|If this becomes the style I will bemoan the kids of today.|
Last Saturday I celebrated a friend's 70th birthday. The group of us all chipped in and had high tea; we hired someone who actually brings the high tea to you. It was a lot of fun.
One thing this tea maven does is bring hats that you can choose to wear if you want. Now, I can rock a hat like nobody's business, but because my hair is long and no longer bobbed, it's a challenge if I'm wearing it up (which I was that day). I did manage to get a wide-brimmed pink at on my head (my bun was low enough).
I've joked that I wish hats were still a thing. It's one of the few articles of clothing I can wear and look good in (except for baseball hats, which should be outlawed for everyone, men included*). Everyone was joking about how we looked like we were going to the races.
I've always been into history--especially knowing about how everyday people lived in different eras. (I swear I do have a point.) I had had a vague feeling that hats were a thing in the past, but I wasn't sure if they were something everyone wore, or only wore at certain times and for certain events (like today) or what. As it turns out, yes, a woman would not consider herself fully dressed if she went outside without a hat on. Unlike men, she did not take it off once inside (hence the hat pin, to fasten it securely to your hair). And up until recently (say, the late sixties), it was perfectly normal (and desirable) for women to wear gloves when they were out and about. There was an etiquette around all of this, of course. You'd hardly eat your meal at a restaurant wearing gloves, for example, so you'd take them off and put them under your napkin on your lap. But they were something women wore as a matter of course. I can't imagine wearing gloves unless it was cold outside. But there you go; times have changed a lot.
I've talked to my parents about what was normal for people to wear. Blue jeans--heck, any sort of pants--were unheard of for women. If you were home, you wore those (perfectly awful looking) house dresses, or a shirtwaist. I have been trying to picture my mother doing the housework in a house dress, and I'm really grateful that she and Mr. Levi Strauss are good chums. Jeans weren't even a big thing for men for a long time; they were favored by rebellious teenage boys and people who did physical work (they were originally made for miners back in the 1800's). I'm pretty sure if you used the term "designer jeans" with a straight face back in that era that people would think you were having them on or that you were an odd duck.
T-shirts are also a relatively new thing. My father told me that when they started to become popular, it was teenage boys wearing their white undershirts as shirts. I'll bet the older set was bemoaning the popular trend of boys wearing their underwear out in public. (That doesn't happen anymore, does it? Oh, wait. Ha! It does.) T-shirts with writing on them weren't a thing.
And of course, people dressed up, at least compared to today. You didn't go out to dinner in jeans, designer or otherwise.
I'm not bemoaning the fact that we don't dress up as a matter of course anymore--far from it. Sometimes you'll see me in the local Rite Aid getting a jug of water because I have been working in the garden and drank what I brought. I'll look a fright--old jeans, ratty t-shirt, hair up and flyaway. Sometimes you'll see me in my gym clothes if I'm going out for a hard power walk or if I was on my way to the gym. Sometimes you'll see me in jeans and a t-shirt because they are comfortable. (And you will never, ever see me in high heels. I wore them when I was younger, and my feet, knees, and back thank me for eschewing them now.) My mother is far more comfortable in jeans than in anything else. There's a reason why they have become so popular.
It's just really interesting how our mores change over time.
*Obviously, I don't think they should really be outlawed, I won't judge you for wearing one, I promise. I just think they look terrible.