I know that everyone admires the style of glamorous old ladies, but let us not forget those elders in our communities that walk around in such items as a thrifted, possibly DIY altered denim skirt, wearing gold hoops, and rocking a bald hairstyle, like in today’s Street Snaps.
“My name is Beatrice. I’m seventy-three. From West Philadelphia.”
Is there anything you have to say about the way people in Philadelphia dress? Or a certain style that you think is around?
“I think it [depends] on what section you go into, you know. You can be on Walnut street, Chestnut street, Market street — you really can see the difference in how people dress, you know? And I like everything that’s in style.”
Do you tend to dress if you’re going to a specific area of the city, or do you do what you like to do?
“I do what I like to do. And usually — I do houses — so usually I have my jeans on and I’m really funky during the day. But today I didn’t work so I said, lemme put a skirt on.”
Is there anything that inspires the way you dress?
“No, I don’t think so. I just like to keep with the styles, and I don’t want to dress old-fashioned. Because I get on the bus sometimes, and I have my pass — you know the yellow pass? [for seniors] — and I see people get on the bus and they’ve got the pass on their necks? I say oh no, no, that’s for old people. Uh-uh.”
Is there anything you have to say about having very short or shaved hair?
“I love it. When I first started wearing it like eight years ago people would say, are you sick? I’d say no, I just like it. I let it grow last winter about that long [pinches fingers]. I couldn’t stand it. So I had to take it — I said I’ll let it grow until the summertime, but no, I said oh no, I’ve got to go back bald.”
Do you have any tips to anyone that’s maybe wanting to have a cut like yours?
“Well now you notice a lot of blacks with their hair cut short now. Like five years ago you didn’t see all this.”
Do you have a current obsession?
“No, no. I do enjoy doing houses. And I enjoy coming to thrift shops. And I tell people it’s just like being a crackhead. (laughs) It is. And I love it. So that’s really all I do. I don’t go out that much. I don’t travel that much. And it keeps me busy with doing these houses and things.”
Do you buy new clothes a lot?
“No, no, no. No. I thrift everything. Because what happened — I used to have a thrift shop myself. And then I gave it up because my daughter, she wouldn’t come half of the time. And I couldn’t pay the rent there and try to sell the stuff too, so I wound up taking like four car-loads of stuff to a church. And they just gave it away. So now I have a whole bag of shoes to give this Thursday. Cause you know what happens is, really we have too much. We have too much. So I’m glad to see you in here. I love it. Cause you never know what you’re gonna find. You can find designer stuff. You can even find crystal in here. I was in here last week and found some Waterford crystal, one of the best crystal you can buy — it was two candlestick holders, and it was two dollars and fifty-two cents a piece. [...] Cause they don’t know what they have in here.”
Hah! That is the beauty of the thrift store. Any last words?
“No, I’m just glad I ran into you!”
If you’re looking for more Philly street style, visit Broad&Market, or check out the Street Snaps archive by clicking on the “street snaps” tag just below.