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10.20.2010

BEFORE THERE WAS A "WHAT NOT TO WEAR" or even cable

Style, much like beauty, is very subjective.  Everyone has their own, and everyone has an opinion about everyone else's too.  Seriously you would have thought by looking at the three Cherry sisters that we had grown up on the mission field.  Oh, I don't know maybe in say Siberia or The Republic of Chad.  One would have also thought by first glance that we were well, borderline impoverished or landed here through a time machine from the 1940's.  Now I, in my adulthood, am not the most fashionable middle aged woman out there, but I don't think I do too awful bad. Though to be fair I should probably ask my friends and relatives as I could be walking around looking somewhat ridiculous and not even know it (note to self - ask them!).  Banned from my wardrobe are patterns, styles meant for a 25 year old, turtlenecks, velour anything, bright colors, the colors red and purple, crushed velvet or terry cloth and tube tops from the 1970's & 80's.  Practicality ruled the house when I was growing up.  If it wasn't practical, durable and able to stand the wear of three children, then it wasn't bought.  Clothing was most definitely NOT viewed as fashion, but as a necessity, a covering for our nakedness.  Like going to church was to ensure rightness with God:)  There is never a time that I remember really picking out my own clothes or going to the mall to shop until I was old enough to bum rides with friends, my sisters or drive myself.  If I needed new shoes, or say a new coat it would just magically appear one day.  There were three sources that all clothes came from; 1) Sears - solidly crafted American made, not fashionable but oh so sturdy, 2) Homemade by our mother from patterns long out of style on material similar to what Maria from "The Sound of Music" made the children's play clothes out of - old curtains or, 3) A store called "Quality Farm & Fleet Supply" or it could have been "Tractor Supply" or possibly "Farm Stuff Is Us":)   Any of the three preceding purvayors of clothing were equally bad.  I mean what kid does not dream of wearing "Wrangler" stiff as a board unflattering blue jeans, or shoes that were designed to make it through a nuclear holocaust.  How about a top sewed from 1976 Freedom Eagle print?  Until I started working in high school, mostly to be able to buy my own clothes, I wore what they bought like it or not!  How any of us three sisters ever got a date is nothing short of a miracle! Many times when an item of clothing or shoes was bestowed upon me, I would immediately think of how to ruin it before nightfall.  Shoes were easy - running with toes down scrapping cement or across the stone driveway hastened their demise.  If you think stiff dark blue Wrangler jeans aren't bad enough, if you outgrew your pants too fast the magical ribbon like accent called "Ric Rac" was sewn along the bottom edge of the pant leg to give it extra length and extend the wear.  Quality, durability and practicality were synonomous with fashion in our house.   I presently never go in a Farm and Fleet store to buy anything ever.  Sears clothes are well, just ugly but their refrigerators are swell.  Homemade clothing actually costs more now to make than buying something that says "made In china" does.  My daughter when she was growing up was highly creative.  She found expression through clothing styles.  I let her go.  I let her find her own sense of style, and I didn't shop for her:)  Seriously, there is something not right about buying clothes in the same store you can buy rabbit pellets and a horse trough!  Unless it's coveralls and chore boots. 

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