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Whenever I flip through old photograph albums, I think my favorite pictures document summer vacations – specifically what people wore on those vacations.

What a fashion timeline!

These albums date back to before I was born, of course. I recall the pictures of my mother and her sorority sisters at Long Beach in Canada, posing in their one-piece skirted bathing suits.

“I thought we looked pretty sharp,” my mother says now.

The photos go back even before that and continue right up to more recent trips to a cottage we rented for several years, where all we ever really needed to pack were swimsuits, T-shirts, shorts and maybe a pair of long pants and casual sundress in case we went into town.

Pretty boring.

Of course, our daughter always had the tendency to pack every swimsuit, T-shirt, pair of shorts and flip-flops she could dig up from her closet or dresser drawers. We also have on record the stages of Aeropostale T's, Gap-logo sweatshirts, layered ribbed tank tops and broken-in denim shorts, if anyone should ever ask.

Far more interesting were photos from the '60s and '70s. Some were taken at a former fishing camp way up in Canada, where all the relatives who were able would gather for a week or two. I was just a little kid, and my outfits looked like something that Cindy from “The Brady Bunch” might have worn. My mother had a Jackie Kennedy look going on, complete with large-frame sunglasses.

In other photos there were sporty pedal-pushers, printed shift dresses, canvas sneakers, gingham-checked blouses, mother-daughter matching cardigans (oh, please), ponytails and plenty of photos of kids in soggy swimsuits, with orange life-preservers being their only accessory.

Unless, of course, you count the bandages covering skinned knees and itchy mosquito bites.

In comparison, the grandmother who came along always looked so well-coordinated in “slacks” with matching printed tops, not a brand logo in sight.

Not all vacations took place in the summertime, however. Fall getaways to the Adirondacks were a favorite trip of mine when I was out of school and first working in the real world. I loved packing for those trips in September or October. We'd bring along plenty of cozy fleece, leggings, scrunchy socks, down vests, fisherman-knit sweaters, comfy jeans, turtlenecks and, of course, the proper footwear.

I thought we looked pretty sharp.

email: smartin@buffnews.com