I don't quite know what to think about this post from Mrs. Chancey...on dressing in a feminine way, followed by a week's worth of clothing to prove her point. Of course they're all dresses, but most of the outfits seem to be winners of the "Dress Like Grandma" contest.
Do I need to wear pinafores and long, loose jumpers, lacy aprons, hats with ribbons and flowery stuff to prove I'm a woman? (Although Mrs. C's reproduction clothing pattern line, Sense and Sensibility is quite lovely. Her walking suits and Empire gowns are beautifully constructed, and the patterns are shown on women and girls of all sizes, small to comfortably plump. Go here to see them.)
Sez Mrs. Chancey:
I hope this page is an encouragement; that's the main reason it is here. Our foremothers settled this land, built houses, planted gardens and tended animals in long skirts and beautiful dresses. Even their aprons were wonderful to behold! Surely in our day of microwaves, washing machines and vacuum cleaners, we can do our chores with as much feminine flair as they. Personally, I feel it is uplifting to the spirit to go through each day in womanly attire. Let's dignify our work by dressing appropriately and beautifully for it!
I can identify with much of her statement...although for most of my young-kids-at-home years, I lived in jeans, long shirts and t-shirts. A daily shower was often the extent of my fashion prowess, it seems, looking back on that hectic time.
It's easy to go on automatic, forgetting about pretty details. I admit this. Wearing a pin or earrings helps...long dangling silver earrings set off a denim shirt nicely. (A camisole underneath with an edge of lace feels good, too.) Polishing the cowboy boots may not be 'feminine,' but I feel spruced up wearing them. That's the standard 'dressy' outfit around here in Colorado: jeans, cowboy boots and a sportcoat for guys; jeans, boots, a nice sweater, a heavy bracelet or cuff and earrings for women.
Last year, right before our Brazil trip, I bought a casual long skirt, thinking I'd offend fewer people in this strongly Catholic country. (I needn't have bothered...the women we saw along the Amazon dressed mostly in shorts and sexy-tight polyester halter or tank tops.) What I found, though, was that the skirt was airy to wear on hot days, compared to jeans that captured every drop of sweat.
This summer, I'm wearing a long skirt two or three times a week -- after all, it's in style now! -- but it doesn't look like the pioneer-style outfits shown above. A skirt, a loose t-shirt...aahh. Now if I could find some pretty sandals at the thrift shop that aren't clunky-looking, in spite of a size 9 foot....