“What Happened to My Six Inches?”

This comment, “what happened to my six inches,” came from my dear friend, Carol. She and I both love those wonderful light sweaters that cascade down the front and have 3/4 sleeves; just right to show off all our bangle bracelets. But as she says, the word “sweater” implies warmth, sleeves all the way to the wrist (meaning those extra six inches), and buttons. Ever see those anymore? Me, either.

Also, when did sweater sleeves become so tight and skinny? And, as Carol says, why do sweaters now either have sleeves about 6″ too short, or sleeves long enough to fit gorilla arms? When did that happen?

Then there are today’s short skirts that take me all the way back to the ’60s. At that time, we girls all wanted to have the “Carnaby Street” look; i.e., short-short skirts, cute tops, striped leggings, “gillie-tie” shoes and puffy caps with a brim. The Beatles were the hottest group in the world, and we all wanted to be British-y. So our skirts were barely long enough to cover our underpants. In fact, those who sewed used to make undies in the same material as the skirts. I’ll tell you, that confused the heck out of the boys who wanted a peek at our undies–somehow matching pants didn’t have the same attraction as a peep at our white granny pants.

But I digress. I would love to know who makes up the “rules of sweaters” these days. Interesting factoid: the percentage of beautiful/hot/perfect/thin/gorgeous people in the world is about 5% (and that’s being generous). So here’s my thinking: if that’s so, then why do all the fashion mags feature these amazing perfect creatures where there are so few of them?

My late mother-in-law, Hazel, used to complain that no one seemed to be making blouses anymore, either. Remember Ship n’ Shore blouses? Or maybe those are more of a New England thing, like L. L. Bean. In fact, here in New England we wear what we can “L. L. Bean chic:”

  • Tartan flannel shirts over tank tops, with jeans
  • “Duck shoes” with anything
  • Turtlenecks with linen pants
  • Flannel-lined jean jackets over pintuck shirts with chino slacks
  • Colorful anoraks over everything
  • Those wonderful three-in-one all-weather coats and jackets
  • Thermal underwear
  • Linen “boyfriend” jackets over long striped skirts and mountain boots

..and so on. We L. L. Beaners stand out in places like NYC where it seems everyone wears black. Fine for New York, but when New Yorkers come up to New Hampshire and Maine, they do stand out, gaining them that welcoming line from the natives, “You’re not from around here, are ya?”

But anyway, back to the missing six inches, who suddenly decided that style trumped warmth? Let me tell you, when you’re snowed in so badly that your snowblower can’t blow one more snowflake over the 8′ high drifts in your driveway, you’ll be missing those six inches–badly!

So I guess it’s up to us regular folks to start our own fashion statement by adding elbow-length evening gloves to those  sweaters with missing those last six inches.

Or oven mitts. Yup, those would do, too.


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