Ladies, I have been keeping this a secret for so long! About a month or two ago I was contacted by the elegant and fetching Tifa Högberg of the vintage style magazine Min Boudoir asking if she could conduct an interview with me! Of course I said yes. I was utterly thrilled! She sent a few questions over by email and I made sure to respond to them as honestly as possible. I am a very open and opinionated person, so any chance I get to talk about my favorite subject, me, is tops in my book. The magazine is printed in Swedish, so it can’t be read by a majority of my viewers, so I am reprinting it here as I sent it to Tifa. It might be slightly different in the magazine, but I can’t read it so I suppose I will never know! I also sent her some photographs which I have also included in this post.
You are known to many as a blogger. How long have you been doing it and what got you started?
I started The Glamorous Housewife in June 2009 because I was going through a life change. I had given up a job I loved and become a stay at home mother. I had lost a lot of weight and decided to celebrate by buying vintage clothes again- something I had given up for a while. At first I just wrote about my daily life and the fashion I loved so much. I added food and interior design because I was in the middle of building my dream home and I love to cook. I almost gave it up when I was pregnant with my daughter because I felt so sick during the entire pregnancy and it was beyond me to blog about being glamorous when I spent my days on the couch! But right after she was born I felt so much better I started up again and have been blogging consistently for over a year. I consider it to be my full time job, along with raising my three kids. I now blog about everything related to being a housewife and my endeavor is to inspire my readers to live their best and most glamorous lives.
How long have you had your interest in style? And vintage/retro?
I have been interested in fashion since I can remember. I started by reading my mother’s fashion magazines and then as a teenager I read all of the American teen magazines like Sassy and Seventeen. I found out about vintage clothing when I was about 13- my friend took me to a now closed thrift shop in Venice Beach, California called Aaardvarks. I thought it was the most elegant and fashionable place I had ever seen! We spent hours there going through the racks! I remember taking my grandmother vintage shopping when I was around 16. She was horrified! She couldn’t understand why I wanted to buy other people’s used clothing! She boiled everything I brought back from that excursion. Still makes me laugh to think about it.
Once I got to college I had to figure out what I wanted to do as a career I listed my passions: theater, movies, fashion and history and decided to become a costume designer. I went to Boston University and got a degree in costume design and once I graduated I worked in the wardrobe department of motion pictures for a few years. After meeting my husband, getting married and deciding to have a family I thought the movie industry wasn’t very good for family life so I left it and got into the fashion industry in Los Angeles. After my two sons were born I started a now defunct boy’s clothing line called Georgie World. I designed, produced, and sold the clothing all on my own. But I had to close it down when the economy collapsed a few years ago.
As you can see, fashion and vintage have always been a huge part of my life!
Tell us about your family, married? Your kids? Do you work or are a fulltime mom?
I have been married to the same man for over 12 years now! We have two boys ages 10 and 8 and a little girl who will be two in July. My blog is my work as well as raising the kids, keeping up the home, and cooking dinner every night!
Have you chosen your life situation or did it just come to be?
I 100% chose it. I believe we are our choices and I am very aware of the choices I have made.
Your blog is very glam, do you have any tricks on how to get the energy to doll up? Do you feel that everyone can find the time?
I believe everyone can be a glamorous housewife if they wish to be one! Of course there are short periods of time when there are more important things to do- like the first few months after having a baby, if you have two kids close together and they are very active, and so on. But if you have normal kids and a normal life you should have no problem being glamorous. It is just as easy to put on a dress as it is a pair of yoga pants and an ugly tee shirt. My short make-up routine (video here) takes about 7 minutes, and my long make-up routine only takes around 13 minutes.
Are there certain days you just think “nope, this is a lay on the couch day, I won’t bother with hair/makeup/clothing”. Or is style a way give the day a more positive feeling?
Oh yes, there are definitely days I don’t put on my face and I stay in my pajamas. Sometimes a girl deserves to lay around! But I don’t make a habit of it.
Many moms talks about that you can’t combine vintage clothing/full skirts with cleaning up the mess after the kids. What’s your opinion?
