Skip to content
August 24, 2018 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Fighting plaid

Vintage photo of boy on bike and girl on skates, 1948, (DOE photo(USPD., by fed employee, Flickr/Commons.wikimedia:org)

“Stop fooling around and hang on. Mom will be mad if we’re late to school”.(USPD/Commons.wikimedia/org)

Autumn’s arrival has already brought three fall outs.

Most uncomfortably, the fashion magazines refuse to acknowledge the need clothing in fall colors that can hang cool with 90-100F temperatures.

Each autumn we look longingly at all those long sleeves, cozy flannels, and wool sweaters – only to endure yet another day of the same stuff we have been wearing all summer and are sick, sick, sick of.

Back to school used to be a frantic scavenger hunt for moms: looking for dark-colored school clothes that had short sleeves and were 100% cotton so we wouldn’t roast. Family honor and pride was at stake. The neighbors would talk if the kids kept wearing pastels.

Stores carried a limited supply for the narrow seasonal window. Boys got short sleeve, plaid cotton shirts tucked in jeans. Girls were handed dark plaid dresses usually with those white Peter Pan collars “to frame your face” (With the hope that you won’t look completely like a walking brown feed sack with your dark summer tan.)

We were ecstatic when Fall’s fashion rule were unraveled by Yves St Laurent’s Mondrian line, Courrèges, Mary Quaint, Carnaby Street, and, of course, the ones who made costuming completely acceptable fashion: Sonny and Cher.

The plaid curse was broken.

“To plaid or not to modern plaid. That is the question.” Convergence of fashion and art. Haute couture could be simple and easy to wear (and be copied cheaply) (Eric Koch/Anefo/Nat. Archives/

“Don’t get mad, say no to plaid!” (1965 Mod student fashions. Dutch Nat.Archives/

End of summer also means many boats left in brokerages like unwanted puppies people are tired of taking care of. Fun over.

Down the block, there’s rows of boats grounded at the Action Boat Center.

Shouldn’t that be called the Inaction Boat Center?

Such a sad place. Some say cursed, if those stern names are altered.

With fall activities such as football, missteps on football stadiums, band practice on parking lots during heat alerts, medical emergencies happen. Here’s something new: ER online check in!

Reduce your wait time: go online and locate the ER of your choice, estimate arrival time, and arrive 15 minutes before your selected time (Note: patients with serious injuries may still be seen ahead of you anyway…)

Realistically, in an emergency where there’s lots of blood or bones sticking out oddly, is there time to slowing down and ER check-in online? Maybe the driver can try with voice commands to Siri, Alexa, or Echo as they dodge traffic.

Cursing expected and excused.

There has to be some reason for the perpetual return of plaid

Squint, and plaid looks a little like window screen material.

Was the original intent was as camouflage to confuse mosquitoes?

“Every blessing ignored becomes a curse” (Novelist Paulo Coelho)

Flight of the plaid: Autumn’s muse.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

3 girls in fall plaid dresses with bike. 1930's (Shirl/Flickr/Aunt Owwee/

“If you ride really fast and then crash, maybe you can rip it enough it can’t be patched. Or get it caught in the chain and really greasy.” Older siblings knew how to avoid the curse of plaid on the first day of school. (Shirl/Flickr/Aunt Owwee/




  1. easyweimaraner / Aug 24 2018 6:34 am

    plaid is a super trend this fall… but not my thing… plais belongs to plaids ;O)


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 27 2018 2:02 pm

      If everyone buys into plaids, then the city streets will look like rows of Christmas wrapped packages walking around? Here, we’ll be into “transitional colors” and summer clothes until at least Halloween.
      Thanks for drawing a line for plaids!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kate Crimmins / Aug 24 2018 6:56 am

    Plaids were to hide the inevitable lunch stains! I remember my first year in high school (a very high anxiety time!). I wanted to wear my new wardrobe so badly that I wore a plaid wool skirt with blouse and sweater. It was at least 90 degrees. I almost died! (No a/c back then.) It didn’t up my street cred either.

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 27 2018 2:08 pm

      This is the first day of school for the biggest school district. Hope all of the districts turned the AC on high – all the kids look determined to wear that new hot fashion…
      I never got the really pretty plaids as those were apparently reserved for expensive stores…I would have killed for “real” madras anything instead …stuck with poor imitations (that didn’t fade – there was no fading fabrics bought knowingly in our house…) and drab brown outfits…with that white Peter Pan collar (UGH – 2 ways a loser!)
      Thanks for warming up a plaid comment

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kate Crimmins / Aug 27 2018 6:23 pm

        My first eight years at a Catholic school were in a navy jumper with the long sleeved white shirt with the round collar. Penny loafers too. I went crazy when I hit high school. Even had pink sneakers.


  3. susielindau / Aug 24 2018 7:25 am

    That said, I think we’re going to have an early winter this year! Lol!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 24 2018 7:35 am

      The cicadas in Ft Worth agree with you despite what the Farmer’s Almanac says for us. While you guys could use some rain, muds/rock slides not invited! thanks for getting in the ring here.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Xena and Lucy / Aug 24 2018 7:29 am

    This sure brings back memories of my 1st grade school pic in my black and white plaid dress with a red accent and peter pan collar. I hated it, but my mother insisted. A bit older, I decided to do laundry (for the first time ever) while my mother was at work, and my plaid wool skirt became a hit as a mini-skirt.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 27 2018 2:12 pm

      oopsie washing – the creative way to update the wardrobe! (That and rolling the waist band once out of house sight…) Black and white hounds tooth plaid was THE look at one point – always with red belt or something ..unfortunately for us, that was all usually wool which is normally unwearable except for maybe 2 weeks out of the year. Fashion magazine never blinked on that though.
      Thanks for weaving a cool comment

      Liked by 1 person

  5. pensitivity101 / Aug 24 2018 10:42 am

    My school uniform was gingham, but I had a plaid skirt for Sunday Best.
    Oh I remember those dresses in your second picture, and the tights in your third!

