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Classic is classy

October 13, 2011

The best part of the Sparkette having an orthodontic appointment is that I get some uninterrupted time in the waiting room.  I know this might not seem like much to others, but the Sparkette’s orthodontist does a great job keeping current magazines on the rack.  Magazines I wouldn’t buy but might read on the sly if given the opportunity.

Ok, ok…I mean People magazine, if you must know.

I don’t like to admit I read People magazine when I get the opportunity.  Somewhere inside me I still try to convince myself that I’m above being interested in such drivel.  And for real, I have zero interest in keeping up with celebrities for whom I have little to no respect.  I don’t understand being famous for being famous and I see no reason to hang on every word and movement of folks who seem to have no life skills beyond being a public spectacle.  But that’s only a portion of the cultural stew that can be found between the covers of People.

Today I grabbed the latest People and sat down to an article on Jackie Kennedy.  When I was a kid she was hounded constantly by the media, but I was too young to understand why.  To me she was just a woman who was constantly on the covers of paparazzi rags, and I thought she was a little odd-looking.  But today I sat down and looked at the photos.  Really looked.  I saw the deeply intelligent and guarded eyes, perfectly made up, staring out of her striking face.  She had a fresh face, a girl-next-door face.  And the clothing…oh, goodness, the clothing.  The simple, clean styles of the ’50s and early ’60s.  The pillbox hats, the full length gloves, the little jackets, the pearls…it was all so very classic, so feminine.

I remember my mother having that sort of clothing hanging in her closet.  This was before the ’70s introduced us to double-knit polyester horror suits in Zombie-proof plaids.  I remember the crisp dresses that had fitted bodices and full skirts.  I remember the darts and pleats and matching belts. I remember thinking they were incredibly glamorous.  I still do.  It’s hard to imagine that there was a time when those weren’t dress-up clothes.  They were for everyday wear.

The dresses and accessories may have been glamorous, but I’ve seen the undergarments.  Those were decidedly unglamorous.  Horrid girdles with snaps for stockings that tended to run and bag at the knees and ankles (Pre-pantyhose days.  Pre-Spandex days, too).  Pointy bras in awful materials.  Slips made from clingy, static-y nylon that could creep up when one walked.  We have definitely come a long way, baby.

Though I think the classic clothing of that time period is far more beautiful than the clothing I see now, I can’t really imagine wearing it, personally.  I don’t think those styles would suit me, neither by matching my personality nor by flattering my body type.  But I sure wish today’s designers would take a good look at what worked back then and employ a little of it now.  As much as I like things that are funky and quirky, I miss pretty.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 13, 2011 9:44 am

    I have two of those dresses in my closet. One is an olive green and the other is a dark blue. I usually wear them for more “formal” occasions but may wear one today just for the “fun” of it and see how it changes my day.

  2. October 16, 2011 10:03 pm

    I love that style, too!

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