I personally think there is no occasion when a woman looks anything but nauseating in trousers. Women are not the right shape for trousers and never have been. There is some excuse for wearing them on board ship where you may have to climb up and down companion-ways, but when I see women with enormous behinds wobbling across Europe in hideous trousers or standing with their legs apart trying to look masculine, I wonder what they would do if they could see themselves.
A woman should look like a woman, and she is feminine, attractive and alluring when she is wearing a skirt. A great number of restaurants up to two years ago would not admit a woman wearing trousers.
Quoted from her book called Barbara Cartland's Etiquette For Love And Romance, p. 34. Before writing angry comments, please remember: don't shoot the messenger:)
That book must be very entertaing. But I must say that my behind looks wonderful in trousers. That is the main reason why I struggle with wearing skirts. I mean in skirt I cover my best assets. Which is the whole point on wearing skirts, I assume. But. Even I am a little bit vain.ReplyDelete
And concidering how Barbara Cartland used to look, dress and put make up on, I would never take fashion tips from her. :) She looked absolutely hideous in her old days. She obviously had never herd of growing old with dignity.
Well, she lived until nearly 100, so we have to cut her some slack. There is no saying how anyone of us would look if we ever get so old. It is my impression, however, that she based the advice in that particular book not on her own dress preferences but on what was (or had been) considered a norm in her circles and as everyone knows, pants have been originally considered casual attire, not worn except for sport and heavy duties around the house. Of course, now we have pant suits and stuff, but trousers are still less formal than a dress.ReplyDelete
From what I see around me, btw, I agree with her about most women after certain age looking hideous in trousers. Pants can look fine on tall young women with narrow hips and long legs, not on a fat old short lady, and those are exactly the type of women which seem addicted to them.
But even young long-legged beauties acquire masculine mannerisms if they wear pants too often. And if it doesn't look downright vulgar, it's still less feminine that a pretty dress or a skirt. And here I speak from experience, as someone who'd spent most of my twenties in jeans, made a change later and noticed the difference.
"That is the main reason why I struggle with wearing skirts. I mean in skirt I cover my best assets."ReplyDelete
Wear tight stretchy dresses. They are comfy, too, and a knitted woolen dress will keep you warm in winter.
Not shooting the messenger. I wear trousers, but I think she's right. I want to wear dresses more, but try to buy dresses that are decent and attractive and don't stretch around my bulges, thus looking worse than jeans with a longish top. The only solution is to sew, which I love to do, but lack the space right now. I'm working on it. I love what she has said. I agree and I'm trying to do something about it for myself. Thanks for publishing this quote. I'll look that book up!ReplyDelete
I agree that older ladies do not usually look nice on pants. I also agree that wearing trousers immediately effect how one walks and sits etc.ReplyDelete
I do wear mostly skirts at home but I still feel that I make manly impression, no matter what I wear. I just feel manly, when I compare myself to other women.
I'm supposing, "Beantwoorden" means "reply" :-) I'll take my chances. I know what you mean, Housewife. I grew up with four brothers, no sisters. My mother said she gave up keeping my pinafores clean, so I never really learned to be very feminine. However, I do think I'm "ladylike," though not very feminine in dress and I blame the 70s fashion, which was my teenage decade, and growing up with four brothers. I'm still trying to be more feminine in dress, though. I am in my heart for sure. I feel a little competition with women who were in their teens in the 60s. They have always beat us next decade girls in feminine dress. Am I making any sense?Delete
Housewife, may be, it's just your impression?:)ReplyDelete
Sharon, you are welcome! I guess it also depends on where you live and what is available in the stores, but I have long viewed shopping for clothes as treasure hunting:) The problem where I live is that when something is in fashion, you hardly can fight anything else. Like now it's rather very long or very short skirts. I don't like short skirts, my husband hates long skirts, which kinda leaves me with a problem. Of course, where money is not an issue, there are many more possibilities.
I'd also like to stress that I'm not trying to run anyone down. Not so long ago (1980s) skirts and dresses were normal, every day wear for girls and women, not connected with religious fundamentalism or any such thing. Pants were reserved for sports and working in the garden, where I think they belong.ReplyDelete
I remember my mother wearing mostly skirts when I was child at 80's. Nowadays she wears jeans. I have started to hate jeans. I actually told my husband that I do not want him to buy new jeans, either. :)ReplyDelete
I admit that feeling masculine can just be inside my head. It would be easier to fix the outside... I wonder if I have ever really felt feminine. Sexy, yes -feminine or beautiful, not.
The style and looks of this lady resembles mine.
My hair is much longer and she is slightly bigger than I am and I usually wear long skirts (I like to sit cross-legged), but otherwise.
If you could tell me your opinion, if she is masculine or not?
