Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Broken Promise; or Never Say Never

I distinctly remember sitting with my sister in the living room of our trailer in Orem talking to my dad about fashion. Actually, my memory isn't all that distinct because there's every possibility that it might have been in our house two states (and at least as many years) away. But anyway, we were in some living room somewhere, and we were talking about fashion. I think we had been looking at pictures from the olden days, read: when we were even younger than our 12ish years. We had been teasing dad about how ridiculously he had dressed back then. Those bell bottoms! How silly were those!

They were pointless. If you wanted your pants loose, you should wear them loose. If you preferred them tight, by all means, wear them tight. But to have them fitted from the knee up and then have 5 pounds of extra material flapping at your ankles was just ridiculous. And ugly as sin. We railed him on this for quite a while. He did the best he could to explain that fashions come and go and that they actually were cool and that one day we would understand. He even went so far as to bet us that WE would find ourselves wearing them one day. We laughed. We laughed hard.

When we had finally stopped rolling on the floor and wiped the tears from our eyes we saw that he was actually serious. It was as if he hadn't heard what we were saying at all, and therefore still thought that we really would wear them some day. To prove to our father how very, very serious we were, we each swore (most likely "on a stack of holy bibles"as all oaths were sworn back then) that we would never, no never, stoop so low. I can still picture the kind, but very slightly smug upturn on the corners of dad's mouth.

I'm sure I don't have to explain what happened probably very nearly exactly as many years later as he had said it would. The title of this post tells that part of the tale. To my credit, I resisted for a long time. When I watched people walking down the street and heard the "ding" and the "dong" of their jeans, I felt a bit scornful. I wasn't fooled by the new name "flares". Those were BELL BOTTOMS, plain and simple, and they were ridiculous. Eventually, of course, they became so darling in a "why didn't I see it before" sort of a way. I started wearing them a few years before they went out of fashion again.

Why do we always tease the youth about their naiveness? This is something THEY understand. As soon as you're "supposed" to be wearing skinny pants, they start wearing skinny pants. THEY don't care about how ridiculous they are, or how unnaturally short they make their legs look. THEY don't mind continuing to pull up the extra 10 inches of material over their heels and bunch it around their ankles after they've already zipped and buttoned them at the top. If bell bottoms had come back in fashion a week after we had made our promise to dad, I would probably have been wearing them before the month was out. As an adult, however, I resist.

I am still wondering, do we have to wear skinny pants? Will they be like the flares of yester-or, in my case, this-year? Can't there be some alternate style chosen that will always look classy to people of all ages, for those of us who can't be suckered into wearing the trendy ones? As it is, I am feeling like it's about time for me to go and get myself a pair of skinny pants. Partly because all my old flared ones are falling to pieces, and partly because I don't want to still have pairs and pairs of new-ish skinny pants right about the time they start going out of style. **sigh**

So, advise me. Do YOU wear skinny pants? Can we get away with NEVER wearing them? Do you still wish your flares were in fashion? ARE they still in fashion on the other side of the world? (If so, we may move up our date for returning to permanent residence in the States).


The Cole Family said...

Ugh! I don't think I could ever wear skinny jeans, but I love how flares look on me. I personally think it depends on your body shape, in combination with your style preferences, and you should wear what looks good on you (or what you feel looks good--is that the same thing?)! I think that's way more important than the latest fad.

Sue said...

Oh. No, no no. I would never wear skinny pants. They make even skinny girls look fat, and that's - not good.

Plus, I'm not skinny. So it would just be kind of gross.

Jill said...

I would totally wear skinny pants..............if I were skinny.
I'm anxiously awaiting the return of pants with higher waistlines.

Becky said...

Skinny pants might possibly be the bane of civilization's existence. I, for one, don't think they look good on ANYONE (that means you, Olsen twins!), but what do I know? I'd still use a banana clip on my wild unruly hair if I had one. :) Oh, the horror!

Susan said...

I remember well that conversation, right down to the swearing on a stack of Holy Bibles! I wasn't in on it, though, for, being 4 years older than you I could still remember being about 5 years old in 78 and watching older kids swish swish swish by in their brown corduroy bells and thinking HOW cool they seemed (looked, sounded).

As for skinny jeans, I haven't seen them much. As Anne, Mom and I were looking in the shop windows in Long Beach Anne pointed out some clearly new-for-fall jeans which were definitely bell bottom jeans, only these had cuffs. I asked "what happened to skinny jeans? Didn't they stick? I'd be happy if they didn't" and then after we walked a few more yards we got to the stores other window which was full of skinny jeans, new-for-fall. So it looks to me like we get to choose. But I agree, the thing I want a choice about is regular rise jeans, Old Navy's choice of low, extra-low, and ultra-low just don't work for me, no matter HOW long my t-shirts are!!!

jonesfamily said...

LISA! We need to talk! I am totally on the get-around-to-the-trend-five-years-later thing. I've been thinking about the resiting and finally givign in when they're going out of style thing about skinny pants too! They still seem so teen-ager-ish, but I have thought I might actually do it, just because I don't think they're hideous. Though, I'm sure I won't think that once I try some on! If you look good in them, go for it! I figure in another year or less they'll be in my thrift store and I'll try them then when I still have a few more years to wear them. But what Su said is true. Weird that the gap had full-fleged bells on display.

Siobhan said...

Hey there,

Sorry this is totally on a tangent to your blog post, but I just noticed your comment on the Sugar Plum post of Mini-Butterfinger Ice Cream Cakes (which sounded crazily delicious!!), and you said that you can't get Oreos in Poland! I'm over in Ireland, where Oreos are plentiful. If you ever feel like doing a food swap of various items, just let me know. Though the number of "Polski Skleps" is increasing here regularly so you might have to work hard to surprise me!! lol :o) Just an idea anyway.

My email is: siobhantkd (at) gmail (dot) com. :o)

Emiline said...

I bought a pair, but I avoid wearing them. I dread wearing them because they're so uncomfortable. :)
I think they're going out of fashion now. Now it's wide leg trousers, thank goodness.

Lisa said...

Oh, thanks everyone SO MUCH!! How is it that there are so many views and EVERY ONE is comforting to hear? I guess because I'm so sitting on the fence about this one. I think they're so ugly, but I would still wear them, if fashion dictated that I must (because, of course, fashion before--well, everything, says this frumpy mom. Can you hear the irony?)

I obviously haven't done any shopping lately and I'm SO relieved that there are other options available. Emiline says she thinks they're going out, and she's young (if very mature:). Great news. And I had all but forgotten about banana clips! :) OH how I love comments. Thanks everyone.

Brandon & Sheena said...

Thank you so much for commenting on my blog! I love hearing from you! Thank you for your support it means so much to me!

Erin said...

I actually googled skinny jeans because I wasn't 100% sure what they were. That is how out of fashion I am. A lot of my clothes are hand-me-downs from my sisters. They actually do keep up on the fashions so I get their old clothes that seem stylish to me, but I guess they are on the way out. I just hope capris never go out of fashion because I love them. And even more comfortable are gaucho pants which is almost all Lydia will wear. But I don't think those are sticking around.

MelancholySmile said...

Wonderful post! I remember having that SAME conversation with my parents. It's something I keep in mind as motivation to embrace trends when they come along. But I've found that there are ALWAYS multiple options when it comes to fashion. Right now, bootleg jeans are out, but skinny, wide leg trouser, and high waisted jeans are all in. I find that no matter how bizarre fashion is, I can always find a niche that seems 'me'. I'm LOVIN the revival of 40's high waisted skirts and all the retro hair accessories!