Thursday, November 3, 2016
The Shorter the Sleeves, the Longer the Gloves
[Ladies Home Journal 1951 ad for Van Raalte Gloves]
The Van Raalte glove ads always reminded women of the main glove rule, "The shorter the sleeves, the longer the gloves."
Did any of you wear above-the-elbow gloves with a strapless dress to the prom?
I did but I never realized that wearing gloves as a "career woman" was as important as wearing my panty girdle back in the early 1960s when I was hired as a receptionist at a large religious publishing company in Nashville.
Soon after beginning work one of the young editorial assistants firmly suggested she go with me to Cain-Sloan department store on our lunch break to help me choose a pair.
They were soft black leather wrist-length gloves and I wish I still had them. I was wearing them here -- on my honeymoon -- with the tailored red wool suit my mother made me.
And I was wearing my mother's mink stole. You can bet I felt sophisticated, even in my white harlequin glasses. [I wrote about it here, at my old blog Across the Way.]
I didn't know any women then who thought wearing fur was wrong. All of my girlfriends wished we could afford furs.
I have to admit that if someone had given me this gorgeous chinchilla coat that was in the Ladies Home Journal of 1951, I would have worn it proudly then.
I know--bad, bad, bad. But we didn't know any better, and honestly, speaking from first hand experience of our son's utterly mean tempered pet chinchilla, I might not turn down the coat now.
After a few months of him always biting the hand that tried to feed him -- me -- I ignored my son's tears and begged the pet shop to take him back.
And believe me, I knew it was a him. The chinchilla knew he was a him too and was very proud of it. [Don't ask.]
So while today if I could squeeze into this to-die-for red wool suit, I would not buy the Persian-lamb collar, or the fur of any other animal.
But it's best not to tempt me with an offer of a chinchilla coat.
And I still miss the ratty old mink jacket that I left in Nashville when we moved to Florida. I bought it for $40 at a yard sale back in the 1970s, and nothing was warmer on a cold windy winter day when I took Tex and Penelope, and later Otis and Milo for walks through the valley.
I may have to haunt the estate sales when we move back to Tennessee. Is wearing old fur coats PC now? If I don't wear them out in public and risk getting paint thrown on me? If I only wear a ratty old yard sale one in the privacy of my own back yard? Isn't that just a thrifty form of recycling?
What do you think?