Thursday, October 23, 2008

Marzipan Jones

Western Massachusetts

“I've learned that the homemakers back then were some tough broads! You had to be in order to get everything done in such a stylish and gracious manner without expecting a salary in return.”

Star of “My 50’s Life”, Marzipan Jones is living as a 1950’s housewife for a whole year. Her most difficult challenge is not being a housewife or a mom, but rather is that she has to be made up everyday; dresses, stockings and heels while she performs her housewife duties.

Marzipan lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and their 4 year old little girl. She is originally from upmarket suburb, West Hartford, Connecticut which rank the 76th in Money Magazine's 2008 Best Places to Live.“ As you can imagine it's fairly well-off and fairly preppy. I was definitely a square peg!”

Her husband is a screenwriter and the creative director of Mirage Studios. “He thinks about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles all day long. He's stuck in the 80's while I'm stuck in the 50's!” Marzipan is not only a homemaker but she is also freelancer writer and a poet. Her works have been published in many literary journals.

We asked Marzipan what is the 50’s year housewife. “The 50's year housewife is Marzipan Jones, my alter ego. I'm basically living out the next year as a stereotypical 50's housewife and following the golden rules of such wifedom.”

Marzipan Jones had been meaning to conduct a year-long experiment for a long time and always had the idea of “doing a 50's year” in the back of her mind. “I've always been extremely interested in 50's pop culture: the music, the literature, the films, and especially the clothes! And as a feminist who respects a woman's choice to stay home, I always found the 50's notion of a June Cleaver-type to be both intriguing and a bit frightening."
So when Jones found herself staying at home with her child, she thought, why not do it all the way?

She started her social experiment on her daughter's first day of this school year, September 3rd, 2008. “The first day was the toughest! I was a lot less relaxed then about the idea of a 50's wife and got up rearing to go like a frantic squirrel. I coaxed myself into thinking I had to look completely "done" by the time I ate breakfast. Now that I've watched "I Love Lucy" I know that women didn't always look perfect when getting their kids ready for school". She also ran ragged that day trying to spend every minute performing housewifely chores. “I space my time out better now and as a result am not as sore when I wake up in the morning," she added.

When asked what were her 50’s housewife Rules she said, “I can't use any kitchen appliances that wasn't invented in the 50's. I can't listen to cds or watch movies if they're not on the tube. I can only consume that which was created prior to or in the 50's. I get all my news from my husband." Marzipan is also not allowed to partake of any modern media including newspapers, magazines, books, movies, or music. She has allowed herself though to use the internet when it relates to the project or to her writing career. “As my readers have assured me, helping out with the family finances is more 50's housewife than not!"

There are some exceptions to the rules. Marzipan is allowed to use equipment if it relates to her daughter's health or entertainment. “I use a nebulizer for her asthma and I will let her watch dvds or listen to her "They Might be Giants" cds. I tried making her into a 50's kid for a few days and let's just say she went a little crazy." Marzipan does try to incorporate more "retro" activities into her daughters days like; pumpkin picking, hayrides, painting, reading books, playing with puppets, and playing board games.

In her 50's Year experiment Marzipan also has to dress according to the fashions of the time: heels, stockings, garters, pointy bra, skirts, dresses, sweaters, gloves, hats. “So far the pointy bra has been a bust (no pun intended) and I'm hoping to find one that actually fits!"

We asked her what were her 50’s housewife duties and schedule like. “The home has become the central part of my identity so my duties are cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, anything that has to do with the cleanliness of my home except that which is traditionally man's work: garbage, yard, handyman work. And of course, caring for my daughter."

The month of October 2008, Marzipan had broken her foot, so her schedule was thrown off. Her schedule prior to her foot incident consisted of waking up at 7am, fixing her daughter’s breakfast, getting dressed, taking her daughter to school, and cramming in as many chores as possible in the 2 1/2 hours while her daughter was gone.

Marzipan's Weekly Chore Schedule is:

Monday: dust, vacuum, and mop 1st floor.

Tuesday: vacuum and dust basement.

Wednesday: vacuum and dust 2nd floor.

Thursday: laundry day

Friday: clean bathrooms

Included are the other chores that go along with a day: toting her daughter to playdates, cleaning up after 2 cats and her daughter, making meals, cleaning dishes, and generally tidying up. “Sometimes finding the time to incorporate the chores is a chore in itself!" she said.