I have mixed feelings on this issue. I do believe having young children (under the age of 5) can be difficult on your clothing. Because my daughter is so young I have found I need to wear more vintage inspired garments instead of actual vintage because I am very protective of my clothing. But if I know I am going to be out and about without her, I can wear vintage. The shape of the clothing- full skirts, etc doesn’t affect how I take care of the kids. Actually I find many of my 1940s and 1950s housedresses to be more comfortable when I am with the kids then anything else!
Do you think the fact women are tired is reason they won’t take care of them self and just focus on the kids?
Yes, I think being tired is one of the many reasons women let themselves go after having children. Another reason is we give up so much of ourselves when we have a little baby and then forget who we were when they get older. I know that happened to me- hence the weight gain and the wearing of sweatpants when my boys were little. I was fortunate enough to realize I didn’t like the way I looked or felt and decided to do something about it.
I also think it is dangerous to focus solely on your kids. First of all, if you are in a committed relationship that person didn’t decide to be with you just so you could devote yourself entirely to the kids. They fell in love with your humor, your intellect, and your personality. If you are with your kids all the time you turn into the shell of your former self, and this can be devastating to your relationship with your partner. I also believe kids need to have as many loving people in their lives as possible. You can only give your kids things that you know. But other people can introduce them to ideas and concepts they never would have discovered if they spent all of their time with you. And finally, I think it is incredibly important for your own self to stay cognizant of who you are and what your true self is. If you loose that sense of self you will never be able to be the mom your kids deserve.
Some women see their dolling up moment as a way to claim back their old self, how they once was or just how they wish to see themselves. Do you agree? Or, why do you think women should bother to do it?
If a mother was into fashion and makeup before she had kids and then ends up in ratty jeans and sweatshirts, then yes- I think that mother should try to regain her sense of self through her appearance. It is so important to be a happy mother, and how can a fashionable woman be happy when she looks in the mirror and sees stringy hair and no lipstick? I also think being a housewife and mother is a job, so why not put on your best when you get ready in the morning just as you would as if you were going to work?
Looking back, can you compare your life on how it was before when you maybe didn’t care as much about your look and now? Any pros or cons? What keeps you motivated?
When I was wearing yoga pants and tee shirts I let my appearance slide. This meant I gained weight, ate horribly, and then didn’t feel good about my appearance. I let my relationship with my husband slide a bit because I didn’t feel very sexy. I think men find confidence a turn on, so now when I come out in full regalia I will say to my husband, “look at how hot your wife is! Aren’t you a lucky man!”. The look on his face when he sees me dolled up keeps me motivated. But even if my husband isn’t around when I get dressed in the morning I still enjoy picking out my outfit, finding the perfect shoes to go with it, searching for jewelry to enhance the look, etc. The whole process of dressing up makes me happy and as I said before, a happy mother is a good mother. This also keeps me motivated.
For women that is looking for a way to embrace more vintage styling/more glamour in their life? Where should they start?
Well my blog of course! *laughs. I would suggest a woman should start by going through her closet and getting rid of anything that isn’t flattering. It helps to have an honest friend to help with this. Once all of the ugly clothing is gone they should see what items are needed and then fill in those items with garments that are flattering, glamorous, and that the woman loves. Life is too short for boring.
What would you say is a good casual, but still stylish outfit that is easy to put together and wearable for both fixing at home and going out to shop in?
Oh that’s easy. Dresses, dresses, dresses. I know people love their jeans, but I find them very uncomfortable. I much prefer a nice cotton dress that is nipped in at the waist. In the summer it is light and breezy and in the winter I just add a pair of tights and a jacket.
What is your number one thing in order to glam up your day when you have one of those terrible days and you just want to hide inside?
Well if I am actually staying inside then I wear a beautiful pair of man’s style pajamas with my initials embroidered on the pocket and a pair of slippers. But if I have to go out I would say a black dress, red lipstick, and sunglasses.
Name: Bethany Herwegh
Location: Southern California
Family members: Chip (Husband), Mason (son), Toby (son), Ariella (daughter)
Top 5 beauty products: Sunscreen, face powder, eyeliner, lipstick and a smile.