In an unusual move this weekend I painted both toes AND fingers. Usually I only paint my toes so this was kind of different for me. And two different colours (which I know makes some people crazy...you are supposed to wear the SAME colour fingerz&toez!!) But just look at those fun colours! I absolutely LOVE it! The last time I saw orange and pink together was in the 60's or 70's.
I believe the first time I saw pink and orange together was a polyester dress in orange that had pops of pink at the collar, the cuffs and pocket. I thought it was glorious. My Nana thought it was vulgar. Pink and orange on the same dress? Those two colours did not belong together, in her august opinion, and what's more it calls attention to the wearer, and ladies did not call attention to themselves. And that, my friends, was that.
First of all polyester. Yuck. I cannot believe we wore that crap. The upside was that it absolutely did not wrinkle. No matter what you did to it, it never ever wrinkled so it never required ironing.
From the perspective of the housewives of my childhood era, finally having an article of clothing that you could just hang up straight out of the washer and, once dry, it looks pristine was a marvel, a wonder and a blessing all in one. Back then 99% of household chores were done by the female quotient of any family. Having one thing ticked off ahead of time was a godsend.
But from a personal point of view, I cannot believe we wore that stuff. The actual texture was bizarre, it felt terrible, weird, strange and unnatural, which of course it was. Not a natural fabric I mean. Essentially made from plastic, it was squishy and it didn't breathe and it folded oddly when the wearer sat down. But it was all the rage at back then.
The only really good part (aside from the no-wrinkle thing) about polyester was the colour. Colour! It was like when we went from black & white to technicolour in movies and then TV.
It's not as if people didn't wear colour before the groovy 60's and 70's, of course they did. But they wore quiet colours. There was a lot of navy blue going on. Suit wearing men wore black, charcoal grey or navy. Their shirts were white. Ties were subdued. A flashy tie might have a stripe.
I have a photo of my dad somewhere, walking down the streets of Chicago with a smile on his face, a hat on his head and a jazzy looking tie. I think the photo might have been taken in the 1940's. Younger men who lived in bigger cities dabbled in ties with designs for awhile. Some of them were pretty wild. Lots of fun. That photo is the ONLY time I've ever seen of my father in a tie that wasn't subdued, respectful and quiet.
I know that as a kid I wore a lot of blues of one shade of another and my sister wore pink. It's like those were our designated colours. My mother wore mostly solid colours but her mother, my Nana wore printed dresses. Usually a dark solid background and a teensy flower print scattered across the frock, with a white collar - a lace collar if it was a fancy dress. Period. That is what she wore. The end.
Then the 60's happened and suddenly patterns got crazy, fabric got crazier and, well psychedelic's is how it was described. Hemlines crept up, necklines dipped down and the attitude was, "anything goes". And if you didn't want to jump into the frey full tilt, you could still participate in a more current fashion style in a more subtle manner with colour combinations.
Suddenly, the rules went right out the window with colour combos. Pink and orange? Of course they belong together. They sit side by side in a box of crayons don't they? Turquoise and Lime Green, Mustard and Avocado, Purple and Scarlet, Mercy!
It didn't happen overnight of course, it was a long slow process of change. And it has brought us through to today, some 60 years later when it's nearly impossible to shock anyone with what you are wearing anymore so people began colouring their hair wild and crazy unusual colours and colour combinations.
At first it was just the colours. Stop sign red, deep dark blue, grape jelly purple, you know, not the usual colours that hair comes in. But then it was multiple colours. A veritable rainbow on someone's head. I've seen it in pastels (which I actually quite liked) and deep dark saturated colours and everything in between.
And hair styles? Up, down, sideways, Heads shaved, or designs shaved in, and only a portion of the head shaved. Curly hair, straight hair, long hair and short. Braids, ponytails, fancy clips and hairbands for either gender.
Why not. Have fun. Be happy.
We felt like we were rebels when we wore crazy colour combinations and styles that made our grandparents (and sometimes parents) aghast. In fact, I just remembered one day when I was in high school. When I got home I saw that my mother had painted her toes alternating colours of pink and red. I was tickled to bits, loved it and told her so. Her mother was not so pleased. "Dotty, what were you thinking?" Nana said to her. It was a tiny rebellion but a rebellion nonetheless.
The first woman who wore a bikini on a public beach was arrested. Barabara Eden in "I Dream of Jeannie" had have her Genie costume altered to cover her belly button to satisfy the censors. Now nobody bats an eye. It's just fashion and most everyone gets that now. It's fun, it's an expression of how you feel. It's experimentation to finding out who you are.
But I'm starting to feel the pendulum swinging back and I'm not real happy about it. I'm reading about it with school dress codes in particular. In some schools, regardless of the time of year or the temperature, girls aren't allowed to wear sleeveless tops, tank tops or open collars. Cannot be showing upper arms or collar bones. Collar bones.
I say, " No no no!" When those sort of rules are imposed we are moving in the absolute wrong direction.
Remember the days when a woman wasn't allowed to show an ankle? She was covered from the top of her neck to her wrists to the floor. Layer upon layer upon layer of hot, stifling misery because someone decided that it was unseemly for a women to be noticed.
Well, as it so happens, women are worth being noticed. And fashion is fun. The End.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.