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Old 11-12-2018, 11:27 AM
 
5,581 posts, read 3,425,331 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silibran View Post
Yes, my family experience does not match the previous posterís either. In your case, it sounds as if your family was more affluent than mine, but it is closer to mine. I do remember wringer washers and clotheslines. But we never owned a wringer, and we did get a dryer eventually. My dad dabbled in gardening but my mom did not can. We bought our groceries in a modern grocery store, and some times at garden stands. My mom began teaching school when I was young, and I donít remember many housedresses.

Most if my momís friends were similar, except they did not work until their kids were mostly raised. I do not remember many if them being terribly fashionable. They might have colored their hair; you could certainly buy Miss Clairol at the drugstore. The weekly beauty shop appointments for married women did not happen until in the sixties, as I remember. It seems amazing to me that my motherís generation could not style their hair. My mother never did learn, but perhaps she was not typical.

Yes, fashions of the fifties were not kind to older women. Cat eye glasses, poodle cuts, tiny waists, bright red lipstick. None of that was flattering. Anyone else remember home permanents? Ugh!
My parents were solidly middle class, but one thing they were not was rural, so I think that is a big divide between what people are remembering. They were from the city (Chicago) and moved to the Los Angeles area in the 1950s. In fact, one of my mom's complaints was that people in LA did not dress up as nicely when they went out as they had in Chicago. Of course it wasn't just her location that had changed, but times had changed too.

My mom cooked every meal and she sure ironed a lot of things, but she did not have an outside clothesline and she did not can anything. She worked as a bookkeeper in our family business and was always dressed very nicely and "put together" as I recall.

Funny that you mention hair. My mom had a good sense of style, what it was at the time, and also was an accomplished seamstress who sewed a lot of dresses for me and my sisters. She was good with makeup. But she just did not have any idea what to do with hair! She cut her own hair short when her oldest children were small, early 1950s. It seems that was just what married women with children did. In the 1960s, she adopted the "beehive" style which she kept for the rest of her life. There was no way she could create that style on her own, so the weekly salon appointment was an absolute must. If she missed for any reason, her hair was a wreck until the next week.

She was also not good with her children's hair. Her way of dealing with hair was to cut it short so as not to have to deal with it. I had a series of the most gosh-awful short haircuts in elementary and middle school. My sisters and I all preferred long hair and had to first persuade Mom to let us grow it out, and then learn to style it ourselves.
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Old 11-12-2018, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
26,970 posts, read 28,361,399 times
Reputation: 26189
Quote:
Originally Posted by silibran View Post
Yes, my family experience does not match the previous posterís either. In your case, it sounds as if your family was more affluent than mine, but it is closer to mine. I do remember wringer washers and clotheslines. But we never owned a wringer, and we did get a dryer eventually. My dad dabbled in gardening but my mom did not can. We bought our groceries in a modern grocery store, and some times at garden stands. My mom began teaching school when I was young, and I donít remember many housedresses.

Most if my momís friends were similar, except they did not work until their kids were mostly raised. I do not remember many if them being terribly fashionable. They might have colored their hair; you could certainly buy Miss Clairol at the drugstore. The weekly beauty shop appointments for married women did not hapoen until in the sixties, as I remember. It seems amazing to me that my motherís generation could not style their hair. My mother never did learn, but perhaps she was not typical.

Yes, fashions of the fifties were not kind to older women. Cat eye glasses, poodle cuts, tiny waists, bright red liostick. None of that was flattering. Anyone else remember home permanents? Ugh!
Where my (they are from different states) parents grew up, everyone had a garden. They did get some stuff at the grocery , but people still canned too. My grandmothers got dressed up for church with a hat and lipstick, but that wasnít daily wear. Each had a job - one cleaning houses and one as a cafeteria cook. There werenít many options for black women in their day. I never saw my maternal grandma wear pants. She as mostly home bound and in her house dresses. My paternal grandma was really busy and active so she always got dressed up. Not much makeup but well put together. My grandad was a minister so there were always places to go.

