The Lipstick Effect
Lipstick, bras, chocolate, and books. I could lengthen the list but these are the main four. The things I have collected, appraised, over-expended on along the years.
When my friends have sneaked a peek in my closet they have teased me about it - how many bras can a ladyperson need? It’s not really about the bras themselves. It’s about the fit quest. I’ve never really found the right one (is this also a metaphor for significant others??). And because of this I’ve even tried to make my own (thanks Sophie Hines for the undies-making classes!). But still…I search…
The 1920s was an interesting time for fashion. The clothes on the outside changed as well as the clothes underneath. But what’s particularly interesting to me is the fact that the fashion was changing as per young women’s desires. They were newly entering the workforce and because of this had more $$ to spend, and those marketing wares had a new demographic to appeal to. I think of delicately embroidered silks and comfy cottons underneath the shortened skirts as corsets were exchanged for brassieres. Free legs, freer bosoms, ladies on the go, defining their sexy style, etc.
And around this time more women around the world were gaining the right to vote.
It wasn’t nearly a perfect age, but it was a time of quite radical change. And it got me thinking about something I read about once called “the lipstick effect.” I guess it is a theory in economics that describes people’s inclination to buy simple luxury items (like lipstick) when the going gets tough. I really don’t believe that retail therapy can solve our problems, but it is something we do. I truly do delight in a literal new shade of lipstick, a peculiar find in a used book store, the prospect of a perfectly fitting bra…
And I have thought about this in terms of chocolate, and what I want Sweet Minou to be. I think of the working women 100 years ago, both sewing the clothes and choosing what they wanted to wear. Again, I don’t think shopping solves problems, but I do know how it feels to be a single lady supporting herself, and how it’s the little delights that matter. The things that make you feel good about being alive in a body, feeling the pleasures the world has to offer you. In a way, it’s the lipstick effect. And I want to create a chocolate that is worth spending your money, time, leisure on. This is my true goal. As I search for the “right” bra, I want to create the “right” chocolate. The one that would taste the way your luxurious silk slip under your flapper dress would feel.