Fashion?

Who remembers fashion in the nineteen-sixties and seventies, when it seemed that whatever the fashion gurus told you was ‘in’ was what you had to wear to be ‘with it’?

Or was that just me being young and easily-fooled?

It seemed to me, that by the time my own kids were teenagers they wore whatever they wanted. They might pick up something trumpeted as the latest style if they found it locally and affordable and it suited them, but none followed it slavishly in the way we tried to ‘back then’.

I was at school until I was eighteen. From our early teens, once we were out of school uniform we would change into the uniform of our chosen clan (rocker, mod, hippie… later on punk, goth or whatever).

Once we were gainfully employed and considered ourselves mature, we would browse those newspaper and magazine articles that reported what was new on designer catwalks.

Is it my imagination that such articles have less and less relevance to what people are actually wearing today? Or is it just that I no longer move or travel in the right circles to encounter such fashionistas?

Or is it that designs strutting down the catwalks now seem more suited to the realms of fantasy than to real life?

###

I still come across articles informing me that blue (or brown, grey, purple…) is the new black, but since I don’t wear black (apart from Halloween parties) this isn’t relevant to me. I had my colours ‘done’ in my forties and learned that black suits very few complexions and certainly not mine. I also learned that almost my entire wardrobe of autumny colours didn’t suit my complexion, but that’s a different blog post.

I have many items that can genuinely be described as vintage, chiefly because I couldn’t bear to give them away when they no longer fitted me. From time to time, these have come back into fashion. (My winklepicker boots took a while, but they came back in the end for long enough for me to wear them out.) Lately, I’ve been able to get into some of this vintage clothing, and nobody has looked strangely at me while wearing it. (Well, no more strangely than usual.)

I’ve always liked flowing garments. My kaftans often reappear during the warmer weather, but how I wish I had kept my wide-legged, floppy trousers from the sixties and seventies. Summer flared trousers can now be found in the shops again, but they haven’t got the material or designs or colours right. Too many are black with silly little flowers on them. And many are too short.

Summer floppy trousers should drape and brush the floor. I have never liked shortened trousers that look as though they’ve argued with my shoes. A tall willowy model might get away with it, but my legs are short for my height, and cut-off trousers make me look like Jimmy Krankie. Flares are even worse at half-mast, like a clown.

But familiarity breeds acceptance. I confess to having bought a pair off a sale rail recently that I thought might come in useful while hosing out pond pumps and filters (I always end up with trouser-ends soaked.)

I’m getting used to them.

I may even wear them in public one hot day (when, it seems, anything goes) and become a (temporary) follower of fashion.

###

What fashions have you succumbed to that you once thought you’d never wear?

34 thoughts on “Fashion?

  1. I had a pair of platform shoes blue with a yellow star on them. I loved those shoes and thought I looked the bees knees in them. They also made ne feel incredibly tall, a feeling I had never had before as I’m definitely on the short side of tall like most of my family. I wore kaftans too and still do but mainly just around the house now. I think I only got rid of a fringed suede ‘vest’ in the last few years that I kept for sentimental reasons. I can’t imagine keeping anything I wear now for sentimental reasons so either times or I have changed.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I’ve given up on the platform shoes… 😦 I was never out of two-inch heels until my first pregnancy (my feet aren’t big enough for higher heels if I want to stay upright). Even working on Saturdays in Woolworths in my teens (behind those counters they used to have in the sixties) I would be wearing my heels and I’d go out in them in the evening even though by then my feet were killing me.
        Now I mostly wear flip-flops or flatties and it takes a while to adjust when I put my heels on.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I tried on a skirt that I loved which now fits me (yay!) Sadly, I’d forgotten about the slit up the front, which reveals too much of the cellulite knees and broken veins to be suitable for wear for the more mature woman.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember a lad I worked with had a late teen growth spurt so his trousers were a bit on the short side, a younger cheeky apprentice suggested that he spread jam on his shoes and invite his trousers down for tea. He just dodged the smack around the ear.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I think this may be a regional thing too. My daughters swan around Norfolk in some strange rig-outs and when in Norwich I don’t feel out of place in some of my old hippie stuff. You can still buy it in several shops there, but wearing it in Peterborough might get a few stares