My mom kept those old fashioned ideals. When she turned about 38 she basically decided it was time to dress old. And that is still the case now. None of her older sisters took up that attitude and they do not look old, even now at 70+. My mom has been dressing elderly for like 30 years.
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Old 11-12-2018, 12:40 PM
 
Location: My House
33,366 posts, read 27,182,051 times
Reputation: 24679
Quote:
Originally Posted by saibot View Post
Good grief, are we talking about the 1850s? You must have lived WAY out in the country because by the 1950s pretty much everywhere else had indoor plumbing and the kind of washer that didn't need a separate wringer. My mom was born in 1926 and she certainly always did.

By the way, she had 7 children. The oldest was born in 1947. Mom was meticulous about her looks and always had her hair colored (she went gray early, as did my sisters) and styled, and wore nice-fitting clothes. I think she would have died of shame before going out even to the corner grocery in a loose housedress with curlers in her hair and no makeup.

That was the norm; at least where we lived. Women who "let themselves go" were frowned upon. I do think she and most women of that era looked older than women of the same age today because of the styles, but they did not look like they just walked off Tobacco Road.
Nah... my stepdad's grandma, who passed away in 1981, never had indoor toilets. She thought they were disgusting. She used an outhouse until she was put in a nursing home shortly before her death.

She had running water indoors, a washing machine for clothes, etc, but that wasn't until the 1970s, even.

Note: They were farmers, but lived less than an hour from a major city so hardly WAY out in the boondocks.
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Old 11-12-2018, 01:21 PM
 
991 posts, read 406,656 times
Reputation: 2484
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedZin View Post
Nah... my stepdad's grandma, who passed away in 1981, never had indoor toilets. She thought they were disgusting. She used an outhouse until she was put in a nursing home shortly before her death.

She had running water indoors, a washing machine for clothes, etc, but that wasn't until the 1970s, even.

Note: They were farmers, but lived less than an hour from a major city so hardly WAY out in the boondocks.
I remember visiting my great-grandparents in rural Pennsylvania when I was a kid. They lived on a farm, and there was no indoor plumbing.
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Old 11-12-2018, 03:16 PM
 
5,581 posts, read 3,425,331 times
Reputation: 14073
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedZin View Post
Nah... my stepdad's grandma, who passed away in 1981, never had indoor toilets. She thought they were disgusting. She used an outhouse until she was put in a nursing home shortly before her death.

She had running water indoors, a washing machine for clothes, etc, but that wasn't until the 1970s, even.

Note: They were farmers, but lived less than an hour from a major city so hardly WAY out in the boondocks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyDancer View Post
I remember visiting my great-grandparents in rural Pennsylvania when I was a kid. They lived on a farm, and there was no indoor plumbing.
Sure, but let's be fair...it is understandable for older people who have always lived a certain way, especially on a farm, not to want to or be able to change with the times. I don't know the ages of the people mentioned in these posts, but the fact that they were great-grandparents of CD posters makes it possible that they were born well before the 1920s/30s, which is roughly the age range we've been talking about in terms of "relatively young women who dressed 'old' in the 1950s."

My own great-grandparents were born in the 1860s and 70s and never saw the 1950s, and I'm not all that old (49).
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Old 11-12-2018, 03:26 PM
 
Location: here
24,491 posts, read 28,902,319 times
Reputation: 31104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibbiekat View Post
I'm a 44 year old woman and I know exactly what the OP was talking about. Thinking about my mom, and especially my grandma, they've looked "old" for as long as I can remember. I think it was mostly the short haircuts. Why did everyone over 40 feel the need to cut and perm their hair? Thinking back about some of the clothing styles of the 80's, even some worn by young people were old lady-ish (long skirts with blouses). The only think I found slightly off-putting about the OP was the insistence that he wasn't calling 40 old.
I got the following rep for the above post.
"By the 80's, thankfully, women no longer felt they had to cut their hair short after 40 (YMMV regionally). Remember: 1980's women at 40 were the Flower Children generation in the 1960's. They broke all conventions."

I guess my regional mileage varies because I remember the 80's and the middle-aged women with short hair. Thanks for you input, though.
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Old 11-13-2018, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Boonies of N. Alabama
2,376 posts, read 2,131,284 times
Reputation: 3857
Quote:
Originally Posted by saibot View Post

She was also not good with her children's hair. Her way of dealing with hair was to cut it short so as not to have to deal with it. I had a series of the most gosh-awful short haircuts in elementary and middle school. My sisters and I all preferred long hair and had to first persuade Mom to let us grow it out, and then learn to style it ourselves.

