Comfortable as a turtle in its shell

Published 6:10 am Wednesday, October 25, 2023

By Bonnie Brown

I’ve noticed that clothing styles have changed dramatically through the years.  It’s to be expected.  How would the clothing industry survive if there were no changes to attract buyers to the new look.  And clothes do wear out, but not as quickly as they go out of style.  

Think of the “flappers,” the women in the 1920s who wore short dresses and skirts and had short hair.  I’ve read that the short skirts were worn so they could show off their legs and dance the Charleston, a dance craze involving waving their arms and fast-moving feet.  The 1920s were a time of change for not only attire, but attitudes and behaviors.  

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However, some things haven’t changed much.  Why is it stylish for men to wear a long, narrow piece of material wrapped, then tied tightly around their neck?  The only thing that’s changed about ties through the years is the width of the tie.  If you notice in older movies, the tie width was significant.  But today, the width of the tie has once again narrowed.  While I know it’s appropriate career dress for many men, and certainly wearing a tie is considered essential for a dress-up occasion, I’ve never heard a single guy say he enjoys wearing a tie.

Shoes have changed through the years.  I had a pair of saddle shoes (Oxfords) for school and a pair of tennis shoes for play.  I never wore tennis shoes in the winter.  They were mostly cloth and wouldn’t have held up in the wet and sometimes snowy weather.  So, it was quite a change when tennis shoes became an acceptable shoe even if you weren’t involved in sports.  Then they became popular as a fashion statement outside of any relation to athletics.  

Then there were the hippie shoes, flat sandals which were not practical at all.  Most often associated with hippies are Birkenstocks.  They have cork bottoms and leather upper material.   From there came flip-flops, a type of open shoe made of rubber, with a V-shaped strap that goes between the big toe and the toe next to it.  Is it a shoe or a sandal?  And the name says it all—the sound as you walk is a flip, then flop sound.  They are not restricted to beachwear, but you might find styles with grand adornment on the straps.  

Today’s styles seem to be anything goes.  You see long, flowing dresses, or short (really short) skirts and dresses.  You need only look on a college campus to see the new trends.  And females have now embraced boots in a big way.  They are no longer western wear but fashionable and paired with elegant wear.  Who knew that this would become a thing?

So, as I go about in my well-worn khaki pants with my comfy knit top, I am as comfortable as a turtle in its shell.  I have abandoned high heels for Sketchers and am reluctant to spend a lot on stylish clothes.  I am all about comfort and cost.  But I do love a good show of current styles as I watch the parade of co-eds making their way to The Grove.