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Easter Awakening

As a teenager, Easter was a metamorphosis. Almost overnight, winter had passed and the sapling would sprout tender leaves. I knew that finding the perfect spring dress would fill me with sunshine and fresh air. I also knew that the proper silhouette was imperative. One year crinoline petticoats blossomed and danced on a rack above workaday slips and nightgowns. Nothing else would give the proper flounce to full skirts so popular that year, 1956. Another year, waistlines slid South accentuated with tucked fabric bands or clever belts to show off skinny hips. Every young girl, while intrigued with the notion of stark black knew it was for older ladies and to be worn only on dressy, after-dark occasions---when you got much older. Bowing to the whimsey of weather, or depending upon how early Easter had fallen that year, a delicate sweater or “shrug” just covering the shoulders might be needed. A light-weight wool, three-quarter length, spring topper was also a necessity. With important major decisions settled the search began for perfect accessories.

First, a trip to the department store, or hat shop (milliner) to select an Easter chapeau. Consultations were made on veils, straw versus cloth, how much hair to show, should it be styled down (a pageboy) or swept into a chignon or French twist. Practicality went out the window because dressy hats had short life spans. We wore them to look elegant and sophisticated as if we’d stepped off a band-box but, usually only for one special day.

On to find the perfect pair of shoes. In early years, black patent leather Mary Janes required being polished to a high shine Saturday night with Vaseline gave way to color-coordinated or neutral but sensible high heels. Sheer stockings or depending upon the year, pastel-tinted hose would accentuate and carry the outfit’s color theme. While in a shoe state of mind, a coordinating clutch bag or simple handbag could be checked off the list.

White, wrist-length cotton gloves came next. A glove holder gadget from the Notions Department to hang from your purse was popular for a time. A tiny, impractical, lace handkerchief was a required accessory tucked into a pocket or purse. Jewelry was meant to be understated and cologne to float in the air enveloping but us but never to be obvious.

The final touch, a corsage of live flowers told the world how much like princesses we felt dressed up and accessorized. If you enjoy remembering trends from earlier days, check out books by bobbin-olive such as Dear Diary - Favorite Things and write down your memories. Keep happy times alive. Create your legacy with pride and savor the joy and creativity you brought to this spring holiday.

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