Lost Art of Dress

Lost Art of Dress

“American women have forgotten how to dress”.  This reminds me of a statement I read at a blog where the blogger drove home the point by posting a photograph of a scene in Russia.  On the left were Russian women dressed to the nines walking down the street and on the right were women from America looking like casual ragamuffins.  Okay, perhaps they did not look that bad but you get the point.  They were casually dressed in typical American fare; i.e., jeans with sweaters tied around their waists.  In reading the editorial about this book I am excited about what it has to say and plan in purchasing my own copy.  “Timeless rules of fashion and beauty”; certainly something I can use.

“The renowned hollywood costume designer, Edith Head, once said,  “a woman’s clothes should be tight enough to tell you’re a woman, but loose enough to show you’re a lady.”  I am so glad I stumbled upon that quote from The Psychology of Style’s blog.  Along those lines a sewist cyber buddy, Miss Susie Marie I believe, recommended this book.

Home Living blog states, “One thing that made ladies clothing so different and interesting is that it was not the same as men’s wear. Today, much of the manufactured women’s clothing is a female imitation of men’s clothing; a slightly altered version of jeans and shirts. There were colors and prints and textures exclusive to ladies clothing that made them feel ladylike.

Painting by Greg Harris
Painting by Greg Harris

There seemed to be an awareness among ladies that they represented their families by the way they dressed, and they did not want to dress in a careless way and reflect poorly on their kin. This seems to be a lost value today. It might take a long conversation to explain it to someone in this culture of T-shirt dressing.”  She goes on to state it is not necessary to “sacrifice beauty, femininity and lady-likeness by using dull fabrics and “dumpy” matronly styles that make them appear ungainly, overweight, unfeminine and unladylike.When women teach about modesty they need to show how modesty should be elegant and pretty, too, in a sense, elevating the mind.

It takes a trained eye to determine what is appropriate, because not all clothes are right for you just because they are modest. There are other things to consider, such as the color and print and the design.

The best thing to do is to like and admire things that are beautiful and refined, and be able to identify things that do not look good on you. You can get a very inexpensive full-length mirror for your room, and stand before it analyzing your appearance each day.”

Elegant Woman, personal insight of the art of womanly refinement and living graciously.



10 thoughts on “Lost Art of Dress

  1. lindamartha

    I”ve wanted to read both of those books as well. I lost my sense of dress when I moved here from a big city and theres no point in going for ANY sense of style that is also functional but the style problem arose when I went into town wearing the same type things I wear to clean the chicken coop (although clean!). I decided to start sewing again because of that realization and because I have very few places to shop around here-one is Walmart and the other is a farm supply store-jeans and button shirts for the most part.
    I feel better for becoming more aware-on a personal level and I think that is what matters the most to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ms. Linda Martha,

      Honey, are you sure you’re not my neighbor? You just described my “new” existence. Truth be told I underestimated the cost of this journey to daily wearing of vintage/vintage-style clothing. Add to that initially I was looking to bedsheets as my medium (rolling my eyes here though I think it a novel idea). Well, now I am armed with a less-than-part-time job and I’m all giddily excited about the vintage-style wardrobe possibilities. Communicating with women like yourself is making this journey well worth it.

      Thank you for visiting.



      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post Lyric. I completely agree that fashion has gone to the trash. Don’t get me wrong, I love my blue jeans, but I rarely ever leave my house without being dressed appropriately. I get so frustrated when I head to town and get to the grocery store or the local Wal-Mart and I see everyone dressed in their pajamas and slippers. It’s a total lack of dignity and self-respect. I just can’t even deal with it sometimes. I know it isn’t my place to judge but often I want to just shake these people and ask them what they are doing with their lives, because I would assume it’s not much from the way they dress.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. MMMM, preach it Mamma Kacy! Judgmental or not I totally agree about the pajamas worn out of doors (away from home for I am guilty of doing it on our lil farm). I was hoping to get with Miss Susie about this post. She really inspires when it comes to lady-like dress and manners. I hope to visit this subject in its different forms from time-to-time if only to keep myself focused. I am very far from where I want to be as it pertains to daily dress. Really I am thinking I would have to do some serious cleaning of my closet to get things exactly where I want to be.

      Know what one of my problems is . . . . ???? I love thrift store shopping. Every time I take a bag I wind up bringing a bag, grrrr; it’s frustrating. I can’t seem to go to a thrift store and pass up the 3 pair of pants for $1.00 even KNOWING my goal is to eliminate pants from my wardrobe. I have cut down a lot on them, but recently due to that sale I added a couple pair of pants and some capris. (Rolling my eyes). Watch, I”ll end up taking them to some thrift store in the near future.

      The Wardrobe challenge thing you’re in. I really should have stayed with it; but I realized I wasn’t prepared mentally to go that deep with it along with everything else in my life so I dropped out. But, it’s just the thing I need, I believe. That gal should write and sell a book with all the what-nots. It’s something I would love to do in the future. Meanwhile, I suppose I could do a serious, look-see and inventory what I have. Figure out where the holes are and get rid of what does not fit the view I am wanting to have of myself.

      Thank you for visiting my blog, Kacy. It is truly encouraging to know someone reads what I have written.




  3. Lyric,
    I so enjoyed this post.. You are so right.. What happened to our dress? I too live in a small town, and if you go to Wal mart or grocery store in a dress , you get all kinds of stares or actual remarks, like ” why are you so dressed up?” or ” Did you go to a funeral?” For real..
    Even going to church , is sad.. You see women and girls…that look like they are ready to go
    clean the house ? No modesty, even in the Lord’s house. SO sad. I had a few ladies at church
    [when I first started to this church] tell me.. Oh .. you dont have to dress up on Wed and Sun nights, we get comfortable. I would tell them.. I am comfortable.. I wanted to say, ‘ I am in my Father’s House, I want to show respect.. And bty… I would usually just have on a simple skirt and blouse..[not a dressey dress.]. Such a sad thing.

    Love your post, and love your vintage style.. May God bless you and family. Judy


  4. Love this Ms. Lyric! I travel a lot for my job and I see this, and remember the days when people dressed up to travel. Today in the airports, ladies have things hanging out that should not be showing….ugh. You can dress comfortable, but stylish. And then it makes one think if this is the way it is today….what are we teaching our children and how will they dress in public when they are grown. Guess it gets back to us to make a good example.


  5. Love your post. I know about this movement though I have not read the literature. I sat here reading the comments, nodding my head in agreement. I, too, moved to a smaller city after living in a large city until my mid-twenties. I was accustomed to wearing heels and tailored clothing to work. Hats and pearls on Sunday. I grew up in the era where people understood ‘after 5’ and ‘formal’ attire. Clothes were pressed, shoes were shined, hair was clean and neat. ‘Tennis’ shoes were only worn around the house or for sports. When I moved I faced a real wardrobe crisis. I did not wear jeans, rarely wore slacks (usually a pantsuit) and did not own tennis shoes. I was constantly referred to as being a overdressed snob. Since that time, the ‘small town slouchy dress code’ has affected me. I am slowly working my way back by sewing my wardrobe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ms. Robin,

      How poignant your words. You know, I am proud of you and the path your have consciously chosen to pursue. I have yet to purchase the books on my post. The comments here are motivating me to make it happen for I believe reading them will add to the lady I am working to become; not to mention the young ladies that are looking on who may be encouraged by my (and your) examples. As a mature woman in the congregation it behooves me to step up to the plate in this regard of dress.

      Please keep me posted as to your progress. The mutual encouragement may well be a good thing. You say what?




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