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Orchids On Your Budget: Or Live Smartly on What You Have [Hardcover]

Marjorie Hillis
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
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Book Description

3 Sep 2009

First published in 1937, ORCHIDS ON YOUR BUDGET gives advice on all manner of subjects, from entertaining and creating the perfect capsule wardrobe to relinquishing the family estate. Lest you worry about how to put the advice into practice, each chapter concludes with a case study providing examples of women who heeded - and those lamentable souls who ignored - Marjorie's wise words.

'It's not difficult to have fun out of economising (up to a point), both because of the sense of achievement it gives you and because everyone else is doing it, too ... A slight financial pressure sharpens the wits, though it needn't sharpen the disposition. But it takes an interesting person to have an attractive ménage on a shoe-string and to run it with gaiety and charm ... Maybe you would rather play polo than pingpong, but if you've got an old pingpong set and no ponies, you'll get a lot more fun out of life from being a pingpong champion than from taking a dispirited whack with a polo mallet every now and then.

Frequently Bought Together

Orchids On Your Budget: Or Live Smartly on What You Have + A Guide to Elegance: For Every Woman Who Wants to Be Well and Properly Dressed on All Occasions + Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange
Price For All Three: £34.49

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Virago (3 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844086186
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844086184
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 11.6 x 18.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 177,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

*This charming gem from a more genteel age is an elegant and witty guide to living chicly but cheaply

About the Author

Marjorie Hillis (1889-1971) worked for Vogue for over twenty years, where she became assistant editor. She was one of a growing number of independent, professional women who lived alone by choice. In 1936 she wrote LIVE ALONE AND LIKE IT (9781844081257), the superlative guide for 'bachelor ladies' (who became known as 'live-aloners'). It was an instant bestseller.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
70 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Orchids on your budget 18 Oct 2009
This is an excellent book, which covers subjects such as clothes, the home, entertaining - and includes a chapter entitled "husbands - can you afford one?". Throughout, the author emphasises the importance of taking a creative and cheerful approach towards economising, and encourages her readers to prioritise so that they can afford orchids - or whatever their preferred luxuries are. In the section on clothes, where she lays down firm rules about planning one's wardrobe for maximum versatility, she points out that though many women believe they would be well-dressed if they were rich, in her view those who know about clothes, and make them a priority, will be well-dressed essentially regardless of wealth or poverty.

Her ideas on entertaining are also stylish and creative, including suggestions for holding brunches or afternoon teas as a more economical and unusual alternative to fancy dinners.

Besides her tips on style on a budget, the author takes a very firm line with those who get into serious financial difficulty.

Although the book was written in 1937, it has generally stood the test of time very well, and as the advice was given shortly after a time of general depression in US, much of it resonates now.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly delightful 6 Jan 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful little book. It provides genuinely useful ideas on how to live well on less. Marjorie is a very entertaining writer and it is great fun to read. The quirkiness of the 1930's language just adds to the charm of the book. Congratulations to the publisher for finding it down the back of the sofa and reprinting it.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
By Cedric
I borrowed this book from the library which is throughly in the spirit in which the book is written. Without sounding too smug I wanted to write a review as I enjoyed it so much. I would highly recommend this book and with the Amazon discount one would not have to feel too guilty about purchasing it. If I was given this book I would be thrilled as it is charmingly written but also very sensible, which is why it stands the test of time. It definitely merits a reread.

I love the idea of needing to watch the pennies (actually a loathsome task but don't we all have to do it to some extent or another) but still being able to get orchids (or some luxurious equivalent) if you plan carefully. A book with a 'can do' attitude and full of thoughtful advice.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty and relevant 18 April 2011
By knfh
An extremely witty and amusing book with some very useful points to make. Hard to believe this was not written recently. A treasure!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book 21 Jun 2010
This book is really relevant today and the fashion advice, although written over seventy years ago, was excellent!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really fun read 26 Nov 2012
By rinna
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
People in 30's seemed to expect a lot more parties from their life than our time. I recommend this book to anyone who needs emotional or mental lift when considering their money situation.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars COMMON SENSE GALORE 11 Aug 2010
Enjoyed every bit. This is a very complete collection of common sense advice to live well on a limited budget. You'll get a general picture on how to face economic restrictions. It's funny it refers constantly to previous crises, so theré's still hope in the present sitaution. It advocated the use of imagination , originality and acceptance. A pleasure from other times.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming 17 Jan 2010
Amazing that over 70 years on so much of what Majorie Hillis has to say still rings true. She expresses herself with such charm and grace that the ideas are delightful to read, as well as being very useful. A highly recommended read, especially for all those who love the finer things in life.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I love this book. Only started reading it but I would recommend this book.
Published 9 days ago by Miss R Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!
I laughed out loud quite few time while reading it. I actually find Hillis' advice very relevant for now, - and it is more than 80 years after the book was written. Read more
Published 5 months ago by WRW-ER
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming and chic
In my case it should read," Orchids? On Your Budget??!!!???" But this book gives some good advice and is a charming read. Read more
Published 6 months ago by natalie palmer
5.0 out of 5 stars bought for my eldest daughter
It was a birthday present for my eldest daughter. She says it is excellent reading
and she would recommend it !!
Published 8 months ago by Eileen D Gibbens
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless advice!
OK, so it can seem a little dated at times - who employs a maid these days? But, on the whole, it's a fab read. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Elizabeth Westray
3.0 out of 5 stars Not too happy
Must admit, I did expect slightly more of the book. Didn't find it useful really. It just the 'Cases' were fun to read. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Sasha
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply wonderful
This book is written with wit and charm and I cant put it down. Its full of very relevant advice and although its not going to mention what you need to do to reduce your mobile... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny & Practical
This book is amazing and I would recommend it to anyone with a sence of humour. Not only is it witty but very practical advice. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Jenny Wren
4.0 out of 5 stars Time travel
If you want a taste of what it was like to be a young, ambitious woman some 50 odd years ago, this book will give it to you. Fun to read. Read more
Published on 4 Dec 2011 by susan ann crawford
5.0 out of 5 stars So relevant today!! A must read for any woman, any age
I have just finished this book and every chapter has been a delight to read. Despite the fact it was written in the 1930s it is so relevant to todays financially unstable times. Read more
Published on 4 Mar 2011 by Joy
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