September 11, 2011

Why Don’t You…

… wear violet velvet mittens with everything? 
… have an elk-hide trunk for the back of your car? Hermès of Paris will make this.
… paint a map of the world on all four walls of your boys’ nursery so they won’t grow up with a provincial point of view?
bazaar years… cover a big cork bulletin board in bright pink felt, banded with bamboo, and pin with colored thumb-tacks all your various enthusiasms as your life varies from week to week?

All of these are suggestions from the great Diane Vreeland, in her column in Harper’s Bazaar, where she served as the fashion editor from 1936 to 1962. bazaar years6I was amazed to find this fabulous little book at Book Thing this afternoon. I had almost forgotten to go there, and made a detour when I remembered. After about a half an hour of wandering around BT, I was lamenting not really finding anything good, and then I went over to the cookbook section, and saw this misplaced little tome. bazaar years2While some of the suggestions are quite outlandish (see Hermès trunk), others are quite practical, such as the bulletin board. I have a bulletin board over my desk in the kitchen and it’s the best piece!

bazaar years5 Here’s a good one… why don’t you give me a case of Vin Rosé? Even though it’s the end of summer, there are still many lovely warm evenings left!bazaar years4 I love that even almost 50 years later, magazines, like this issue of Harper’s UK, are still asking Why Don’t You…?


  1. And all this time I've been wondering what to do with my old ermine coat, duh!

    Loved this post! Some were really good. What a great find, thanks for sharing. Now, I'm off to take a bath and put on my mean bathrobe.

  2. Oddly I remember some of these by heart:

    Why don't you wash your children's hair in flat champagne as the French do.

    Why don't you buy bright yellow collars and leashes for your dogs.

    Why don't you dress your child as an Infanta for a fancy-dress party

    Listen...I was an odd child. I wanted my hair washed in champagne! I wanted to be dressed like an Infanta.

  3. If only Champagne had the opportunity to go flat in my house.

    Since I discovered Pinterest I have no need for physical pin boards :-)

  4. I should like to have the platinum box. All of the diamonds rubies and sapphires are really too many but a smattering would be fine. I won't be knitting a skullcap but perhaps I need another bulletin board.

  5. Loved this post. And my takeaway from it was why don't you be yourself; be different; be unique!

  6. Great post! Now this is the way to start my week--I wonder what is on the horizon? Mary

  7. I'm getting some serious Auntie Mame vibes from that gloved hand on the dust jacket.

  8. While not 100% spot-on, the lady did have Style, I must say.

  9. Thanks for sharing this informational article. I really loved this.

  10. I just adore "Why Don't You..." It was over the top in the 1930's and remains so today.

  11. The last one about the favorite bandleader's wife and the diamond bracelet- I have one of those diamond and platinum charm bracelets from that era- not a band, but "Cowboy" bracelet- square dancers, cowboy boots and a little diamond horse w/ yellow diamond eyes., all made out of baguettes- It would have been an extravagant goft even then


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