As you might know, House Crazy Sarah likes to lounge around her house in fuzzy pajamas. When she does housework or walks the dogs, she wears old sweats with bleach stains and fraying hems.
But there was a time not so long ago, when our grandmothers and even our mothers, wore only dresses around the house.
And out in public…
Oh how far we have come (or fallen, depending on your point of view).
It was only a couple of generations ago when women did not wear pants. Pants were for men, and dresses were for women. Period.
For formal occasions, women wore fancier designs made of silk, rayon, or wool. But, for everyday wear out in public or around the house, it was the ubiquitous cotton house dress.
Back in the Victorian era, long, full-body covering dresses were the only acceptable attire, even for doing housework.
But by the Roaring ‘Twenties, fashions and tastes had changed toward the more progressive and shorter hemlines were in.
By the Great Depression, necessity and practicality drove women to wear their daily house dresses out in public to do errands.
By the 1950’s, the classic house dress – paired with white gloves and heels – was the quintessential uniform of women in the western world.
These dresses were designed both for fashion and comfort.
The dresses may have been comfy, but could you imagine doing all the housework in high heels?
And why were the women always smiling in these photos of them doing housework?
Notice how in some photos there is a paternalistic man looking on…
Don’t forget the pearls!
Second wave feminism of the 1960′ and ’70’s ensured that pants became culturally acceptable and widely popular attire for women.
It’s good that times have evolved.
…Or is it? 😉