News - from the past & the present

Monday Musings: This one is from the past about women’s dress

I discovered the following article by Allene Sumner in the January 1, 1930 edition of The Tuscaloosa News, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Oh, how times have changed. . .


Woman Has Her Day And Her Say

While women are still debating the long and the short of skirts, along comes Ruth St. Denis, the dancer, and condemned both. Trousers, she avers, are the reasonable and logical solution.

“Not exactly a duplicate of the style worn by men.” she qualifies, “but a feminized version. The freedom, the decency and the economy of them will eventually appeal to the woman who works, whether she be a bank executive or a shop girl.”

Women’s fashions: trouser skirt, Paris, March 1915 (Library of Congress)

And Nothing Happened

Miss St. Denis said she walked down Fifth Avenue in a suit of trousers, so full at the bottom that they were not to be distinguished from skirts, except when she stepped into a taxicab.

“And nothing happened,” she said.

Well, why should anything have happened? I saw a quaint looking little old woman on the avenue the other day, who might have stepped right out of the nineties — with a fitted basque, a long, gored and gathered skirt with braid dust around the hem, and a hat that perched up on top of her head like a periscope, revealing an old fashioned pompadour, and a “rat,” nothing more nor less.

Nothing happened to her, either – though I doubt if she made any converts to the 1890’s with her strange get-up.

Just why long, full trousers would be any more practical than short, full skirts, I can’t see. Can you?

There is no particular virtue in looking different from other people, unless you look better than they do. The comfort and anonymity of uniformity are not to be despised.

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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and www.daysgoneby.me
All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.
She has authored numerous genealogy books.
RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE)
is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2)
is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series)
Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1)
is the continuation of the story. .
For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

3 comments

  1. Brenda Dee

    In the 60’s women could not wear pants on campus at Auburn during the week and had to wear raincoats over pants on weekend

  2. I remember in high school when the ladies were allowed to start wearing pants to school and this was in the 70’s !!!!

  3. Deuteronomy 22:5 prohibits Israelites from wearing garments of the opposite sex because these were the special garments female and male cultic prostitutes wore in the service of Asherah (cf. 2 Kings 10:22; 23:7).

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