Archives for category: Style

Going to a Comic Con wasn’t on my bucket list, but you do a lot of things for your grandkids that you wouldn’t ordinarily do.  That, plus the fact that a friend of mine, Scott Wilson, was appearing as one of the guest stars when Wizard World Comic Con came to Tulsa.  And, I was naturally curious about a phenomenon that has grown from a comic book convention to a group of Trekkies and Star Wars fans to a show that highlights a whole pop culture world of comic books, graphic novels, movies and television shows.  These things are huge.  The Comic Con in San Diego draws A-list stars.  There had to be something to it.  Right?

There aren’t so many grandparents there because it’s noisy, you walk a lot on hard floors, the crowds are big, and other things that make it not as attractive once you’re older and more curmudgeonly.  But, there are people of all ages.  It’s a diverse crowd because there is a universality to costumed characters that transcends race, gender, sexual orientation, income levels, age.

I also learned a new word…cosplay.  That’s short for costume play.  There were signs saying that you needed to ask before taking photos of cosplayers.  That amused me because I guarantee that the majority who spend hours and dollars on elaborate costumes are there to have their pictures taken.  This guy strutted around all day, posing with anyone who asked.  I have no idea who the character is, but his costume is cool.  IMG_5513If you go to a Comic Con, take lots of money.  There are booths with everything you want in this fantasy world.  There are toys and action figures.  I loved this little girl in her fancy Robin costume picking out a toy.IMG_5423There are swords and other props, and, yes, the swords are real metal.  Wow!  These guys are armed for any kind of invasion or apocalypse  IMG_5420There are helmets and hats IMG_5419And beautiful masks crafted of leather   IMG_5431and t-shirts and huge tote bags to carry all your purchases  IMG_5454This father showing his kids the incredible light sabers amused me.  The father probably grew up with Star Wars and is passing it down to his sons.  I saw people playing with the light sabers they bought at costs of $200, $300, and $400 and up.  They were definitely cool.IMG_5514And, of course, there are comic books and graphic art of all kinds…IMG_5426IMG_5451Meeting celebrities is another plus.  The Tulsa World featured a piece of custom art for the Tulsa show  5459e1ec5e042.imagecreated by this artist who was selling prints of his other work.  IMG_5521You could meet Lou Ferrigno of The Incredible Hulk, as my grandson did.  IMG_5523Here is Robert Englund, who played Freddie Krueger in the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, strapping on his sword-like hands for a picture with a fan.  I watched a little boy wearing a mock hand and Freddie Krueger hat gasping in awe as he watched him.  IMG_5505There were lots more stars from shows and movies from William Shatner from Star Trek, to stars from Ghostbusters, The Karate Kid, Superman, Harry Potter, and others I didn’t know.  There were question and answer panels that drew thousands of fans.  My friend, Scott Wilson, has a long career in films and became a Comic Con star playing Hershel Greene in the Walking Dead series.  The four actors from that show who came to Tulsa were by far the stars of the show, with Norman Reedus, who plays the crossbow wielding anti-hero Darryl, being the rock star.  Their lines were continuous.  I have to say that Scott goes above and beyond with his fans, giving them all hugs and personal conversations.  He is a gentleman and a jewel in my book.  Here he’s wearing the t-shirt featuring Tulsa’s iconic Golden Driller that I gave him when he got to town.IMG_5489He also stayed an extra hour to give free autographs and pictures to the show’s volunteers at the end of a grueling weekend of activities.  IMG_5543Comic Con has the reputation among the non-believers of being only for nerds.  Well, maybe, but this is where these fans can meet their peeps and mingle for a delightful weekend.  After all, I’ve been to Renaissance Fairs and re-enactments and the Scottish Games and October Fests which are not much different.  It’s all a festival where adults can remember what it’s like to be a child again.  Comic Con is a place where families can play – or cosplay – together.  IMG_5515Here’s a family with oddly colored children.  IMG_5536Couples can fantasize about whatever or whoever they enjoy being… IMG_5519Children can meet their action toys in person.  IMG_5548And grown men can bring the Oklahoma Ghostbusters out to play.  IMG_5444Some of you are rolling your eyes that people actually do this, but it’s really great fun to watch people enjoy themselves in whatever fantasy they choose.  There was an atmosphere of camaraderie and festivity for all who attended.  I got a huge kick out of watching it.  Way more than I thought I would.  As my little friend, R2D2, said to the crowd…Beep! Beep!IMG_5478My own memories flash.  How many Star Wars figures did I pick up off the floor when my son was little?  Why did my mother throw out all my brother’s comic books?  Who knew?

