Friday, February 26, 2010

I bet the house of Mirth had a Coffee Maker...

Another morning and no hot coffee. The Krups broke, and I need to buy a new one, fast! Because, another work day morning without coffee and me being in a state of grouchy sleepiness would not be good. I have a lot of work to do and lots to write and lots to research and read, and I realized that I never just sit down and read a book for myself anymore. I need to find the time to discover new books to love and re-visit old favorites - or even just to see how my perspective of the books I studied in college has changed.

Just yesterday jesse.anne.o mentioned in her blog that she had finished reading The House of Mirth, I read the book for a class in college (I may just have to pick it up and read it again) and I remember that we analyzed the clothing - because for Lily Bart (the heroine), fashion and beauty were currency - a key to being married and not having to worry about how to support herself through work. This was Fashion for English Majors, well no not really, but in reading the book you can see that there really is a correlation between what women wore and their place in the world at large.

Not just in their social standing, but also in their ability to physically stand (though those two are related). If you saw Coco Before Chanel, (or almost any period piece film really ) you see women standing about with large ornate hats and layers and layers of clothing, not to mention corsets- and while I personally think many of those dresses are beautiful, could you imagine trying to go about your daily routine in them?! Women like Chanel and Bloomer had the right idea by going against the grain.

Here are some articles I found on the topic of women's dress:

The Debate Over Women's Clothing: 'Rational' or Lady-like Dress

An Analysis of Women’s Dress as Related to Ideals of Beauty and Social Status PT IV: The 19th Century

One of the other books I read for that same class was Margaret Atwood's The Edible Woman - set in the 60's. While women had more freedom and mobility there were still these societal restraints- I mean, yes you could be bold and wear short skirts- but they were still skirts - don't you think it's ridiculous that up until the 1960's it was considered shocking for women to wear pants to a restaurant or skirts without stockings?

Then came the late 60's and many things changed/were in the process of being changed but we all know that story...you can use your imagination in analyzing women's dress of the 70's and 80's(shoulder pads anyone?) I wonder what our current popular turns and trends in style reflect about us now?

1 comment:

  1. I guess we'll have to wait a decade or two and see!!

    And get yourself to a coffee place pronto! Mornings without coffee just aren't as enjoyable.