Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Short skirts

When I was a girl slacks were verboten (in some circles). Never did we wear pants or slacks or blue jeans to church, not even for a youth social. The only time we could get away with a non-skirt covering of our lower extremities was on the Sunday School picnic. When I went to college in 1961-65, slacks were permitted only AFTER class hours, and NEVER were they to be worn to class. I attended a state college, not a private or religious college. Their rules were even more strict.

Skirts/dresses were always worn at a mid-calf level. Shorts were worn to just above the knee, no shorter, unless you were a slut.

Then came 1961! 1961 -- the year of the mini-skirt.

Not a mini-skirt as we know them now, but a skirt that was JUST above the knee. Only problem? Schools did not permit you to wear them for classes or extra-curricular activities. If the principal thought your skirt was too short you were made to kneel on the floor. If the hem of the skirt did not touch the floor you were sent home to change your clothes.

Of course, some of the girls learned tricks to get through the "kneel" review. If you leaned forward just the wee little bit, you could get your hem to the floor. The principal was either ignorant of girls posture, or chose to ignore their "leaning."

Since I was sewing my own clothes at the time, it wasn't a problem for me. I figured it was a fad.

Then there were the tops, or blouses as they were called back then. Yes, some were sheer (in other words they were made of organza or some other see-through material. But a proper girl was never without a full slip under her clothing. That's when they made slips with pretty tops, like teddies, today. And you could buy (if you had the money) pretty slips to wear under your see-through blouses. You NEVER, NEVER, NEVER wore just a bra or went braless under a blouse, and especially not a sheer blouse.

So, why am I writing this? Well, I was watching So you Think You Can Dance? I noticed that all the girls had extremely short skirts -- not mini -- in the 60s sense, but micro-mini (is that today's terminology). Skirts that even if you didn't bend over your buttocks showed. And the tops (blouses)? Unbelievable. Skimpy. I suppose they used some sort of glue to hold them in place because obviously they weren't wearing any underwear. And, folks, these were NOT the costumes. I won't even go there.

Now, I'm a prude. I admit it. I recall my mom saying to me and my sister and anyone who would listen ( at the time she was in her late 50s, early 60s), as she was watching something on TV and commenting on either the language or the clothing, that she was become a prude. Well, good for her. And good for me. Somebody needs to put the skids on semi-nudity, leave-nothing-to-the-imagination in public.

I just don't know how girls and young women today can be so blatant about what's under their clothes. In other words, they wear tops that have skinny straps, and if they wear a bra under it, their bra straps show (a definite no-no when I was growing up), which personally, I think looks very slovenly.

So, to review, clothing should be worn mid-calf at least, in the summer, just above the knee is permissible if you are not going to church. And you never wear anything other than a dress or skirt and blouse to church. Funny, I still adhere to those principles.

No comments: