Called Fashion Wise, this column offered advice for all aspects of fashion including hairstyles, makeup, and clothing choices by using frequent quotations from the Cosmopolitan Magazine and Harper’s Bazaar to report the hottest trends.
For example, on Feb. 24, 1961 Grieger commented that the fashion styles mimicked those worn by current First Lady Jackie O. The Collegian reads, “The Jackie Kennedy look is sweeping the country and according to Oleg Cassini, her official Couturier, his tiny showroom has been mobbed.”
The article continued, “‘Our customers are ready to wear any silhouette,’ said one man, ‘as long as Mrs. Kennedy’s dressmaker designs it.’”
Interesting allusion to an unnamed man. It is always important to ensure the credibility of one’s sources.
Grieger also updated Hillsdale students on popular accessories at the time.
On Oct. 7, 1960, she wrote, “Worn this year are furry hats, fake or real, berets, pixies, golden jewelry strands and strands of necklace or the neat initialed circle pin, the smaller bag, clutch and furry, soft pointed shoes and short gloves.”
Grieger also covered seasonal dress.
On Dec. 8, 1960, Grieger published a Christmas-themed column. She wrote, “an added feature for the holiday hairdo is to spray streaks of color into the hair. One may try Christmas hues of red or green, or match a color to the dress worn.”
This plays for a tailgate, but I don’t know if you want to experiment with streaks of red and green hair at the office Christmas party.
Then again, Grieger is more credentialed to deliver fashion news than I am.
Another tip offered by Grieger: flowered ear muffs. On Dec. 8, 1960, she wrote, “Made of fresh flowers and other fresh-flower hair decorations, they may turn into one of the winter hits for evening.”
I am all for flower power fashion but this tip ignores certain realities. As I look out my window while writing this, all I see is snow and bare trees, and it is only November. What I do not see: some Christmas-themed fresh flowers for my earmuffs.
This lack of attention to weather surfaced again on Feb. 17, 1961. Grieger wrote, “Although the weather outside and time of year doesn’t warrant it, the spotlight of fashion has turned away from winter clothes and is now centered on spring wear.”
I understand the hopeful appeal of looking ahead to warmer times, but the freezing temperatures and impending frostbite might put a damper on those fashion plans.
The Fashion Wise column appeared to have significant influence on the campus.
In a letter to the editor published on Oct. 27, 1960, a reader of the column wrote, “In regard to the column Fashion Wise; I tried the silver look complete with Minted Moonlight by Alexandra de Markoff, eye shadow glazed with silver and sequins.”
It is always nice to hear that readers of The Collegian gained something for their efforts.
Well, apparently not so nice.
The letter continued, “Frankly, I looked like hell. It is my suggestion that you discontinue to publish such misleading columns.”
That’s a 0/10 on the eyeshadow, but a 10/10 on the candor.
It is unknown whether Grieger changed the styles around campus, but we can all commend her for trying to improve the fashion sense of students.