Glamour magazine 's classic feature "Do's and Don'ts" began in 1939. The original column looked very little as we know it today: featuring Hollywood's top movie stars, "Do's and Don'ts" was Glamour's way of passing silver screen fashion tips on to everyday American women. The pictures showed such big-name dames as Joan Crawford, Carole Lombard, Ginger Rogers, and Bette Davis, in their movie roles and wardrobes.
The column changed little in format until 1963, when "Do's and Don'ts" began to feature pictures of fashion faux pas committed in public by ordinary women. The photos were taken "Candid Camera" style, and were published with black bars over the eyes of the fashion victims to protect the guilty. Of course, over the course of 63 years, a number of Glamour's "Do and Don't" pronouncements were driven by the times, and not all of them were good calls. The magazine took an almost schizophrenic stance on bell bottoms—pronouncing them a "don't" and then a "do"—and completely missed the casual combo of jeans-and-penny-loafers. Nonetheless, the feature continues to be popular, and Glamour devotes one issue annually to the latest trends in Dos and Don'ts, featuring top-name celebrities as well as ordinary Jane Does.
Despite its commitment to modes of the moment, Glamour also identified some classic ways of separating the Do's from the Don'ts:
"What makes a woman a Do? She's confident in what she's wearing. She's comfortable in her clothes.
"What makes a Don't? She's the overdo, the one who's wearing too tight, too short, too long, too bright. Her hair's too big. Her makeup's too in-your-face. She doesn't know when to stop."
Glamour Dos and Don'ts Hall of Fame, by Joanne Mattera. Villard Books, New York: 1992. Introduction.
Other don'ts, from the same book:
- Toilet paper on the bottom of your shoe is the ultimate don't.
- Don't adjust your panties in public. Someone will see you.
- Typical Don't-think: more is just not enough.
- Don't carry too much stuff around. If you have more bags than you have arms, you're probably overdoing it.
- The white crocheted granny shawl: just say no.
- Panty lines.