Driving to meet friend since junior high for lunch, I had visions of us when we were 12 and 13, back in the 50s, walking home from school. We had the look, the look of our friends, our school, our era. We wore skirts to school back then, below the knee, straight or pleated or full with petticoats with cute blouses or oxford cloth shirts with sweaters. Our shoes were Keds or penny loafers or “rock & rollers” (a less clunky version of saddle oxfords), or flats. We wore bobby socks. The years blur and each year had its style. We stood a certain way with our school books on top of our notebook balanced on our slung out hip. You knew how to hold them to look cool. Our hair was permed, long or short. We had to have a certain coat, a car coat it was called, with a hood edged in fur. The coolest ones were made by Thermo-Jac and we wore them pushed back off our shoulders. The minute our mothers were out of sight, we slung them back, even on the coldest days. Picture us, slouching along with our socks rolled down, our coats slung back, our hips slung out with the books. Cool. Or “Stud”…our phrase of the time.

The guys had their own look. Jeans and oxford shirts or plaid shirts. At one time, wheat jeans, a beige version of Levis, were in. Their hair was crew cut or short unless you were some kind of “hood” who wore it longer with ducktails or slicked back with some kind of grease. No longer hair until The Beatles arrived. One year, all the cool guys had red lightweight jackets that were the look. They remember.

I remember a summer when I was about 13 I hung around in very short shorts and one of my dad’s old shirts. Neat. By the time I graduated, skirts were a bit shorter, hair was puffier since we now had rollers and hairspray, and we were preppier. I’ve lived through the fifties, sixties, seventies and all the looks ever since. I can’t find a perfect illustration of junior high, but here’s one from college with several looks of 1964…babushka on my hair, round collar blouse, cutoffs, the purse of the season and thongs (flip-flops now). Carefully coordinated. What goes around, comes back…

Linda & Karen - 1965

Every age has its own style. My oldest daughter started junior high and came home almost in tears the first few days because she didn’t have “the” purse. My own youth flashed back and we rushed to the store. I was amused because “the” purse was the same one I carried in college, a wooden handled purse with different covers you could button on and off, “the” purse of my day.

When my older kids were in high school, a friend and I would sit outside the school waiting for the kids to get out and figure out the styles, laughing affectionately. Waiting for my daughter to get out of soccer practice, I would note the “styles” of each of the teams at practice. The soccer team all wore their socks pushed down without their shin guards…total show of toughness…their hair all the same. You could spot who played each sport as they came off the fields because each had it’s own distinct look.

My son went through every style there ever was. I could do a photo retrospective of his ever changing hairstyles. Always challenging the norm. Always on the front edge of the next look.

As one who lived in the 50s and 60s, I’ve tried not to freak out at every style change of my kids. You pick your battles as a parent and I held tight in my heart all my own looks. From the 60s, I learned that you don’t divide a family because your son comes home with long hair, dyed hair, no hair, no matter how much you may hate it. Hair grows out and they change it again. It’s not about you. Really.

No earth-shattering insights here. The thing I remember about kids is that they’re trying to stand out, to show they are becoming more independent and growing up. They’re also showing their desire to fit in with their own peers. Of course, there are some looks that may frighten us or be signs of some other problems, but, most kids are good, just exploring the world. Remember that this too shall pass. And sigh. And try not to snicker. And, most importantly, remember yourself at that age. And try not to laugh.

Casual is my style and always has been. My mother took great pains when I was growing up to make me look like a sweet little girl and a lovely young lady, but I was always for kicking off those dresses and getting into something more comfortable. But I do appreciate her efforts and I can dress up if I want to.

I was thinking about this when I was going out to dinner with my three grandsons the other night. They are 15-16 and really nice kids, dress like their age. One of them had on a tank top and the rest of us had on t-shirts, all in shorts and sandals of some kind. I may have been wearing a pair of TOM’s shoes since I love those. From old habit, I looked us over to see where we could go eat and then decided it didn’t really matter. We could go just about everywhere looking like we did. We could probably even go to church, although the tank top might have to be changed. But the tank top came from church camp, so whatever…

We’re a far cry from the way I grew up. Lifestyles have changed over the past decades to the place where just about anything goes. You may see an occasional sign at a restaurant that say you must have shoes and a shirt, but that’s about it. Jeans are acceptable everywhere except some country clubs and even they make exceptions all the time. After all, how do you differentiate between jeans you work in the yard in and your $100+ designer jeans and who is going to tell someone their jeans aren’t nice enough? I’ve even seen jeans in church at funerals and weddings, not to mention regular worship services. Ministers got to the point that they just wanted people in the pews and they weren’t going to quibble about what they were wearing.