I also try to read 50's magazines during the day when I get a moment, just to feel "in touch" with the times and to garner sartorial or social inspiration.

Marzipan said the easiest thing about the 50’s experiment has been the cleaning. “I do enjoy it and do feel much better knowing my house isn't a mess!" Though the most difficult thing that she said about her social experiment has been the pressure to look "done" while she is cleaning. “Hose get torn, garters slip, and I've even ripped a few dressed from bending. I suppose I'm still not used to wearing tailored clothing while I stretch!"

Another difficult aspect has been her husband's reception of the new 50's self. “He loves to cook and before this project we split the household chores equally. It's funny but he actually enjoys doing these things so when I tried to take them away from him he didn't like it one bit. In fact, we were having so many arguments about my taking over that I eventually let him do his own laundry and ironing." I figure it's more 50's housewife of me to let him do whatever will make him happy. After all, that's my purpose, to make my family as content and comfy as possible.

We asked Marzipan what she have learn so far about your 50‘s experience.
I've learned that the homemakers back then were some tough broads! You had to be in order to get everything done in such a stylish and gracious manner without expecting a salary in return. I also lend my own role as mother and wife more value for some reason. Modern society doesn't really appreciate work that has no monetary receipt. People are often valued according to how much money they make. I struggled with this as a freelance writer making much, much less than her husband. This throwback into 50's magazines and ideas about motherhood hasn't made me want to give up non-wifely pursuits, but it has helped in not making me feel unfeminist or like a failure for not having a "real" job."

Her blog “My 50’s Life” documents some of what is going on in her day-to-day life as a 50's housewife. She also keeps a diary where she jots down notes about her experiences and some of these get transferred into the blog. “Sometimes I post about aspects of 50's pop culture that I also find interesting or amusing such as the whole duck and cover idea as well as retro food-related pieces."

Marzipan have a passion for any music that is raw and visceral which brought her to Billie Holiday and Chet Baker. She also fell in love with torch singers of the 30's and 40's like Ivie Anderson and that led me to 50's singers like Lena Horne, Rosemary Clooney, and Julie London. "These dames had so much class, glamour, and spunk that popular modern singers (Madeleine Peyroux and Nellie McKay excluded) just couldn't compare to. I also really enjoyed the way they dressed. In a time of belly-baring tops and low-slung jeans, I loved the throwback to a more mysterious look," she added.

When asked to describe her vintage style. “I know that as a 50's housewife I'm supposed to wear mostly shirtwaist dresses but I can't help loving cardigans and skirts for every day. They can be both flirty and demure depending on how you walk in them or what shoes you pair with what. Her 50's make-up consists of liquid foundation, loose powder, eye-shadow in brown or white, black eyeliner, black mascara, and lipstick in either pink or red. “I love Revlon's 'Cherries in the Snow', a classic!"

Regarding her hair, it's naturally wavy so she doesn't need to curl all that often, “I do curl for special occasions like a party or going to dinner. I usually use bobby pins to give it some volume or I wear a headband for a more prim effect. Sometimes when I'm feeling a bit more 40s I wear Victory Rolls."

The 50’s social experiment has given Marzipan more self-esteem when it comes to her abilities as a mother and wife. “I know how to bake a cake from scratch now and the right way to darn socks which doesn't seem like much but little things do somehow round a person out,” she added.

We asked her what advice would she give to anyone that want to do this retro experiment. “Brace yourself! Especially if you're a stereotypically modern woman who loves her microwave and take-out! Oh, and make sure you have the right wardrobe for the part beforehand. I can't tell you how many times I've looked at my closet in a panic because I don't have enough to wear!"

Copyright © 2008-2010 Time Warp Wives

Marzipan Jones

Contact Information:

Youtube Video Blog:
News Release:

My 50's Life Video

Friday, October 17, 2008

Regina Ann Moscrop

San Jacinto, California

“I really like modern kitchen appliances. Love the microwave and crock pot. However, I do hold old fashion values”.

Owner of Bear Flag Republic and Designer of BFR retro shoes, Regina lives on a 20 acre ranch with her husband and their two children . She loves Marlena Dietrich, vintage hats and the Cicada Club in Los Angeles.

