I have really good legs. I tell you this so that when I tell you I had great legs in the ‘70s you will see the continuity. During the seventies I wore the mini-skirt, I mean I really wore it – short to my knickers wore it. I had to learn to do the Bunny-dip in order to pick things up from the floor short.
* the Bunny-dip: a specialized move perfected by the Playboy Bunnies in the seventies to accommodate the rather low cut top when they needed to serve drinks, a move to prevent matters from falling out as it were where one would bend at the knees rather than the waist.
However I am British, more I am a Highland Scot and I consider myself somewhat prim - not because I would wish it, but it is an isness. I tell you this bit to let you know I have kept my assets up top covered for the most part, I mean there was the time line of the bikini, and the occasional evening gown that was cut a bit daring, but for the most part – covered. Why oh why are we pursuing this line of thought you ask? My days here at my “office” in the Mega Mall have brought this to mind. I am here again today, as the paper for which I wrote my article on Curling would like additional photographs, and has requested some of ME curling – the things I do for a byline…
I have been observing the women of Morocco since our arrival – and a lovely bunch with a definite sense of style they are. The hijab worn with Hermes scarves, pinned with a broach, highlighted with sequins and bright colors; the djellaba worn in every bright color you can imagine, fitted, loose, trimmed with all manner of lovelies like hand made lace and trims of gold, worn as more of a thought with the diaphanous coverings over tights and top, or jeans and t-shirt, western clothes worn fitted and with panache.,. And they are the queens of illusion. You see here that self same mini skirt from the seventies but worn over opaque tights that extend below the knee. In the very hot weather instead of a full djellaba you see many of the chiffon and silk coverings make to slip over the head and glide over the outfit underneath giving the illusion of coverage. Many of the youngsters wear the tiny t-strap sundresses or the short top wraps over a short or long sleeved body shirt. And everywhere and with everything the stiletto heels!
But what put me in this mood is that I have conceded somewhat to my adopted country. Oh no, not the djellaba, I began to wear those immediately I could have some tailored for me when we first arrived. I don’t wear them in the summer, as I can’t take the heat. No I am referring to the zones of a woman’s body that are considered risqué in the west. I remember reading about the Victorians, it was the ankle I believe that was shocking, and with the Chinese it was the breasts that were covered, where in the early American history it was the outline of the buttocks that was scandalous, and I do remember reading that at some point it was that spot on a woman’s neck just behind the ear, and in Morocco it is the legs that are covered. I can count on one hand the number of Moroccans I have seen in shorts, even here in Souissi where western dress is the most common. What area is exposed? The breast! We have been continually shocked at the revealing tops the women wear. And when we shop, much like the trousers cut with the long hems for the stilettos, we find the majority of the tops cut ver-r-ry low. I had resisted this trend until I remembered a quote from Shirley Maclaine, a woman who certainly kept her fabulous legs well into her seventies. She said as a woman passes sixty (not yet, but I’m going) she needs to highlight shoulders, breasts if you have them, and your legs if they have held up as these are the “last parts to go”.
Yesterday I was working hard at my laptop all the day, until at 1830hours, when Q approached my “office” quite out of breath. She was supposed to meet me here after she had finished with her Arabic class for dinner and to work. On the way to my “office” she was diverted by the sale we have been waiting for! 1,2,3 shop on the second floor of the Mega Mall carries the most delightful clothes in linen and silk but is very pricey. We have had our eyes on several outfits, just waiting for them to put up the Sale sign, alas it had not come and I had stopped looking. Q however was not deterred and found the 50% off all merchandise sale in progress. Needless to say I packed up my laptop and followed her in a quick hurry to the changing room where she already had a very full repertoire of clothing to sort through. I garnered my own supply and took the room next door.
What followed was a frenzy of, “No not that one.” “How does this look?” “Do you think this is too young for me, too short?” “Where can I wear this?” “I shall need a plunge bra for this.” “That won’t work.” “That looks smashing.” “Oh you have to get that!” “That is too old for you, it’s something someone in their sixties would wear.” “I’m close.” “Not that close, put it back.” We had a sweet good time and walked out with two large shopping bags filled to the rim. And the point of this story is that I gave in to the low cut neckline on three different outfits. Q had long ago in the summer gone the way of “that looks so good on you, you must wear it!”.