Hello dears! With Summer’s end on the way, it was pretty special that Charlotte and I were able to get these striking photos of my outfit in our fully bloomed flower garden before the beauty began to fade. I like to think of this as my summer polka dress due to the bright orange polka dots printed on the crisp, white rayon material. If you can believe it, this dress was Charlotte’s last year, but she had to hand it up to me because her once tiny body is not so tiny anymore. Haha! Dear thing! I was happy to find that my coral leather strap wedges, and turquoise polka-dot nylon kerchief from Chronically Vintage were the perfect complementary accessories for this vibrant ensemble.
As the girls and I have been diving deeper and deeper into this lifestyle of wearing vintage styles on a day to day basis, I have been thinking a lot about the feedback we have been receiving from supporters and critics alike, and I would like to share my thoughts here in this post.
Dress: Drafted and sewn by Charlotte / Belt: Charlotte’s / Shoes: Michael Kors / 1950s Nylon scarf: c/o Chronically Vintage / Necklace: Thrifted
As a lot of you know, I have been studying and admiring hairstyles from the 1940s for a long time now. One thing that I love about what the women of the 40s did was use whatever limited hair styling supplies and tools they had on hand. I have been learning that there really weren’t a lot of extra supplies or resources around during the war years, especially over in Europe, due to extensive rationing. Bobby pins, snoods, kerchiefs, and hair rollers were just a few cheap tools women were able to use in keeping with the War Effort. With these limited supplies, most women used their ingenuity to create fabulous hairstyles. It ought to be said that these hairstyles were not just for looks alone, but were most especially used to keep a lady’s hair tidy and out of her face while she worked, be it at home, in a factory, as a secretary, or what have you. A woman’s hairstyle did a lot to help her through the day for practicality and morale’s sake.
There is also a lot to be said for the kind of character women demonstrated on a day to day basis during the war. They scrimped, and thrifted, and gave away many of the luxuries they had. Things like groceries, unlimited access to cloth, nylon hose, shoes, metal tools around the house, were all rationed as we know it, and thus these women were in a way forced to live a very unique lifestyle as compared to what was the norm in ante- and post-bellum eras. This, I believe, gave women of the 1940s a bit more backbone and stamina, because they knew if they helped out by giving up what they could, they would be helping make the jobs and living conditions of the soldiers that much easier and better. Everyone was trying to do their part to get through the war with their heads left intact, and that was no easy task. The men were having to fight with weapons that had never been used before in warfare, turning their outlook on life upside down. The women who welcomed their weary soldiers home had to learn to cope with the side effects of the horrific experiences their husbands, sons and beaus went through. They are called the greatest generation for a reason!
Many would like to reminisce about these days as the good old days, when men knew how to act like strong courageous men, and women knew how to stand behind them, giving encouragement and support and submission to their life visions. I know the girls and I have. But there is one factor that tears this romantic notion to shreds, and that is that every era is fraught with sin, which means every single person is liable to cheat, betray, steal, lie and a host of wicked sins. Do I believe that there was a greater majority of people in the 1940s who desired to live an honest, morally sound and God-centered lifestyle? Yes, I fully believe that. But again I will say that I also believe there were plenty of people who were wicked and foolishly broke standards and laws of that age. Do I believe that many (not all) of the moral standards of that era were far better than today? Yes, I do; all the way down to the the standards of dress and appearance.
This last declaration brings me to my main point:
Many (but not all) women made it a priority to look their best nearly every single day, going out of their way especially to make sure their households were just as attractively attired. They would take time to sew or save up for nice clothes (that includes nice, everyday wear). They would take the time to style their hair and observe regular toiletry practices such as putting on a little makeup each morning. They would do these things because they knew that it was comely for a woman to make herself, and her family, look nice for the sake of those around her. In a sense it was a way of edifying and loving one’s neighbors.
Now, it is erroneous to say that ALL women did themselves up to look nice. They may have spent a great deal of time making sure their children looked well, but sometimes they might have slacked in their daily regimes. Even I, a young woman, know that I don’t always have the stamina to do my hair in a fabulous style every day. That would just be silly! And it is silly to think that all mothers looked and dressed like the movie stars and celebrities of that era. But what I do believe is that this era possessed rules of fashion and good hygiene, besides moral rules, of which a great deal of people followed. In fact, it wasn’t until the youth rebellions of the 1960s that we began to turn our backs on these wonderful practices and maxims of the previous eras.