Hats are another thing. My grandfather wore a hat always, but he removed it in the house or at dinner or church. Everyone, men, women, kids, wears ballcaps now and few remove them very often. Hat Head is the excuse. They still remove them for the National Anthem and in church. That’s about it. Sometimes in restaurants, very fancy ones!

At times in my life, we didn’t go out without little white gloves. I can remember having white white white cotton gloves, probably bleached clean by my mother, to wear when I went shopping downtown or to luncheons with my friends when we had dressy parties. As I got older, I advanced to kid leather gloves, even my favorite red ones to go with the white. All our mothers were trying to teach us social graces. I don’t remember when it ended but here’s a picture of me getting ready to be interviewed for a beauty (Hah!) contest at OSU when I was a sophomore in 1964. Note the white gloves! Very proper!

Scan 149

When I was little, we dressed up for luncheons and shopping downtown or plays or concerts or dinner in a nice restaurant. When I was in college, we dressed up for football games. Really. We wore skirts and sweaters to the games, no matter how cold it was. We wore skirts to class, too! On snowy days, we would put some slack under our skirts so we wouldn’t freeze walking across campus. Quite the fashion statement. Oh! We also wore hose, held up by girdles or garter belts, although my mother didn’t think those were very proper. I wore a girdle when I weighed barely 100 pounds and had no stomach. No wonder I laugh at Spanx today! Been there, done that and not doing it again. Ever!

The 60s started the changes. I can remember teaching at OSU when the mini skirts came in and realizing you could stand at the front of the classroom and look right up every girl’s skirt. As the skirts got shorter, the rules relaxed and you could wear pants and then jeans. Fashions changed rapidly through the 60s and 70s and we were the generation that lived it, even as we married and raised families.

We still dressed up to ride planes (heels and all), go to church, go to concerts, out to dinner. The gloves were gone, but you dressed up. The guys put on shirts, jackets and ties and the women wore hose and heels and skirts and makeup and had their hair done. There were social rules you had to follow after all.

I remember a date specifically that I began to realize that the casualness I loved was permeating maybe too far. On our 25th wedding anniversary, my husband took me out to a very nice restaurant. We ordered champagne and a lovely expensive dinner. We were dressed up nicely for this special occasion in our lives. When I noticed that the guy next to us was wearing jeans, nice jeans, with his tie and jacket, I thought to myself that there really was nowhere you could dress up for a special night out. He didn’t spoil our evening, but it was jarring in a place where everyone else was pretty spiffy that evening. And, remember how casual I am, so it’s interesting that those social dos and don’ts were so ingrained in me that I even noticed it, much less remember it all these years later.

There are practical reasons for everything, of course. It was expensive to have entire dressy outfits for our four children and I am amazed at the price of my huge grandsons’ shoes alone. They can’t afford to have very many styles since their feet seem to be endlessly growing. At least one of them is past a 13 adult size now which equates to expensive.

Another time, almost twenty years ago, some friends of mine met for lunch at a retirement home where one of us was working as a development officer. It was a lovely place and we dressed appropriately, but we didn’t match the lovely women who lived there and came to lunch dressed like the ladies they were. They had their makeup on and wore suits (jacket, blouse and skirt) and dresses and hose and maybe even girdles and carried their handbags on their arms like Queen Elizabeth. At the time, I remarked that our generation would probably come to lunch in sweat suits. Lordy!

So, here I sit in yoga shorts and a t-shirt, which I may wear all day no matter where I go. Or I may dress up, which implies I put on leggings and a nice top and nicer sandals. That garb would work where I live even if I had to go to a concert or church. Adding earrings and a necklace or scarf would really make it pretty impressive. All about the accessories. A guy probably would put on a nicer shirt and pressed shorts…maybe.

I don’t know that I am complaining about the changes…just making a mental note. I don’t want to forget how to dress up because there are a few times left that I might need to. After all the Queen might summon me. And I still have a box of gloves to wear…

DSC_0011