How To Live Your Life Like A 1960s Socialite - The Gloss Magazine

How To Live Your Life Like A 1960s Socialite

Palm Royale launches on Apple TV on March 20 with an all-star cast which includes Kristen Wiig, Laura Dern, Alison Janney and Ricky Martin. It’s been adapted from Juliet McDaniel’s novel Mr and Mrs American Pie. She provides a tongue-in-cheek guide to recreating the lifestyle in the series, exclusively for THE GLOSS…

Do you wish that you could walk through a market looking perfect and mildly mysterious rather than looking ordinary and slightly harried? Do you occasionally daydream about what it would take to add “Baroness” to your name? When looking at a photo from 1967 of Talitha Getty sprawled on a Moroccan rooftop in a couture kaftan, do you ask, “Why not me?” If so, then you might be a good candidate for becoming a 1960s socialite.  

As the author of Mr. & Mrs. American Pie, I’m something of an expert on these women and their over-the-top lives. Here are a few simple ways in which to add a little 1960s socialite fabulousness to daily life:

Kaia Gerber in ‘Palm Royale,’ photograph via Apple TV+

Lunch is life.  

Hours long, a socialite lunch always features tiny portions of food and ample refills of wine. Your dress should be fancy enough that by dessert you are furiously lusting for your sweatpants. Conversation should be focused on happy things like holidays, the marriages of people who are not present, or stories from parties that went badly.

To get into character more, throw a Socialite Tea at home. Be sure to serve food that is stuffed into other food, like small sausages wrapped in pastry puff or prawns wrapped in bacon. Socialites cannot get enough of that sort of thing.  

Alison Janney in ‘Palm Royale,’ photograph via Apple TV+

Live luxuriously and impractically.   

Socialites deeply believed in spending oodles of money. Party invitations were lettered by a calligrapher on cardstock in the socialite’s trademark colour (white, beige, or pink) and delivered by a tuxedoed messenger.

Cashmere and silk were used throughout the home, as were ostrich skins and peacock feathers. In Mr. & Mrs. American Pie, socialite Maxine Simmons spends a year redecorating her dining room to the exact taste of the higher-standing socialite she hopes to woo to a formal dinner, right down to getting her teak table handmade in Denmark.

If redecorating your entire home in Hermés everything isn’t possible, think smaller. Invest in a pair of fancy, Maraboo slippers. Learn how to make a cocktail with a liquor you’ve never heard of and cannot pronounce. Fill your bathtub with bergamot-scented salts and while you soak, dream of the Amalfi Coast.

Laura Dern in ‘Palm Royale,’ photograph via Apple TV+

Be scandalous.  

While socialites claimed to be “proper,” nothing set one apart from the pack like a good scandal. After all, if everyone behaved and didn’t sleep with the pool boy, tennis pro, or their best friend’s husband, there would be so little to talk about at those three-hour lunches.  

If you’d rather not blow-up your marriage, don’t overlook opportunities for small-scale scandals. Scheme with your partner (or a friend) to throw a fit at a party. Simply scream, “You lout!” while throwing a cocktail in his face and then storm away. Aside from being fun and memorable, it is an excellent way to assure that far-flung cousins or long-forgotten acquaintances never again invite you to anything.  

For more satire and insights, read Juliet McDaniel’s ‘Mr. & Mrs American Pie,’ published by Inkshares.


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