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 have spent the last half hour sitting on my deck steeping myself in the wonders of Spring. “At Last”, a song made famous by Etta James, should be played on the New England airwaves hourly. I have waited, as I’m sure many others have who live in this neck of the woods, for the snow, ice, and bitter cold to finally give us a respite. I was beginning to think I should build an Igloo. It has been an unusually long and tough winter.
This time of year is especially exciting for me because I love my garden, and all it has to offer. As each new plant inches its way out of its’ winter hibernation, I feel a sense of awe and delight. This is not a new feeling, as I have felt this way since I was a child. The outdoors always was magical for me and a great deal of my playmates. We would spend hours trekking through lots seeking hidden treasures and building forts out of old lumber, branches and twigs. Our greatest moments were sitting, huddled inside our fort telling scary stories or pretending that we were part of a medieval kingdom. I always wanted to be the queen, but more than not I was relegated to being a Lady in Waiting or a Knight, which was fine with me. If I was the Lady in Waiting I would wrap myself in my mothers’ old lace curtains and weave some flowers for a headdress. As a Knight I fashioned a bow and arrow out of twigs and put my grandmothers’ colander on my head. I believe that probably was the origins of the career I have today. The ability to simply use my innate creativity and have so much fun doing it was like taking a class in improvisation.
I feel badly for children today since I don’t think many of them are going to have these types of experiences. I hardly ever see kids playing outside anymore. The American Pediatric Society has said that children are starting to lose their ability to imagine in lieu of all the computer games that do it for them. They have even coined a new disorder “Nature Deprived Syndrome” since so many kids don’t get to immerse themselves in the joys that the outdoors can offer them. They also see this as one of the reasons there are so many obese children. DUH! Parents have been given so many fear messages by the media about so many things, that going outside has become something to be feared. I know there are still parents who have instilled a love of nature in their children, but for those who haven’t, please give your kids the opportunity to enjoy and respect what is possibly the greatest gift we’ve been given.