I was probably 12 or 13 when I discovered women's fashion magazines. I've been hooked ever since. Even now when all the models are far, far younger than I, I look at the pictures both of the fashions and of the hairstyles. In the last several years I've been horrified by the very high, spiky heels that I wouldn't even think of wearing -- what are men designers trying to do to women? Give them the illusion of being taller than many men while crippling them, ruining their feet, making running impossible -- is that a sneaky, down right nefarious thing to do to women? Why are they putting up with it?
I've been pleased to see that skirt lengths are arbitrary. Women have choices for skirts from ones that barely cover the buttocks to ones that sweep the street. Good. I see a lot of long skirts these days and not so very many short ones except in the summer when it makes sense. I'm noteing that practically all dresses, blouses and sweater have low necklines or are unfastened way down to there and everyone in the magazines seems not to need or simply not to wear (bras). Well, I guess that's all right but I'm very certain bra sales have not dipped appreciably, at least among those who are over, say, 25.
Today I'm thinking about hair because I saw an article in the style section of today's newspaper saying that a messy, loose single braid of hair is THE look to wear with formal gowns to parties this coming season. You gotta be kidding! I thought. The hair was even messier than the top right and bottom left dos in the picture I've added here. I know too that very straight hair is in style and women are using straightening irons. (I have a long enough memory to think "been there.") Straight hair is not particularly attractive and does nothing to flatter most faces. Messy hair, like the bottom left picture, simply looks like she doesn't care and suggests--which may be the purpose--that she just got out of bed and stuck some kind of clip in her hair.
At the moment I'm unhappy with my hair and dithering about whether to get it cut or let it grow some more. I've always disliked the cliche that older women with gray hair should keep it short. Yet short is easy and usually attractive. But cliches suggest all these women are slaves to fashion. However the older women I know may be more slaves to their salons and stylists than to fashion themselves. Most of us are by no means slaves to fashion otherwise. We've discovered the kind of clothes we are comfortable in and that fit our lifestyle -- which is largely casual as most of my contemporaries are retired.
That brings up another subject I'll touch only lightly. The women I see (and this is Cape Cod, not a fashion center at all!! very New England) are often in jeans and fleece, certainly this time of year. Me too. I never would have imagined I'd have a wardrobe of jeans at this age but I do and I'm comfortable. Fleece is a wonderful textile invention for these temperate climates. I'm very fond of some species of fleece. Unlike a great many of my contemporaries I draw the line at sneakers. I'm fond of moccasin style flat shoes and only wear sneakers for serious walking. For many older women sneakers are their every day wear. Fine, and many of them have foot and knee problems which makes sneakers a good choice -- far more attractive (well, let's say interesting) than those awful old lady shoes of my mother's day. My feet and knees have held up well, so I don't NEED sneakers.
Well, that's it for my run down of the current fashions. I'll leave the matter of skin care and make up for some other time. And I have no idea what I'm going to do about my hair, but I do know that the messy styles simple make me feel slovenly. I'm not turning in my comb and brush -- ever!
The mid-70s are a surprise! Part of me remains in the 50s -- age, I mean, not decade of 20th century. It's a joy ride, new experiences land in my lap and I've become a better quilter, poet, writer than I expected. It's a rich life for a person never rich financially. Hey, this is what the mid-70s are like!