Traumatic Memories: Or, “No More NAVY, EVER!”

A reader recently remarked that since her mama dressed her in plaid so often during her childhood, she couldn’t bring herself to wear plaid as an adult.

This made me laugh.

My own mother used to dress us in red, white and blue frequently. It was actually very cute, especially since she tied red YARN ribbons on the end of our pigtails. YARN. We are talking a serious level of cute, here.

But to this day I cannot STAND navy and will not under any circumstances purchase a navy garment.
And I wear lots of white, but no red.

So let me ask: is there a color, a style or a garment that you wore in former years that you just can’t bear to wear now? What and why?

This may be part of why I recoil with such horror at the “boyfriend blazer” look that’s so fashionable right now; it reminds me of my college years, which were NOT. PRETTY.

14 Replies to “Traumatic Memories: Or, “No More NAVY, EVER!””

  1. Beige makes my face disappear.

    Shoes in different colors are an enormous thrill, as my mother would allow black or brown. Okay, white for very special. As a child of a middle class family that began as a working class family, one pair of shoes was carefully chosen and worn every day for the entire school year. But I longed for red, purple, yellow… even if they were my every-day shoes. Her argument was that I would “get tired of that”. She probably couldn’t stand seeing them on me every day, herself.

    I have a wonderful pair of red Clarks clogs that I wear Every. Single. Day. And they go with everything and I’m not sick of them. *Mom*.

  2. that’s so funny! i have a no navy rule too. same reason. same goes for sailor suits, not that i would wear one for myself now, but i refuse to put my children in them.

  3. When I was in high school hunter green was very popular so I got a hunter green backpack and asked for a hunter green shirt for Christmas. The next thing I knew everyone on earth was giving me hunter green shirts, shoes, etc and my entire wardrobe was hunter green. I still had to use all the stuff when I went off to college because I was too poor to replace it. I now cringe whenever I see hunter green and will never buy anything in that color again.

  4. Like Gidget, my family’s budget was stretched, so we were expected to select a sturdy, black, practical pair of shoes for school. Although it made getting dressed for school easier, I have a weakness for bright shoes as an adult.

    Boyfriend blazers weren’t flattering then, and luckily I can say “no thanks” to this re-incarnation.

  5. I had a truly horrifying school uniform – cherry red and very dark navy, both with clashing undertones like an oil spill, and of course all this came in nasty smelly synthetics. Strange things like squashed berets and summer dresses with daisy chains on also featured. I didn’t wear navy for about fifteen years afterwards.

    I also grew up on the dole in a rural slum, so I bought all my non-uniform clothes in jumble sales, but I learned how to sew and customised them. I think it’s time to rediscover some of that random craft creativity.

  6. 1972. I remember one horrible synthetic navy blue dress with red and white trim. It was hot and itchy. I fought my mother tooth and nail every time she wanted me to wear that dress to church. I have strong negative memories of being uncomfortable and angry in the pews in that %*$#@ dress. I can’t help but think it helped me reject Presbyterianism!

    To her credit, when I told my mother years later that I hated the dress because it itched, she was extremely sympathetic and told me if I had said so at the time, we could have either fixed the itchy part around the collar or given it away. She, too, is very sensitive to scratchy fabric. I became a UU instead, thanks to navy polyester.

  7. Mostly I just lurk and read Bloglines these days, but I *have* to respond to this entry!

    I am an Army veteran, from back in the days when the basic everyday uniform was olive green (official Army-ese was “olive drab”–and that was the truth). In the season-color scheme, I’m a summer and do best in cool colors. The dress green uniform was a little better (dark, slighly “warm” green), but still not flattering to a pale-skinned “summer” blonde.

    After over 25 years of post-Army civilian life, I still avoid most shades of green, and will absolutely never, for any reason, wear olive “drab” again in this life…or the next!

    In other words, if heaven is olive green, I don’t wanno go. 🙂

    [Make sure you make an advance reservation for a nice private room in a beautiful color before you get there, then. Just in case. 😉 – PB]

  8. ANYTHING that looks vaguely like a maternity top. The billowy shirts that gather and fall over my ample chest make me look, well, expectant. Ditto for the little “swing coats” which bell out around my anti-waist.

    I also will not wear anything that resembles a jumper or a pinafore. or the dreaded sailor-collar-top. NO patriotic prints or colors either.

    And no lace collars. (which thankfully are out of style… but… ew)



  9. When I was young, my mother tried her damnedest to put me in pink. Every time she did, I would remind her that the last time I looked good in it was when I was 6 months old. But she would put me in it anyway. And I looked like the walking dead.

    Nowadays, my mother knows that no matter what, if she sees something cute and it only comes in pink, then she needs to walk right on by it and not even THINK about getting it for me. Luckily, she listens.

    [KIM! LOL! I so totally do NOT see you in pink. Not. Gonna. Happen. – PB]

  10. My mom-in-law gave me a pair of maternity overalls with my first pregnancy. I was a lumpy denim balloon the few times I was stuck wearing them. I know very few women for whom overalls are flattering…especially not any pregnant ones! (Though the ladies at my congregation thought it was “so cute.”) Now that I’m pregnant again, I have made a point of finding nice pieces that look nice and are comfortable. Fortunately, no other maternity clothes gifts have come my way this time. (She meant well, but c’mon!!!)
    [Oh, hell’s bells! How awful! Thanks for the great laugh! NO MORE OVERALLS! – PB]

  11. I’d post the 1977 photo of me and my brother with matching “bowl-head” haircuts, wide-lapel polyester leisure suits, and brown leather buckle shoes…but For Some Reason, it went missing some years back!

    I’m pretty flexible about what I wear, but fabrics that look and feel like dated upholstery make me twitchy. Not for me, the ‘vintage’ look!

  12. My mom went through a lace collar phase too! Oh gawd, it was horrible! To this day I avoid dresses with elaborate collars. And anything w shoulder pads!

    I was highly amused by the latest JC Penney sales flyer… I had at least three of those exact outfits when I was in 7th grade! (The last time leggings and plaid shirtdresses were in!) Please make sure that leggings NEVER become acceptable professional wear!

  13. Oh, Lord….BROWN VELVET. I am, and always have been a cool winter, but when I was elected Peanut Queen (yes, there was a Peanut King!) Mom sewed me an elegant brown velvet dress. Luckily, I was only 6, so I have time to recover–and all photos were in black and white. [OMG, PEANUT QUEEN. – PB]

  14. My mother had a “No Navy, Ever” rule for herself because of her mother’s love of navy. Mom never made me wear any colors I hated, but since I grew up in a college town where everything was orange, I hate the color orange.

    I do have a penchant for colorful shoes (mostly red) for the same reasons mentioned above.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.