Friday, May 22, 2015

     How do you feel about fashion? Do you care what you wear? Do you share what you wear? Do you dress for yourself? your spouse or SO? your female friends? men? Men, do you dress for women? for other men? for yourself? If clothes send a message about you, what message do you want that to be? What part of your clothing specifically targets who you are? Do you spend a large percentage of your budget on clothes? Do you only buy things on sale or at resale shops? Do you dress in a certain color most of the time? Do you dress age-appropriately?

     I will bet you never thought about some of these questions, and maybe you still don’t. If that is the case, you may read on to see how a woman of a certain age sees your outer layer, or you can bail right now. (I still get credit for your hit though:)

     I dress how I choose. I wear some trendy fashions, and I wear clothes that I believe flatter my figure. As I eat well, work out regularly (although not for very long), and take great pride in my physical appearance, clothes are important to me and how they make me look is a value.  I know people who wear whatever is trendy regardless of how it looks on them. I know people who wear clothes that hide them rather than flatter their bodies. I know people who dress like their daughters and others who dress like their grand-mothers. It’s all personal taste, and despite the gurus of fashion who dictate what’s right and wrong, cool or crude, I say “`a chacun son goût.” (To each his/her own).

     There are certain styles that are more age specific than others; i.e. bikini swimwear, extra high platform heals, long full skirts, bare midriff tops, low cut see-through blouses, gladiator sandals, etc. It is obvious who should and should not wear any or all of these, but if you are lucky enough to have the skin of a 20-year-old or the body of a 24-year-old, then I say go for it.

     I find it fascinating that French models have recently been faced with a stunning development. There is a movement to fine models who aren’t of a “healthy” weight. Some models may even be banned from work if they are too thin. (Eat your heart out, Twiggy). There are movements in the U.S. that are encouraging “plus-size women” to model underwear. For those of us brought up in the Twiggy generation, that’s hard to comprehend. In the Baroque era, it was fashionable to have a little round tummy and a “full” healthy appearance. I don’t know if Modigliani’s long skinny figures ruined it all for today’s “normal” lady, but the flat tummy is in, and if you don’t have a six-pack, then you’re just not cool. The trends have gone in both directions. Who is to say which is right? I suppose we should err on the side of “healthy,” whatever that means. 

      If a girl was a beauty when I was in high school, that meant she was thin, well-endowed and had curves (34-24-34 was the goal). A tape measure was always in the bathroom drawer across from the scale. Her clothes were always stylish, conservative and neat. Her hair was smooth and shiny, and her complexion was flawless.With all that going for her, clothes were just the icing on the cake. 

     As a teacher for 40 years, I saw clothing trends change drastically. My own daughters wore the “big” shirt look. We didn’t even know if they had figures under all that cotton. When I looked out into my classes, I saw lots of sweatshirts, blouses that hung outside slacks, and tennis shoes, sometimes tied, sometimes not. When I was handed some of their senior pictures, I asked them who the person was. 

     I never dressed for comfort. That word was and still is not in my clothing vocabulary. I must admit, however, that as the years have passed, even though I dress every day in skirts, blouses and high heels, when I get home, I run for my snuggie sometimes in the middle of the day. If I could wear my stilettos with my snuggie, I would start a new trend:)

                                                                           Fifi's snuggie in photo