In generations gone by, Easter and fashion were synonymous and it meant looking one’s best.
Easter Sunday saw households scurry into a frenzy to adorn new outfits and hats; girls were seen in pretty dresses with bows and boys in miniature jackets with ties. Not a hair was out of place for anyone in the family–after all, what would everyone at church say if one did not look pristine on this day?
Regular churchgoers, who could afford to, splurged on new outfits. And those who had not the means, a simple readjustment to the hat, such as a new ribbon or flowers, spruced up any ensemble.
Yet, the trend has rapidly declined, along with the attendees at church. The breed of men and women, who thought it sacrilegious to step into a church without the respectability of a formal hat, has started to die.
In our age, a “nice hat” often equates to a baseball cap. Churches are now beseeched with congregations decked in jeans and sneakers. Gone are the “polished-till-you-can-see-reflection” shoes that peeped out from behind the pews.
This Easter and fashion custom was rooted in the philosophy of putting on one’s best clothes in order to celebrate Jesus’ life and death. The practice was symbolic of a time of rebirth: in honour of Jesus’ resurrection. People made a concerted effort to be fashion conscious to signify joy, appreciation, and salvation.
Yet, how often is it that such a commemoration translates into fashion? When was the last time the catwalks of New York, Paris or London, were used as a platform to mark something steeped in tradition and a kindred spirit?
There remain a few places where Easter is still observed with pomp and glory. Do you know of any place where this practice is still carried strong? I am forced to ask, how many more years will this tradition continue before it is altogether forgotten?
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* Article originally featured in MerolaMag