I love the 1950s. Less all the racism, male privilege, inequality and the threat of communism. You know, other than that, I LOVE THE FIFTIES! My house is sprinkled with Mid-Century modern flair and my closest has more than a few dresses reminiscent of the time.
Architecture, design and apparel.
I love that people cared about appearance and manners. That gentlemen wore hats and that ladies wore dresses. My grandmother, Doris (what a lustrous name, right?), she was a woman of the 50’s and as child I was enamored by the fact that she always looked “done”. I thought she looked like Hollywood. She always looked ready to go. But she wasn’t always going anywhere. That’s just what they did. Got up and got ready. Her hair, makeup, blouse and slacks, and her jewelry. She could be watching Soap Operas all day but look damn good doing it. I know the rebellion of the 60’s and liberation changed a lot of that and for good reason. We needed progress.
If I’m not going anywhere then I’m taking a shower (odds are high but not absolute) and putting on clean lounging clothes. I’m not putting on makeup, an outfit with accessories or doing my hair. But why not? I know I feel better when I do those things. Those things feed into my productivity and help me feel like I’ve got my shit together. And nothing makes me feel better than “feeling” like I’ve got my shit together. Nothing.
I think the ladies were on to something back then. Although it was the social norm to present yourself in a classy way, I think a lot of self-respect was imbedded in the tradition.
A stroll through the grocery store will turn up a myriad of pajama clad women wandering the aisles. Why? It takes approximately no effort to put on a pair of jeans. I’ve been the tired and worn down mother with the sick kid who is out of ibuprofen at 10 o’clock at night. I know it is possible to slip on a pair of jeans before running to the store. It is always possible. It’s also possible to be dressed in regular people clothes when dropping your kids off at school. Just sayin’.
I think I’m going to redefine one of my ME Goals. Self-Care as part of Sustainability of a Healthy Mind. You know, the one where I get up and dress up and take care of my overall all appearance. THAT ONE. I’m going to edit that to include “everyday” (exception; if I’m vomiting then I’m totally not going to give a shit). When my heart feels heavy with impending anxiety, I always feel a bit better if I’ve put effort into my appearance. Because I’m doing something for me.
On Saturday I tried it out. I got ready as if I were going to work but instead of dress pants I grabbed nice jeans. And you know what? It was awesome. I felt like I got more done. In reality, I didn’t do a whole lot but I felt better doing it. I was sitting at my sewing machine, ironing and hemming curtains whilst wearing a button down and I liked it.
My daughter mimics my wardrobe more often than not. I think this slight adjustment is a double win. I feel like an active participant in life and am showing her that it’s important to look nice for yourself. Because it is.