“Why do women want to dress like men when they’re fortunate enough to be women? Why lose femininity, which is one of our greatest charms? We get more accomplished by being charming than we would be flaunting around in pants and smoking. I’m very fond of men. I think they are wonderful creatures. I love them dearly. But I don’t want to look like one. When women gave up their long skirts, they made a grave error.”
― Tasha Tudor, children’s book author and illustrator (and Caldecott Prize winner), 1915–2008
My goodness, that’s a striking, line-in-the sand sort of statement (or series of statements), is it not?!? And one packed with assumptions: that only women wear long skirts, that men find charming only women dressed in long skirts, that femininity and charm reside (or at least can be reliably expressed) only in certain cuts of cloth.
To my mind, Tudor sounds narrow-minded and naive, but I admire her self-confidence and the conviction with which she constructed a life that suited her assumptions. She believed she was the reincarnation of a 19th century ship captain’s wife, and she dressed and lived like a woman of that century for much of her life. Tudor once told a reporter that when she died, she planned to hightail it right back to the 1830s. I hope she made it. And I hope that her long-skirted soul is now fulfilled.
Categories: Fashion Quote of the Week