I truly believe that radical trends eventually cause people to cling to the comforts of old fashioned conservatism.
Who doesn’t love a written note, or a thoughtful phone call over a Facebook message or email? Don’t all women really want spontaneity and romance? (Nicholas Sparks has made a good living off of this principal.) No one loves competing with a smart phone for attention of friends and family. I think this idea can be applied to a way of living, including personal style. My grandparents were born between 1916-1931 and something they never tire of asking is, “Did you buy your jeans with holes in them?” I can’t say that I’m always on top of my game in this arena (not that everyone is), but I am intrigued by the person who pays attention to the quality and detail of their appearance.
This isn’t vanity; this is a form of integrity, self-expression and care.
Let’s be real…the term “Facebook Stalking” didn’t come from endlessly scrolling through bed head selfies, belly flap gym pics and food crusted beards. The truth is, we are motivated by the highlight reels we see on social media and we should assume the rest of the world prefers it in person as well. My Papa (picture above) takes great pride in the quality of his appearance and greets everyone with a sweet, dimple-faced grin. His hair is always sleekly combed and I have never seen him without a clean shaved face. A true southern gentleman, Papa always wears a suit on Sunday and chaperones fragile ladies around town. He often purchases vintage hats based on the smallest of details like a pin or feather. He knows how to identify quality boots and his are always shined. This former LSU football player is 85 and still loves going on long bike rides and working out at the YMCA.
To be “old fashioned” doesn’t have to apply to those born prior to 1950 and it also doesn’t only apply to personal style.
One thing I notice about my grandparents is their affinity for routine. They don’t need a Google calendar to get things done right. Today, we’re always looking for the latest tool to help us be more efficient. Because of this, enjoyable details are viewed as monotonous and burdensome. Preparing a healthy breakfast, reading the news, getting our hair done or putting on freshly ironed clothes can actually be soothing to the soul. My grandmother (pictured above) goes to the salon to get her hair done each week, a tradition I’ve noticed making a come back with beauty bars and blowouts. Her vanity is decorated with essential items that she has undoubtedly used for decades. Here, she preps her face every morning – even if she doesn’t have plans.
We have to be an example that, while technology may make things easier, there is much to be learned from hard work.
Whenever I contemplate motherhood and how I would raise my children, I feel blessed to have grown up playing outside, using my imagination and reading from pages. It takes effort for modern parents to teach their children foundational principles and not to depend on technology. My dad (picture above) has evolved with the times but cherishes classic principles. Though his professional life has been more blue collar, he hand writes notes, prepares dinners from scratch, enjoys a suit and tie and freshly shined vintage boots. Most of our favorite memories are sharing heartfelt conversations about culture and the history of music over a pot of coffee – no phones, no television, no computers, just good old fashioned quality time.
I guess what I’m trying to say is this; whatever you are, be a good one. Take a break from millennial impulses and enjoy the details because maximizing the use of our time doesn’t always mean maximizing our life.
This is a great blog and I love the pictures. Thanks Michelle.
Robin Pack says
I agree with you! Old fashioned doesn’t mean the era in which you were born. I consider myself old fashioned and still love a handwritten note and face to face talks. I think this is something the world needs more of!
I can’t agree more! They took such great are of themselves and how they presented themselves! I was actually just thinking today while looking at a co-worker, how much better and more professional she would look if she styled her hair. She always comes in with it wild. I don’t mean this as judgmental or mean, she’s great at her job, but I think a comb, hair tie, or a flat iron would make a world of difference.
Self expression is a tricky thing – so many people (surprisingly) don’t realize what the best version of themselves looks like. Whether we’re more like hippies or rock stars, I think professionalism lies within effort. Do you put an effort into your fitness & cleanliness (ie. shower & brush your hair, teeth)? Do you wear clean, non-wrinkly clothes that fit you in a flattering manner? You’d be surprised how different it is in other places – I think Americans have been enabled to be lazy. When in London – EVERYONE – was perfectly put together. Sigh…