Friday 30 September 2022

National Truth and Reconciliation Day


Today is Truth and Reconciliation Day in Canada.

Also known as Orange Shirt Day in honour of the story of Phyllis (Jack) Webstad's treatment on her first day of Residential School when she was six.

I went to the Mission for one school year in 1973/1974. I had just turned 6 years old. I lived with my grandmother on the Dog Creek reserve. We never had very much money, but somehow my granny managed to buy me a new outfit to go to the Mission school. I remember going to Robinson’s store and picking out a shiny orange shirt. It had string laced up in front, and was so bright and exciting – just like I felt to be going to school!

When I got to the Mission, they stripped me, and took away my clothes, including the orange shirt! I never wore it again. I didn’t understand why they wouldn’t give it back to me, it was mine! The color orange has always reminded me of that and how my feelings didn’t matter, how no one cared and how I felt like I was worth nothing. All of us little children were crying and no one cared.

You can read more of her story here.

More information on Truth an Reconciliation Day is here.

The 94 Calls to Action are here.

This day is a day to remember those children lost, the damage done to the diverse cultures and communities across this land, and to pledge to do better for our Indigenous Brothers and Sisters.


Friday 16 September 2022

September Fashion Friday

 As the Autumn begins I thought a simple discussion of suspenders (braces for you Brits) might be of interest.

Specifically the debate about clip-on or button fastened ones. This debate has raged in re-enactor circles quite a bit.


The Victorian Society of Alberta

Clip-On vs. Button-Hole Suspenders Is it okay to wear clip-on suspenders?

 From the Gentlemanual

 Are clip-on suspenders hopelessly tacky? If a man is going to wear suspenders, should he stick exclusively to suspenders with button-hole tabs? These are good questions, and they deserve good answers.

Clip-Ons Aren’t Traditional… Or Are They?

Clip-on suspenders have been around since 1894, and the argument “One shouldn’t wear clip-on suspenders because they’re not traditional” is difficult to sustain. With over a century’s worth of history, they’re as classic as any “classic” could be. Scroll through collections of old photos and you’ll see clip-on suspenders in abundance, from the Millennials of 1900 to the ruffians of original punk rock. Heritage isn’t the issue. The real problem with clip-ons these days is two-fold.

First, many of the big stores that sell everything from fertilizer to frozen french fries sell clip-on suspenders in their menswear departments. Marketplace ubiquity, affordability, and ease of use are the main virtues of mass-produced clip-on suspenders, most of which are made of semi-elasticated material. It is precisely this wide-distribution of low price clip-ons which gives rise to concerns about their street-cred.

When belts (and buckles) returned to the forefront of fashion, clip-on suspenders continued to appeal chiefly to three sorts of men: those who were accustomed to suspenders but never got on board with button-fastened ones; those who didn’t give a damn about actively presenting “a look;” and those whose style-sense tended to be at odds with trending notions of what counted as fashionable. Today the situation is a little dire. To put it bluntly, too many men wear clip-on suspenders with get-ups that make fashion police wish they were packing more than disapproving grimaces.

Clip-on Suspenders are old-school. That’s not the problem.

And that’s the second issue: all clip-on suspenders suffer a bit from guilt-by-association. It’s unfair, perhaps, but that’s just how it is, and a man wearing clip-on suspenders risks finding himself in the same situation as the man who wears a clip-on bow tie: if you’re going to wear a bow tie (argues the purist), you should take the time and make the effort to learn how to tie one; and if you’re going to wear suspenders, accept the extra expense and hassle involved with adding buttons to the inside of the waistband of your trousers and wear button-tab suspenders. This is one school of thought.

 Continued at this link