Posted tagged ‘blouses’

“What a strange power there is in clothing.”

May 8, 2015

My windows have been opened to bring inside the sweetness of spring and to rid the house of the closed smell of winter. Through those opened windows I get to hear the birds and be serenaded by their songs, sounds muted in the house during winter. This morning I was awake at dawn for a bit and could hear the mighty chorus of birds greeting the day; however, with the temperature going down to the 40’s tonight, I’ll have no choice but to shut the windows as the day starts to close and the sun dips behind the trees.

A long missing sock has returned home. It is red and one half of a favorite pair. The other red sock sat on the dryer all this time so I’d know where it was just in case its mate returned, but I admit I wasn’t hopeful. I went to get a sweatshirt this morning and pulled out one I haven’t worn in a while, a favorite sweatshirt, a Doctor Who sweatshirt. When I put it on, the sock popped out of the hood. Now I have a reunited pair of favorite socks.

When I was a kid, I didn’t really care if my socks matched. I just wanted one for each foot and just about any socks would do. I didn’t have fashion sense. It never even occurred to me there was a method to choosing clothes. I’d wear my girl jeans forever as they were comfortable and warm. Girl jeans were the ones with the zipper in the pocket. Back then that wasn’t the only difference between girls’ and boys’ clothes. Girls never wore shirts but rather blouses which always looked like shirts to me so I was a bit baffled. I know girls’ shirts have buttons on the left side while boys’ have buttons on the right. I looked it up just now and found that the reason dated back at least a century. Because men dressed themselves and most were right -handed, that’s where the buttons went, but servants dress the women and stood in front to button the frocks so left-side buttons made for easy buttoning. Sneakers too were different. Boys had high tops while my sneakers were low tops but both were usually Keds. I never wore a jersey, but my brother often did. His looked like Beaver Cleaver’s, usually long sleeve and striped. I did have one summer advantage, sleeve-less blouses.

Fashion has changed dramatically, and I couldn’t be happier. I don’t have to wear classic old lady clothes. They don’t exist anymore. Come to think of it, neither do old ladies.

“I was going to change my clothes, but I changed my mind instead.”

August 23, 2013

Today is simply beautiful, sunny and cool with a strong breeze. The nights will be delightful for sleeping: cool, even cold. Tomorrow night could be down in the 50’s. Gracie has been out all morning, and I will join her as soon as I can!

When I was a kid, I didn’t mind being dirty and sweaty. Both of those were from having a great time. My socks often slipped down in my sneaker, and I didn’t even care when I walked on the lump of a sock. I’d eventually pull up that sock, but in a short time, it would slip again. That was the way it was. I took a bath once a week, that Saturday ritual we all had. For dinner, our vegetables, except for potatoes and carrots, came from cans. I don’t remember fresh vegetables, maybe because my mother knew we would probably not eat them. She had enough trouble getting us to like carrots without pushing even more. In the summer, we’d play all day then go to bed exhausted. A bath wasn’t ever part of the nightly ritual, even in summer. I guess jumping into the sprinkler or going to the pool kept us clean enough.

We girls wore blouses, never t-shirts. Some of my blouses were sleeveless, and they were the coolest for summer, coolest in the sense of the word, the opposite of hot. We wore shorts and sometimes clam-diggers. I know why the pants were called clam-diggers, but I had never dug a clam in my life so in a way it was an odd name. We also wore dungarees, but girls’ and boys’ dungarees were different. Ours had zippers, usually in the side pocket. When I was really young, mine had elastic at the waist. Girls could wear sandals. Boys never did, too risky and too open to name-calling. My sisters wore white sandals with buckles. When I got a little older, I stopped wearing sandals and wore white sneakers instead. The sneakers usually had pointed toes, and when I was in high school, I used to polish them to keep them white. Dresses and skirts were still necessary wardrobe components.

The last time I wore a dress was Easter. My friends and I go out to a fancy restaurant every year so we get dressed up. Tony wears a suit and tie and Clare and I wear dresses. Many of the people at the restaurant are also clad in Easter finery. The few who aren’t stand out a bit. I always feel a bit outlandishly proper when I’m in a dress. It happens so seldom.

My uniform of the day almost always includes a t-shirt. At night, for a play, I do wear a regular shirt and nice pants, but not dressy pants. I don’t even own a blouse anymore. I do happen to have a pair of clam-diggers, but they are meant to be worn around the house or to the dump which doesn’t have a dress code.

“She wore far too much rouge last night and not quite enough clothes. That is always a sign of despair in a woman.”

May 22, 2012

I heard the rain through the open window when I woke up this morning. The rain is steady but it’s a light rain, the sort where the drops from the roof make more noise than the rain. I love days like today when the room is dark and all is quiet except for the raindrops.

A lot of the pine pollen has been washed from my deck, but under the deck chairs the yellow-green spots are protected and only pitted by the rain. They look like paintings, like Pollacks dripped from brushes. The umbrellas are back to being red. The deck will soon be in its summer finery.

When I was a little kid, I didn’t need or want much. I had my sled for the winter and my bike for the rest of the year. I wore sneakers all summer, the same pair until I either out-grew them or they finally wore out. I wore shorts and blouses, the summer uniform for girls. Fashionable hadn’t yet become part of my vocabulary. Whatever I found in my bureau drawer was what I wore for the day. I don’t even think I worried about matching colors.

When I became a teenager, clothes were paramount. I had to have what everyone else was wearing. Individuality was a concept none of us espoused. I remember one Christmas getting black stretch stirrup pants and a fluffy, almost Angora like pink sweater. That outfit was so much the rage you’d think it was a uniform for a strange band. I loved that sweater and wore it until it was unwearable, worn and no longer fluffed. We wore our cardigans backwards, the buttons down our backs. They were best worn with tightish skirts which zippered in the back. I never had enough clothes back then-at least I thought so.

In college, for my first two years, we were required to wear dresses or skirts. None of us liked it but we didn’t have a choice. The coldest winter in years occurred during my junior year and the clothing rule changed. We could now wear slacks to help keep us warm. The horse had been let out of the barn, and from then on we could always wear what we wanted though shorts were not part of the deal.

In Ghana, in those days, women had to wear dresses, never pants. I wore a dress every day to teach. I travelled for hours on busses in a dress which actually made pit stops easier as most places were holes in the ground in sheds. Pants would have been complicated. I had a pair of jeans I wore for long rides on my motorcycle, and I had a couple of pairs of shorts I wore around the house, never outside. The good part of all of that was my dresses were made in Ghana of Ghanaian cloth and were bright, colorful and beautiful.

Teaching here started in dresses and went to pants at some point in the late 70’s or early 80’s. My casual clothes were jeans and flannel shirts in winter and shorts and polo shirts in summer.

Now, for the most part, I wear pants and all sorts of shirts. When it’s cold, I wear a hoodie. I have two summer dresses and a spring-fall dress. Seldom do I go places where dressing up is demanded, maybe a wedding or two. My life has slid back into the comfortable. Fashionable is no longer part of my vocabulary.