Fashion's fancy – and capri(ce)

I wonder if every generation is destined to look back at photos taken years before, grimace at the hairstyles and clothing choices, and ask: What in the world was I thinking?

Did we really think that men's extra-long sideburns in the 1970s, for instance, or women's beehive hairdos of the '60s looked "cool"? Recently, watching a TV program filmed in the early '70s, I found myself spending more time chuckling over how funny the famous performers looked than paying attention to what they were doing.

Later, I was viewing the NCAA men's college basketball tournament. The University of Alabama team wore "shorts" that were so long and full that they appeared to be graceful skirts. Except, of course, that girls' skirts today are rarely knee-length or below.

Twenty years from now, will those athletes' children giggle at their dads' 2002 team pictures? And how will moms explain those midriff-baring outfits – and Britney Spears – to their daughters?

Still, by that time, little explanation may be needed – today's fashions could be back in favor again. It has happened with bell bottoms, stiletto heels, and those exaggerated shoulder pads that made women resemble football players in the 1940s and again in the '80s.

One clothing comeback I'm delighted to welcome is capri pants, or clam diggers – but not necessarily for their fashion implications. I'm short and can't always find petite pants, so I do a lot of hemming. Capris make perfect full-length pants for someone my height.

I just need to be sure no one takes photos of me in them. Or do I have an obligation to provide any grandchildren I might have with something to laugh at years from now?

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