I went shopping yesterday to buy some summer clothes and was hard pressed to find any pants or blouses that didn’t look like they had been shrink wrapped. Something has happened to the sleeves on t-shirts, blouses, and tunics. Someone in the fashion world decided that they should be three-quarters instead of full length.
The sales clerk in one of the stores I was in stated that this is what the majority of women want because they’re cooler. I don’t get that explanation, because I have never had hot forearms that drove me to cut the bottom of my sleeves off. Well, I can unequivocally state, that I don’t like them, nor do I think they’re flattering, unless you’re young, thin, and have long arms. I’m sure my opinion is jaded and somewhat cynical, but I personally don’t think that older women have very exciting forearms, unless you’ve been training with the Navy Seals.
I have short arms, and wearing a blouse that has three quarter length sleeves gives them a stump like look! Pant length has also been shortened. Capri’s are now a phenomenon. Once again being short becomes a problem with this type of pant. They should hit you at mid calf, but when you’re vertically challenged, they often end up being just shy of the top of your ankle and end up looking like you had them hemmed by a pissed off seamstress.
Once again I think the taller you are the better you look. Wearing mid calf pants when you look like a Sumo wrestler doesn’t really make sense either. I also have noticed that a lot of shirts and pants have lycra in them so that (according to the designers) they don’t lose their shape. Well lycra also attached itself to you like glue and it can make your lumps, bumps, and muffin tops look grossly exaggerated. It also feels hot! Once again this is one women’s opinion. I find that material that skims over the body to be much more flattering. But then I come from a generation that had family watch dogs.
My grandmother, and my mother were not interested in following fashion. They were interested in making sure your appearance was commiserate with family values and self-respect. I’m sure sleeves and pants will get longer again. They have to, because we all know that in order to sell, sell, sell, you need to keep convincing people who what they have “doesn’t work for them anymore”.
I got married for the first time when I was just shy of twenty. I was in college and also working part-time to pay for books and sundries. We had gotten engaged when I was sixteen, so I had quite awhile to save and prepare for what I thought was going to be a fairy tale life. Shortly after I got married I got pregnant with my first child. In fact my son attended my graduation in his baby carriage. Two other children followed shortly thereafter.
My dreams of a career were sidelined in deference to being a stay at home mom. At that time in history that’s what the majority of women did. My time was spent cooking, cleaning, and taking care of junior. However, I had the unfortunate need to be a perfectionist. Nothing was ever clean enough or good enough to pass my inspection. Whenever I talk to women who have or still do have the same mindsets, I’m reminded of how insane I was. My fairy tale ended with a divorce and as a result I had to seek employment in order to stay financially afloat. My ex. did his part, but I definitely had to pitch in.
Now I was working and also parenting and managing a home. Over the years this lifestyle has continued, and in many ways escalated. My success in my field of interest burgeoned, and although it has been a blessing in many ways it can often be a curse. Being a successful woman often brings a lot of angst. The time spent away on the road, writing books, and trying to manage one’s health, home, family and friends is often daunting. The family may be at odds with the time you spend away from them and rightfully so, but women will add the burden of guilt to their already overburdened lives, whereas men are free from those types of feelings.
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We may “have come a long way baby” as an old cigarette commercial once touted, but we have also managed to create lives that take a lot of work. What often goes by the boards is self-care. I have often parroted to women in my groups “that if you don’t take care of yourself, it’s harder to take care of anyone else”. Yes, men are helping out more on the home front. But , let’s face it we are still primarily the domestic goddesses and now we can add the worker bees. What I really think we need are wives. Ones that attend the June Cleaver Institute. Then we just might be able to lay on our sofa’s with a glass of wine and a good book.
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