A few weeks ago we spent the evening sewing and measuring, using the pearl dotted pins from my tomato shaped pin cushion and holding fabric for each other while the other marked out the pattern with chalk.
It's becoming a tradition between the two of us. A bit of a skirt-wearing rebellion in our own way, against the unfeminine fashion of today. And as I watched my friend standing in the strawberry field, with her Navy blue prairie skirt and her white top with the lace trim, she just looked...right! Beautiful... like she belonged in that strawberry patch. She became part of the essence of the day. Her skirted silhouette with a box of berries on her hip was as much a part of the experience as the smell of the berries as the sun crept higher in the sky. It was empowering! Like we had pulled one over on the ugly clothes of our times.
I too felt as though I belonged.
Working from home and running a farm doesn't require any sort of dress code. I admit, my yoga pants get a lot of use. But I never feel pretty when I wear yoga pants, and I want to feel pretty.
There's a reason why black and white the images of women from the 20's and 30's get circulated around the internet with quotes about "the good life" and the nostalgia of times gone by. There's a reason those images get shared and commented on and "liked". There's a reason we all love Downton Abbey. Would it have the same appeal were it not a period piece?
And I understand that there is a lot of festering feminist issues that want to encompass the skirted female form, and there's much negative history that goes against the romantic idea that those were the "good ole days". But I'm not interested in that right now. I'm interested in feeling pretty. And a skirt makes me feel pretty.
I decided to do something about this last year so I made a trip to Salvation Army and bought a few skirts for a $1-something each. I didn't want to spend a lot of money on them as I planned to work in them. It felt funny the first time I put on a skirt to muck out the goat pens. I felt as though I was pretending, or wearing a costume. But I reminded myself that this uniform is no different than wearing a pair of plaid shorts to the golf range...(one's that might make the Easter Bunny envy.) Or a cowboy hat to a country music concert (How many Garth Brooke fans actually own cows?)
So I wear skirts now. A lot...I'm a skirt wearer. There I said it.
I can't help but wonder when I look at a gorgeous dinner dress from the Victorian period and wonder...how did we move away from this. I'm not suggesting that we all return to wearing corsets, lace trimmed gloves and the like, but can we do better than yoga pants and jeans? I can.
Back at the berry patch...
We bounced along in the wagon as the tractor pulled us out to the field. Our skirts ruffling over the bales of straw used for seats. We talked about our gardens and the plans we had for the berries. I promised to send her my Strawberry Pie recipe if she sent me her Freezer Jam recipe.
Whether we like it or not, the clothing we choose to wear reflects something about our personalities. Even if we don't care about clothes, that too might be reflected to the outside world by the tops and bottoms that cover our body.
Each of us has a different message that we convey to the world through our appearance. I'm working on changing my message.
I hope that if the current styles and fashions don't reflect the message you want to share, that you're brave enough to take a stand. Be yourself, don't let popular society tell you what you should look like.
So...aprons. Yes, Aprons are next. I haven't wore one in public. But it's coming...oooh it's coming.