Wednesday, May 9, 2012

100 Years of Mom Style

In the last 100 years, we have come a long way in the fields of medicine, science, technology...

And clothing style. Especially for moms. 

A friend of mine mentioned 'mom jeans' while we were on the phone the other day. Yes, I remember 'mom jeans' and how, thank goodness, I was a child at the time that 'mom jeans' were fashionable. It got me thinking, though. How has Mom Style changed over the last 100 years?

Now, this post is not about the general fashion trends of each decade; you won't see side ponytails and MC Hammer pants in the 80s section. I'm concentrating on mothers of each time frame, and what they were wearing while performing their jobs as cook, housekeeper, teacher, doctor, referee, and all of the things that being a mother entails. I chose to represent each decade with actual media ads. This post took some time, Inklingers; lots of research, and I can say that it was one of the funnest to write. Very eye opening, indeed.

So, without further ado, here it is: 

100 Years of Mom Style

1910s
Ahh, the joys of bouncing your baby girl on your leg... in a dress... with panty hose... and high heels. Good grief. And, is that a sheer apron? What exactly would be the purpose of a sheer apron, which isn't going to be made of easy-to-clean plastic or vinyl? Sad to say, this dress, panty hose, and heels look for moms isn't a short-lived thing.
1910s
1920s
Yes, the dress, hose, and heels continues, only in this decade, the heels are bigger and have a strap over the top of your foot. So, there's no flipping these bad boys off when you walk in the door from the grocery store. Not that a woman in the 1920s would have been flipping anything off when she came in the door.

1920s
At least the clothing started to become a little more fashionable; streamlined, bag, shapeless comfy clothes. I could wear the one in the bottom picture. Large, oversized shirt, sweet hat, and the shoes look a little more comfortable. One thing to be thankful for with this style- no need for corsets. Amen to that.

1920s
1930s
First off, how many kids does this woman have? 6 girls? Oh no, wait. That's 3 girls and 3 creepy dolls. Or, are 2 of them real kids? Hmm. Something has to be said for the fact that you can't tell children from dolls in this age. But, we are focusing on the mom in this post... who seems very happy to be wearing a puke green ensemble, complete with an apron in the bottom right corner, so she doesn't splash water on her outfit while she's doing laundry. Dress, strappy high heels, hair perfect, jewelry on, and apron. Guess we now know in which decade the 50s actually started. While doing research for this post, it was with the 1930s that the ads with the best Mom Style outfits in them were household ads, not fashion ads like in the 1910s and 1920s (and we'll see the trend again in the 1960s). I found it to be quite interesting that the family, and mother, started being the center of the home in the 1930s.
1930s
1940s
Do you mean, with Vitality high heel shoes, I can go dancing with my husband and water the garden outside while the children play? Yippee! Again, we have the dress (seems to be a tad bit shorter now, though), the high heels, perfect hair, and the apron. When does this madness end?
1940s
What's this? Pants? You mean, I can wear pants now, and not have to do my gardening in a dress? Oh, wait. These are Blue Bell Work and Play Clothes. I'm going to have to take these off as soon as I get inside to make my man his dinner, aren't I, and put on my dress, panty hose, high heels and apron? Wow, society, thanks!
1940s
1950s
Here it is, the iconic 50s (which, now you know, really started in the 30s). Is that a woman doing the dishes in a dress, matching apron, sexy pantyhose with the seam up the back leg, strapless high heels, her hair done perfectly and jewelry on? Why, yes, it is. (With her matching step stool, of course) The best part of her wardrobe? Her amazing smile.
1950s
And ladies, don't forget your crown when your hubby treats you like a queen by buying you the brand new 'pull n' clean' oven. Now, with all of that extra time you have on your hands since you won't be slaving over cleaning the oven, I'm sure hubby can find something else he wants you to 'pull n' clean'.
1950s
1960s
Shorts! Yay! And comfortable flats on the feet. Thank goodness the 60s have arrived. This is where the household ads with Mom Style in them took a huge plummet. I managed to find this one household ad, and that was it for the 1960s. The focus wasn't on the family and home anymore; it was back on fashion and world events. Hell, even Bissell was doing their part to get women off of their knees... but still waxing floors.

