In answer to an earlier published "Letter to the Editor," this woman tells of a different perspective of farm women becoming lax in their appearance.
I am thinking of a woman with a large family. I know her very well. She is my mother. Two or three times a year my father would hand her ten or fifteen dollars. That was to clothe nine children and herself. But, shopping as carefully as she might, the results were rather pitiful. Mother's hats were out-of-date when she brought them; her shoes, from the bargain counter. It was not a case of going without that she might lavish clothes on her children, there simply was not enough money to go around. Five girls and four boys to dress for school. Shirts, overalls, shoes, and ginghams for dresses.
So, she sewed and washed; scrimped and planned, beside doing the myriad other tasks that now were hers. I know there must have been times when she was far too tired to care how she looked. Times, too, when she wore her cheap, out-dated dresses, smiling cheerfully, with an ache in her throat. For my mother had not lost her pride, had not grown lax and shabby from choice.
Her children are grown now. Mother dresses neatly and with good taste. She has time to study the lines of her dresses and the angles of her hats. She does not have a great deal of money to spend but she has leisure to plan.
Remember, folks, when next you see a shabby woman. Do not at once decide that she is habitually careless and lacking in pride. If you can, help some poor, tired mother to alter her last summer's wardrobe. Quoting the editorial: "Not many women can afford to wear a shabby dress." That is all too true. But I would like to add, not many do--from choice.