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Archive for Boomers

Born in the USA

It was introduced “with great fanfare” in 1936 at the Pittsburg China and Glass Show in five colours and was an immediate hit!  After 37 years of production it was retired in 1972. In 1986 it was resurrected by Bloomingdale’s and made tougher, lead free and better than ever. Chances are your mother or grandmother collected it. It is still a top choice among brides today and a leading brand in casual dinnerware. What am I referring to? Why, FIESTA, of course!

Manufactured as always by the Homer Laughlin China Company of West Virginia, this American company has produced over one half billion pieces of dinnerware since its inception 78 years ago during the Great Depression. As the leading producer of restaurant china,  Homer Laughlin uses the same ceramic glazes and durable materials for their domestic housewares as they do for the restaurant trade. In fact, the dishes are guaranteed chip-proof for five years and have proven to be reliably durable for families. You will see them in diners and restaurants or in the movies. Currently available in 16 colours, the sets of dishes are designed to be mixed and matched. And that is where the fun is! Some people like to collect one place setting of each colour for a rainbow effect. Others like to mix 3 or 4  or more colours. It is enjoyable to combine different colours according to holiday, occasion or mood.

Finally it was time for me to purchase some new dishes. The last complete set of dishes I had was from Eaton’s and they’ve been gone now for fifteen years! After some online research I ordered eight sets of Fiesta from Macy’s. Macy’s was featuring a buy one, get one free sale, with an additional 15%off. Even with duty, taxes & shipping I was pleased with the price. The eight sets arrived (only one plate broken) and I’m having a blast combining the dishes with each other and with my linens.

I chose scarlet, marigold and cobalt (the three primary colours) as my base colours. I’m collecting additional pieces in colours that coordinate with these. So far I have pieces in white, flamingo, periwinkle and sea mist. Vintage Fiesta can also be mixed with modern pieces as the sizes are consistent. Homer Laughlin has pledged to introduce one new colour each year and to retire colours. Flamingo is currently being retired and poppy is the newest addition.

When I invited my mother to see my new dishes, she laughed when she saw them! During her engagement, she collected Fiesta from the local grocery store. If you spent a certain amount on groceries you earned a stamp. Collect enough stamps and you could  trade it for dinnerware. My parents used it during the early years of their marriage.  I don’t  I probably ate off them as a baby, but don’t have a memory of them. Thanks to my friend Cindy for giving me my first FIESTA  pieces – two vintage sea mist bread and butter plates.

By the way, Lemongrass is the colour of the month!

Author’s note: Thanks to the Homer Laughlin China Company official website and Bruce Springsteen.

I never dress up!

Today’s blog addresses one of the most common things I hear from people … I never dress up!

As my mom would ask – Are you bragging or complaining? Maybe its just a statement, but this was a familiar refrain I heard at Modella’s March Fashion Show in Westdale early this spring. Modella showed lots of nice separates in black & white with chartreuse accents, many with asymmetrical silhouettes.

Its true people dress up less, according to Fran and Toni Iduciano, owners of Second Chance Consignment Shop on Hamilton’s Locke Street South, that I also chatted with recently. The workforce is ageing and along with Casual Fridays, Business Casual Dressing, working from home and today’s more relaxed approach to doing business, people  just don’t dress smartly as much as they used to. The sisters see this reflected in the falling sales of categories such as dress pants and matched suits. As Boomers retire from the workplace their lifestyles change and they are no longer required to dress up daily.

Today’s Boomer appears to not enjoy dressing up for events, preferring instead the comfort of leggings, knits, jeans and sportswear. Dress clothing usually involves zippers, buttons, collars, tucking in, dry cleaning, polishing, laces  and the like. Many people are simply tired of the effort  required to wear these types of clothes.  This is no reason not to dress up! Dressing up conveys respect and effort. Remember, its always better to be overdressed than under dressed. If we raise the bar on dressing up, others can rise to it.

Anyway, back to the Fashion Show. After the show I met Denise, a pretty middle aged woman with caramel highlighted longish brown hair, browsing the sale rack. She had spied a cute peplum jacket – black with brown piping which coordinated nicely with the black jeans and tall boots she wore to the Event. She spun and twirled and was clearly in love with the jacket but not quite committed to the purchase. “Oh come on,” I said, “you know you look great in it.  It would also be nice over a dress.” ” Or with a pencil skirt and a leopard print blouse underneath!”, chimed in another fashion show attender.  ”It looks great with what you have on for a date”, I  continued. Denise laughed and exclaimed “A date? I don’t go out on dates, I’m married!”

Then it was my turn to laugh! “Well,” I said,  ”if you looked that good your husband couldn’t help but take you out for dinner and a movie!” The jacket in question was fitted close to the body, not tight,  in a swishy material with a face framing collar which formed a V. The back was longer and could be worn to cover the rear view with leggings. It buttoned nicely under her bust and “the girls” were  ”locked and loaded”. It could also be layered under a coat and at $365 and 60% off, was a good buy. I’m pretty sure Denise bought the jacket from Modella’s, and her husband is now being required to take her on a date! Have fun dressing up Denise!

Longer back peplum fitted jacket
Great for dates!

Thanks to Stacy and Clinton for the “locked and loaded”  phrase.