Before we moved to Florida, we followed the rules for being well-dressed in Virginia. As a working manager of Ladd Fashions, a Talbott Outlet store, I had all their fashionable clothing. I always wore high heel shoes, ceased wearing white when autumn officially arrived, and even owned a hat and gloves to wear to church.
Eventually, my parents left their home state and came to manage a motel in Florida. One year they were coming back home to Virginia. Mother had been working in casual attire so long that she had to go on a special shopping expedition for a dress to wear to a family wedding!
When we moved to Florida, I worked at a newspaper and continued to dress as I was accustomed‚ until everything wore out or I outgrew my clothing. When women began to wear pant suits, I swore and be-darned I would never wear such things. That lasted until there were no further dresses to be found in the stores. Eventually, I became overstocked with knit shirts, shorts, and pant suits. So much for being stylish.
Time came when I was making calls in areas where my high heel shoes would bury up in the sand. The heels were the hardest to give up but many areas had not found concrete sidewalks to be a necessary part of life in Florida and the loose sand was treacherous to heels. About the time I turned to pant suits, I gave up high heels. That was painful, but I had to adjust to the new mode.
Note the picture that brought all this to mind. Every time I look at it showing flip flops and socks, I get tickled and start remembering how I stared at Floridians because of the difference in attire.
When we first arrived, it was interesting to note that everyone you would see appeared to be tourist, wearing as little as possible on the beach and sometimes even downtown. Seniors in other parts of the country never wore shorts, but not so in Florida! Age had nothing to do with what was worn and shorts were (and are) in.
Now, when someone tells me how beautiful the state of Virginia is, I often add, ‘Yes, and it is a wonderful place to be from.’ Needless to say, I have become one of the most casual of Floridians and love every minute of it.
Kitty Maiden is a staff writer for Seniors Today.