Oh lord... this! I"m the oldest of 7. As each younger sibling came along my hair got shorter until by 7 it was so short and the bangs...ugh! The kids in the neighborhood called me "boy". I begged her to stop cutting it so short. I looked like the little dutch boy. Then she decided to try a Toni home perm. It came out so bad she couldn't get a comb thru it. Off to ... not a salon...but the barber shop to get it cut out and since it was short to begin with... ugh.
Then my dad finally had a fit with her and told her she couldn't cut my hair anymore until it was at least at my shoulders and then no shorter than that.

Probably why I rarely ever cut my hair between the ages of 14 and 55.
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Old 11-13-2018, 08:04 AM
 
10,022 posts, read 5,826,053 times
Reputation: 10087
We always had short hair as kids, it was a popular style. Kids were very active outdoors back then and long hair would get dirty and messy fast. I didn't have longer hair until I was in high school and knew how to style it.
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Old 11-16-2018, 02:51 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
19,159 posts, read 12,679,296 times
Reputation: 24956
Quote:
Originally Posted by saibot View Post
My parents were solidly middle class, but one thing they were not was rural, so I think that is a big divide between what people are remembering. They were from the city (Chicago) and moved to the Los Angeles area in the 1950s. In fact, one of my mom's complaints was that people in LA did not dress up as nicely when they went out as they had in Chicago. Of course it wasn't just her location that had changed, but times had changed too.

My mom cooked every meal and she sure ironed a lot of things, but she did not have an outside clothesline and she did not can anything. She worked as a bookkeeper in our family business and was always dressed very nicely and "put together" as I recall.

Funny that you mention hair. My mom had a good sense of style, what it was at the time, and also was an accomplished seamstress who sewed a lot of dresses for me and my sisters. She was good with makeup. But she just did not have any idea what to do with hair! She cut her own hair short when her oldest children were small, early 1950s. It seems that was just what married women with children did. In the 1960s, she adopted the "beehive" style which she kept for the rest of her life. There was no way she could create that style on her own, so the weekly salon appointment was an absolute must. If she missed for any reason, her hair was a wreck until the next week.

She was also not good with her children's hair. Her way of dealing with hair was to cut it short so as not to have to deal with it. I had a series of the most gosh-awful short haircuts in elementary and middle school. My sisters and I all preferred long hair and had to first persuade Mom to let us grow it out, and then learn to style it ourselves.
My mother could not deal with our hair either. She gave us home perms for years. We rolled our hair in pincurls on Saturday night, so it would be curly for Sunday morning. My youngest sis got to wear her hair in a pony tail, as I remember. The shame of it all is that we all had beautiful hair. But mom did not have a clue about how to get it to look nice.

I think she never progressed beyond the fifties poodle cuts. And styling one’s hair every day was something she simply never learned. My mom sewed for us when we quite young. She taught us all to sew.

We all ironed everything . It was a weekly chore. I’ve been ironing since elementary school.
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Old 11-16-2018, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
19,159 posts, read 12,679,296 times
Reputation: 24956
Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Where my (they are from different states) parents grew up, everyone had a garden. They did get some stuff at the grocery , but people still canned too. My grandmothers got dressed up for church with a hat and lipstick, but that wasnít daily wear. Each had a job - one cleaning houses and one as a cafeteria cook. There werenít many options for black women in their day. I never saw my maternal grandma wear pants. She as mostly home bound and in her house dresses. My paternal grandma was really busy and active so she always got dressed up. Not much makeup but well put together. My grandad was a minister so there were always places to go.

My mom kept those old fashioned ideals. When she turned about 38 she basically decided it was time to dress old. And that is still the case now. None of her older sisters took up that attitude and they do not look old, even now at 70+. My mom has been dressing elderly for like 30 years.
Yes, we all were plain during the week, and dressed up for church. Now we seldom if ever dress up.

I am 72, and I wear jeans and pants, and pride myself on the way I dress. I really do not want to dress old, but I am kidding myself about some things, I guess.
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