Vintage Miscellany – March 2, 2014

I used to really, really hate winter, but for the past ten years or so I’ve found it more to my liking.  I thought it was that I’d finally begun to enjoy each day as I should, but this winter has taught me that I was liking winter more because the winters had not been so cold and miserable.  This winter has put it all back into perspective.  I hate winter.

So, let’s all think of warm summery days, even if you are in Australia and have just been through one of the hottest summers on record.  Remember, winter is coming.

*   Thanks to Normcore, my little town is now the fashion capital of the universe.

*   Bobi Garland is the Director of the Research Library and Costume Archive at Western Costume Company, a job that makes me a bit envious.

*   Why Does American-made clothing cost more?

*   The Met in New York City currently has an exhibition of William Morris textiles and printed papers.

*   The  Blue Jeans Go Green™ program turns old jeans into building insulation.

*  There was an auction of many of the personal items belonging to the late Lilly Pulitzer.

*   Funny Face has been re-released in theaters in the UK.   Here’s a great review, including Diana Vreelend’s thoughts as she was leaving the screening of the movie in 1957  (““Never to be discussed”).

*   The Museum at FIT has put two short films on Youtube about fashion in the Thirties.  This is in conjunction with their current exhibition,  Elegance in a Time of Crisis.

*  CNN did an article on clothing appropriateness, otherwise known as not wearing pajamas in public.   Karen Herbaugh, the curator of the American Textile History Museum puts it into historical perspective.

I usually do not read the comments from readers of articles in the mainstream media.   The general unpleasantness and the downright nastiness that is often found makes me wonder if these people aren’t the most miserable humans around.  But for some crazy reason I read through a few of the comments, and found the usual, “It’s a free country and I’ll wear what I want and how DARE you to tell ME how I can present myself in public…”

It almost seems that as a society a conversation cannot take place about a social issue without people taking it personally.   You would have thought that some of the commenters thought the article was directed at them personally.  Weird, because I’ve never thought the people at CNN were talking about me.

For what it’s worth, I think anyone over the age of four wearing pjs in public is sending the message that they do not care about his or her appearance.  But it’s fine with me if you want to send that message.

It all makes me appreciate the civil discourse here even more.


Filed under Vintage Miscellany

16 responses to “Vintage Miscellany – March 2, 2014

  1. Folks…I don’t know how My reply will be taken, but I would prefer seeing people in their flannel Pajamas, than to see how many girls were dressed at the mall in Charlotte, NC yesterday. It was awful to see what “fashion” has done to jeans. Many were slit up the side of legs, up the front of legs, WAY up the front, in the back, bordering the buttocks, etc. etc.
    While I am at it… has “fashion” put it’s “approval” on the TIGHT stretch panty hose type pants … called leggins. When they first became popular they were worn with tunic length tops. I saw no tunics.


  2. LB

    When I was a senior at the University of Tennessee, my business law professor berated a student for coming to class in a ratty t-shirt and a pair of dirty jeans. It was hilarious; however, he made a valid point: in a year, we would be starting our professional careers and, as such, we should be appropriately attired.
    My personal pet peeve is men wearing sweat pants out in public. Dude, you’re not fooling anyone. We know you didn’t just come from the gym. Be a man and put on some grown up pants.


    • Well, I bet the sweats wearing dude has been exercising: finger workout on the remote, laps to the refrigerator, lung exercise from yelling at the refs…


    • And also, it’s interesting that you referenced grown up pants. In The Language of Clothes, author Alison Lurie suggests that adults are imitating the dress of babies and toddlers in their choice of very casual clothes. I guess sweat pants are the adult equivalent of the toddler pants made of soft cotton with an elastic waist.


  3. It’s funny that you make note of the fact that pajama wearing in public is ok for the 4 and under crowd, Lizzie, as my almost four daughter comes up with some of the most bizarre ensembles! Often they include pajamas, sometimes dress up clothes, and very regularly skirts or dresses over pants worn with aqua-socks. I let her wear what she will. I see it as my job to make sure her attire is appropriate for the weather, but in our day to day, how she dresses is one of the only things she has a fair amount of control over. I get a kick of seeing how people give her a side glance in public at times, and she thinks she is just FABULOUS!


  4. While I’m always surprised to see people wearing their pajamas to go shopping, it doesn’t personally offend me. Without people who don’t care what they look like when they leave their house, how will I ever stand out? (Kidding…mostly!) I do like the way you put it, Lizzie: “It’s fine with me if you want to send that message.”

    Thank you (I think) for introducing me to the term and concept of Normcore.


  5. At the end of the is Art..and some artists are better than others!! But I spotted this – vintage ski pants- and thought of you – not good at adding links to comments – xxx


  6. Diana Coleman

    The FIT film about fashion in the thirties was wonderful. Wouldn’t you have enjoyed seeing one of those Barbie Doll actresses at the Oscars in a dress by Vionnet or Adrian? That is true elegance. Thanks for the end of month suggestions. So many things I would have missed but for you.


  7. Wow. That article on PJs in public was eye opening. I love that they took a historical aspect of it. Growing up I was always taught what type of attire was appropriate where and when and that has continued and gotten stronger as I have grown up. I won’t lie, I feel bad when I go to the movies (an indoor cinema, drive-ins are a different thing) in jeans! I think “What am I doing!?” If I am going to the bank, I always make sure I wear a dress or a skirt, and try to wear a hat too. When I go out and I see what other people wear it’s painful! I cringe! Sure, it’s a free country, but people need to learn to be less selfish, and produce imagery that is pleasant, and respectful.


  8. Christina

    The FIT film on men’s tailoring was particularly well done. Good interview with the British tailor.



    My daughter went through that phase a few years back and luckily kept going. I am a strong advocate of “project how you want to be treated”.


  10. Pingback: Vintage Miscellany – April 13, 2014 | The Vintage Traveler

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