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?