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Rose Conrad, Retiree

"I can wear short dresses because I have nice legs, but that’s beside the point."

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Do your accessories always match so perfectly?
As a matter of fact, yes. I’m very conscious of it; I try to combine everything that I wear, whether it’s a shoe and pocketbook or eyeglasses and pocketbook. My mother was also very conscious of it. But during my youth it was war, so it was slightly different for her.

How so?
Because I was in Poland and I was in Germany. Accessories were not a main concern.

When did you move to New York?
I came in 1949. I didn’t have any family left. My husband’s family was in New York and they sponsored us.

Where do you live now?
My neighborhood is very quiet because it’s close to Gracie Mansion. I’m walking distance to the Metropolitan Museum and also to the Guggenheim. But the Guggenheim isn’t to my liking. I don’t like to see two different kinds of things on one wall.

How do you pick out your clothes?
They have to be classy. Some I buy from my friend who is a knitwear-company representative. Sometimes I buy—you might be surprised—on television: the Home Shopping Network and QVC. Chloé is a designer there, and Rodriguez. I used to buy Valentino when it went on sale.

How do you feel about the way women dress now?
When I came to the United States and I saw all the women wearing dresses that were off the shoulders, I asked my husband, “Are they all strippers?” That’s the impression I got. And now I have the same impression of the young girls, all these years later. Why do women wear short dresses where you see the panties, when they have fat legs? You have to know how you look. I can wear short dresses because I have nice legs, but that’s beside the point.


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