My Mama, my dear Grandmama, my holier than thou Aunt J'nelle, and my sweet Aunt Kat all counseled me from a young age - "Never leave home with dirty underwear - what happens if you are rushed to the hospital, what would the doctors think?" Of course they went further to drill in me that a young lady never wears a dress without a slip. I doubt young women these days even know what a "slip" is. But, I digress.
I remember when the teachers at our private school in the late 1970's requested, albeit very politely, to the board of trustees that they be allowed to wear proper "pant suits" to work in lieu of the required regime of dresses. After much ado behind closed doors, the board relented. No doubt the fact that some of the members were married to teachers and wished for peace at home may have had a bit to do with the concession. Life went on and the morals at the institution did not digress into a full "women's liberation" movement as was predicted by some of the old stalwarts.
Although I still enjoy dressing well, am very comfortable in dresses and skirts, and even "high" heels don't bother me, years ago I took a bold personal wardrobe step and quietly ditched all my pantyhose. In the winter I will wear tights, which I have always adored, however, the diabolical sadist who designed such a thing as pantyhose had it in for women. And women bought the itchy, uncomfortable, and ugly scheme with sheer (no pun intended) joy thinking they had been freed.
My generation was born well after the hose and garter years. Well, long after that style was relegated to the bedroom and Victoria's Secret. So I have no skin in that game - so to speak. As long as I show up presentable - as in clean clothes (especially underwear) that coordinate (no red plaids with fushia polka dots and orange stripes) that fit correctly and are stylish but not too trendy who gives a damn if I shirk masochism and ditch the pantyhose?
I have a friend who often asks, "Do these people have a mirror at home?" Didn't someone want to stop them from making a fool of themselves or exposing us to their disgusting failure in fashion? One does not have to have money to dress in a way that does not make them look like buffoons. Or worse yet, thinking they are a Milan model in their size 24 body - it ain't pretty. Like my daddy used to say - you can't put two tons of fertilizer in a one ton truck.
A prime example of all this came to me several years ago when I was attending the Celtic Festival and Highland Games. Many people were dressed in costume for the affair. There were colorful kilts and tartan scarves and wraps. Many of the outfits were down right elegant. Then there was this "lady" who either did not have a mirror at home, friends who cared about the impression she made, or she thought she still was that size 2, 16 year old girl she fondly remembered from years ago. And someone wants to castigate me for shucking my pantyhose. Seriously?
This Scottish lass was dressed in a bright red flowing gown topped with a bodice, laced so tightly she resembled a fat pig, complete with rosy cheeks. Added to that, the tonnag she was wearing resembled a tartan table cloth.