Put On Your Pearls, Girls! is a fun, cheeky pop-up book for grown-ups written by Lulu Guinness, a British fashion designer famous for her unique handbags. It was published by Rizzoli in 2005. The beginning of the book offers an inspiring acrostic definition for the word pearls ~ Poised. Elegant. Attractive. Radiant. Ladylike. Sophisticated.
You’ll be enamored by Lulu, the main character of the book who the author says, “is a fictional character, based on myself, except that she is timeless, ageless, and has long legs I can only dream of possessing.”
Illustrations by Martin Welch make the book an absolute delight as Lulu goes through her day from the time she gets up (Lulu is not a morning person) to the time she goes to sleep, counting her blessings. In the pages between, we see her meditate, bathe, dress, work, shop, entertain, garden, daydream, and party like the elegant, glamour girl she is.
In one of my favorite parts of the book, Lulu offers these twelve suggestions ~
- Create a style that is uniquely yours – don’t be a slave to fashion.
- Money does not equal style.
- Mix vintage with modern – couture with chainstore.
- If you’re feeling fat – why not shop for accessories?
- Carry bags of personality.
- Never take fashion or yourself too seriously.
- Mutton dressed as lamb is never a good idea. (This is an especially good point for those of us well over fifty.)
- Less can be more – but sometimes more is more.
- Beauty comes from the heart – not from a jar.
- You can be too rich or too thin.
- Be who you were meant to be – not who others think you ought to be.
- Put on your pearls, girls!
When I’m feeling less than Lulu-like, I flip through Put On Your Pearls, Girls! for instant motivation. I’ve given this book as a gift to several of my favorite girly girlfriends. It’s not a book for everyone, although I’m not sure who wouldn’t enjoy the interactive aspects of the book, including opening a little red handbag to see a compact and lipstick inside!
The forward is written by English actor Helena Bonham Carter. (You may know her from her more recent portrayal of Princess Margaret in seasons three and four of The Crown.) She writes that Guinness invites us back to a time “when women were fabulously feminine and decorative and flirty and pretty. But unlike our forbears we do it because we choose to, not because we don’t have any other option.” §
“Use your imagination, trust your instinct, and follow your dreams.”
~ Lulu Guinness
Featured Art ~ Illustration of Lulu by Martin Welch from Put On Your Pearls, Girls!
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