Posted by Rhonda Temple

When did I first become aware of fashion?  Don’t exactly remember, but I do remember going to Irene’s Beauty Salon with my mom when I was really young (in the 60’s) for her weekly appointment. At that time, ladies had their hair done and it was “done” for an entire week. This was way before blow dryers so their hair was washed and set, then they sat under a hair dryer for what seemed to me like a really long time. I didn’t mind, though. I liked going; I liked watching. There was a lot of activity, lots of people and, let’s face it, there’s practically no better day than “hair day.” Back then, the women pretty much all wore dresses all the time. Slacks weren’t a part of a woman's daily wardrobe, and jeans were nowhere in the fashion picture. Women also wore girdles, even if they were thin.

I had several Barbies, and my mom made my Barbie’s wardrobe. The patterns were styles just like real women wore, only in miniaturized Barbie form. She sewed them by hand at night while watching T.V. This is how I arrived upon my theory that sewing skips a generation: my mom sewed and my daughter sews, so clearly, I am the generation that it skipped. However, my theory is not foolproof because my grandma, (my mom’s mother) was quite the seamstress. I remember being at her house once and somewhere around lunch time she decided she wanted a new dress. She took out some material from a drawer, laid it out on her bed and placed the pattern pieces on the material. She didn’t pin the pieces to the material, but rather put knives or spoons on the pattern to anchor it down.  A few hours later, she had a new dress. I never saw my grandma in anything other than a dress, and rarely would it be store-bought. I like wearing pants and I really like jeans, but there is just something about the right dress.

Some of my “fun” books.

               “I would not enjoy a girdle.”

I have books on Jackie O because I love looking at her clothes. “The Dick Van Dyke Show” is a fave of mine, and I always loved when they gave a party on the show because Laura would be dressed perfectly.  “I Love Lucy” is another favorite (Vitameatavegamin).  Laura and Lucy were middle class women, yet they always looked sophisticated, even when wearing the occasional slacks. I still watch these shows periodically for the comedy and fashion. Recently, I stumbled upon a vintage paper doll box set at World Market. I may have disturbed some nearby shoppers due to the fact that I simply couldn’t contain my excitement. I bought the set because it made me happy and captured an era, a moment of my childhood that made me smile. But life moves on and so does fashion, technology, and all things creative. I don’t want to go back; I like the conveniences of today. I enjoy technology (when it works) and I have fun with social media. Besides, I would not enjoy a girdle.