Bustles that gave lift to long flowing skirts were off the must-wear list by the time I came along.

Peplums might still have been a holdover adaptation of bustles, but were sewn as an accessory to be worn around the waist on the outside. They made a short run of popularity in the 1940s and then left the scene as an unnecessary addition.

Corsets were still around when I was a child, but they soon gave way to girdles. I have in my sewing box several metal stays my mother removed from her corset to make it a little more wearable before she decided to throw it away.

I expect in this day of nearly “anything goes” wearing apparel--and less yardage of it sometimes--the trend-setters would have a hard time selling the female population on such uncomfortable gear. And to think, air conditioning was not on the scene when those binding undergarments were viewed as a must if you dressed up. Hearing the preacher was hard above the flopping and knocking of the cardboard fans in church.

Stockings (more fashionably referred to as hose) were also required. Whether held up with tight elastic garters that cut off circulation in the legs or hooked to supporters that dangled from the girdle or a newfangled garter belt, they were hot too.

Hats and gloves topped off the outfit. I usually carried my white gloves because my hands were too sweaty for me to pull them on.

A wide-brimmed hat was protection from the sun when working outside, but if worn just for looks, it served as yet another thing that made us hot.

Styles today have their pros and cons, but they more often conform to the younger wearers’ preferences. Designers do not seem to walk the path I’m on. However, as long as we appear decent, our acceptance in most social circles is not based on the clothes we do or do not have on. That’s a good thing because a few generations back, women would stay home from certain functions because they did not have a new hat to wear.

Qualities that I look for as I shop nowadays include comfort, won’t show soil, comfort, needs little or no ironing, comfort, constructed to last well because a fit is nearly impossible to find, and comfort.

The latest style is not on my list of considerations because it probably would not be compatible with the more desirable qualities.

We don’t always gain common sense as time goes by, but I’ll bet it would be an uphill battle to sell the buying public on corsets and strict codes of dress these days.