How we Dress

Impression

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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I have always been interested in the way society changes its values and habits over time. I’m talking just about America here.  I’ve never lived anywhere else, so I can’t speak with any authority about other places.

I’ve lived in America for nearly 70 years, and I’ve seen a huge change since I was a little girl.  Some would seem to be small things, not worth noticing. For example, it was always impressed upon us, growing up, that the impression one makes on people is lasting; therefore, you need to always be presentable.  For parents of the 1950’s, that meant clean clothes, polished shoes, socks pulled up and neatly folded at the ankle, and clean fingernails.

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Cute kids, right?  Notice:  The boy is wearing hard-soled shoes.  Sneakers were for gym class. The girl is wearing a dress. No girls ever wore pants to school unless it was very cold, and then you put them on under your skirt and took them off when you got to school. Hair is conservative and neatly combed. The kids are as neat as a pin. Now let’s see how different a girl looks in 2017:

Image result for typical teen clothing in 2017

Ripped jeans, skin tight; long and often messy hair, sneakers, belly shirt.  I couldn’t find a picture of a boy, but they often look about the same as this girl. Or, they wear baggy shorts and tees, great big sneakers with laces left undone, and a backwards ball cap.

No one in my generation would have been caught dead looking like this in public. I’m still amazed that kids WANT to look like their parents can’t afford to buy them new jeans 🙂

So what happened?  Well, to begin with, the Hippie generation back in the 60’s and 70’s, when everyone wanted to be different, but all in the same way.   Long, messy hair, lots of facial hair for the guys, sunglasses, beadsbeadsbeads, tatty old hip-hugging  jeans (bell bottoms, remember?) and either sandals or bare feet.  It was the uniform of those who were rebelling against the Establishment.

Then, comfort became the mantra for what people wore. It still is, but I don’t see as much prejudice against suits for men, office apparel for women that doesn’t look like something out of the dumpster behind the Good Will store. Making a good impression has become important again, and our outward appearance reflects that.  Major changes still exist, though. It is now appropriate for women to wear pants to work, for instance, although I understand some offices frown on it.  There doesn’t seem to be nearly as much emphasis on dress codes as there used to be.

I think we’ve kind of come back to center.  The 50’s were neat and tidy, the 60’s and 70’s ushered in the grunge look.  The 80’s were all about BIG hair, HUGE glasses, shoulder pads for women.  The 90’s tamed that down, and this century, so far,  has been pretty conservative for the most part but gentler around the edges than the 50’s were.

Unless you’re a Hollywood entertainer, where the look for women seems to be as bare and/or revealing as possible while the men still wear tuxedos to walk the red carpet to awards events.

The fact is, we’re always making some kind of impression on someone.  I don’t really worry about that too much.  I dress to please myself, to be appropriate, and not to call attention to myself when I’m working.  I wouldn’t be able to help people if they were so bedazzled by my outfit that they couldn’t think straight.

And heavy women–please, if you’re going to wear the ubiquitous yoga pants, do us all a favor and wear a long top that covers your backside. You apparently don’t know how bad you look.

Image result for heavy woman in yoga pants

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/impression/

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10 thoughts on “How we Dress

  1. Really Great Gift Ideas

    I love dresses and wear them all the time. (No bra, don’t need one.)
    I love your blog too, you are such a sweet and wonderful lady!
    Keep up the encouraging and insightful writing!
    xoxo

    1. Thanks. I love dresses, too. Especially in summer, a light fabric, a long flowy skirt, are much cooler than pants, or even shorts–which I don’t wear because I have fat stumpy legs 🙂

  2. I love this! I am approaching 50 and have always cared about how I dress based on something the priest said at my grandmother’s funeral (she was always smartly dressed). He reasoned she was showing her respect for us by caring about how she was presented herself and that went beyond simply how she dressed. My employer just rolled out a jeans everyday dress code at work as though this was something good for us but I have to wonder.

    1. I don’t think I would want to wear jeans every day. I like more variety 🙂 And it also seems to me that it makes the work seem less important. Just my thinking.

  3. You grew up in the same generation as my Mom because she had to wear pants under her skirt in winter. I also was taught to look presentable when going out. I don’t wear shorts either I think capris are a little classier (and I do like my legs)

  4. Ah, the yoga wearing chubby KNOWS probably, but I bet she doesn’t CARE. The most eye scalding thing I ever saw was a very large woman who determinedly stuffed herself into a tube top (another remnant of the 70s/80s) and was bulging out the sides and top. It was merely a matter of time until she popped out altogether and/or the tube material gave up the fight. I felt quite sorry for her actually…I wondered if she knew how bad she looked or if it were so warm that day that she just didn’t care.

    1. Yes, I’ve seen that. I always approach the hot weather with a slight feeling of dread, knowing that people are going to be shedding their clothes right and left, giving me nowhere to look without, as you say, scalding my eyeballs 🙂

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