February 28, 2011

I Am Sixteen Going On

Well let's not talk about it. With my thoughts starting to dream of warmer weather I found this cute romper and started looking for a vintage pattern that was similar. It even feels as though I could draft something like this from the bodice of another pattern. But the big question is:
Am I too old for a romper like this to wear instead of a bathing suit? This is a rhetorical question so please, please don't answer it.

It is just so adorable. One of the things I dislike most about aging is that cute and adorable things like this are no longer deemed wearable for those over a certain age. I sometimes hate the idea of having to 'look my age' and yet I remember a women in the town I grew up in that always wore the latest fashion even when she was in her 80's. It was not always becoming seeing her in leggings and high heels with a leopard print sweater and huge hoop earrings. I definitely don't want to be one of those ladies, but on certain days I still feel young enough to put a flower in my hair and feel sixteen again.

What are the rules? Many vintage patterns seem to have been created for the younger women. Rarely (never) do you see gray haired ladies modeling the pattern. They are always young and hip, cute and slender. Don't you think that older women sewed their own clothes too? Where were their styles coming from? Maybe the pattern makers thought that older women had more money and did not need to sew their own clothes, but rather bought them at department or women's specialty shops.

I would love to know if you have ever seen a pattern with the depiction of an older more mature women on the front.


  1. I prefer to think that older women had their pattern stashes and the skills to alter them, so they didn't buy patterns. More likely is a perception that older women would buy patterns with young women on the cover; but not vice versa.

    Go for the romper, let loose the inner sixteen year old.

  2. I think society as a general has always been focused on youth. When you look at modern catalogs and web sites selling clothes, they use models in their what, 20s and sometimes 30s? Rarely do you see someone older. (Though I remember it was A Big Deal when Lauren Hutton modeled for J. Crew when she was considered much older than a standard model. I just looked it up and that was 1989, when she was 46. She's still modeling for them at 65 and looking fantastic.)

    So anyway, sewing patterns and knitting patterns are no different in my mind. They show young women. They did in 1940 and they do now, too. But I don't think that means ONLY young women were meant to wear them. I feel like if you watch old movies, look at old photos, you do indeed see older women wearing similar fashions. I don't think older women sewed any less than younger women. And I imagine back then, they might have felt a bit slighted and sometimes 'forgotten' by the fashion industry.

    So what's wrong with that romper?? It's much more modest than many modern bathing suits that's for sure! I think it's very classic. If you're concerned with it seeming too young, perhaps sew a cute side-tie skirt to wear over it, or a little beach cover. I see no reason why you couldn't pull that off. :)

  3. OMG, there is NOTHING too "young" about that romper -- go for it before Cathy snatches the idea right out from under you. I've seen things like this on Etsy and there's often a little cover up jacket you can throw on if - IF -- you feel over-exposed.

    This sort of thing:


  4. I agree, not too young for the most part. The only thing I personally would change is the bubble hem of the shorts. I was made fun of while wearing bubble hem shorts when I was 5. They were saying it made me look like a baby! So now you see...

  5. My butt is enough of a bubble without making it more of a bubble butt with the shorts. :))

  6. And yet I always feel that my patterns were made for older women! No one is happy, right? I think a romper in that style, with a big floppy hat and a sophisticated color scheme is much more right for anyone than a bathing suit.

  7. I think this outfit is complete appropriate for those of us mature women as it's very modest compared to today's standards and with the right fabrics and colour, would look fabulous!

  8. Hi, I have dedicated a post to your site in my vintage collection:
    Hope you like.


I appreciate each and every one of your comments. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me.


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