Village Voice - April, 2006

Are My Seams Straight?

Growing up in the 30’s and 40’s, Easter meant a brand new outfit to wear to Sunday school and church on Easter Sunday morning.  And I mean brand new from top to bottom – new dress, new hat, new shoes, new gloves, new pocket book.  It was glorious, the anticipation of going out in all your new finery.

The Easter right before my fifteenth birthday, I was allowed to have my first heels!  The joy was exquisite.  The shoes had what were called Cuban heels, about 1 ½ inches high, so different from plain old flats.  And, since I was going to wear heels, I had to wear stockings! (Be still my heart.)

 This was during World War II, and the silk needed for stockings (nylon hadn’t yet been invented) had gone to war, primarily used for parachutes.  As a result, ladies stockings were made of some material that wasn’t at all sheer, but what did I care – I had heels and stockings to wear to church Easter morning.

 Stockings were made with seams down the back (seamless hose were also yet to be invented).  Now these stockings were held up by a contraption called – never mind, ask your great-grandmother.  It was very, very, very important that your seams were   







It was so hard to keep them straight but you had to work at it.  Crooked seams indicated careless grooming.

Keeping those seams straight was an art form, I tell you.  I’d grown up seeing ladies peer back over their shoulders to check their seams and listening as they asked each other “Are my seams straight?”  I was confident that asking that question could be my rite of passage.

Easter Sunday morning came.  Excited doesn’t even come close to how I felt.  My clothes were ready, and my heels and stockings were set just so. 

I got all dressed, and set out to walk to Sunday school, which was several miles away.  I (naturally) peered back over my shoulder every few steps to check my seams. When I finally got to church, before I said hello, happy Easter, your dress is pretty – before any of that, I whirled around and asked, for the very first time, “ARE MY SEAMS STRAIGHT?”

Oh, lawdy mercy, you have no idea - - -

By Jo Reiter

Happy Easter!

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