Friday, April 2, 2010

Flashback Friday - The (Frightful) Fashion Edition

Linda says a lot of us mentioned Easter outfits last Friday which inspired this week's Flashback Friday that's ALL about fashion:
What fashions were popular when you were growing up? (Any time from birth to high school graduation) What did you beg to wear? What style did you happily embrace that you now look back and think, "Ugh! Whatever possessed me to wear that? (Of course, pictures would be great - the more hideous embarrassing, the better!) Have any of these come back into style? What have you worn that you vowed you never would? (You can also include hairstyles in your walk down Memorial Fashions Lane!)
I have a feeling the answers to this one are going to be a hoot!

I don't remember much about the fashion of my childhood nor do I have a lot of photos from that time period. (And what photos we have we left in the states.) But one that sticks in my head is my sister and I standing on the road just below my Aunt Lizzie's house in Kentucky. We were probably 4 and 8 years old and had on dresses and big floppy hats and carried purses all made from the same floral material. The dresses were straight with little cap sleeves, hung to just above our knees,  and had no collars or ornamentation of any kind. The purses were tiny, had a really long chain strap and they snapped shut like most purses of that time period. I think we had different colors of the same floral print but the photo is in black and white and I really can't remember for sure.

[I only remember that one because a few years ago my sister and her girls and I went to visit Aunt Lizzie and we took a similar photo of my nieces in that same spot.]

I came of age in the 70s and remember well the bellbottoms, shirts with flared sleeves, platform shoes and crazy hair -- especially on the boys. We still lived in Michigan when I was in Junior High and I tried to be as fashionable as the other girls. I found this photo on flickr that brought back a flood of memories from that time period.
I wanted one of those long crocheted vests so much but I couldn't afford them. I really envied one friend whose mom was a talented knitter and crocheter and made her daughter several in different colors and patterns.

Everyone had a pair of bellbottom jeans...
(But I didn't fill my out nearly as well as this girl! LOL) I do remember having a nicer outfit with pink corduroy bellbottoms and a black ruffled V-neck sweater that flared at the waist and had ruffles at the neck and cuffs. I was so proud of that outfit! I also had a khaki pantsuit with bellbottoms and what I called a safari shirt, very similar to this:
My mom would not allow me to have platform shoes. That made me so mad! My friends had lovely shoes like these:
Later I thanked her for her foresight since those shoes were flat out dangerous! One of my friends literally fell off her extra high platforms at a school dance and broke her ankle in two places.

Just before I started 8th grade my mom took me coat shopping. But being a working mom, she had to just drop me off at the mall. I'd been saving my baby-sitting money and she had some to put toward the coat as well. I knew what I had to spend. I'll say that right up front. BUT mom made the mistake of dropping me off in front of the nicest department store in the mall. Having never gone shopping by myself I didn't have enough sense to know I couldn't afford to buy a pair of underwear in that store, to say nothing of a coat!

So I made my way to the coat section and found THE MOST BEAUTIFUL calf-length reddish brown suede coat with a REAL red fox fur collar. People, that coat was almost four times my budget. But I fell in love with it and HAD TO HAVE IT. I used all my money to put it on lay-away and then, smitten with remorse, spent the remainder of my time walking around the mall in a daze thinking, "What in the world have I done?!"

This was the style:
Now imagine it in rich red-brown suede with a lovely fox fur collar. In my defense, how could anyone resist? To say my mom was livid is putting it mildly. I took every baby-sitting job I could find, mom took on extra hours at work, and my step-dad (who was no longer even married to my mom) chipped in the last bit needed to get it out of lay-away before it got really cold. I think it was mid-December by the time I proudly (but sheepishly) carried it home from the store.

The really sad thing is, I only wore it two winters before I outgrew it :-(  Mom didn't let me go shopping alone for a LONG time!

We moved back to Kentucky in time for me to start high school and I adopted the comfortable "uniform" of jeans and t-shirts in warm weather and jeans and flannel shirts when it was cold. A lot of the girls dressed fashionably but I wasn't one of them. I discovered I much preferred comfort over fashion, and that hasn't changed in the intervening years.

Thanks Linda, for another fun walk down memory lane!


Mocha with Linda said...

Oh, I forgot about the crocheted vests! I had those too!

And I'm glad several of you have mentioned the platform shoes. I had a pair of leather sandals - they weren't very high, but they were clunky!

sara said...

I had my share of platform shoes and bell bottoms....but I never had the vest though I wanted one!

The Bug said...

I remember in the 6th grade REALLY wanting some elephant ear pants in the worst way. I got a polyester pantsuit instead. Sigh

Mari said...

I enjoyed this! I believe we grew up at about the same time in Michigan and the styles look familiar. Loved the story about the expensive coat.

rita said...

You ALWAYS have great stories!
You probably have a better memory than most of us, AND you are a superb storyteller!
Still smiling...

Kelly L said...

Oh the memories... the polyester pants and shirts.. the vests... yep - remember it well.

Love to you

Sharon said...

this post reminded me of my most coveted clothing item when I was 15. Amazingly, my parents actually let me have them!... pale pink "piel de durazno" bell bottoms.

Amy said...

I just bought some high waisted jeans that nearly look like the exact ones I now have. crazy!