Tuesday, 16 October 2012
It Ain't Your Grandma's Shawl
There’s two subjects in life, that I’m totally and completely ignorant of. One concerns the synaptic responses of the teenage cerebellum and the other is the subject of women’s fashion. Both of these subjects concern mysteries of the mind. This dissertation concerns the abstract and often bizarre world of women’s fashion.
The history of fashion started equal enough with both sexes adorned in woolly mammoth fur. Then for centuries, we all wore tunics and robes with matching sandals. Then we leaped into the 15th and 16th century when women dressed in outrageous colors to impress others at court, while men just wore codpieces and armor. The 17th and 18th century was a time when women wore enormous dresses with enough fabric to sail a merchant ship. Men, at this time, enjoyed makeup, long hosiery and feathers much like some I’ve seen walking the streets of Key West during Fantasy Fest week. The 19th century over compensated with conservative Victorian taste and for several decades women dressed like they were going to a funeral. The twentieth century was a new age for feminine and sometimes outrageous clothes as was worn by the ‘flappers’ during the 1920’s.
The transition of women’s apparel became convoluted during the last half of the twentieth century. From cutesy poodle skirts to hippie dumpster wear. The gap, Victoria’s Secret, Lane Bryant, Ann Taylor, and Lady Foot Locker all became essential to a young woman’s image. The clothing industry finally wised up during the 90’s and started to promote their ‘Plus’ size lines in more than just brown and black with vertical stripes. In this fast food environment, women tend to expand. Fact is, I’ve watched Wifey go through dress sizes like free pancakes at IHOP. Not that she ain’t the most beautiful woman I’ve ever shared a cheese whopper with and at her age she is still just a petit large.
Women are savage shoppers. When you walk by the ’ladies wear’ department, it reminds you of a Jurassic jungle with raptor heads bobbing up and down among the cluster of clothing racks. Once in a while you would hear a soul wrenching screech as two would battle over the carcass of a pair of skinny jeans. Husbands sit silent and reflective next to the changing rooms holding their spouses handbags and dreading the moment she reappears for his feeble opinion of a very snug knit top. Changing room mirrors should be calibrated from time to time.
The 21st century has taken a major downturn as women must now turn to more economic fashions which are available at Walmart, Penney’s discount and Goodwill shops. But, women have always had the finesse to make themselves look good even in burlap. Class is class, regardless of the wrapper.