Louisa May Alcott was right when she said, “The emerging woman… will be strong-minded, strong-hearted, strong-souled, and strong-bodied… strength and beauty must go together.” The history of women has been tragic and dark for many decades. Many have fought in pursuing freedom and equality, only to die before the fruit of the labors grows. We respect and honor those women this month as we empower women and young girls to find their way in the world without gender-based limitations.
Throughout history, women’s clothes and accessories have been ways of making a statement. They were signs of social and marital status, yes, but many women also used accessories to give a message to the world. Today, they do the same thing. They are not just pretty, shiny things that adorn a woman’s body, but the armor of elegance and power. Here’s our list of clothes and accessories for the emerging and empowering woman.
Did you know wristwatches were first worn by women? Wristwatches were marketed as bracelets for women, so men saw them as something feminine. BUT! Men from before wore wristwatches too! The toughest, strongest, and bravest men of the country. The military men. Pocket watches were more popular with men, but since having something dangling during the war was a hassle, officers strapped their watches on their arms or wrists. The British Horological Journal wrote,”…the wristlet watch was little used by the sterner sex before the war, but now is seen on the wrist of nearly every man in uniform and of many men in civilian attire.” Check out the new Panerai collections for chic and savvy wristwatches that are sure to complete your look!
In the words of the one and only Taylor Swift, “we never go out of style.” Trends will come and go, but red lipsticks are here to stay! Bold red lips were how women in the early 20th century fought for their rights to vote. It was a daring symbol of power, but at the same time, it showed elegance and beauty. Some men called it impolite, disgraceful and immoral. Many tried to downplay by claiming red lips were a symbol of witches or prostitutes, but women continued to fight the norms for their rights. In the West, women wore red lipsticks as a symbol of resiliency when men went to war. Red lips have come a long way as modern-day women freely and confidently wear them. Although they have come far, many do not forget the history of the classic red lip and bear the story with pride. So grab your favorite red lipstick, smack them on, and step out with confidence.
Dresses are nice to wear, but can you imagine wearing them every day of your life? Early women had to! Pants and trousers were “not for women” and they were the most gendered clothes in the West. It’s sad how some women were even arrested and jailed just for wearing pants. When women worked because their husbands were at war, they needed their clothes to be flexible and functional, so they wore pants. To the society of the 1960s, women wearing pants became a symbol of “rebellious youth” but to many women, it was a sign of freedom and they were becoming a trend. Sara Idacavage said, “…pants can be seen as the material manifestation of women’s desire to have different lives when they were greatly oppressed.” Women are no longer arrested for wearing pants today but in some places in the world, it’s still taboo. Ladies, buckle up your jeans and continue to fight for the women who do not have the same freedom as you.
Have you ever seen a video of early women putting on a corset? If you haven’t, let us explain it to you. It looks as if the pulling of ribbons and strings could make your insides rise to your throat. Eating and breathing are a struggle in a corset because of how tight it was. Corsets were worn by women because the standard for them was to have an extremely (unrealistic if you ask us) small waist. They had to bear the discomfort to be socially acceptable to men. So how could a corset be comfortable? Modern-day corsets are made to be more comfy and pretty. You don’t have to worry about your insides coming out or not being able to breathe for the sake of beauty. Modern-day corsets are sexy yet elegant, and they are no longer a source of back pain but a cure for it. Check out some ideas on Pinterest and rock your style!
Clothes and accessories have been women’s way of empowering and fighting for each other but remember Miuccia Prada’s words: “Sexiness, it’s in the mind, it’s not in what you wear. In that sense, the clothes are just something that you use. But it’s not that the dress transforms a person.” May empowering women start in the hearts of the individuals as we celebrate this month. Yay women!