Thursday, January 31, 2013

Just Married: Another Woodbury Deb (1944)

Good morning!

I've got wedding on the brain! While my eventual nuptials (and the planning of such) are still on hold until I finish this, my last semester of grad school, this year and last year have been looney tunes for people in my immediate circle of friends getting married, and I couldn't be more happy for the lot of them. My very best friend from college, Caroline, is having her bachelorette party in Knoxville next weekend and tying the knot in late March-- I can remember when she sent out her save-the-dates and March 2013 seemed like a million years from then! Exciting times.

As I was flipping through 1944 issues of Life (like you do), I came across a regular-news-story-lookalike advertisement feature that spotlights pretty young debutantes and their beautiful, wedding-day complexions, sponsored by Woodbury Facial Soap. Wanna see some of the belles and their beaux? I know you do!

The set up of these ads are uniform in that they begin with "Another Woodbury Deb!" and include a photo of the happy couple either on or near their wedding day. What's more stupendous than a wedding announcement or a full page society ad in your local newspaper? How about a full page ad in Life magazine, read across the nation, with you and your handsome new hubby engaging in dramatic re-enactments of the wholesome events that led you to the altar? We. LOVE. It. Doug Miller is not only a USC quarterback and possessed of sleepy good looks under curly blonde hair...but is also a United States Marine! I hope they had a ton of fair-haired, curly headed babies when he got back from the war. It's funny how Patricia looks so natural, like a model, in these photos, and poor Doug looks like he's just asked the photographer, seconds before the picture was taken, "Now you want me to do what?" The swimsuit ping pong one is maybe my favorite.

2) Barbara and Wallace

"Petite, vivacious Barbara" had me at hello--  check out the pretty bridal crown and her perfect makeup. I'm not sure about Wally's ears, but it may just be his USCG regulation haircut, so I'm giving him a pass. Her going away outfit is 80% luscious fur coat and 20% corsage, which is the exact ratio of vintage outwear I like to adopt in cold weather, fancy dress situation. DO YOU SEE. HER HAIR. IN THE LAST PANEL. Do you see it? I am heartbroken that my own mane will only deign to be tamed in beehive style or braids, and resists curls at every turn, when I see gorgeous V-rolls and pomps combined in this gorgeous a fashion. Ugh! I want that hair! SO BAD!

I learned something from the caption of her aforementioned going away picture... Barbara is described as wearing "a blue wool suit, feather calot, and blonde fox fur jacket". A "calot", according to this Flickr photo and explanation,  is "a form-fitting hat which was popular in the 1950's and early 60's and would be worn to cocktail parties and supperclubs. This style hat is worn either forward to mimic bangs or back on the crown of the head to add *sparkle* to the dress ensemble and coiffure. The form fit and colorful feathers complimented the chic short hairstyles of the 50's and early 60's." Apparently, these were also popular in the forties'! I learn something new every day. I wonder what color Barbara's calot was, as it blends right into her hair!

3) Bert and Mary
 Even though I'm cuckoo over that fox fur jacket, I have to say Mary gets my "best dressed bride" award for the Scotch tam hat (left) and LEOPARD PRINT SWING COAT (like that Photo Friday gal two weeks ago!) with matching hat (right) in the photos below. Her husband looks kind of like Richard Kind from Spin City, but with a name like Bertram Stiff, Jr., I assume he is from good stock, and will be able to keep her in many fur-lined swing coats to come. He's described in the photo below as " 'Penn's plunging football powerhouse'...though obviously defenseless against Mary's blonde beauty". AWWWW. And a football hero to boot!

4) Mary Lee and Lewis

Last but not least, Mary Lee and Lewis are starting this romance out right. Let's look at the center photo: Afghan hound named "Ben"? Check. Fur coat, leather pumps, perfect makeup and hair? Check. Adoring new serviceman husband looking on with love? Check, check, check!

These two met in art school (see the hilarious, smocked photo below), and I could honestly not be more jealous of that square necked, black velvet dress and flower tiara our girl is wearing on her wedding day. Talk about good use of aesthetics! It's also cut that they were involved in the Art Student League's Costume Ball, where Lewis played an accordion and Mary Lee got over enthusiastic with the confetti and trimmings.

Click through on any of the couple's names for the original ad, as it appeared in the magazine. There's more to find out about these people (and lots more about Woodbury Facial Soap), if you're interested!

So what do you think? Which Woodbury Deb and her husband or husband to be is your favorite? Which wedding ensemble do you favor? Have you been buffeted by wedding and baby shower announcements lately, to your large scale delight or chagrin? Let's talk!

That's all for today, kids. See you back here tomorrow for Photo Friday!


  1. Ads like this always make me wish I had been a debutante. However, when I think about the people who were debutantes, I'm pretty sure I made the right decision. I would have been terrible at it. Same reason I didn't pledge in college. "Popular" people and I never got along. Ah, well. I always feel that perhaps it would have been different had I been 18 in 1944. Hey, that would make me my grandpa's age and that would be weird.

    1. I just want to be photographed at the Stork Club wearing some piquant looking leopard print hat and coat ensemble, preferably with my millionaire former collegiate football star fiancé! Oh, to be Brenda Frazier. But you're right, the reality of it now would be WAAAAAAY less appealing in this, our modern age. I still want to be 18 in 1944, I can't lie.

    2. Promise me the hat will be sufficiently outré for the Stork Club!

  2. oh wow! what a perfect way to do a wedding announcement. I love the first couple the best, all because of that ping pong picture.

    1. The little photo documentary photos of their courtship are so CUTE; and that ping pong photo DOES deserve top honors.

  3. Oh my lord. Clearly these are all photogenic couples, but Mary Lee is GORGEOUS! Look at that smile! I don't care if you live to be a wrinkled, fleckled 1000 years old -- if you looked like that in one photo EVER, you are beautiful and that is your very identity. Forever. :)

    1. She IS flashing a thousand watt smile in that first and two or three of the subsequent pictures. SO. GLAMOROUS.



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