Which Fashion is You?

  s.k.watts

There isn’t a day that goes by that someone on the news, in a magazine, or advertising online isn’t telling us how to dress so that we are ‘age appropriate. And I for one believe that since we gave up telling the younger generations how to dress and decorate themselves, they should be learning the exact same lesson. We have most certainly earned the right to dress however we so choose. Especially if that makes us happy. You have earned the right to choose what fashion means to you over the many decades we have been a part of the fashion world and it was a part of us.

We are the era that was fraught with changes across the board, and that included pioneering fashion on many fronts. I’m sure if the truth be known, there are probably thousands of books and magazines to prove that we made our mark in the fashion world over the decades. Fashion was fun. It also reminded us that there were other things that needed just as much of our attention.

We were also the generation who were still in high school when the names of our classmates killed in Vietnam were posted on the wall on Fridays, and who wore POW bracelets for those lost in hopes that one we each wore was one that would make it home. We were the generation of free love and yet another women’s rights movement because it seemed like a goal that was never going to be attained for a time. We watched news of assassinations that made no sense, bore witness to and experienced economic highs so high we thought we’d all make it to the American Dream, and financial lows that bordered on depression. And unfortunately, history continues to repeat itself. We’ve fought for gender equality and educated ourselves on gender identification and told our children wondrous stories about being the first to watch television go from black and white to color. Not that they believed there was any such thing as black and white television. Mine keeps telling me I made it all up. I remind her to watch the original Wizard of Oz, circa 1939 again. But then, most of them wonder if we made up the stories having to practice hiding under our desks in case the world went to war at home. Much like when I didn’t believe my own mother fed farm animals, baked bread and then walked 5 miles to school I guess.

Our generation watched as history in the making while eating on TV trays in front of the television when America left earth and landed on the moon, and then cried when subsequent brave men and women who would set their hearts on space lost their lives for the cause. We were the first to use some of the technologies we never dreamt could ever have been. And we were a part of great accidents, epidemics and pandemics. Of cloning and robotics that had been predicted in the science fiction movies we watched thinking all it was science fiction. This was before we came to realize that the movies and shows we once believed to be ‘science fiction’ might just have been put out there to prepare us for our future.

We heard the words of great men and women who we should have appreciated more when they were alive and taken for granted that people who were larger than life would be around forever. But most especially, we set out to change the world and most of us began to believe that were weren’t as successful as we once set out be. Perhaps in part because we have been listening to advertisements and social standards that should not apply to us. We have the wisdom of decades of living across two centuries now, and should be paying more attention to our hearts.

I for one decided on my last birthday that I have achieved enough experience and wisdom in this lifetime to dress in whatever manner makes me happy. I’m keeping my blue jeans as staples, even though we were the demographic who once only knew them as something you wore on the farm or when gardening. Add a pair of strappy sandals and a sequined top and you can go anywhere in my book. I love leggings. I am presently collecting the once that look vintage just like us. We all should be. There should be more tie-dyed clothing out there, and more 1960’s looking dresses as well. We shouldn’t care if our arms are not as firm as they once were, and in my book, they certainly don’t need to be hidden when sleeveless tops and dresses are the choice of the day. We’ve earned the freedom of accepting our bodies that have served us so well. I wished I would have kept my white Gogo boots, and at least one of my miniskirts, but what went around comes back around again. Fortunately, paper dresses haven’t made a comeback in force that I know of, so I won’t be tempted.

We should all decide at least one day a month to dress like we did when we were the coolest generation ever. I missed getting to call myself a hippie, but I adore Boho, and this is one of my favorite forms of weekend dress now. I have a slip gown fit for a fairy queen that I wear to bed that is just like the one I had when I was five. It takes me back to a kinder, gentler, anything is possible time. And that makes me happy.

Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t wear what you want to wear on your days off or in the hours you where you aren’t working and have agreed to a certain dress code. This is your retirement time! This is your time to choose which was the best of our generation in fashion (as well as everything else) and make it your own again. Not just in fashion, but across the board if feel like you once did when it was our time to change the world…

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