If you've been reading my blog, you know that my grandfather passed away in June. As we were going through his things, we found photo albums which chronicled his 98 years of life. I enjoyed going through the photos, seeing the pictures that had meant something to him over the years. I looked at pictures of relatives I couldn't identify, but also pictures of aunts, uncles, and cousins; places my grandfather had visited; pictures of my grandmother who we lost in 1994 after a long bout with Alzheimer's disease; photographs of my parents and siblings. Here's a photograph I especially love of my parents and grandmother in 1980. I love how happy, beautiful, and young my parents look. I love the mischievous look on my grandmother's face.
But this is not another entry about my grandfather, it's an entry about . . . my sense of style. In grandpa's photo albums, I also encountered a number of pictures that reflected something important about me; to use my family's word, I love to wear "garbs." You may ask, "What is a garb?" The best example that comes to mind is an outfit which combined my brother's hand-me-down, button collar, brown plaid shirt; a blue calico cotton skirt that served as a costume for a pioneer day parade; and pink, fuzzy, knee-high socks. In other words, there are days in my life that I don't care what I throw on, as long as I'm comfortable. Generally, I know enough not to leave my house dressed in a garb. And my adult garbs basically take the form of wearing my favorite pair of shorts (or velour sweat pants in winter) every day, all day until I leave to run errands, teach, or meet friends.
In one of the pictures in grandpa's photo album, however, I'm in Cornish at my grandparents' house . . . and I'm wearing a garb. Outside. Where anyone can see me. Admittedly, it's 1974 and fashion faux pas abound. My brother Dave is wearing plaid pants. Jim's dressed all in red and has a funny look on his face. Ted looks normal (although he sits apart from the rest of us foreshadowing how, just a year later, Ted would stay in Utah to go to college while the rest of the family moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), but my mom and Matt are covered up enough that who knows how well their clothes match. And me? Look closely. Does this outfit work? I'm wearing a knit top, plaid cotton seersucker (yes, that's right, seersucker) bellbottoms, and scuffed waffle stompers (as we called them in Utah). Yes, I'm sartorially blessed. Don't send the fashion police or "What Not to Wear" to my door. I know how to put an outfit together.