Regina describes her family life as very old fashioned in a lot of respects. “We are Christians and believe in the gospel. We believe in putting family first!” Regina’s children learn about the Bible and they learn about family and responsibilities. They have a chore schedule so they learn how to perform in a family. Regina also said that her children are courteous, respectful to adults, and believe in paying it forward (doing good deeds before they are required).

Her children are limited to exposure of TV and Video games. They play lots of card games and board games. Regina’s children know what a Victory garden is and can take care of themselves in an emergency or disaster. They have been taught to cook, use a rifle, and how to use a first aid kit. They also raise chickens and plant gardens and fruit trees at their ranch.

Regina decided to start her business when a friend of hers was getting married on the Queen Mary and it was a period wedding. “ I had the hardest time finding vintage clothes to fit my larger hips. The 40's women were much thinner and less hippy.” The groom for this wedding was a musician so they wanted to get him a radio/CD player that looked vintage but had all the modern elements. But instead it turned into a treasure hunt that ended with them buying antique dishes.

Afterwards, Regina had a knee injury which gave her time to put together a business plan for creating a store where these items would be very much available. The little hunting expedition that began with the Queen Mary wedding led Regina to do something she enjoyed.

Regina’s store the Bear Flag Republic cater to the retro enthusiast. All of her items are based on the 30's 40's and 50's. Her stores sells a variety of items and there is something for everyone. Her best selling item which is her BFR retro shoe, has a 1940' wedge with a sole designed to swing dance in. For women there are retro clothing provided by Bettie Page by Tatyana, Stop Staring, and for the purist Lipstick Vogue which are handmade designs from originals.

For men there are shirts from Classic Steady, Spectator wingtip shoes also with a special suede sole to swing dance in. In fact the Spectator 1 has been featured on Dancing with the Stars. And then there is Pomade from wax based Highlife to Layrite the newest pomade that washes out. In store there are tin signs, night lights, radio's & CD players, knick knacks, & lingerie.

We asked Regina what she likes about her business. “The creative element of taking a picture of an old shoe and turning it into a BFR shoe. I love the work, the things I have learned, and the fact that it is ever changing. We are defining who we are and expanding in new areas, and that is something I am instrumental in. It is never stagnant and the events are fun. I have met some famous people who are average Joe's and swell individuals.” Regina’s fashion shows had gotten wide acclaim and her models are becoming famous. “ It is always nice to see others do well”, she added.

Another main reason why Regina loves her businesses is the flexibility to spend more time with her family. “Working somewhere else provided a barrier with my children because it was tough to make sporting events and dancing, but now I am in control. In addition, the business brings tax dollars to our little town.”. Regina works 3 days a week and her husband works 2 days a week in the store. Regina also can work on the store via the computer, which allows her to work from home too.

The next best thing about her business that is consistent, is the friends Regina has made. “They are the most genuine heart felt individuals who also care about my success.”

When asked to describe her vintage style Regina said,“ I love 50's knit dresses because by then women were more curvy again. Women were starving in the 40's rationing sugar and meat for soldiers and those clothes are often to narrow for me.” When Regina goes out she wears retro or vintage dresses with seamed pantyhose, not stockings like they would have, “because pantyhose are more comfortable, they don't slip down or wrinkle at the ankles (I have short legs), and the garters don't show,” she said. Her husband likewise looks like he stepped right out of the 40's, in his Elliott Ness suit, spectators and fedora.

One of Regina’s favorite retro places is the Cicada Club in Los Angeles. It was a clothing store in 1928 and was restored to its past elegance. You will find people there who live the life, their home is 1920's or 40's. They drive their old cars everywhere and wear vintage clothing all the time. But the best part of the Cicada Club is the entertainment. Swing bands, singers and dancers.“ I have seen a girl trio like the Andrew Sisters, girls with umbrellas descending the grand staircase and dance just like you see in the old films. It is the best bargain in town and out of town for that matter.”

We asked Regina what year she would visit if she could travel back in time.

"Different reasons for different time periods. I love the 30's because women were feminine. Clothing was romantic with lots of sheer ruffles and open back dresses. But I love the 40's too. Women were patriotic but coming into their own as society was changing. It was acceptable for women to wear slacks. I am sort of complicated I guess, I love that women were women in the 30's but I love women were released from the caste that had been their role for centuries in the 40's. Men tipped their hats for ladies and opened doors, I'd like to see that again."

