Tag Archive | fashion

The battle of the fashionistas

It was her own fault. She shouldn’ta done it. She should know better. Everyone knows red is MY color. My exercise classmates know I always choose the red band. Everyone I know knows I like red. So why did she do it? Do what, you ask???

Daughter Susan visited on her way home to Nevada from Edmonton. That was sweet. I

Royalty free bull

I saw red like a bull in the ring

love that she came. But she made the error of turning up at breakfast in a red shirt. Red. RED! I saw red like a bull in the ring sees the toreador swinging that red cloth right in his face.

Not only was the shirt RED, it was beautiful and had sleeves reaching down to her elbows. I’d been looking, without success, all over for summer tops with sleeves long enough to cover my flabby arms. They’re difficult to find here.

They have more choices in the U.S. It’s understandable — they have a much larger


They’re really nice shirts, no?

population, but that doesn’t help me in my search for tops. I liked her shirt. I wanted it. I took the darn thing off her back to try on, and wouldn’t give it back. Then Susan made another logistic error.

‘I’ve got another just like it in blue,’ she admitted, perhaps realizing I’d get to see it anyway. I wanted that one too, even though it wasn’t red. I grabbed it out of her suitcase. ‘What will I wear?’ she pleaded. I didn’t respond.


Remember, you saw it here first!

We’re creative. We can think on our feet. I gave her a plastic London Drugs bag and she fashioned an attractive top out of it.
It was a brilliant idea. We two created a fashion statement which can save the planet.

As soon as they see it, fashionistas by the thousands will be copying this new trend. New York’s top designers will be scouring the world searching for usable plastic bags. As this brilliant, beautiful design spreads, they may even have to send ships out to sea to pick up those thousands of plastic bags floating in the ocean, where they create havoc. Do remember, you saw it here first!!!


The ensuring battle was well-fought

The ensuing battle was well-fought — and somewhat hilarious. We got carried away. It was madness and uncontrollable laughter. Linda, Susan’s friend (and probably now my ‘former’ friend) snapped away with her camera, in-between gales of giggles, and these ‘beautiful’ photos are the result of the mom-versus-daughter fight.


The winnah

Who ended up with the shirts? Waddaya think? Me, of


She did forgive me

course. After all, I do pull some weight. I’m Susan’s ‘maughm’ and she loves me, though sometimes I’m sure she wonders why. In the end, she did forgive me.

Thank you Susan. I’m enjoying my new shirts, especially the RED one. I also loved your visit and spending time with you. I’m convinced my dear, you’re as nutty as I am, though you came by it honestly — and I love you.



Am I writing about fashion????

Muriel black and white

photo by Susan Kauffmann

The exercise class I attend is specifically designed for people with arthritis and is mostly attended by women of a certain age. Our competent and knowledgeable instructor occasionally allows us to talk briefly about other things. Recently we talked about, of all things, corsets, which women once wore.

My oldest sister wore a corset. At that time, we believed such a garment would make

Lady in pink corset

Try breathing in this

us look slimmer. Since the two of us shared a bedroom, I saw the red welts on her skin when she removed the darn thing — the stays must have hurt. I never got to use one, but I did wear a Playtex girdle — another torturous invention.


Playtex girdle

Made of something like rubber, the horribly uncomfortable girdles had holes punched in them, and when it was humid, as it often was in Montreal where I grew up, we had to put powder on before it was possible to pull them up — they stuck to your skin. The holes didn’t help any and the girdle stuck to your body especially when I wanted to remove it — powdered or not. Then, you were forced to throw it in the trash because catching a finger nail in one of those little holes tore it, rendering it useless, no matter how new it may have been.

My daughters were spared the wearing of such awful contraptions. I’d like to think they lived in their bodies the way we were all meant to. Still, if you think the things my generation wore were silly, think about the time women’s waists had to measure as little as 18 inches. Fashion-conscious females had ribs surgically removed so they could sport those tiny, stylish waists. They fainted often and needed smelling salts — how could the poor things breathe?

Edwardian Ladies Fashions

How did they manage?

Men have often displayed their bank accounts on the backs of


Definitely upper class

their women. In polite society, a man can’t flash his wealth by passing his bank book around the dinner table, it’s considered somewhat impolite to brag about such things. However, if his woman is dressed in furs and jewels and expensive garments, it’s a clear indication of his wealth.

In the past, there had to be wealth if a woman’s dress required assistance to button up, or if her corset needed to be laced up from the rear to pull in that tiny waist. Dressed in such a manner,  it would be clear to the world her man’s bank account was solid. After all, she required servants to help, right? And, a woman who could not lift her arms while wearing a stylish dress which often prevented it couldn’t very well do housework, could she? All of this, by the way, helped keep women in their place.

blue dress edwardian

She didn’t do the dusting

Today’s women are still willing to wear high-heeled shoes to totter about in, which puts us at a physical disadvantage. (I fell often when required to wear them to work.) High heels damage our feet and bodies. Why do we still put up with them? I don’t despair. One of these days we will smarten up and rise as one to declare ‘I won’t buy or wear those stupid shoes anymore.’ Then high heels may go the way of the 18” waist, the corset, AND the Playtex girdle.