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 27 2018 2:16 pm

      School uniforms would have made life so much easier – individualized accessories like socks, shoes, and hair can still get pretty wild and crazy with those around here.
      Somehow Mondrian yellow, red, and white banded in black was a whole new awareness – color shortly ran rampant and wild. Great fun.
      Thanks for smiling along

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Anne Mehrling / Aug 24 2018 2:32 pm

    My mother’s mantra was “dark cottons”. The first weeks of school in Tennessee were unbearably hot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 27 2018 2:19 pm

      I think many of us would have welcomed school uniforms if it meant avoiding clothing in fall’s brown! And it was such a race to get them before they all were gone from the stores Whyyyyy bother to bother us so? Thanks for buttoning down a cool comment


      • Anne Mehrling / Aug 27 2018 5:27 pm

        School uniforms were unheard of in our little town, so I didn’t know to long for one.


  7. shoreacres / Aug 24 2018 7:08 pm

    I had one of those Mondrian skirts. As I recall, it was some sort of silky material — probably a rayon silk. I loved it to death — all those bright colors. But earlier, before I had the ability to choose my own fashion, there were those plaids. Behold: the first day of first grade. And then there was the famous green and blue plaid dress my mother made for me, causing no end of distress because I thought blue and green didn’t go together. That was another of those “let grandma explain this to you, sweetie” experiences.

    I wonder about that name change business for boats. Good old s/v Morning Star started out life as Bilbo Baggins, and there just was no way to stick with that. Maybe we should have gone with Gandalf.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 27 2018 2:26 pm

      Those sheath abstract dresses were such an evolutionary jump. A easy color scheme – the difficulty was getting all the seams/line perfectly straight. Snooty elite fashionistas in the hall could point it out without bothering to look at labels in gym.
      Navy blue, forest green plaid? Hung around as much as brown. We all looked so charming…
      Sometimes I cringe at the boat names in the brokerage down across from Target/railroad. just how many beers did you have when that went on? Poor boats. It is a dilemma.
      Thanks for anchoring a comment here.(Someday I’ll catch up with reading and comment replies…)

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Pied Type / Aug 24 2018 9:34 pm

    I couldn’t wait, every fall, to see what the new Bobbie Brooks pleated plaid (wool) skirts looked like. New plaid every year. Tough in OKC, with 90s into October and no a/c in any of the schools.

    I had some roller skates just like those in the first picture. Wow, it’s been decades since I thought of those. And the skate keys that went with them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 27 2018 2:45 pm

      Bobbie Brooks was the darling of the teen magazines along with those shiny blond pageboy hairstyles in the Breck shampoo ads – Bobbie Brooks always had the most beautiful color collection every year – so many pieces all in the same color family. But wool – great for “back East”, but not chance inn this climate.
      I still have my skate key…and a few ankle scars…
      Thanks for hanging up a cool comment here


  9. The Coastal Crone / Aug 25 2018 7:01 pm

    It seems to me that when I was in school it actually got cool earlier. School started after Labor Day and it often rained. Blue northers came in October. Now it won’t even seem like fall until maybe November or December. I’ll still be wearing my solid colors and sandals. My mother would make me plaid dresses back then…dark ages!

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 27 2018 2:50 pm

      It always rain the first day of school – which was after Labor Day. When schools start this early – football games are roasting in the stands…and homecoming isn’t the same in 90F heat.
      When NASA started up and a bunch of families moved from California to this area, The kids showed up with socks and sandals – always sandals – not really cold enough “back home” for real shoes. We thought that cool. Ah the days of surfer tunes.
      Thanks for dressing up a comment to leave


  10. Littlesundog / Aug 26 2018 6:26 am

    My mom was usually pretty good about picking out stylish clothes currently trending, but one thing I hated were those plaid dresses with bows and I detested belts that served no purpose. As we got older, mom didn’t put us is dresses – because SHE didn’t like dresses, we ended up wearing more pants and jeans. I love dresses, and I wear them a lot now… just nothing with bows and belts. Ugh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 27 2018 2:56 pm

      Those wimpy little thin belts (that crack own the back) or worse: sashes – which people would grab and untie during recess. Eventually the school dress codes changed to allow girls to wear pants – no more freezing legs during January!
      I don’t think my mom ever owned a pair of jeans. Tailored slacks or what was called Toreador pants (capri) – preferably with a snug side or back zipper. My grandmother was rabidly adamant against women in pants. She’s faint over the current stretchy black leggings!
      Thanks for zipping in a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  11. cat9984 / Aug 30 2018 4:29 am

    We live in the north, so it’s probably different. But plaid flannel sells like crazy up here (especially for men). However, plaid for girls has never recovered it’s appeal. Nor have dresses. 🙂


  12. LordBeariOfBow / Sep 6 2018 4:19 pm

    Autumn in August? I thought 21st September was first day of Autumn in the US same as in Europe.
    Here in Oz we start our seasons on the 1st of the months, lot easier and we’re not really bright enough to work it on the 21st


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: