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Sunday, 27 July 2014

Random thoughts on clothes

When I was younger I linked the green for Trinity with Summer dresses as the two seasons coincided.  At that time is was dresses or frocks, no woman would be allowed past the church door in trousers, to be balanced nor would an adult bloke in shorts. Sunday best was not a misnomer, we had outfits that would be worn just on Sundays, then relegated to Saturdays and then in the week in school holidays. I remember buying a green skirt and sleeveless waistcoat for work, along with a new beige jumper and feeling it was wrong to be wearing it to work straight away without saving it for Sundays first, I would have been about 19 then!

As a member of the church youth club in the early 60's we were going on a hike/ramble in Windsor Great Park on a Bank Holiday Monday. Attendance at church beforehand was compulsory, the girls were given dispensation to wear trousers to the service as they were going on the hike.  Nothing else of that day remains in my memory.

Not surprising - I have always been interested in clothes and in what I wear, I still worry about wearing the right outfit, whether for work, play or a big occasion. Going on holiday causes worry, there was one holiday where we felt we were right in our choice of attire. In Egypt on a Nile cruise, when we went to see the tombs and monuments even in the heat I would wear long skirts, long sleeved blouses and red leather Ecco lace up shoes.  Ian would wear stout shoes, trousers and long sleeves hence we appeared to be the only travellers not bitten, sunburnt or overheated when we returned to the ship. Given religious sensitivities we felt vest tops, tight shorts and flip flops were not a sensible choice, yet these were the garments worn by most of our group, we sensed they thought our choice of clothes a bit odd. Yes, around the pool on the boat I did sunbathe in my tankini.

In documentaries from 1930s to mid-60's it is noticeable how formal by today's standard everyone is and how individual to each nation, today clothes are ubiquitous in the western world due to globalisation. A far cry from going to a dressmaker, one Mrs Hill and having dresses made, even after I started work she made clothes for me, one was an adaption of a Mary Quant pattern. I recall the circular pink skirt with petersham ribbon inside the waist band and the two blouses made from cream silk fabric my mother had. Another length of that silk was used to line the skirt of a suit I knitted in cream wool whilst I was at college.  One time my sister and I had dresses made in the same nylon fabric but in different styles, I recall dresses in coloured seersucker with square necks edged in boderie anglais for both of us. Even children's clothes were more formal in the 50's, and I am sure a lot more work for my mother.


  1. Clothes, and wearing the right ones for the occasion, are one of my favourite subjects! While I do not worry about wearing the right outfit for each occasion, I very much like choosing what to wear according to occasion, weather and mood. I like dressing up, but I also enjoy a Saturday morning when the most suitable outfit for my weekly cleaning round at home is a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, or a casual little dress when it is a very warm day.
    By the way, I think you meant the opposite when you wrote "we felt vest tops, tight shorts and flip flops were correct yet these were worn by most of our group" - shouldn't it be "...were NOT correct"?
    I so agree with you; many people are totally thoughtless about what they wear in a different climate and a different cultural environment, and then they complain about being stared at or feeling uncomfortable in the heat etc.

  2. Thanks for pointing out the error, I am very grateful for I do try to have everything correct on my blog and also not to upset my readers but to entertain them, maybe make them think or laugh.

    Hope the correction reads ok!

  3. I seem to have the same difficulties as you do PixieMum, when it comes to choosing holiday outfits - I really dislike packing to go away! I remember "Sunday best", and I still change my clothes when I come home and don't sit down or work in my "going out" clothes!

    Thank you for visitng my space and leaving your comment. A

  4. My mother used to take huge amounts of luggage on holiday, to prepare for every eventuality. As a result, I'm rather obsessed with packing minimally and hate to find any garment redundant and unworn by the end of the trip.

    When I'm in India, I tend to wear light trousers or long skirts, though people are much less likely to mind now than the first time I went, nearly fifteen years ago. But not having the sun on bare skin is much more comfortable.