1960s
1970s
Hmmm... I'm thinking of maybe trying this new denim thing. No, it'll never stick around. Good grief, right? Denim skirts, denim jeans, denim shirts, denim shoes. I'm sure the models are wearing denim bras and undies, too. Hey, at least it's comfortable, and I'm no longer cooking in an outfit Cinderella wore to the ball.
1970s
So, we moms went from owning the house and the kitchen in the 30s-50s, to not being in the house at all in the 60s, to being reintroduced back to the home in the 70s, with more gender-bending roles, of course. Like, torching snow outside the house with a Flame Gun. I want a freaking Flame Gun! And only $17.98. Hells yeah! I can't imagine why this gadget didn't stick around. I don't see kids playing with it at all, no. But, look at the mom. Comfort is definitely taking precedence in the 70s; she's wearing comfy slacks, a fashionable sweater, and a do rag. Looks good to me!
1970s
Don't forget your mink jacket when going out in the snow to play with your kids, though ladies. Because, 'Life is too short, and winter's too long to go without mink.' Man, PETA would tear this up nowadays.
1970s
1980s
YES! We have reached the 'mom jeans' decade. Tapered leg, the waist starts right up under your bra line; how amazing were those jeans, huh? And everyone tucked their shirt in them, too. But seriously, look how rockin' her ass looks while she's kickin' dad's ass at pool on their couple's date night? Pool sticks, balls, and her rockin' ass in those jeans; this ad isn't full of sexual innuendo at all, noooo......
1980s
And these moms were just heading to the PTA meeting at the school. There's so much going on here, I don't even know where to begin. Vests over shirts that aren't tucked in, the tuxedo-looking shirt, the mom pants, flats on their feet, and the backwards-looking shirt- all classic mom looks in the 80s.
1980s
1990s
What's this? Comfortable oversized sweater, leggings and flats? Virtually no product in the hair? Minimal makeup? Are the nineties... gasp... comfortable? Oh, thank goodness. I noticed that the media ads began to center more around the family again starting with the 90s. Hmmm... 30s, 40s, 50s- centered around the family, 60s, 70s, 80s- not so much centered around the family, 90s-the center is back on the family. Does this mean we get the 90s, 00s, and 10s, and in 2020 we're back to having the family not be the center of things again? We'll have to see, I guess.
1990s

Apparently in the 90s, moms used to breastfeed, out in public, in stylish designer dresses, with nothing underneath. I remember the 90s, but I was a teenager, so, I must have blocked this part out.
1990s
One more piece of evidence that the 90s were really focused around comfort. I am completely digging the long skirt with sweater look on the second page, and she's picking out fresh veggies to cook for dinner. Awesome! The look seemed to be low maintenance, natural, casual, and absolutely beautiful, if you ask me.
1990s
2000s
What better way to see what the Mom Style was in the 2000s than to recall a movie where a family comes together and has like a bazillion kids? Rene Russo's style in this movie was awesome. She was an artsy, free spirit, but her comfortable jeans, button up shirt and stylish platforms helped make her look good in her mother role. The 2000s began to bridge the gap between comfortable mom style, and trendy mom style, and I think it did a pretty good job at combining the two.
2000s
JC Penney began to emerge as the family headquarters for clothes in the 2000s, and they really began catering to moms. This 2009 catalog shows a stylish yet comfy mom, in jeans and a sweater. Carrying over from the 90s, her look is very natural, with minimal makeup and hair product.  The 2000s were when I became a mom, and let me tell you, I was all about comfort and minimalism.
2000s
2010s
Present day. I chose to represent the 2010s with JC Penney's amazing ad depicting a lesbian couple and their kids. First, I applaud JC Penney on documenting history for our country. 100 years down the road, another mom blogger may be writing a piece on the last 100 years of Mom Style, and I hope she chooses this ad to represent our decade. It shows us that the definition of a family is always changing. The Mom Style of this decade seems to be even more on the comfortable and minimal side, back to natural beauty, to focusing on the family itself. Fine by me, that's what I'm doing with my kids. Give us jeans and t-shirts and we're happy as can be.
2010s
What will the next 100 years hold for Mom Style? A more natural look, minimal, with maximum comfort is my prediction. Maybe the reemergence of the 1920s shapeless, bag look, because that looks comfy as hell.  Hopefully this 30 year cycle of having family focus thrown to the wayside will not reoccur. Fingers crossed on that one.

Pictures are courtesy of www.vintageadbrowser.com, except for the 2012 JC Penney ad, courtesy of www.jcpenney.com




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6 comments:

  1. I was laughing out loud at this, so many bad fashion choices and I bet in 100 years they will all be making fun of us too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They probably will be; our no makeup, chuck taylors and low riding jeans. Oh, well. They'll be wearing space suits or something, so I think we win!

      Thanks for commenting!

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  2. Awww man! I like wearing a dress, heels and an apron! In fact, I own 13 aprons. My aunt sends me a new one every year for Christmas. ;D

    I think the defining 'look' for the 2000's & 2010's is the fact that there are many different looks. It seems quite alright to go with whatever look you prefer. I'm sure you could get away with the baggy shirt look. You just have to own it. Go for it.

    And I *love* that JCPenney's ad!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to know I'm not the only one who thought the JC Penney ad rocked! =)

      I agree, the look now is not to have a look. Good point!

      I always love when you comment! =)

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  3. Wait, we don't have to wear corsets anymore? How did I miss that? I need to buy some new clothes. Maybe after I've cleaned the house, made the dinner, put the baby in bed, and given the husband his nightly blowjob, I'll hit Amazon for some sweats.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LMAO! Hair and makeup don't have to be perfect anymore, too. l

      Man, screw a corset. I can't believe those were an everyday article of clothing years ago. No wonder they invented a 'pull n' clean' oven- no woman could bend over in a corset.

      Thanks for commenting! I checked out your blog- great stuff (I signed up for the email so I can be lazy and it's delivered to me everyday!)

      Delete