Monday, November 30, 2009

Just a Little While Ago

This post was originally from January 24, 2009.

For quite some time I have been thinking about how women dress these days as opposed to yesteryear. What was the big deal about pants/dresses anyway? That made me curious about how we got where we are today and I started researching.

I think the really big deal about pants vs. dresses, is that pants were kind of "the final frontier" that women conquered. It has been so recent in history that this change occurred that it still seems to be a topic of debate for those who think about such things. No matter what changes happened in women's fashion over the years, pants remained the men's territory.

My oldest sister was not allowed to wear pants to Kindergarten when she started! That was in the late 60s! My mom found a picture of our family before I was born that was taken at church. She assumed it must have been taken on a Sunday morning, for she had on a nice dress, earrings, etc. But when she looked on the back of the photo, she discovered it had been taken at Wednesday evening church. She couldn't even IMAGINE dressing up that much for mid-week services now! In the early to mid 90s when I began teaching, I wore a skirt or dress, heels, and hose 4 days a week. Once a week I wore dress slacks, flats, and trouser socks with a nice blouse or sweater.

One book that I checked out from the library showed sketches of military uniforms from World War I and World War II. They were very interesting. Nearly ALL of the women's uniforms included a skirt. In fact, only 2 did not. Those were an Army field nurse (other nurses' uniforms included skirts) and some type of pilot. Now many details about the uniforms were similar to the men's, except those skirts. It was impossible to not be able to tell the difference between the two uniforms.

These days many places of employment (Target, banks, etc.) require a form of uniforms for their employees. Do you know it? Yep, khaki pants and a polo type shirt with a name tag or the company logo on the shirt. If the two uniforms were hanging up, you would have a very difficult time trying to decide if they belonged to a man or a woman. There simply is no difference. I cannot think of a place of business that has pants for the men and skirts for the women. Even restaurants have women dressed up in black pants, white dress shirt, and a tie. Boy, talk about unisex clothing! Admit it, wouldn't it shock you just a bit to see the women who work at Target in a red blouse and khaki skirt?

This really is a recent change although our children are growing up this way. And boy is it hard! Sweetheart, my 9 year old, even remarked this week, "Mom? Karen and I are the only ones who wear dresses in Bible class. Everyone else wears jeans and a shirt." Now, I will tell you that "everyone else" includes probably 2 or 3 other girls. However, they are just a bit older than Sweetheart so she is probably looking up to them, so to speak. My poor child is wearing a skirt or dress to Bible class and feels out of place! Is there something wrong here?

I've told you before my concerns about this unisex movement. I feel that it is very tied up in feminism--that's issue number one. I feel that it stems from a rebellion against who God created us to be--that's issue number two. (Not that every lady who wears pants in rebellion to God--that's not what I am saying--just the movement in general) I feel that it greatly changes the relationship between men and women, and how we relate and act towards one another...including our husbands--issue number three.

What do you say about the gender blending and unisex movement?


  1. Number 1- LOVE you blog look!

    Number 2- Your profile pic looks awesome!

    Number 3- on to your post. I have talked with hubbie about your post topics and he says he agrees with the unisex thing... but he says it is not that they wear a polo and khaki. He thinks women CAN look feminie in that they just have to buy the right clothes. big ole baggy cargo khaki's arent feminin. Nice looking dockers (womens fit) looke very classy. A nice fitting polo (a lot of women just like me actually wear mens which arent flattering)---can look feminie also and if the girls or women would wear make up, fix their hair, perhaps small jewerly adn ACT feminie than there would not be a problem.

    Have you ever seen Summer Magic? Haley Mills plays a tomboy- and they sing this song about femininity...

    walk feminine
    talk feminine
    smile, and be kind feminine
    that the rules of femininty
    if you want to catch a boy...

    Now she needed to be girlie to
    "catch" the boy. but the point is we need to act the part!

    I am really loving all your posts and learning a lot in the process! Dave and I are discussing the girls!

  2. I still say that instead of just picking on pants as conservative Christianity loves to do because it is their hobby horse, pick on EVERYTHING that used to be men's clothing. That way, there would be nothing left for women to wear. Totally sick of the "pants are and were men's clothing only" argument.

  3. Men wore skirts, too. LOL

    I go back and forth on wearing dresses only. I do wear pants now, but I was dresses only for awhile. Women should look feminine and they should not be revealing. I think that is the bottom line. Clothing changed and changed and changed, and that isn't all bad.
    It is actually more modest to wear pants sometimes. That is how I made the switch back. I was so sick for so long and wearing a skirt while sprawled out on the couch was not modest. Climbing a ladder? Clearly pants would be a better choice in modesty, lol.
    I totally agree that when I wear a dress I feel more feminine. And on the plus side, it actually makes me more obedient to God and my husband! It is a constant reminder of who I am and what my purpose is in life.

    But as for what everyone should wear, I am not about every woman going back to dresses.

  4. Thanks Carrie!

    I hope no one thinks I'm saying that pants are for men only and women should stay away from them--cause I'm not. Mrs. W--you are correct. T-shirts came home from WWII with the men. They were originally part of their uniform and became popular after Marlon Brando appeared in one in a movie. Of course, women wear t-shirts now too. On a side note, sleeveless undershirts became UNpopular after Clark Gable ripped open his shirt in one movie and was NOT wearing one! How easily influenced are we?
    And yes, in Bible times EVERYONE wore a skirt of sorts. However there was still a very glaring distinction between the sexes that I think is missing more and more these days.

  5. This is such an awesome series. Keep it coming! I have been posting on it, too.

  6. The gender bending is terrible. I am a pastor's wife, and I am the only lady who wears a dress to church, either at our present church, or the last one we pastored. It is very rare that any other lady will wear a dress to church.

    I remember when I used to work in an office in the early 70's. Women had to wear skirts/dresses, no slacks, or you would be sent home to change!

    I remember in the late 60's, our gym teacher wore a little wrap skirt over her gym shorts.

    The gender bending gets worse every year. I hate those buzzed off women's haircuts that are shorter than men's.

    I wear pants most of the time and have a medium length hair style, so I am not super strict or hard line. It's just that enough is enough. Where's it gonna end?

  7. My eigth grader's concert band uniform: Black pants, tuxedo shirt, BOW TIE, and CUMMERBUND!! How's that for unisex? Is it even unisex, or just a masculine uniform that they put on both the girls and the boys?

    I hate it, but it's only three times a year so we tolerate it for the privilege of watching her play her flute with the group.


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)