I grew up in Santa Ana, and one of my fondest memories is of attending the Wendy Ward Charm School which was located in the Montgomery Wards on 17th Street. Every Saturday we trekked upstairs, through the furniture department and spent a couple of hours learning how to paint our nails, walk and sit with good posture and conduct ourselves like ladies. Lots of lights and mirrors, costumes and instructional posters made that space very glamorous to my 10 year old girlie side.
Serena, with the big blond hair and long red-lacquered fingernails was our instructor. The best part was when we got to go downstairs to the girls department and pick out 3 of the prettiest outfits we could find (and matching shoes of course!), which we then modeled during a fashion show on a Saturday afternoon. They had stage risers set up and music playing. I loved it!!
Wendy Ward Charm School was something exclusive to Montgomery Ward's stores, and was offered at many of their locations across the country. The program started in the mid 1960s, and each graduating class would model themselves in a fashion show.