Dress Doctors – Who Were They?

Fashion in America appears to be focused on hoodies and jeans.  Sloppy sweatpants or yoga pants seem to be the norm in Walmart land.  Home Economics is no longer taught in our public schools and manners seem to be a forgotten art as well.

Hundreds of books and pamphlets have been written over the years to teach American women how to dress.  Many were written by a remarkable group of women dubbed “The Dress Doctors”.  Starting with Mary Brooks Pickens, a dressmaker, spinner, and weaver.

Joined by many others, the Goldstein sisters wrote the “Bible” of dress in 1925 and updated it three times with the final update in 1954.  Born in a small town in Michigan to a Jewish couple from Poland, both sisters earned College degrees in Art.  “The Art of Everyday Life” is still in print and I’ll refer to it during this blog series.

Fashion is ever-changing, but the Dress Doctor’s advice transcends their own time and its ow vintage looks.  Their principles offer a way to achieve the art of dress today and into the future.  As First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt remarked during the depth of the Great Depression, “I have seen women who spend a very small amount on their clothes but who plan them carefully, frequently look better-dressed than women who waste a great deal of money and buy foolishly without good taste.”

We’ll explore the “The Lost Art of Dress” by Linda Przybyszewski, publishied in 2014 as is pertains to the creation and wearing of Jewelry.

April Diamonds

Marilyn Monroe sang “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend”, and she wasn’t kidding.  Much wealth has been centered around diamonds, but their popularity is waning.  2800 jewelry stores in America have closed over the past 10 years, mostly those that focused on the diamond market.  Our newest generation doesn’t value them in the same way and even traditional wedding diamonds are losing their appeal.

But for those born in April, diamonds are their best friend.  According to the Book of Stones, “Diamonds have long been valued for their magical properties, and Hindus over fifteen centuries ago believed the stones provided their owners with protection from evil spirits, fire, poison, snakes, illness and various dangers.”  In other cultures, Diamonds were believed to provide victory courage, faithfulness, purity and enhancement of love.”

Being of pure carbon, diamond is the hardest of all substances – thus the hard-headed ladies of April.

Why Rock hound?

Utah Gemstone Jewelers

Other than to hunt for rocks?

Because it’s peaceful.  Especially in early spring and late fall.

As I was walking along the wash I could hear the watchman for the flock of Pine Jays.  Watching for a fee wines full of nuts, a campsite left unattended or to figure out where everyone else went.  They roam hundreds of miles in this Juniper/Pine forest of the desert.

Utah Gemstone Jewelers


The last snow still clings to the hillsides 9000 feet and higher.  Its slow melt will assure humanity of summer drinking water.  It always amazes me that the state with the least amount of water still promotes lawns.


The trees look fresh and green after heavy spring rains.  And the agate chips have been washed free for tumbling or cabbing.  The afternoon winds are starting to stir and the rustle of the trees is a song of nature.  The feather-like clouds tell the whole story.Utah Gemstone Jewelers

Some of the Juniper are covered in Blue Berries.  The packrats will devour them and spit out the seeds.  Left to dry and drilled they make lovely “cedar berry beads” for jewelry and other adornments, if you can get them from the packrats.

Why rock hound?  Because we can.


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