In my youth I was not what is commonly known as a trend setter. I was never confident enough to be the one to start a fashion trend. After someone else blazed a fashion trail I could follow it pretty well, but I was never the one in the lead.
As I reached adulthood, I grew more confident and bolder, but I never fully reached the “who cares” stage of fashion until I passed 60. One of the more spectacular things about reaching senior citizen status is the feeling of I’m me! So, whether I’m first or last now, I enjoy my individual taste and don’t worry about what the fashion police are going to say.
I enjoy choosing bold, clip-on earrings to match my dress, sweater, blouse, skirt, pants – whatever. I proudly carry my bigger than big purses that are in varying shades of bright colors. I wear backless shoes 12 months of the year, mostly because of feet problems but also because I have grown to like them. I’m happy being me.
One of my favorite singers, Rod Stewart, sang a song several years ago in which he said, “I wish I knew what I know now, when I was younger.”
It seemed that many of my peers didn’t have my hang-up when we were younger. But I was wrong. I have been quite amazed in talking with those fashionable friends from days of yore. They tell me they had the same fear of not being fashionably acceptable. They sure had me fooled!
My thoughts about setting a trend were prompted by a discovery I made while looking through a box of Mom’s patterns the other day. I laughed out loud as I sat and stared at the pattern for a Dr. Kildare shirt.
Dr. Kildare was a hit TV show in 1962 and I wouldn’t miss an episode. Simplicity decided to take advantage of the popularity of the good doctor and market a pattern that looked exactly like the shirt he wore each week.
I bought the pattern and couldn’t wait for Mom to get my trendy intern shirt made. Then my fashion insecurities flamed up. What would my peers think if I was the only one to wear such? So, I waited. I told friends I had the shirt, but I didn’t wear it until one day, one happy, happy day, I saw the most fashionable girl in school wearing one. The next day I wore mine, wishing all the time I had been the first to wear it – the trend setter.
Now I would and never blink an eye. I’m sure I would look really wild wearing a Dr. Kildare shirt, blingy earrings, and carrying a purse that looked like a doctor’s bag! Someone would surely call the fashion police. And I would smile and wave at them as they came to arrest me!
LaVale Mills is Publisher Emeritus of The Red Bay News.