I grew up in a farm area in the south, when the farmers dressed up they were usually headed to church or the Doctor’s office. I saw fashion trends that would be unbelievable to some, my children would laugh when I told them of some of the men fashion trends I had seen in my life. My Grandfather lived with us, I don’t know for how long because I was only about six years old when I became aware of him being my Grandfather. He was a country preacher and a sharecropper. I know he probably wore work clothes most of the time but I only remember him wearing dress suits and the way they always smelled like juicy fruit chewing gum. Growing up in my small world, when you saw a man with a suit on he most likely was a preacher. I don’t know how many suits he owned but I think they was worn year round. I remember them being what I now know was wool and they were very heavy and always a dark color. My Father was a preacher and sharecropper also, we were very poor. My father was also a very big man, talk about fashion trends, my Daddy was not to be outdone. I’ve witness him letting out trousers so they would fit him, adding a piece in the back of a vest so he would be able to button it, adding an extension to his pant leg so they would be long enough to have a decent hem (yes my Daddy could sew) and doing all sorts of alterations to make what he had work. We have indeed come a long way. In the 1930’s the big double breasted, full cut trousers, tuxedos with tails was the trend (for people of means, not poor farmers). I imagine this was a style my Granddaddy and my Daddy tried or wished they could copy. For the common folk and maybe for everyone, the effects of the Great Depression was being felt. Fashion became more compromising, they became more somber and modest, reflecting the difficulties of the decade. This was the beginning of the breakdown of fashion being advertised as a divide between the high society and the working class. This was the beginning of nice, good clothes being available to everyone. The increase in overhead and raw material was beginning to regulate handmade fashion to the sidelines. Developing new technologies made it easy to manufacture factory made ( off the rack) fashions. The old world of hand made, tailored especially for you, was taking it’s final bow out. Changes in fashion was one of the most visible changes in this time. The working class, who had been restricted in their choices of clothing, found that they could enjoy an enlarged freedom of choice in fashion. From then to now, many styles have come and gone, all working toward the relaxed look, aiming toward outfits being timeless, flattering, simply cut and photogenic. The phobia of being underdressed has been wiped out by the fear of being overdressed. My Grandfather and Father always dressedup in what they thought was a fashionable suit, My siblings and I dressedup in what was our good clothes, along with stockings, arms covered and the girls always wore dresses to school and church. My children wear whatever they feel like wearing, they are not concerned about being overdressed or underdressed, they shop off the rack from any store and are not ashamed. At church they feel just as comfortable in their jeans as I do in my Sunday-go-to-meeting dress or my husband in his big men fashion attire. Yes indeed, fashion trends are constantly changing. I have a lot of stories about my family fashion trends through the years, they are funny and sometimes pitiful, stay tuned.