That's the whole point, nowadays everybody's wearing jeans, when not so long ago the same women wore skirts and dresses and never ever thought they were somehow uncomfortable. It all changed in the 1990s, with grunge style becoming popular and clothes getting more casual.ReplyDelete
As for the lady, I think she's just big. But anyway, she was featured wearing sports clothes (skirts, btw), and I've seen plus size models wearing more soft and flowing style skirts/dresses and they looked feminine enough to me.
BTW, you might like this picture blog. Lady demonstrates things one can do in skirts.ReplyDelete
lol, this makes me think of when I was in grade school, all girls wore dresses. It's just what we did. We were not allowed on the monkey bars, which I loved, unless we wore shorts under our dresses. My modest parents wouldn't allow shorts on me, so I didn't get to play on the monkey bars. But, at home I did. I'm so glad we had monkey bars at home.Delete
Thanks, I'll check it later. You can absolutely do a lot of things in skirts, especially if you wear leggins underneath.ReplyDelete
I think skirts are more feminine but they too can be horrid looking. Sometimes they're very tight and then when girls wear an ordinary shirt, it looks awful. When girls wear very tight skirts; that's just like wearing pants. I too am sick of jeans. Ae jeans here to stay? Hope not.ReplyDelete
Oh I agree that some skirts aren't worth the name, and some look dowdy but it's still an item of clothing men don't normally wear. Jeans are the height of casual clothing, they will go out of fashion when and if the society becomes more formal again. While waiting for this event, we all could start dressing less casually ourselves:)ReplyDelete
I agree, Marietta. Dress, skirt - they can both look horrid when they are not feminine looking. I like the idea of dresses better - since I'm not a nursing mother - because you don't have to find a top to match. (I began wearing skirts exclusively to church when I was nursing babies and it has taken me a long time to get out of the habit).ReplyDelete
Sharon, have you tried Chadwicks of Boston? They offer some nice classic dresses.ReplyDelete
No, I'll look there. Thank you.Delete
You are welcome! Check their "clearance" section, they offer some nice discounts.Delete
BTW; we are just having a little storm in the waterglass (or how you would but it in english) because our Speaker of the Parliament dared to say that she would like to see people dressing wee bit more formally in the Parliament and ladies covering their shoulders.ReplyDelete
Hm, that took some courage to say and I'm guessing she got a lot of flack from that.Delete
Housewife, fiddling while Rome burns?:)ReplyDelete
Hi Sanne. You were my first example and inspiration of a woman who always wears skirts and dresses. I would read your blog, in awe of your ability to do so. It all seemed so hard to do, since I had basically lived in jeans and pants since I was a teenager, through to my early forties. Anyway, well over a year ago I was convicted to stop dressing like a man and to start dressing like a woman. And I have to say that it is wonderful, and not as hard as I expected it to be. I love dressing up in skirts and dresses; it is a daily celebration of being a woman. All of the different materials, prints and styles available to choose from - there is a style and shape to suit every body type.ReplyDelete
Where I live (Australia) most women wear pants, jeans and leggings. I was one of them too once; for a long time actually. But I'll never go back. Skirts and dresses are so comfortable and easy to wear.
Thanks Sanne for your blog, I visit all the time and read all your posts.
If this were facebook, I'd hit a "like" button. I like what you have said here, Mara. This is a passionate subject with me. I haven't yet arrived at wearing skirts and dresses exclusively, but I hope to. My heart is definitely in it.Delete
Mara, you are welcome! For the record, I used to wear jeans nearly exclusively before I married, though when I was growing up in the 1980s, skirts/dresses were still more or less the norm, outside of certain activities. I would wear trousers if it were really necessary, but I found out I could do most anything in a skirt: climbing the mountains, riding the bike and even skating. I don't do horse riding or skiing so the need doesn't really arise.ReplyDelete
Here in Europe in countries like France and Belgium you see more women in dresses than where I live. Two groups of women wear them almost exclusively, fundies and upper class. Since I take a lot of efforts not to look like the first group, I hope I do look like the latter:)
Sanne, in my memory, where I live (SE USA), dresses were the norm in the 60s through the mid 70s and pants were very much the norm in the 80s, however, more dresses were worn then than now. Did you see the link Housewife posted? It's the blog, "you can do it in a skirt". I think even ride a horse - which is the reason for side saddles, or long flowey split skirts. :-)Delete
Yes, I checked it (the link, that is). I know one can do horse-riding in a skirt and I personally saw some ladies doing it side-saddle but I think they didn't belong to just an ordinary horse-riding club, if you know what I mean. Those special uniforms they wore must be very pricy. I'm not sure if an average club will allow you to just wear whatever you wish, because of safety rules, but honestly, I've never looked into it because I've never been interested in the subject. In the 1980s, at least until the middle of the decade skirts were still worn, especially by older women. In the 1990s, women left for work and switched to more masculine clothes so that by 2000 you saw practically no one outside of the Queen and religious folks wearing them:) Luckily, it's changing.Delete
Well, I have asked my husband and he says that in principle every club gives you a possibility to learn riding side-saddle, they have a special hour for it or something, and you only have to wear club uniform during the competitions, so you can choose your own outfit. That is settled then, you definitely can do horse-riding in a skirt:) What i have never seen anyone doing in a skirt though, is riding a motorcycle.Delete
Here in Finland also some hippies wear long skirts. I am concerned that I end up looking like one, since I prefer long skirts.ReplyDelete
I think that only things one cannot do in skirts are those that demand special safety clothes. If you are lumberjacking, you need saw protection trousers. And in some activities the excessive amount of fabric that skirt always have compared to trousers can be hazardous.
