No one wore muumuus back in Virginia or Chicago or England or wherever I was living at the time, so I always thought of it as a New Orleans garment. Only later in life did I learn that they weren't unique to New Orleans and, in fact, originated in the far flung climes of Hawaii, but they still, to my mind, remain emblematic of a certain local type.
But I don't see muumuus as much anymore. Occasionally, yes—on some matron peering out of a front porch door—but fewer and further between.* There are, as I see it, two possible explanations:
- My youthful experience of the city was populated with a non-representative maw-maw-centric sample of the broader, less muumuu-fied New Orleans populace. (This is plausible. When I visited, I stayed with my grandparents, and our social circuit was composed largely of various great-aunts and elderly biddy friends.)
- The muumuu has in fact fallen out of favor as members of the Muumuu Generation have passed on to the Great Luau in the Sky
* Though the other day, I did actually see a whole rack full of the things over at the Carrolton Jewelery Shop (in case anybody was looking for one). You can get your muumuu and your rosary all in one convenient location.