Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Cold Legs, Leggings and Snowpants

We took our coffee out on the porch this morning. It's a lovely day, cool and breezy, no humidity to speak of, and the sun is brilliant on the changing leaves. A perfect fall day.

Except that we could only stay out there a few minutes! Even with the bright sun, the wind made it too cold to be comfortable. I am wearing capris today (painting pants, as I'm in the middle of a few projects) and they weren't the best choice.

image from  , for sale for $45.00 on their site. Too cute!
Which sparked a conversation about women's dress and how it's changed over the years. When I was a girl (1950's-60's) we had to wear dresses to school. That meant our legs were bare from socks to hemline. I well remember wearing ankle socks, Buster Brown shoes, and a cotton dress. A coat, hat and gloves were added in colder weather, or a sweater on days like today, but none of that covered bare legs. The only thing we could add were the dreaded snowpants, which were warm even if bulky and hard to put on and take off.

Was I cold when we had days like today? I don't recall my legs being cold, but they must have been. And I sure do remember the chill of the wind blowing up our dresses! Brrrrr.

image from ebay
Tights (we call them leggings now, I suppose) came into vogue in the late 1950's but we rarely owned any and if we did they were hand-me-downs from some other family. I have an idea my mother didn't approve of them anyway, since they were, in her view, akin to hose and we were certainly not allowed to wear hose! I envied the girls who had tights in all colors to match their outfits. How I would have loved to have those. But with so many children in school (about 8 of us at one time, at least) those kind of luxuries were out of the question.

These days I see women going bare-legged all year round, even in winter and when wearing heels. It seems so odd to me. And shorts--people wear those year-round too, even the mail carriers in town. With all the choices we have to be warm, I marvel that people choose to be cold. I guess I'm just old-fashioned, but I do like the look of hose on a woman's legs, and so does my husband. I see photos of movie stars in formal wear, all dressed up, diamonds sparkling...and bare legs. Looks unfinished to me somehow, and at odds with the elegant dresses.

Back to the porch, with long pants and a sweatshirt this time!

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.


  1. I remember having to wear dresses, busters, and ankle socks.
    There is a difference between leggings (no feet) and tights (have feet) LOL... I only know this because I had a clerk explain it to me, yesterday.

    It gets cold here, but I see women in down parkas, heavy leggings, bare feet in flip flops. Makes me cold just to see them.

    I miss when people actually used to dress nicely when shopping and going to church. The guy at mass with the cargo shorts, and flip flops is in real danger of being bopped on the head with a flying missal...

  2. You should check out my friend's blog.

    Samantha & I have been friends for about 20 yrs now & even though she's from the Ozarks I think she must have some WV hills in her somewhere. She loves vintage clothes & has quite a few posts about dressing vintage....she dresses this way all the time. If I drop in to see her she's wearing a vintage house dress, apron & no shoes..except maybe in winter. She also tells the most wonderful stories through her writing.

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  5. Every morning of the school year, vehicles gather on the road right at the end of my driveway, motors running, headlights on, and the headlights of at least one vehicle shining directly at the window next to my bed. They sit there, parents and kids, waiting for the school bus. The kids all live within - at most - a few hundred feet of my place.
    I sometimes think of when I was a little girl. For grades 1 through 6, I walked to school - over a half mile - every morning, wearing the required dress. I also walked home for lunch, then back to school for the afternoon, then home again. In winter, with snow pants worn under the dress and then removed in the classroom.
    Every school day, sun, rain, or snow, I walked a total of 2.5 miles. I don't remember ever thinking of it as a negative thing, although I DO remember thinking girls should be allowed to wear trousers to school! And now kids can wear anything at all, but they can't walk to a bus stop they can almost see from their front door, and wait 5 minutes outdoors instead of in a vehicle parked with the motor running. You know, Sue, there is some danger that I will become an old woman waving her cane around and saying, "Why, when I was your age..." ;)

  6. Aha! Thank you, Brig, for explaining. Out of date with current terms, I surely am!

    And I'm with you about how people dress to go out. When I see old videos and photos from local parades, etc, people are always dressed so nicely. Today, anything goes--and often shouldn't, at least not in public :)


  7. I will certainly check out her blog, Jenny. Thanks! I often wear dresses around the house in summer, and this year wore them to go out much more often than I used to. They're just so comfortable, esp in hot weather.

  8. LOL, Quinn! We walked to high school, which was about half a mile away, but had a bus when we were younger. For years it stopped right in front of our house--we made a whole bus stop with just the kids in our family! In junior high we walked to the corner. No warm car to sit in for us then. My sons walked a mile each way to the bus, up and down hills and through the woods, but they didn't think too much of it. They could cover the mile in 10 minutes easily, running or jogging the whole way. As soon as my oldest son got a driver's license, though, that changed! They drove an old junker out to the bus stop then. My youngest son, 13 years behind the others? I dropped him off at school on my way to work, and by then the bus was running our ridge, so he had only the 1/4 mile walk down the driveway. Today, I think some of the parents' concerns are child molesters and kidnappers, sadly. Still, one parent at the bus stop would seem sufficient.

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  12. I remember those days fondly--snowpants, dresses, and walking to high school. Times have changed and not for the better, I'm afraid.

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  17. How I would love to be able to wear tights/leggins!!!! But I can't stand the "feel" of them. -sigh- I know, it sounds weird. Seems like everyone can and does wear them.

    I like to wear long-ish cotton dresses (heavier in winter)... And when cold weather comes, it would be perfect to have them,under the dresses. But I just can't. And a slip and regular socks, just don't keep the upper legs warm enough. -grin- Such problems hu?

    Oh and forgot again.... On some post, you mentioned about how can 2 people make so much mess? I know! We seem to have way too much laundry, and we don't get that dirty. And the house gets dirty too, and we aren't messing it up. How? Why? -grin-

    🔥 🔥 🔥 🔥


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