But we can always ask ourselves how ladylike those activites would be, anyway.
lol, exactly, Housewife! I wondered about how lumberjacking and femininity go together anyway. But, a woman has to do that a woman has to do sometimes.Delete
I don't mind looking like a hippie but my husband DETESTS long skirts. Even though they are very much in fashion:) I just got rid of one. Skirts can be worn pretty much for any activity. I've seen vintage pictures of women skiing in skirts, but since nowadays we have some standard clothes for such activities, should I ever go skiing I'd d just wear them. You can always change later.Delete
I meant mountain-skiing, not langlaufen.Delete
Another thing about dresses - and any outer clothing for that matter - is my determination to never buy anything knit again. I'm a *very* plus size and knit garments just emphasizes every dip and bulge to your body. I remember how appalling people thought heavy women looked in the "sweat pants" that had just become popular in the 80s in America. Knit has been on the rise ever since and it is really unflattering. Comfortable? yes. Easy to wear? yes Easy to maintain? yes No ironing needed? usually But, still woven fabrics skim over the body in a much prettier way and are more flattering. That's another problem with buying. The Chadwicks of Boston didn't have many wovens to choose from and I didn't see any plus sizes - which I'm trying to get out of that category and back into the misses category, but in the meantime - they still don't offer plus there that I could see. I just need to get back to sewing. Can you tell this is one of my favorite subjects right now, Sanne? Thanks for being a good example of this very subject.ReplyDelete
Sharon, yes, Chadwicks offers a lot of knits, but not only them and I noticed some plus size dresses as well. Anyway, some knits are very unflattering on anyone with as much as an ounce of an extra weight, but others are not. It mostly depends on the model and the thickness of the fabric.ReplyDelete
Oh, and you are welcome.ReplyDelete
You know, Sanne, you are very lucky since your husband has a clear opinion what he likes and what he dislikes. It is much easier to please one's husband that way. :) No matter how hard I try to pluck information out of my husband, he has no opinion about my clothes. And he hardly ever compliments my clothes, no matter what I am wearing. But then again, finnish men are like that. They assume that if they have once said that their wife is pretty and they love her, that is enough. Old jokes tells how wife asks her husband: "Do you still love me?" And husband answers:"I'll let you know if conditions change."ReplyDelete
lol-about that last sentence.Delete
Men don't realize, and feminists don't want to admit that we wives/girlfriends do want to please our men. If they'd just let us know what pleases them, life would be easier.
That was a nice joke:) My husband always states that he could care less what clothes I choose but never misses a chance to tell me what he dislikes:)ReplyDelete
haha! Me too! My husband *says* he doesn't care about this or that when I ask, but can he brag on another woman's taste that he admires! Kind of frustrating, but it does let me know what he's really thinking.Delete
Women with enormous behind don't look good wearing ANYTHING.ReplyDelete
They just need to lose weight.
Then why does the whole world seem to be obsessed with Kim Kardashian and her sisters?Delete
True that, Tal. We heavy women (or men, for that matter) don't really look good in anything, but especially clingy knits as opposed to nice medium weight wovens do look best. Aren't you a sweetheart.Delete
:) The whole art of dressing well is to stress your advantages and to camouflage your drawbacks. Emphasizing them with an item of clothing which draws attention exactly to this part of your body doesn't exactly improve things now, does it?ReplyDelete
Sanne, I went and bought this book off Amazon. I wouldn't have given it a second look if I'd seen it in a used book store, but with your quote, I was intrigued. I love her way of thinking in the book.ReplyDelete
While I think young women look great in jeans, I think the older a woman gets, the better she looks in a skirt / dress rather than jeans (though young women also look good in skirts / dresses). :)ReplyDelete
Sharon, I got this book as a present from someone, and it missed several pages. I had no idea it was available on Amazon!ReplyDelete
Will, would depend on the young woman's size, wouldn't it?:) Young women if they aren't obese or something, usually look great in anything. It's only when one gets older it becomes truly an art to look well.
Well, naturally; I was assuming non-obese, but esp. given North American young women today, I shouldn't assume that. ;)ReplyDelete