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1930s advice on female undressing

By Ben Cosgrove, Life.com
updated 10:04 AM EDT, Tue July 16, 2013
School of Undressing professor Connie Fonzlau, left, demonstrates the wrong way to disrobe, while burlesque star June St. Clair shows the correct way, during a class at the Allen Gilbert School of Undressing in New York in 1937. Classes cost $30 for six lessons, according to an article published in Life magazine. School of Undressing professor Connie Fonzlau, left, demonstrates the wrong way to disrobe, while burlesque star June St. Clair shows the correct way, during a class at the Allen Gilbert School of Undressing in New York in 1937. Classes cost $30 for six lessons, according to an article published in Life magazine.
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'How a wife should undress'
'How a wife should undress'
'How a wife should undress'
'How a wife should undress'
'How a wife should undress'
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • In 1930s, classes offered to teach women how to undress
  • Wives with a faulty "disrobing methodology" were blamed for ballooning divorce rate
  • Burlesque star showed students the correct way to take off clothes

(Life.com) -- We're hardly prudes, and we always get a good laugh out of something as ludicrous as photos illustrating how a wife should (and should not!) undress for her husband.

But even we were a bit stunned by the suggestion, in the 1937 Life magazine article where these pictures first appeared, that wives with a faulty "disrobing methodology" were largely responsible for America's ballooning divorce rate. After all, we always assumed that a key reason for the country's divorce rate, back then and today, is the American male's cluelessness about how to proceed after the disrobing is complete.

All jokes aside, one thing is as true today as it was three-quarters of a century ago: Whether one wants to make a buck publishing magazines, staging burlesque shows or fostering adult education, sex sells.

See the full gallery on Life.com.

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