Tuesday, September 27, 2016

What My Grandmother Wore that Made Me Stop and Think

Last week, while waiting for a repairman over at Mama's house, I looked through some old photo albums.

This photograph caught my eye and caused me to ponder on it for the next few days.

The photograph was taken in Monroeville, Alabama at the Vanity Fair Mills.

My grandmother is on the back row, second from the right.

She along with most members of my family and many from our little community of Range, Alabama carpooled to work each day. I could go on and on about just this aspect... the hard working women of my life. Coming from a rural community, etc...the loss of those jobs lending to many problems for those rural communities. 

All that is left of Vanity Fair now is the shipping facilities and an outlet store. I still have an uncle who works at the shipping facility and he probably has the best job of anyone in my rural neck of the woods.

HOWEVER, that is not what stopped me for the longest time that day and made me go back to the photo and take a snap of with my iPhone to share it with the family.

It is how the ladies are all dressed.

All have dresses on...probably owned five -one for each day of the week. Nice shoes...mind you they are flats. Hair done. 

In other words, pride in how they looked, even for factory work.

Now, I remember the beginnings of pants suits. How ladies wanted to wear them so bad!...I can remember it being added to the teacher's dress code. During my middle school years, I can remember the teachers wearing pant suits. IT had to be a pants SUIT, not just pants with a top.

It just had me thinking of how sloppy everyone dresses these days. I probably wouldn't want to wear a dress everyday of the week, but we have slipped so far. Once my slip was showing, and an older teacher came up to me at school and told me it was "snowing down south." I had never heard that one. Off topic, I know, but it just popped in my head.

My daughter dresses so cute to work each day and actually scolds me for wearing too many pants.

I actually wore dresses ALL the time when I was her age. I learned early on that when I was dressed up that students seemed to behave better. I started in secondary, but I think it is true even for little ones. They notice that their teacher looks nice.

That is what I have been thinking on even before I saw the picture. I think as women get older and fatter and have whiter legs, we have just covered them with pants thinking that we looked better and it was easier. 

Truth be told, some of them do look better in pants, especially if they didn't take the time to get a dress that is flattering. But, don't those women in the picture all look good!!!!!

I am not telling all women to pull their dresses out, but it has me thinking that maybe I want to improve in that area.

I want to make sure I look a bit more feminine each day.... a bit more put together ----like I have pride in how I look.

I have been making a bit more effort to look nicer when I hop in the truck to go to the grocery store that is 2 minutes from my house and surely no one will see me. I always run into people when I look the worst. You would think I would have learned that lesson too.

I have plenty of clothes, so it is not like I can't do this.

I love to sew, so I made the skirt below. My daughter went on and on when I had it on one afternoon at the house with my shirt untucked. I made sure to wear it again last Tuesday when I went to volunteer at church. I tucked my shirt in and put on a cute necklace, etc. 

I snapped this photo to send her before I left home.  Keeping it real folks...yes, Lemony is taking a drink from the toilet and my laundry basket is showing.

Determined to see if I can up my appearance even if I am not planning on being seen by many. You look and feel better and I am of the age that I should be setting an example.

Just a few thoughts whirling around in this old head,


  1. Sandy, our instructors at nursing school told us to dress up on exam days as we would do better on our tests!! My grandmother worked at Bell Craft...they made chenille bedspreads back in the day in Dalton. This was before carpets became king. And I remember all the ladies very much as you describe your grandmother and her co workers. I love wearing dresses especially in the summer as they are cooler than shorts or capris to me. We could all up our game I guess...oh and I love Lemony keeping it real at your house.I had to lol.

    1. I remember those chenille bedspreads. It is sad that all those jobs aren't here anymore. I think that is a big problem with many of the young ones today. I too have discovered dresses are cooler too.

  2. I love wearing dresses as I find them much cooler in the summer time. My grandmother worked at a plan in Dalton where they made chenille bedspreads and it was much as you describe your grandmother and her co workers. I had a third grade teacher who was a sharp dresser and I loved to see her outfit each day. She wore colored bangles that matched her dress! And as for Lemony...I had to LOL....gotta love it.

  3. Sandy I may have two comments here as one said it did not publish..if so just delete this one and the extra one. My blogger is acting up today for some reason.

  4. Hi Sandy,
    I loved reading this post!! You look lovely in your outfit, and your skirt is such a nice, neutral piece that has the right amount of polished feel- I love it. I found myself nodding along with everything you wrote. I am in the same boat as far as running into people at the store or when out and about when I look the worst. This is something I have been focusing a little more on, as well, and it really does make such a difference, just to throw on a little makeup and dress a little nicer when going out to run errands. I can feel the difference, too.
    I love the photo you shared!! Those ladies DO all look so put together and wonderful! What you said is so true- it's about having pride in how you look. I thought it was interesting that you mentioned that when you dressed up, your students behaved better, and it made me think about how that was the case when I worked in the classroom last year, too, but I never really thought about it.

    Wonderful post!
    Have a great day and blessed weekend,


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