Disclaimer: Attention pre-80s babies, this post is for you. You youngsters that were born after the 80s, consider it a history lesson. Whichever group you are in, I guarantee it’ll bring a smile to your face.

Dub and me, Easter 1958

Without fail, every March, my grandmother, Mimi, would grace us with her presence and take us on a wild shopping adventure to three iconic Dallas, Texas, department stores: Sanger-Harris, Titches, and Neiman Marcus. The purpose, which she and my mother treated with the utmost gravity, was to select Easter ensembles for my brother Dub and me. It took a full day, sometimes two.

Dub and me, Easter 1959

These outfits were not your typical school or church attire. They had all the fancy extras. My outfit always had frills, ruffles, petticoats, gloves, a hat, and shiny new white patent shoes. Dub’s outfit wasn’t frilly, but was still quite the spectacle – dress shorts, a jacket, a bowtie, new shoes, knee socks, and the pièce de résistance: a jaunty racing cap that added a touch of flair. He reluctantly endured these shopping excursions, begrudgingly going along with the fuss because he knew that at the end of our Easter parade there was candy involved.

My family, Easter 1965

Nowadays, it seems like Easter has lost its fashion sense, with nobody bothering to dress up anymore. Not that it matters to the Big Guy upstairs, but it’s a shame. Gone are the days of shoe shining, white gloves, petticoats, frilly hats, and meticulously planning Easter outfits in advance. These days, looking fancy means having clothes without any holes, stains, or missing belt loops.

When it comes to fashion, I’ve never been one to embrace the frilly, girly-girl style. And, as a mom of two boys, my opportunities for dressing up were pretty limited. It was mostly reserved for my Barbies and Easter Sunday. Today’s kids seem to be dressing like tiny adults. It makes me sad, but hey, at least they’re getting a head start on their fashion game! Good luck trying to track down the kind of Easter outfits that I grew up with. They’re like hidden treasures in those specialty stores and are reserved for kiddie beauty pageants? Eek!

My family, Easter 1966

Wake up Wimpy Girl. Things have changed. Will Easter outfits ever come back? I wish. But, I have to admit, I do recall that the netting on the petticoats always scratched my legs, the metal stays on the hats put dents on the side of my head, and the shiny new white shoes often caused blisters. My wish seems to be connected to returning to a time when traditions were respected and people dressed up for milestone events.

My family, Easter 1970

So, what do you think? Let me know. And, while you are at it, I’d love to see your photos of by-gone Easter outfits. Come on, it’ll be inspiring. It’ll be fun.

“Oh, I could write a sonnet about your Easter bonner,
And of the girl I’m taking to the Easter Parade.”

– Easter Parade by Irving Berlin

Happy Easter!

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This work by Anel “Pookie” Ryan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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