Dear Lola: Lola Montez answers readers' fashion questions

Dear Lola,
I’m only thirty-two, but I’m going grey, and since I’ve lost my job, highlights every six weeks are too expensive. Help!
Old Grey Mare

Dear Old Grey Mare,
We know that the hair is a hollow tube containing fluid which gives it its color—nothing therefore can prevent the fluid from turning white but the avoidance of all causes of old age. But I do have reason to believe that curling irons destroy the animal nature of the hair, and are liable to produce a disease of the coloring fluid.

However, an old physician and chemist at Lisbon gave a charming Parisian lady of my acquaintance a recipe for hair dye which proved to be of astonishing efficacy:

Oxide of Bismuth 4 drams
Spermaceti 4 drams
Pure hog’s lard  4 oz.

The lard and spermaceti should be melted together, and when they begin to cool, stir in the bismuth. It may be perfumed to your liking.

Dear Lola,
I spent my high school years at an all-girls school. As you can imagine, I didn’t spend much time thinking about skin care. I’m heading to college (with boys!) and I was wondering if you had any tips for a girl who’s a little insecure about her skin?
Shy Peony

Dear Shy Peony,
Though it is true that a beautiful mind is the first thing requisite for a beautiful face, how much more charming will you become with the aid of a fine complexion?  Overlooking entirely the matter of vanity, it is a woman’s duty to use all the means in her power to beautify her complexion. It is amusing to reflect upon the tricks which vain beauties will resort to obtain this paramount aid to female charms. Nor is it any wonder that woman should exhaust her resources  in this pursuit, for her face is a public thing. She can, to some extent, hide an ugly neck or shoulder, but there is no hiding an ugly face.

I know many fashionable ladies who bind their faces with thin slices of raw beef upon going to bed, which is said to give a youthful freshness and brilliancy to the complexion. I have no doubt of its efficacy.  Good luck.

Dear Lola,
I’ve got some linen slacks for Spring, and my winter undies give me fierce VPL. What do you think works better with linen, thongs or those seamless boy shorts?
Wayward Wanton

Dear Wayward Wanton,
The least affectation or exaggeration in either of these styles would only end in bringing a woman into contempt. The only safety for a lady is to be governed by those infallible ideas of moderated taste and delicacy in which the sweetest charms of modesty are entrenched. Modesty is to woman what the mantle of green is to nature: its ornament of highest beauty. Remember, men may amuse themselves with a noisy, loud-laughing, loquacious girl, but it is the subdued, modest, and seemingly bashful deport who stands the fairest chance of carrying off their hearts.

That said, in Spring, when all is lovely and gay, if a maid possesses the airy form of Hebe, a lightly flowing drapery is best suited to showing her charms. Let no furbelows load the figure, or distract the attention in its admiration of lovely outlines. The boy shorts.

Eliza Rosanna Gilbert, Countess of Landsfeld (17 February 1821 – 17 January 1861), better known by the stage name Lola Montez, was an Irish dancer and actress who became famous as a "Spanish dancer," courtesan, and mistress of King Ludwig I of Bavaria, who made her Countess of Landsfeld. She is buried in Brooklyn. It's a long story.