The Dog Days of Summer

Photo by Jack Bradley, Special Collections, Bradley University

When it’s hot out I tend to cover up in loose clothing, choosing baggy pants and long sleeved cotton shirts.  The older woman above takes the opposite approach.  She opens up her body to the breeze with a sleeveless top, shorts, and a pair of rakish sunglasses. Even her sandals are minimal.  Why the hat, though?  It doesn’t look like it offers any coverage from the sun.

The photo is part of a series of portraits of old people made by Jack Bradley, staff photographer for the Peoria Journal Star from the 1950s through the 1970s. It has no date, but others in the series were made in the mid-1970s.  Many of the subjects look lonely and down on their luck. Not this woman, though. She certainly gives the impression that she could take care of herself.  Her face shows her age, but her arms and legs look muscular and fit.  And she certainly has a confident sense of style.

What’s your favorite look for the dog days of summer?

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4 Responses to The Dog Days of Summer

  1. Judith Rickard says:

    After two decades of not exposing my upper arms (which I regarded as so unattractive as to be NSFW, or anywhere else), I finally took my own body positivity lessons to heart. Like the lady in the photo, when it is hot, I go SLEEVELESS. Yes, my upper arms are large, lumpy and pitted (“cellulite”), and the lower edge flaps in the breeze…but I don’t care. After 70 some decades, these arms have served me well and don’t owe me a penny. Nor do they need to be maligned via comparison with some market-driven standard of appearance. I say hurray for our sister in the photo – you go, girl! Let those arms (and legs) go free!

  2. Nadine says:

    Dresses are my go-to, because they’re so easy & I like them. Living in Florida, the idea of extra fabric at the waist makes me warmer just thinking about it!

  3. Lizzie says:

    I love this photo, and I need those sunglasses!

  4. JS says:

    Maybe her hair is thin and she’s wearing the hat to protect her scalp.

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