Recently, a friend and I were discussing shopping and fashions. As most of you
know, either subject is rarely on my agenda because I don’t really like to shop and because I rarely pay much attention to fashion.
She mentioned, however, that she never shops in the “old ladies’ aisles” in the stores because she doesn’t think of herself as an old lady and because she likes the styles she wore when she was a young lady. We talked on for a while and decided that neither of us dresses our ages if age has something to do with styles we should be wearing.
Later, I began to think about the clothing we tend to select these days and realized that we really don’t see many of the styles worn by the older women of the 1930’s, ‘40’s, and earlier. Actually, until WWII, few women of any age appeared very often in what we then called “slacks.” Once the pictures of “Rosie the Riveter” became popular, we began to see more women in slacks. At first, they were worn mostly at home or at informal gatherings. Even then, few older women appeared in public in such attire. They still “dressed” to go to town, complete with hat, gloves, “good dress,” and good shoes.
Those of us my age and older probably never saw our grandmothers in slacks, sloppy shirts, and tennis shoes. I can’t even imagine Grandmother Moncus in a pair of Levi’s, sweatshirt, and loafers or boots. She wore either her “house” dresses or her “Sunday” dresses, her work shoes or dress shoes, her sunbonnet or her Sunday hat. In the later years, she used to tell me she thought we were wise to wear the pant suits we chose for fairly dressy occasions, and the casual pants and shirts we wore for most occasions. She said we looked far more relaxed than did her generation.
As I look around today, I note that some women still pay careful attention to their appearance and shop carefully to be sure every item they wear matches. They stand out and make the rest of us wish we had the energy to do likewise. We wear our denims, T-shirts, or sweat shirts as our daily uniforms, but most of us can manage to raise our standards a couple of notches when we go to fairly formal activities. We don’t try to dress like the teenagers and young women, nor do we attempt to dress as senior women of the past did.
Let’s just be comfortable and enjoy each day as we wander through each chapter of our lives!