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Thursday, 28 April 2011

Fashion and Courtship

By Joanne Zimmermann

Recently, I happened upon the 1896 Delineator, a Journal of Fashion, Culture and Fine Arts. It was published by Butterick and since I used to sew. I knew them as pattern makers.

All of our papers are now filled with our version of the latest finery, since Easter is the season and should contain our finest spring collection.

With the two side by side, I could not help but wonder. Has the world changed this much? Where has femininity gone? Are women today really appealing to young men as much as they could be?

Waists are hidden or, conversely, exposed down to the undies which are worn down to the - oh never mind. Bras are gone or fashions are flattening rather than flattering. The standard uniform for over the last 30 years, jeans, are up to the "moon" so nothing is mysterious anymore.

In order to "flirt," something should be held back, teasing the imagination which sometimes can embroider the real thing, giving the illusion of something better.

1896 fashion

At my age, I welcome long skirts - my legs are not my best feature but am lucky to still have a pretty good waist. So that is what I try to feature. It seems if something is the "in thing," everyone has to wear it even in size 52. Really, it is very hard not to giggle sometimes.

Maybe we need the old-fashioned dress-makers again. Someone who is objective, who can say, wear vertical stripes, colors that are good for your hair and skin tone, styles that enhance a person's good features. But who would listen?

Boy, I sound old but romance, courtship, corny stuff of the past can lay the foundation for wonderful relationships. My “boyfriend" opens my car door and treats me like I am precious - for the most part. I had to train him to offer me a hand up after a show, as my knees are cranky when starting up. But now he does that too. I love that, I need that, I can't get up without it!!

I would love to hear from the men. Do you like romantic styles, perhaps not so extreme as 1896, but very feminine, dreamy, gauzy? And do you still court? Does what a woman wears make you feel more gentlemanly toward her? And speaking of fashion, you men could stand an update, or a blast from the past

Swashbuckling tights, boots, and laced-up shirts would make me swoon. Rip off my bodice, you cad!!

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


I am inclined to agree. Modern soft loose unstructured clothes do not hide bumps & bulges, in fact they emphasise and provide the Michelin Man look.

Joanne - Nicely written.

At least the fashions in the 1896 'Delineator' illustrated the skills of a designer and stimulated the imagination of the viewer. The styles in the latest 'Victoria's Secret' catalog are clearly stimulating, but this has little to do with the skills of the designers and seamstresses!

Unfortunately, my local Macys offers nothing in the line of "swashbuckling tights, boots, and laced up shirts"! - Sandy

Wow I go away for 3 days and find these wonderful stories on my return...I agree with Grannmar and Sandy, I always loved those old fashioned gay 90s fashions, but live in Levis and black tee shirts..but whooppee, would I like a guy in tights, boots and laced up shirts..who wouldn't? When you live a while (b.l94l) fashions keep coming around..can sewing make a return? Wouldn't that be nice for originality, young budgets and having choices, not just expensive labels or the great "Michelin" line...loved that description, just perfect..thanks for writing..

As an acting spokesperson for all men, I claim that we are as ignorant of fashion as women are knowledgeable. However, at 63, I'm vowing to change all of that. My wife and I are up to the fourth season of watching the reality show Project Runway, and I believe after about five more seasons I will be an expert.

One interesting observation apropos to this article: the judges hate exposing too much flesh.

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