Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The War On Femininity, Part 1: Like Grey Clouds In November Sky

Our church newspaper published a very wonderful article recently. It actually proclaimed that the traditional Western clothing for females is skirts/dresses. It went further to say that the believers shouldn't  look  like grey clouds in November sky but rather like people invited to a wedding feast.

It sounds like a radical statement nowadays, but not so long ago you didn't have to persuade women to try and look pretty. In fact, when you watch old TV series like I Love Lucy you see that the most quarrels she had with her husband was about her spending too much money on a new hat or dress. 1950s advertisements feature both men and women wearing nice clothes, like this:

Folks used to have healthy pride in their appearance and even housewives would wear nice things at home:

I still keep wondering how did it all go from this to this:

Modern unisex clothing is boring, to say the least. The colours are drab, the style is absent, the fitting either baggy or too tight. 2/3s of the population appear to be wearing basically overalls (what are jeans if not work clothes?) on a daily basis. All this considering the fact that we have an abundant choice of decent clothes on the internet. They must be putting something in the water...


  1. Just this morning I saw this photo on That showed a small child resting his head on his mother's lap as she sits on the curb during a Fourth of July parade in the 1940s. I was struck by how dressed up she and the bits of other ladies that can be seen are. Dressed up to sit on the curb to watch a parade.

    A photo of yesterday's parade would certainly show women dressed in baggy ugly t-shirts and shorts and flip-flops.

    I do so wish people would dress nicer overall, my husband included.

  2. Dawn, people used to dress up for many occasions, including birthdays, Sundays and going to town. Now they'll wear baggy jeans and a t-shirt to a funeral.

    Also, wives used to gently encourage their husbands to dress better:)

    1. Believe me, I've tried to get my husband to dress better but he's very stubborn.

  3. Sorry, I was too distracted by how many things that housewife had in the oven to notice her outfit. They actually baked that many things at the same time? I need a homemaker of my own! ;)

  4. If I'm not mistaken, Americans used to bake a lot and still do. American cooking magazines which I own feature a lot of this type recipes. It's convenient when you have a big oven, as you can prepare many dishes at once, I wish I had one like that but it won't fit into our kitchen, it's too big.

  5. I especially like the ensemble of the lady in the first photo. I can certainly see why a husband would look forward to coming home to someone so nicely put together. What she's cooking looks good as well. ~Lady Virtue

  6. Lady Virtue, that's one of my favourite images in the book.

  7. Men have always resented their mothers telling them how to dress, and so don't listen to their wives' advice, because unlike their mother's, they don't have to. :)

  8. Men should do it for themselves, not for their wives or mothers. So that passers by wouldn't think he lives under the bridge:)

  9. Well, Dawn may be if you just bought nice clothes for your husband he'd eventually wear them...That is, if you shop for his clothes.

  10. Housewife From FinlandJuly 8, 2016 at 10:06 AM

    Even if one wants to be as comfortable as possible, one can always wear tunic dress and legginses, which is comofortable and feminine and pretty enough (for everyday use at least.)

    As you all know, I am a big fan of very modest and simple clothes (not for religious reasons, I just like them), but even if you want to be very plain and modest you really, really need to be very tidy. Because otherwise you really end up looking like you live under the bridge...

    Dawn: I have quite an opposite problem with you: my hubby is extremely tidy and he is one of those very annoying people who look very put together and handsome even if he is wearing his lumberjack clothes. (real ones, those with thick saw protection fabric)

    We never quite match, since it seems to be almost impossible for me to look tidy, put together and pretty. Some women manage to look good even if they are overweight but I obviously cannot, which is weird since I still have somewhat hourglass figure.

    I would also love to have bigger oven. I would like to cook and bake big time every now and then.

  11. Housewife, I think the idea isn't always to look stiff and formal, but as you said, tidy and for women, pretty. Women used to love looking pretty while nowadays some apparently view it as oppression or something:) Strange, that.

