Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hemlines, Etc.

Back in the historic days of my youth hemlines were important.

"What are hemlines?" some of you may ask.

Well, back then women and girls wore dresses and skirts for work, school, social occasions and even shopping trips to cities. Jeans, slacks, pedal pushers, and the like were reserved for things like playtime, picnics, and working in the garden.

And the proper length of the skirts, or hemline, was determined every year by the fashion industry and shown in all the women's magazines and department store windows. Any girl or woman whose dress was too long or short would be embarrassed to be seen in public.

No, I'm not kidding. It actually was socially unacceptable to wear clothes that were out of style. I'm not just talking about school girls making fun of somebody who didn't have what the popular kids did. Even adults looked down on anyone who had clothing that was too long or short.

It's hard for people now to understand what that was like. The closest example I can give is to say it was sort of like being politically incorrect today.

And women and girls who went to church on Easter Sunday, which included nearly everyone who wasn't Jewish or a member of another religion, wore a new dress that day. And, of course, ladies always wore hats to church so they'd have a new one of those on Easter, too.

My mother and everyone I knew would be horrified to know that I plan to wear slacks to church on Easter Sunday, and I won't even wear a hat. How shameful! ;-)


Susan J. Berger said...

And we wore white gloves. Every Easter my grandfather sent my mother and I a corsage. Thanks for the memory.

Janet Ann Collins said...

Oh, yes, I forgot to mention the gloves. Thanks, Susan. said...

Also remember slips? And when one's slip was showing beneath the hemline we would advise the wearer that "it's snowing down south."