What has happened to femininity?  Where is that feminine presentation?  My mom (mommy, as I continue to call her right up to the present) wore pants/jeans only while scrubbing the toilets or doing yardwork.  The remainder of her wardrobe consisted of simple shift-style dresses she ran errands in.  She  may have shown up to a parent/teacher meeting wearing one.  A few pieces in her closet were for special occasions out to dinner or a party.  My mom was quite the seamstress as she made sweetly tailored clothes for my sister and myself and even took to fashioning Barbie doll clothes for my sister’s collection.  Everything about my mom screamed feminine presentation.  Nobody did her nails.  She did her own manicure, fixed her hair without assist from the beauty parlor brigade, and wore simple make-up, usually just a touch of lipstick.  She always looked polished and on a skimpy budget managed to work some minor miracles in her sessions with the mirror.  Let’s examine the trend since then.  Of course, this is from my skewed vantage point.  Now, we see women of all ages showing up to work in jeans.  Teachers, school attendance secretaries, pastor’s wives, retail clerks, receptionists, bank tellers, all have decided to don those Levi’s.  Why?  Comfort?  Are you kidding me?  After a few hours in jeans the inseam has become one with my thighs.  And I’m trying to be delicate here.  When I returned to college at the age of 51 in 2006 I made a pact with myself.  I would never cross that campus with jeans on.  Blend in with the other coeds?  Why?  But, rather, in a dress or skirt with heels, I traversed the full length of the campus from the hinterlands space where I left my car. By the way, I packed bandaids and gauze just in case my lady-like heels declared war on my feet.  An unexpected phenomena came as a result of my desire to be a reasonably stylish individual. Several times other students thought I was a faculty member.  I loved it!  In fact, I encouraged it!  I even lied and told a couple students that, yes, indeed, I was a faculty… sans degree.  I guess I emitted professorial essence.  Fine by me.

So, we’ve evolved from a certain level of decorum as evidenced by mom’s style to a lack of decorum as evidenced by a seeming neglect of all that is feminine presentation, for now anyway.  Since my college commencement in 2008, I have made the conscious decision to wear only dresses and heels as long as I don’t face a flood condition on my way to my jobs.  A year ago I threw out my last pair of jeans.  No regrets.  I got rid of my only pair of athletic shoes.  Not a huge adjustment there.  I’m not much of an athlete.  By my example, I consider myself a throw-back to a more genteel era.  Without pretentiousness as my guide, I hope to exude a lady-like quality in my physical appearance.  Heads do turn, and even keep their gaze on me when I enter a store, restaurant…fill-in-the-blank.  I was once asked by one of several friends as I entered our meeting place, “Are you trying to make us look bad?”.  “No” was my answer.  But if a woman feels bad standing beside a nicely dressed female, perhaps that casual Friday (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday…you get it) fashion statement needs re-examination.  You’re safe following my mom as the standard for femininity.  I do.

3 thoughts on “Mommy

  1. Firstly, there are a LOT of styles and trends of today that I absolutely can NOT stand – so I can definitely agree with you on a lot of this….

    However, I imagine some women might feel like they have a duty to wear something else other than a dress or a skirt. Women are SUPPOSED to wear those, right? Men wear blue and women wear pink. Take into consideration things like the women’s rights movement and it’s easy to see why some women might want to dress differently. They don’t want to be defined by an age or an era that – in some instances – dictated where you were supposed to be and what you were supposed to be doing.

    We (as a society) would certainly shame any man for coming home from work and immediately demanding his dinner be ready and waiting for him, along with his slippers and cigar. An image like that conjures up a time when things were simpler (or so it seemed) and it’s that very world that I think some women wish never to be a part of.

    ‘Sides, SOME women look really good in a nice, form-fitting pair of jeans….

    • Have to offer a rebuttal on this. I can’t count how many women know squat about proper attire. And body shapes that are not flattered by fashion choice. In fact, that’s my point. No longer do the majority of women understand presentation. Now, at the risk of eliciting some comments about my so-called narcissistic tendencies, here’s the bottom line. For years my preference has been the ultra feminine dress/heels look. I have every reason to believe I’m on the right track. Proof: men, women AND children follow me with their gaze. I am an anomaly!! Who dresses up anymore? I do. And I love the implied respect and adoration ( not to mention, envy ) that it elicits. Boo-yah!

      • Attractively put-together women command attention. Just spot the lone female standing in line at the supermarket in all her regal splendor. High heels (tasteful, not 5 inches high) well tailored skirt and jacket or drapey dress in a figure flattering silhouette. People WILL train their eye in her direction. So other women feel inadequately styled in their flip flops (beach wear) ratty jeans (home-on-the-range)and tube top (tasteless AND shapeless)? I feel at times I missed my calling to run a charm and decorum school. And it all begins with your feminine presentation, PERIOD DOT

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