Monday, February 7, 2011

Brevity in Feminine Attire

(Editor's note: This is another favorite post from some year's back. It's a post taken from a front page column my father wrote for his newspaper.)

From the Sept. 20, 1954 issue of The Ontario Argus-Observer

The Argus Observes
By Don Lynch

Brevity in feminine attire has become about as commonplace and unexciting as an old print dress.

The utter indifference often accorded a scantily clad female was brought to my attention last summer by a chance observance.

On one of the warmer days in late summer, I sat in a barber shop getting a shoe shine and watched a junior miss in high cuffed shorts and a scanty shirt wend her way through and past the groups of men that dotted the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street.

Her blouse may have been what the women call a halter scarf. At any rate, it wasn’t quite as diverting as the skin tight T shirts sometimes seen this past summer which, unfortunately, seem to appear most often on the fat girls.

This girl was strictly a youngster who looked so young in fact that the average man would feel a little hesitant to note that she was a candidate to be quite a woman.

At first I thought that she might be unaware of the rather obvious display of her charm. But not so. After she had walked the block one way she soon came back the other direction and it was plain that she was conscious of her feminine attractions. At least it was plain from where I sat.

Yet not a single one of a couple dozen men standing on the street gave her a second glance. Most of them didn’t even give her a first glance.

Perhaps if she had been dressed in snug fitting denim waist overalls, she might have rated more attention. She would have looked like a more approachable type to her audience.

The contrast in today’s attitude toward women’s dress and that of a generation ago is well illustrated by an incident I remember from my childhood.

My country-school teacher father sent two of his high school girl students home to get appropriately dressed when they rolled their stockings down below their knees and wore short knee-length skirts in the first of the flapper days.

I don’t think he was shocked but he thought the community would be horrified. So he made the girls cover a little more before he would let them stay in school.

Where will we be in another generation? Will it be bikini suits or less on the girls by then?
I hope not. There are still some things I’d prefer to leave to my imagination.
However, I shall try to ride with the times, adjusting to the trends whatever they may be to keep from being separated from the youthful part of society by the devastating attitude generally accorded to disapproving elders.

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