  12. Housewife From FinlandJuly 9, 2016 at 2:37 AM

    I actually think that most women DO want to look pretty, or sexy. It's just that they think that a) lots of make up and saggy college pants are sexy and b) they don't want to bother for their husbands and families. I know several women who put on make up and high heels to funerals or when they run errands, but at home or with their friends they look like beggers.

    Maybe things are different in Holland, but here in Finland most women WANT to look good and sexy, at least every now and then. They just have no idea how... Even our feminists claim, that it is feminine right to wear high heels and make up.

    We also must remember, that pretty is not option for everybody. For example I have never been pretty, nor beautiful; I was handsome. Now a handsome woman can be very hot when young, but quite often end up being manly when hitting 40... There is no point for me trying to be pretty, I would just look like a drag queen.

    But dignity and grace are availbe for everybody.

  13. Housewife, sure, we have enough women who want to look good/sexy. It's just that there is a big group which quite obviously chooses not to care. And modern sexy look isn't at all what was considered beautiful and feminine not so long ago. Some women apparently think tattooed "sleeves" make them look hot.

    Anyway, I disagree that a woman of 40 can't look well! 40 is quite young, especially nowadays. It's not the end of life, it's just the beginning:)

  14. To add to my previous comment: most young women do their best to look well, but after they hit a certain age, say around 35, some simply stop caring at all, which is, imo, wrong. There are simple things every woman can do to improve her looks, like maintaining healthy weight, not wearing a crew cut, not covering herself with tattoos from head to toe, wearing suitable decent looking clothes and normal shoes, paying attention to skin and teeth, you know this sort of thing.

  15. Housewife From FinlandJuly 9, 2016 at 6:45 AM

    I didn't say woman couldn't look good at 40. But women should definitely change their style when they age. What looks good when one is 25 usually looks ridiculous when you are 40 -even if one's measurements do not change, our faces do. Most women start to look little "rough around the edges" at that age. One has to find different way to look her best. Everything has to change -especially the way one puts her make-up on.

    My point is, that when we mature, our style must mature, too, if we want to be taken seriously. And that is something most women seem to ignore.

    Back in the old days there was no "teenage fashion"; when girls grew up, they started dressing like their mothers (pointedly said, of course some colours were concidered more suitable for younger women etc). Nowadays mothers dress like their daughters...

    I agree that what is concidered sexy nowadays wasn't concidered at all acceptable, jet beautiful not so long ago. Take the hemlines: not so long ago women just did not show their knees. And nowadays eve fat women wear microshorts... I wonder how many men really find this attractive?

  16. Housewife From FinlandJuly 9, 2016 at 6:49 AM

    It hit my mind that maybe those women in painful-looking microshorts do not want to please men with their appearances but just want to flash for some reason that is beyond my understanding?

    Oh, and we have a saying in Finland: "Real lady is always tidy and well groomed. It just takes more time when she matures." I guess this is what I am trying to say. Young woman can be very pretty in a messy bun and a hoodie, but 40-something woman must put a wee bit more effort to look good.

  17. Housewife, the lady in the picture above has more problems than just her shorts:)

    It's true that nowadays (some) mothers try to copy their teenage daughters' styles and it looks ridiculous, but it's probably because as society in general we don't value maturity any more. And it always has to be about sex, that's how we got the whole MILF thing. I don't think we have to go back to Victorian fashions, but 1940-till early 1960s and a lot of 1980s styles were OK and definitely more feminine.

  18. BTW, I don't know about Finland but skirts and especially dresses are very much in fashion in our neck of woods this summer. I see many more women and girls wearing them, so may be the fashion finally started changing.

  19. Housewife from FinlandJuly 10, 2016 at 2:33 AM

    I agree with the decades. I have also noticed that women wear skirts more. And there is more variety in the shops; nowadays you can find maxiskirts and miniskirts in the same shop in the same day! It used to be that only one hemlength was "in" and there was nothing else available.

  20. There is also a great variety of things on the internet so we aren't restricted any more by what the shops have to offer.