Friday, September 7, 2007


I visited Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia once. It was a great trip and I enjoyed it immensely. That's been so long ago now.

The thing I still remember from the "reenactors" (seems more like actors to me) was that so much of life in the original Williamsburg had to do with fashion. I was especially taken with the idea of wigs being worn for fashion. Hard for me to imagine myself in a wig.

I know Queen Elisabeth I is a little bit in the wrong period for Williamsburg but I like her red wig. Besides I couldn't find an image of James I with a wig.

My sense of fashion falls more towards Sam Walton's than Mr. Blackwell's. Or maybe Mr. Blackwell is only for women's fashion. I don't know that just like a lot of other stuff about fashion that I do not know. Mr. Blackwell's name is not Mr. Blackwell and I do know that.

A few years ago I realized I had to make significant changes in my life if I expected to survive and thrive as a caregiver. One of the things I knew I had to do was to get out of the house. At the time my wardrobe was rather scant, old, and worn out. I had a sport coat I wore to funerals which was pretty much the extent of my social life.

Recognizing my own few and paltry gifts lay not in the fashion area I turned to a local haberdasher (a word I truly love). I like how he calls on occasion and says "this is your haberdasher." It makes me feel good to have a haberdasher. Surprisingly it makes me feel good to dress up, too. I try to dress up every Sunday in coat and tie. And even when I go casual I try to look nice. I think it is because my usual uniform is my exercise shorts and shirt. My haberdasher does a nice job of making me presentable.

He chooses things that go together for me from socks to ties. Pretty much any combination will work, too. I'm pretty short but he still has me in these over-the-calf socks except in my case they are nearly to my knees. Still, I like it that when I cross my legs in church that only the sock shows. I wondered for years how other men pulled that off.

He has taught me how to better care for my clothes. And the wardrobe he helped me acquire has already served me very well.

I am very surprised that dressing up actually relieves a great deal of stress and makes me feel so much better about myself. I think it somehow causes me to be more confident. And I think being more confident helps me feel better about my entire life somehow.

I have greater appreciation now for the place of fashion and ritual in society. This is mom and dad in their wedding photograph taken in 1947. Dad was 30 and mom was 33. They are very fashionable I think.

This is a photograph that mom had hanging just outside their bedroom door. On the other side of the door is a framed grouping of photographs of me from 1st grade through 12th grade. Directly across the hall is a similar one of my brother except he took his home with him so that spot is empty now.

Dad and I used to stop every night before we retired and he would look at this photo of him and mom and he would tell me the story about how they met and how beautiful she was and how he immediately knew "she was the one for me."

She was a stenographer at a lumber yard and dad was a bookkeeper for a roofing company. Dad had become acquainted with mom's boss and they saw each other frequently at lunch. Mom's boss told dad that there was a young woman that had been recently employed that he thought dad should meet. And so a meeting was arranged.


rilera said...

That sounds so fancy, "haberdasher". I think in Hollywood they call those 'Hollywood stylists". Good for you on having a haberdasher. Sometimes we forgot to take care of ourselves because we are so busy taking care of our LO.

And thanks for the pict and story of how your Mom and Dad met. They were quite a handsome couple. I love hearing those kinds of stories.

Lori1955 said...

The picture is great. I knew it was your dad right away. That square jaw is a dead give away.
As for fashion, well mine is pretty much jeans. Dressing up for me means I put on a blouse instead of a t-shirt. :)

nancy said...

oh how i loved your post. i was thinking what would a haberdasher think of me if he saw me most of the time! it might be kind of fun to have someone do a total makeover for you.

i do agree with you that somehow i do feel better when i get all cleaned up and dressed. seems like i hardly ever get the opportunity to though outside of work and that doesn't count.

i never would have pictured you as short. somehow i've always imagined you as being well over 6'.!!

~Betsy said...

You parents are such a handsome couple. I never get dressed up anymore. I work in jeans and flip flops - same thing I wear at home. I miss it sometimes.