Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Is It Just Me...

Or do holier-than-thou folks get up your nose hairs too? I’m specifically talking (this time) about vegans. Puleeze — not even wearing wool? It’s not like shearing is any more traumatic for the sheep than having your hair cut. And yes, I’ve been present at a number of sheep shearings. Significantly less traumatic than trimming a three-year-old child’s hair! (Ask me how I know.) I mistakenly thought that vegans were such because they valued animals and their feelings and championed more humane treatment, but obviously I’ve got it wrong. They don’t think that domestic animals have any reason to exist! Don’t they know there are many animals with a long history of close human ties who would not be able to survive without their human caretakers/companions. Most modern sheep for instance. Does that mean they should not live at all? Just chuck them out in the cold and let them fend for themselves, hey? I have so many arguments against this, I can’t even begin! I would ask for the reasoning for this idea from one of those who profess to be vegan but I won’t for fear I’d just become incoherent. I’m not very patient with narrow points of view. (Must be a reaction to my Catholic school upbringing.) And if you actually know any vegans, do let me know if they have a pet or shave or eat gummi bears or secretly wear silk undies. (I used to know a professed vegetarian who thought that chicken broth from a powdered mix was ok because there “was no meat in it”.) Just how far do you take this kind of thinking anyway? And FYI, plants have feelings too. Why not give them a break as well? But then what can you ethically eat? Hmmmm…

Whew! Rant over. I hope. Don’t ask me what started it or I’d have to tell you. So let ’em wear plastic. More wool and silk and alpaca and qiviut and other yummy un-vegan things for me. And we won’t even mention what I had for dinner. It was good.

I must be cranky because it’s so darn dark and rainy around here. Warm-ish too so I guess I shouldn’t complain. There are flowers starting to show including snowdrops, witch hazel and other of the earliest bloomers. Spring is coming. Eventually.

After looking through all those magazines last week, I’ve got some opinions on what styles might look all right on me and what doesn’t. (OK, I always have opinions. I’m a Scorpio. I can’t help it.) I’ve always been short and pear-shaped with small sloping shoulders, medium-small bust, wider hips and a definite tummy. I have a small frame with short extremities and the upholstery all in the centre third. Now that I’m past middle age, it’s even more so. This makes it hard to wear surplice or wrapped styles (they gap between tummy and boobs), wide dolman or dropped sleeves (they bunch up under my arms), raglan sleeves (they make my shoulders look even smaller), low necklines (you don’t want to see), skirts (they ride up in front over my tummy), or empire lines (they make me look pregnant). Too tight is not good nor is too loose. Not too overly trendy or “young” not because I care what others think but because they’re usually not practical enough for my lifestyle.

What’s left? Styles that skim the body, have a proper shoulder slope, and not add bulk in the middle. I love jackets, cardigans and button or zip-front vests. I like the length to stop just past my waist (what there is of it) or go down past my behind, not stop in mid-butt. I like the shoulders to fit to my back width and necklines to come to the right spot. Many styles right now have long elegant bell cuffs but though they look great, they would drive me nuts. I routinely shorten sleeves by as much as 3 inches because my arms are short and three-quarter length sleeves are great because I don’t have to adjust them. I tend to wear stretchy pants or sweats (never jeans) and instead of skirts I prefer jumpers or dresses, though I wear them rarely even for dress-up occasions. There aren’t many dress-up occasions in my life anyway. I also love accessories: wristwarmers, gloves (not mitts), hats (wild!), scarves (long and narrow), and small triangular shawls.

All these likes and concerns tend to somewhat limit my choices if I was stuck with the patterns that are available. Luckily I have a long familiarity with dressmaking and pattern drafting so I can make garments that (mostly!) work for me. The problem is that fashions keep changing and don’t always coincide with my taste. I guess the advantage of being a “granny” is that I’m becoming more invisible so nobody expects me to look fashionable! Both a blessing and a curse, I’d say. Somebody should give fashion designers the heads-up that we baby-boomers are a large force with money and taste and would like something that suits us better than styles made for tall skinny 20-somethings. Oops. Ranting again. It’s just that kind of day. Back to knitting socks.


Nadia said...

A nice way to wear the bell cuff is to put it on a shorter sleeve, like an elbow length one or a 3/4 length one.

A comfy skirt I like (and I have a pear shape too) is one with a lot of gores. One like this:

is nice, because at midi-length, it's practical since you can bend over or take a large stride.

As for the empire waist, I say we pears need to reclaim our styles! And why is it bad for clothes to make us look pregnant? Motherhood isn't all that bad, is it?

Louisa said...

Thanks for the hint, Nadia! Maybe I'll make a shorter bell-sleeve one day - before they go out of style again. Heh, nice skirt but that's not the problem. The problem is what passes for my waist is so high in front and low in the back that the waistband sits at an angle. In pants, the crotch keeps it from riding up in front, but there's nothing in a skirt to prevent it, so unless I was to cut the skirt with a much higher front waist (which would likely look really awful) it totally hangs wrong.

How I wish I was your kind of pear-shaped again! And hon', I WAS pregnant when I was your age. Unfortunately it's not a good look for a grandmother. LOL!!