Well, I made the mistake of clicking on one of those MSN teasers about what the movie stars wore to the People’s Choice Awards and saw that the so-called well-dressed are still undressed with bare legs. Britain’s new royal princess may have had brief success in making hosiery acceptable again, but America’s fake royalty are still showing up with ugly legs. What is it with current trends in fashion these days?
Yeah, I know. For the same reason that I don’t know who half of the young movie stars are, and the fact that bare legs look unsightly to me, I am showing my age. I do realize that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, is relative and subjective, that styles do change, and all that, but come on, some things are just not attractive.
I’m not sure why or when, exactly, bare legs became acceptable. According to an article by Greg Morago in the Los Angeles Times in 1999, much of the bare legs movement can be attributed to the bare legs of the four stars of Sex and the City, those paragons of proper and acceptable behavior. That explains a lot.
That article also talked about bare legs being this generation’s answer to going braless in the 60s. Both are supposed to be liberating and empowering for the individuals who embrace the style. Really? Freed you up to have ugly legs and sloppy shirt fronts? If you are younger than 30, are tan and/or have olive skin, you might be able to get away with no hose. That and an endless supply of self-tanner or that stuff Joan Rivers sells to cover up the fact that you don’t have on hose. So what exactly is it that you are liberated from? If the legs have to be camouflaged to look good, and in the process probably get make-up all over your skirt hem, why not just wear hose and have your feet feel more comfortable in your shoes besides?
I suppose bare legs also go along with the trend of dressing down in general that has been going on the last several years. Kind of like the frayed, holey jeans which I haven’t seen as much of lately, thank goodness. I read an article in the paper last August that said hosiery was making a come-back, at least for fall, but what I see doesn’t support that. I can remember the last three awards ceremonies we have attended at the high school auditorium and the bare-legged female teachers who presented awards apparently didn’t own or didn’t bother to check their image in a full-length mirror to see how gross those legs were going to look up on that stage in the bright lights for all to see.
I also read an article last January that talked about the demise of the necktie for businessmen. Then today I read an article in Vogue magazine (full of beautiful, expensive, impractical clothing that the average woman will never wear-but some of their articles are equally beautifully written) about hair that was all about looking unfixed, what they called the “deliberately disheveled-couldn’t- care-less-but-doesn’t-it-look-chic look.” They are right about one thing-it does look like they couldn’t care less. The hair looked stringy and dirty to me, but definitely not chic.
And apparently the next hot fashion statement is wearing pajamas to school and shopping. That one is so lacking in class I don’t think I will even waste the time and space commenting on it.
It used to be you could walk into just about any type of business and the employees looked clean, neat, proud to be there, and like they knew what they were doing. Not as reassuring today when flip-flops, hoodies, tattered jeans, talking T-shirts, and grungy hair is what greets you. Well, that is, what greets you when you can finally take an employee’s attention away from the blasted cell phone or just get them to get up out of the chair to begrudgingly wait on you.
I like to wear flip-flops, too, where appropriate; I don’t want to go back to the days of corsets, girdles, layers of petticoats, and raised disapproving eyebrows either, but I would like to go back to an attitude of pride in one’s appearance and appropriate dress that shows respect for the occasion, whatever that occasion might be. We tend to act commensurately with how we look, and some of society’s actions could use a dress-up day, too.
Critchell, Samantha. “Fashion says hosiery is making a comeback, but is it pure torture or polish?” Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, August 24, 2011.
Harris, Sarah.”She’s Come Undone,” Vogue magazine, October 2011; p. 268-69.
Morago, Greg. “Fashion’s New Trend Appears to Have (Bare)Legs.” http://articles.latimes.com/1999/nov/19/news
Wolf, Alan M. “Neckties begin to lose corner-office following.” Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, January 30, 2011.