You’ve come a long way, baby!

So, I think I was about eight when the first photoooo was taken. It’s at Tahq in the winter with The Commander and The Engineer. I remember that jacket and *maybe* the boots and *maybe* the skirt. Red mittens? I’m sure I had a few pairs of those and I think The Comm made them. I also had store-bought mitts and glubs. This was not Little House on the Prairie.

I can’t see/don’t remember what pants I had on under my skirt. I don’t remember having any particular aversion to wearing pants back then (I even sorta remember a fave pair) except that I did NOT like to wear them under skirts. If I wanted to wear a skirt to school in the winter, there were arguments! Long underwear? I never had any. My parents had these fugly padded satiny-looking outfits that they wore IN THE HOUSE sometimes, embarrassing me to no end.

And yes, when I was a kid up in the yooperland, girls could wear pants to elementary school! But not junior high or high school. I can only guess “they” had concerns about “little chickies” getting their knees frostbitten. Not sure why “they” didn’t worry about us *teenage* girls. I can clearly remember walking to high school in minus 32 degree weather, wearing a mini-skirt and nylons. Oh, not that I would’ve changed my planned outfit just because of the weather.

That all changed when I went to high school. The student council spent my whole freshman year trying to change the dress code. I think some of the main issues were whether boys could wear shirts that weren’t tucked into their pants and how high above the knee was too short for a skirt. Girls only, of course and I got in “trouble” for violating a few male teachers’ inability to measure an inch by eye.

I can’t imagine any of my male classmates wearing a skirt to school back in those days. In my kids’ day, a male student showed up in an anatomically correct clitoris vulva costume on Halloween (I think see comments). He got into the news media but I can’t remember if he got in “trouble”. But that was a totally different high school than the one I went to.

Anyway, I can’t remember all the details of the dress code that got hammered out that year but sophomore year, girls were allowed to wear “pantsuits”. That didn’t necessarily mean Hillary-style pantsuits although I kinda almost wish I had a white one. It meant *nice* non-jean pants with matching tops. I promptly sewed myself some.

The kicker was that the NEXT year (my junior year), we moved into a long-awaited new school building. Dress code? Out the window. Jeans? Fine. Hot pants? No problem.

Fast forward. The second pic is pretty much what I wear for winter walking nowadays. It looks kinda the same except a bit less colorful. It is DEFINITELY more hi-tech than the stuff I wore when I was eight. Nowadays? On the top? Feather-weight jacket over polartech vest with turtleneck underneath. Bottom? Tights, smartwool leggings, and that long gray wool skirt. Dressed like this plus a balaclava, I am WARM!

Snowshoeing at Tahq this weekend, I encountered a couple people who were kinda wondering if I was warm enough, y’know, wearing a skirt and all. I reassured them that I was well layered. Over the weekend, I heard a lot of folks jawboning away about clothing and how to layer up. I don’t need to talk about it, I just do it 🐽

2 Responses to “You’ve come a long way, baby!

  1. Isa Says:

    Mom. What on earth is a “fugly padded satiny-looking outfit“??? Youth wants to know.

    I can elaborate on the Halloween costume story in question at some point, but I’ll clarify here that it was an anatomically correct vulva costume, constructed by a midwife.

  2. Margaret Says:

    I remember it the same way: we had an unusually cold, and snowy winter, so the admin reluctantly agreed that we girls could wear slacks. (but NO jeans!) The next year, it was a free for all with jeans, hot pants, and micro mini skirts. 🙂 Layers are certainly critical. I don’t deal with super cold temps, but I still make it my practice to layer.