It used to be that Grandmothers and mothers were looked to for advice by young women for nearly all aspects of life, but with the age of the youth rebellions, the focus on authority was reversed, and suddenly the world was looking to the teenaged person for body image, fashion inspiration, and foolish, reckless beliefs on how to live out one’s life. “Be who you want to be.”, and “Follow your heart.” were some of the slogans that were established from that time period. Regrettably, our society became so enraptured with this sinfully attractive and lustful way of thinking, that it has remained imbedded in our culture as we see it today. And I fully believe that the rebellion from the good standards of life has brought our society more chaos and trouble than it has clarity and wisdom. The modern caliber of thought has lacked immensely since the 60s because we as a nation willingly lost and forgot the wisdom of our past. We once upheld the notion that it was our elders who were to be revered, and not the foolish youth, and I greatly pray that this biblical way of thinking will return and reform our society.
The most important thing however is not the fact that we have lost a way of life, but we have lost the God who gave us that way of life. No, God has not forgotten us, we have forgotten Him. Oh! Our Country began so well! But it didn’t take long before we began to accept the lies of the world, and slowly open up our vessel to let the poison pour in. May we long for nothing better than the truth and light of Christ to enter into our rebellious hearts once more.
But getting back to my main thoughts on the youthful rebellion…
I can assure you that I don’t have to look very far to find that the Living Word of God clearly warns against the sins of youth in Psalm 25:7, Proverbs 22:15, Ecclesiastes 11:10, and 2 Timothy 2:22.
I would like to blame this sad revolt on all on the crazy young people of the 60s, but it wasn’t just them. Their parents never trained them up in the ways of the Lord, and so the fruit that came from a lack of diligence was the entrance of more sin and disrepair in our culture than we had yet seen. There also were many people, far older than the youth, who did not fear the Lord during the age of rebellion, and they who were godless naturally turned from what they probably called supercilious and useless standards which their own parents regarded, to go after a lifestyle conjured up by the foolishness of youthful passion. For as it says in Proverbs 1:7…
“The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
So why do I say all of this? There are many of you who fully understand why it is we three are eager to dress in fashions from previous eras, but there are some who think we’re just “stuck in the past”, romanticizing over the nostalgia of the WWII era, supposedly disregarding the hardship that came with that time. We know full well of the great atrocities that took place during that time, and we have been studying the errors of that age, besides the good things, in the effort to find out what ought to have been done better, and what we ought to do now. Ultimately, the girls and I are taking the good things from that era, and applying them to our life, and it just so happens that one of the easiest ways to do that is to wear clothes after the styles of that era. And to add another layer, as I said above, there were actual rules and standards of dress that were held in high regard before the 60s. These rules and standards are commendable, and we believe they honor the Lord. Why? He calls us to do everything well and to His glory, and the fashions from the eras previous to the 60s reflect this command from the Lord. They are thrifty, practical, attractive, and give one a sense of propriety. Brigi and I have even begun a history project on the everyday fashions of the WWII era, because we know that not all women wore what came out of the Sears and Roebuck Catalogues, and they definitely didn’t dress like the movie stars! However, women of the 40s and 50s applied certain rules of fashion in everyday dress, and it is the application that we are trying to learn ourselves. Lord willing you will be hearing more about this project in the coming months. 🙂
Dears, for every age there are blessings and cursings; after all, we do live in a fallen world, brought on by the Fall of Adam and Eve. For every age we must be thankful, and careful to learn of our past, that we might know how to better live for the future. With Jesus Christ the Righteous as our help we can and will find blessing in every attribute of life, past and present.
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Blessings to you all, sweet friends.
Jessica, the Eldest Sister & Singer
P.S. Don’t forget to use the coupon code to our dear sponsor, Chronically Vintage’s etsy shop to get 27% off your next order! The code is BFS27, and is case sensitive. It’s is valid up through Friday, Sept. 25th, so hurry while the offer lasts!