Bell bottoms and motorcycles

in Lee Scott/Voices by

By Lee Scott

My mother–in–law once gave me valuable advice on clothing. She said, “If you remember wearing it the first time, then you are too old to wear it again.” I was reminded of this last week when I was getting my hair done. My hairdresser, Kelly had on a pair of DL 1961 flare jeans. I told her that I had a pair just like them forty years ago. I loved the hip hugger cut and the way the hem on each leg would start to fringe as I continued to drag them along the ground as I walked. Bell bottom jeans were the signature pants of my generation.

Now years later, my mother- in- law’s comments suddenly make sense. Fashion styles do come around again, and although many of the old 60’s outfits are back, there are no flared jeans or mini-skirts in my wardrobe. My dresser does not have any tied-dyed shirts or God forbid a midriff top. The old saying “Been there, done that” popped into my head as I sat there talking to Kelly.

We live with so many of these old sayings that seem to dictate our lives. Like “Don’t wear white shoes before Memorial Day or after Labor Day.” or “Make sure your purse and shoes match”. And although you won’t catch me in some of the clothes I wore when I was young, I really liked those jeans that Kelly was wearing. Do I have to limit myself in everything just because I did it years ago? It was a real eye opener when I looked at my reflection in the mirror as Kelly was cutting away, and realized that my hairdo is the same one I wore forty years ago. Some things do seem to come around as the women in my generation are resorting back to the haircut we had in the 60s.

Later, when I arrived home from the hair salon my husband greeted me by saying he was heading to the Department of Motor Vehicles to get his motorcycle license. I hesitated for just a moment and then said, “Go for it!” We are different people now than when we were in our 20s – when we thought we would live forever. We know now that is not true but we want to enjoy ourselves just as much now as we did then – maybe with a slightly different approach. I don’t have to limit myself. I have decided to buy some bell-bottom jeans. They will look good on me riding on the back of the motorcycle; although the 50CC Vespa does not have the same roar as the Harley Sportster had in the past. Yes, Mom, I remember wearing those forty years ago, but at least I will not be wearing the midriff top.