my debutante. Both times included a trial do for my hair, which I tried to keep in both times.
Like you, I was one tired person the next day,lol.
Such a cute love story, true beuty can be seen even without pampering. Just like a kid that is soo muddy from playing outside yet they look so cute once they fall asleep so grubby :)
I always enjoy your posts Ginny :)

2:39 PM  
Anonymous John said...

You look very 'regal' in that photo. In fact I can see a resemlance to Princess Alexandra of Kent. Blimey ! I hope that you are not related to that mob.

7:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful story. I can imagine you and your husband "singing in the rain". Thank you for weaving such a lovely tale.

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ginnie,
I've been knocked out of the blogosphere by soaked phone lines on our land. I've missed reading you.

I remember Breck commercials from TV. Since I'm not a blond either, I always felt alienated.

You have natural beauty, I guess they call it "presence" or something. The B&W photo is stunning. Anyway, I can just see you stepping back into your real world as your stepped into the rain.

2:41 PM  
Anonymous suzie q said...

Hi Ginnie :) Just catching up with you and I love this post! You look stunning in that lovely photo, and must have turned more than a few heads! ;)
I love the thought of you & your hubby 'singing in the rain'! It's always a relief to relax after a formal occasion, I think, and that's a lovely image of the two of you getting soaked and not caring!
Thanks for the smiles :)
Suze x

2:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good human story

1:30 PM  
Anonymous Claude said...

I love hair stories. As Terri said, you're telling this one particularly well! Breck or not, they wouldn't have been able to make you as beautiful if you hadn't been so!
What a great photo of you!

11:23 PM  

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