So much for the myth that male grooming is a recent phenomenon…
Once you were suitably styled, you needed to get a date’s attention.
They carded and spun wool, wove cloth and sewed the family clothes, all household bedding and linen.
They steamed and cured feathers for the mattresses and cared for the young calves, made butter, cheese, did all the cooking over the open fireplace and baking in the interior or exterior oven.
In the Regency era, for example, the advice was clear: looks matter but value them at the peril of your long-term happiness: “She, who, intoxicated with flattery, protracts the triumphs of her beauty in youth, may live to lament the barren spoils of it in age.” Indeed, throughout history, grooming and dressing as well as you possibly can has always been a better strategy than ruminating on what you don’t have.