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Forsyth County News

Clothing trends, in my lifetime alone, have changed dramatically.

When I was a little girl, it was unheard of to travel on an airplane unless you were wearing your Sunday best.

Speaking of that, it was also unheard of to wear jeans to church.

Nobody walked around in their pajamas either — unless they were at the hospital or doctor’s office.

Just the other day, I saw a woman about my age in some comfortable-looking pajama bottoms doing her grocery shopping.

Times have changed.

Despite what fashion "experts" say about clothing trends repeating themselves every few decades or so, I would like to challenge them on a few fronts.

Take cleavage, for example. (Yes, I decided to begin our discussion with a bang.)

No matter how risqué my friends and I thought we were being when we were teenagers, never in our wildest dreams did we think it was OK to walk out the door wearing a pair of teeny-tiny shorts with a teeny-tiny, thinly strapped tank top.

We all knew what sort of young and old women wore such outfits, and that was not the look or the reputation we sought.

Back in my day — and I’m not that old — a pair of thongs was something you wore on your feet when you went to the pool.

Now those are called flip flops, and thongs (the kind that are sold next to the old-fashioned underwear) are marketed to children as young as 9 and 10.

Think I’m joking? Just check out the lingerie department at any store and you will see I’m not exaggerating.

At the request of the mother, my daughter took an 8-year-old who she baby-sat shopping for a bra.

My daughter began her quest in the lingerie department, but had to go to the little girls’ section to find one for the child, who certainly didn’t need it.

Back in my day, your first bra was called a "training" bra.

Having three older brothers and no sister to discuss such things, I had to rely on more knowledgeable friends who had older sisters.

I couldn’t ask my mother, since she was too old-fashioned and definitely out of the loop, especially when it came to undergarments.

When I got my first training bra (which would have been more useful to me as a sling shot), I was mortified to learn Mom had told my father.

"What did he say?" I asked.

Her response: "He asked what you were in training for."

My father’s legendary humor was a foreshadowing of sorts about things to come for our society.

I see beautiful young girls all the time wearing things they shouldn’t.

Often their mothers are right there with them, and it takes quite a bit of restraint not to approach and do a clothing intervention.

Of course, our children are inundated with images of beautiful, scantily clad young women (and girls) on a daily basis.

Older women are also under pressure from society to look younger at all costs — whether it takes money, pain or inconvenience — it’s all for the cause.

I do feel we should all be doing more to complain when big retail chains glamorize selling sexy undergarments to preteens.

You are an innocent child for such a short time, it angers me that society’s goal seems to be to cripple or do away with those glorious years.

Little girls should be choosing their next Barbie doll and not worrying about what underwear to buy.

Wait, did I say Barbie? Have you looked at what all she’s got going on?

A column for another day.


Forsyth County resident Adlen Robinson is author of "Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home." E-mail her at