Writing My Life

Now and Then

Day 6 ~ Have I Told You How Grateful I Am for Sweaters?

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Lots o’ women LOVE autumn for a variety of reasons, and one of them usually includes the wearing of sweaters. Ahhhhhh, a FAVORITE clothing item.

While fall is usually considered sweater weather, the popularity of layering has extended the sweater season. Not that layering is a recent trend; NOW it’s a fashion statement in addition to a NECESSITY for staying warm. Because I swelter more than shiver, I rarely wear coats; thus ONE layer is usually all I need.

I do appreciate these “knitted jackets” or “pullovers,” and I have since I was a young teen in the early 1960s. Sweaters were a hot topic because of Hollywood stars like Lana Turner and Jane Russell, the so-called sweater girls. 1950s Sweater GirlI don’t know if I paid much attention to them as much as I admired the sweater-clad dancers on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand.

The show was produced in Philadelphia near a Catholic high school, and the teens were first in line when the popular TV show hit the air. Early on, the girls rock ‘n rolled wearing their school uniforms: pleated plaid or plain slim skirts and sweaters over blouses with Peter Pan collars. When the nuns heard about their activities, they pulled out the yardsticks to do battle.

The first directive to the teens was to stay away from the iniquitous studio, but when that went unheeded, the sisters demanded that girls were NOT to wear their uniforms. If the teenagers took time to change, however, they would not be the first in line and would miss the opportunity of dancin’ the afternoon away to the beat of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bill Hayley and the Comets, and other great artists.

To solve the dilemma, the resourceful girls merely pulled off their blouses and donned their sweaters on BACKWARDS, buttoning them up the back. The innovation became a hot fad throughout the nation, and I jumped on it, too.

One summer I used my own babysitting money to buy my school clothes for the first time. I babysat my second cousins for a week to earn $25, enough to purchase a pink cardigan sweater – that I wore backwards – and a black and pink plaid skirt. I think I also had enough money to buy some bobby-sox! (I believe I bought the whole ensemble at Woolworths – a precursor to Walmart.) I LOVED that outfit and wore it several times a week – that was before the days when I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing the same outfit on Wednesday that I wore on Tuesday!

And sweaters are still a favorite! They are cozy, comfy, and cute! I especially love the styles that are popular now and also appreciate the faux layered look with collars, sleeves, and shirtails peeking out from under a pullover.  Ooooh, time to run!!!!

We’re goin’ hoppin’ (Hop!)
We’re goin’ hoppin’ today
Where things are poppin'(Pop!)
The Philadelphia way; We’re goin’ drop in (Drop!)
On all the music they play On the Bandstand! BANDSTAND! 

Author: rbs

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