Fashions sure have changed since I was a kid

Oct 07, 2023
Source: Getty Images.

Fashions come and go, and clothing has certainly changed since I was growing up. When I think about some of the outfits from my youth, I am flabbergasted.

Who remembers wearing dresses and saddle shoes to school? Or how about those frilly outfits for church?  I couldn’t wait to get home and put on my tomboy clothes so I could go back to the playground.

As I got older, other types of outfits were expected of me. In the corporate world, there were decades of dresses, nylons, bras, and high heels that were required. I didn’t think about it. I just put on my corporate uniform and went about my business of trying to slog my way through the glass ceiling and climbing the ladder of success.

And then, corporate clothing began to change. Remember when it became acceptable for women to wear pantsuits? Heels became flats, and women were less expected to show cleavage and other bodily parts to get ahead.  Many men were no longer required to wear suits or ties to work unless they had a business meeting.

And who remembers the term “casual Friday?” The men I knew were relieved not to have a choker around their necks or purchase flashy expensive suits. Things have certainly changed over the years, but decades ago, everything was different. Remember some of these outfits?

It’s also fascinating to look at some of the clothing customs from around the world. There are kilts saris, hijabs, and burqas which are familiar to most of us. But take a look at some of these other clothing customs that have prevailed over the centuries.

I couldn’t imagine wearing some of these outfits in the United States. Dresses and high heels for work were hard enough. But being bundled up in some of these outfits? Not me. I was relieved when corporate attire began to change because I never enjoyed wearing skirts, bras, and high heels. They always made me feel constricted, making me feel like a sex object rather than somebody who’s trying to get ahead.

I very rarely see anyone dressed up to go to work anymore. Many now work from home. Outfits that were considered sloppy when I was in the corporate world are now acceptable and are common in many other parts of the world. Overseas, I’ve often seen jeans and t-shirts, and I’m sure what is acceptable in many cultures now is quite different than what was expected decades ago.

What do you remember wearing growing up? And what do you wear now? I prefer pants with elastic waistbands, tennis shoes, and loose tops. I wear a bra if I’m going to be around people.

Other than that, I am ruled by comfortable clothing that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance.

How about you?

Stories that matter
Emails delivered daily
Sign up