Tuesday, November 10, 2015

How a Wife Should and Should Not Undress: 11 Silly Tips from a 1930s Undressing School

Allan Gilbert decided to start the Gilbert’s “School of Undressing” in Manhattan in 1937 to help ladies keep their men pleased in the bedroom. Because, of course, that is a wife’s duty.

These images were featured in LIFE magazine, where Gilbert was also quoted saying that many marriages ended in divorce because “the wife grows sloppy and careless in the bedroom.”

So here are 11 tips from Gilbert and his 1930s Do’s and Don’t models.

1. “Attractive undressing technique is here being demonstrated by June St. Clair (right), of the Allen Gilbert School of Undressing.”


2. “She begins the day’s classroom exercise by neatly sliding her dress down over her hips and gracefully stepping out of it.”



3. “At the Allen Gilbert School for Undressing, Professor Connie Fonzlau begins her lecture on “Bedroom Don’ts” by demonstrating the worst possible method of disrobing.”



4. “No creases remain after Miss St. Clair (right) picks up her dress up, smoothes it out, places it on a chair which remains otherwise unoccupied. Such good bedroom manners are essential to married happiness once the honeymoon is over.”



5. “Nightgown technique is the high point in the Gilbert course. Here Miss St. Clair adroitly gets into her nightgown and drops her lingerie all in one magic motion.”



6. “A prime principle of artful undressing is to keep the hands graceful at all times. Here Miss Fonzlau clearly demonstrates what a knot some women make of their clothes.”



7. “Here June St. Clair, of the Gilbert Undressing School, shows a preview audience how to remove lingerie. Note the use of the side view, with right knee slightly crooked.”



8. “In this demonstration the lecturer is committing an unpardonable sin known as ‘working both sides at once’.”



9. “The business of taking off stockings, as here demonstrated by Miss June St. Clair is virtually an art in itself. Wives should use both hands to roll them down from the top slowly and neatly, thus avoiding all suspicion of slovenly unaesthetic wrinkles.”



10. “Two excellent purposes are served by rolling down stockings instead of merely pulling them off by the toes. Economically, a husband is pleased by the absence of runs, romantically, he is gratified by his wife’s graceful method of displaying her legs.”



11. “Too many American wives reveal bad bedroom manners by letting their hair down too soon, by allowing their stockings to wrinkle off and by sitting on discarded clothes.”


(Photos: Peter Stackpole—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

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