We asked her to give advice for women that are planning to start their own business.“ Do what you love and you'll love what you do".

Copyright © 2008-2009 Time Warp Wives

Regina's Favorites:

Cicada Club:

Regina's Recipe Tips: Mother's Macaroni Recipe

Vintage Hairstyling Book: Beauty Page

Regina Ann

Contact Information:

Bear Flag Republic:

Ebay Store:Bear Flag Republic

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Lorelei Lee

Dallas, Texas

“I love wearing vintage, listening to old music, watching old films, and dancing. But I also love taking care of my husband and making sure he is comfortable.”

As a teenager, Lorelei Lee started buying antique dresses. Years later she is an Antique Dealer, a wife and a homemaker. She loves the clothes from Gone With the Wind, the handsome and rugged Clark Gable and the soulful Billie Holiday.

For the past year, her husband has been overseas serving in the Navy, so right now a typical day is a tad different than it will be when her husband comes home. But on a typical day she would take her dogs out for their morning walk, then tidy up the house before heading out to search for antiques at auctions or garage sales. “That can sometimes take all day. But its worth it when you find that perfect piece.”

When Lorelei’s husband is home, she tries to make breakfast for him before he heads to work. “I like to make sure the house is in order before he gets home so he doesn't have to worry about anything. I will take care of any errands and pay the bills during the day. When he comes home I'll make dinner, sometimes he will if their is something he wants to try. We will talk about our days and maybe watch a movie."

Lorelei mentioned that she loves wearing vintage, listening to old music, watching old films, and dancing. But she also loves taking care of her husband and making sure he is comfortable. “Its wonderful to cook a nice dinner, sit down at the table, and talk about our day. We have our roles in the household. He will work, mow the lawn, take care of the cars. I love to cook, clean, plant in our garden.”

At the same time her husband doesn't mind helping her if she needs it, and she doesn't mind helping him either. “We are there for each other no matter what, and we can talk to each other about anything. Our marriage is very strong.”

We asked Lorelei about her retro photo shoots. “I've always loved pin ups and the old Hollywood images I would see in magazines, books, and on television. I started out just having some photos done to send to my husband overseas.” She then started getting contacted by other photographers. So far she has worked at Miss Missy Photography in Fort Worth, DarkIllumination Photography in Fort Worth and other photo studios in Austin and Dallas. Lorelei said that currently her photos are not for sale. Perhaps they will be in the future, if there is enough interest.

Lorelei’s passion for vintage started as a little girl when she would play with her great grandmother's tea set. She started buying antique dresses as a teenager. Then she began buying dresses from the 1800's to 1920's. “Over the years, I have collected many antiques and my collection has slowly but surely taken over the house”, she said.

Lorelei favorite vintage place that inspires her is Jefferson, in East Texas. Most of the houses are from the late 1800's to 1930's. “It is full of grace and beauty. We enjoy going there whenever we get the chance. In fact, that is where we got married!”

The Victorian Elegance Show is one of Lorelei‘s favorite events. It takes place in February and September. Antique dealers from all over come and sell their things. They usually have a fashion show where the models wear antique clothes. Some people will go dressed in their Victorian finery. “I actually just had an 1880's dress made to wear to the event this year,” Lorelei added.

We asked Lorelei what year she would visit if she could travel back in time.

“I like the 1780's because of their clothes. If I have to choose just one time period it would most likely be 1940's after the war. The music, style, and people just seemed so wonderful at that time. Not to mention, the modern conveniences that they had in the 1940's compared to 1700's.”

Lorelei’s Favorites:

Film-Gone With the Wind-love the clothes

Music-Glenn Miller Orchestra-light and fun. Makes your feet start tapping.

Singer-Billie Holiday-soulful.

Actress-Marilyn Monroe-beautiful. Very funny.

Actor-Clark Gable-He is so handsome yet rugged.

When asked to describe her vintage style Lorelei said, “Classic pin up with a glam/rockabilly twist.”

Copyright © 2008-2010 Time Warp Wives

Lorelei Lee

Contact Information:

Spokesmodel for Betty Bows and accessories.

In October Lorelei be in LA for the Lipstick Vogue fashion show:

You can also find pictures of Lorelei at: