By now, you know the old adage: “I could never wear that outfit.”
The phrase has become a cliché in the fashion world: “If grandma can’t do it, I don’t want to.”
But this notion that grandma clothes can’t be worn by anyone, whether they’re grandmothers or not, has a long and sordid history.
It was first used by fashion icon Coco Chanel in a 1962 Paris campaign.
Its origin goes back to a 1950s advertisement by American clothing company Teddington Brothers, in which a woman with long hair and a beard was depicted wearing her grandmothers clothes.
She’s wearing a long-sleeved gray jacket, long-cuffed jeans, and a white skirt.
But it’s not the first time grandma clothes have been used as a way to represent the self.
In a 1927 episode of the TV series “The Wonder Years,” a woman wearing a blue-and-white, long white dress is shown in a store.
The clothing company that made the commercial, Teddham, made the line of clothes in the 1920s.
“Grandma clothes” were used in the early years of the Great Depression, when the Depression was at its peak.
During World War II, grandmothers were sent to war as war refugees, but they were given a second chance to return home and live in the comfort of their own homes.
Then in the 1950s, grandmother clothes were used as fashion accessories by American women during the 1960s, which was a time of rapid economic growth and a new generation of women wanting to express themselves as independent and independent-minded.
And, in the 1980s, it was women in the US who made their mark in fashion and became known for their bold, unique designs.
As time passed, grandmother clothing became more popular, and women in their 20s and 30s wore the clothing again, especially as the economy recovered from the Great Recession.
Grandma is back.
This article originally appeared in Newsweek.com.