Friday, July 15, 2011

Clothing Care Then and Now

My mother was of "advanced maternal age" when she had me, the first of her 5 children--so she's quite a bit older than the moms of other girls my age. She had an attitude toward clothing that...Well, I've wondered if it's her own little quirk or if it's indicative of how society viewed clothing and care of clothing in the 50's and earlier.

We didn't have a huge number of clothes. Maybe 5 or 6 outfits. And we frequently wore the same outfit the next day if it wasn't dirty. Growing up in the country, I often wonder how we managed to keep our clothes clean enough to wear for 2 or sometimes even 3 days, but we did. (My kids can't seem to manage this living on concrete.) If the clothes didn't look or smell bad, we neatly hung them in the closet to wear again the next day.

We had 2 pairs of shoes--play shoes and "school shoes" which is a laughable moniker since we were homeschooled. Our church shoes were white sandals in summer and something like saddle oxfords in winter.

I have noticed in older books (such as Grace Livingston Hill stories) that the wardrobes seem quite limited compared to what we have today. However, there was a greater emphasis on quality. There was also a great deal of emphasis on taking care of clothing properly. I suppose most people didn't have as much money (or credit, ahem) for clothes as people do now? Or maybe I'm supposing wrongly. Maybe it's just the lower-middle-class circles my mom lived in as a youngster that influenced her thinking for life.

What about you? Do you notice differences in how generations view and care for clothing?

1 comment:

  1. Okay...I am cracking up about your AMA mother. I think her quirkiness is because she was older and just didn't care what anyone thought anymore. I have two children--my daughter which I had at 27 and my son which I had at 38. With my daughter I care so much about doing EVERYTHING right--should I do preschool? Homeschool? Christian School? When should she start piano? violin? What should I wear... and now I am in my 40's with a 3yr old and I am so much more deceive, because I know who I am so much more and now I am telling the young mom's at our church's play group--"Who says you have to send your kids to preschool? who says you have to send them anywhere? Keep them home and love them and of course, they look at me like I have two heads but that's okay! I think your mom just knew who she was and was okay with it!