Liblady's Genealogy Blog


52 Weeks of Personal and Genealogy History: Week 24: Clothes
June 15, 2011, 7:28 pm
Filed under: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History, Personal History

Week 24. Clothes. What types of clothes did you wear as a child? What was “in fashion” and did your style compare?

As I child I was not a tomboy, so I wore dresses most of the time, most were made by my mother or my sister.  Quite a often they would have a Peter Pan collar and puffed sleeves.  When went to college, and then married, I started making my own clothes, again skirts & blouses and dresses.  Around the time I was in 7th grade I joined 4-H, and sewing was one of my projects.  One year I made a pink gingham crop top, and dark blue pleated skirt.  I did not fare well at the style show, because the judge didn’t like the pink and blue combination.  Ah! Well, I survivied.

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Clothes over the Years

During my early teen years, I was aware of the “fashion fads” of the day.  A couple I remember: the Intern blouse, a style from the TV shows “Ben Casey”, and “Dr. Kildare”, (the heart throbs of the day).  The other was the ruffled blouse, it had a ruffle around the neck, the bottom and another one down the front.  As I was not a slim, trim little girl, I knew what that one would never do for me.  I did not buy either of these two items, but I remember many of my classmates did.

During my High School years, girls were allowed to wear jeans on Friday.

In 1970 I became a “working woman”.  I had my first teaching job.  In preparation of that job I sewed all summer, making several outfits, to wear on the job. This was a time when the hemline was above the knee.  I had some short skirts but not the extreme of today.  As one worked in a classroom, you had to be careful, how you stood, or sat, because the hemline was way up there.  It was during the 1970-71 school year, the district allowed women to wear a pantsuit, but it must be a matching pantsuit.  I bought my first pant suit that year.  It was of polyester, dark blue pants and top. The top had a white tailored collar, a pocket with a touch of red fabric peeking out.

My father was open to a lot of new ideas, but I was not sure how he would react to me in a pantsuit. I wore it to fly home for a visit.  So the first time he saw me in it was as I debarked the plane, (on the tarmack, not the nice ramps into the airport of today),his first comment was  “I like it.”  So I did make and purchase other pantsuits over the years.  Eventually my mother started wearing pantsuits.

Over the years I have been aware of what is “in fashion” but didn’t always embrace the styles.  Especially the style of shoes, i.e. platform and 4” heels.  Many years ago, I decided to dress for comfort not fashion.  Sometimes it is hard for me to find items to wear, because what I like is not “in style”.

And as time goes by some of those styles are seen again.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants.

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