    Liked by 3 people

  4. As usual, your stories and memories crack me up. Vince and I saw a pair of bell-bottom pants walking along the streets of Prescott on a very young person. What goes around… A few weeks ago our neighbor invited us to visit their new home. The oldest daughter, aged 14, took me upstairs to share her wardrobe which she carefully curates constantly – hundreds of shoes, hats, sunglasses, short skirts, long pants, and flowing dresses. Her advice to me was to wear whatever looks good on your body shape no matter what the style. (And she makes style look like something unique and from a fashion magazine.) She shops thrift shops and makes changes to her finds as needed to update them or make them fit better. It must work. She is gorgeous. I’m going to make the Goodwill Store, my go-to place. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m braver about my fashion choices when I’m not paying much for them. That way, when I come to sort through my wardrobe and find clothes I’ve never worn, I don’t feel so guilty about weeding them out if they came from a charity shop in the first place.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. LOL! My kitty makes sure that I don’t spend too much for blouses, at least. I can’t tell you how many holes he’s dug in my blouses. And worse, he no respecter of price or name brand.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Uh Oh! You opened up the floodgates now!
    I was a child of the sixties/seventies. Yes – a hippie. Now I’m an old hippie.
    This is what I wore in high school. I had a pair of purple, hip hugger, bell bottom jeans, and on occasion I even wore platform shoes. Of course, my hair was very long (still is) and parted down the middle. I even had a pair of octagon glasses. I was told that I looked very much like Janis Joplin. That made me so proud.
    What really bothers me is when the fashion industry refers to how we dressed back then as ‘a fad’. It was no more a fad back then as it is nowadays. I didn’t wear these things because it was a fading trend. I wore those items of clothing because:
    #1: That’s what was available to wear at the time. If the only available style back then were bottle caps glued together, then that’s what you’d wear. To me it had nothing to do with a fad. I don’t see how you could really be a slave to fashion because back then – as with every generation – there were different styles of clothing and I happened to latch onto the hippie look.
    #2: I really loved the style back then. I’ve always had my own style and never liked following what others say. It’s always been important that I stay true to me and what I like. Not what others choose.
    My hair is very long and thick and I’ve only been to a salon twice in my life, mainly because I’m very low maintenance. I don’t even wear makeup. Anyway, somebody suggested I do something different with my hair. When I saw what they had in mind I said, “No thank you!” These people only suggest these looks because they are the latest ‘trends’. EVERYBODY’S doing it! It’s all the rage! I don’t care what others are doing. I’m going to do what feels best for me.
    As I mentioned before, I don’t wear makeup and I went to one of those places where they will make your whole face up in hopes that you buy a product from them, just to see what they would do. She asked me what I was looking for. I told her something that complimented my facial features and my skin tone.
    When she was finished, she handed me a mirror and I was shocked. My whole face was pink. I’m Sicilian and have olive color skin. That did NOT look good on me at all. I stared at her blankly while thanking her, then headed to the nearest bathroom in the mall and proceeded to wash my face of all that pink. It was appalling!
    Another time, when I was homeless, an organization offered to pay everyone in the shelter to go to a salon to have their hair done, makeup and whatnot. The whole time the assistant was washing my hair she’s asking me if I’d like to get my hair cut. After all, women my age don’t have hair that long anymore. I kept telling her no. She wasn’t pleased with me at all.
    Next came tweezing my eyebrows. My eyebrows are very dark and thick. I expected the woman doing my eyebrows understood about the importance of following the natural brow line. She did not. When she was finished with me, my poor brows were very thin and did not follow the natural brow line. She did my brows according to how the latest fashion was. It took a month or two for my brows to grow out.
    Those in the world of fashion aren’t concerned with what looks good on you. They are more concerned with selling the latest styles.
    Another thing I’ve noticed that makes me mad. If a ‘nobody’ is walking down the street wearing something that doesn’t look very coordinated, either in regards to color or style, they are criticized for it. Yet, if a celebrity wears something that appears off and not coordinated much, the whole fashion industry goes gaga over it and you’ll hear something like, “Only so and so is able to pull off a look like this!” Absolutely brilliant!” I tell you, she’s a genius for being able to put a look like that together in such short notice!”
    To borrow some vernacular from those across the pond…… RUBBISH!!! That’s crazy. So, I don’t put much stock in advice from the fashion industry.
    Ever since my early 40s, I got into the habit of wearing long dresses. Not those peasant or granny dresses, but those really nice flowing ones that glide with you while walking. Here I am 64 and I still love that look. I wear what I want to wear, I still have my long, thick hair and I still don’t wear makeup. This is me!
    Okay, I’m stepping off my soap box……

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I love flowing – be it a long skirt or flowing trousers pr a roomy top. Even now I’ve lost some weight, I don’t feel comfortable in figure-hugging clothes.
      I wore my hair long until my thirties when I got fed up with washing it in a bucket when we were camping, and chopped off the top layer with nail scissors (a bit Rod Stewart, come to think of it…) When I went to get it cut properly later, the hairdresser said ‘Who cut this!’ so I said I had. I did try growing it again when I was between husbands, but it sadly lacks the necessary thickness to look good long. After a few short haircuts, I found I was ‘tidying it up’ myself once I got home and looked in the mirror to find uneven bits. One hairdresser had charged a fortune to lay into it with thinning shears, and I thought ‘Well, I can do that,’ so I did!. Now I cut it myself with the help of a comb-like shearing gizmo, thinning shears and haircutting scissors. I found that if I overdo it and get it horribly wrong it will grow back in a couple of weeks, and I can try again.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Incredibly, I’ve managed to keep my hair length all these years. Since the pandemic, though, I’ve had my hair braided. Really works out well for me!
        Do you regret that first time you had cut your hair and lost that thickness? When I was a small child, my mom had one of her sisters talk her into having my hair thinned. She regretted it and thankfully it grew back just as thick.
        Hair can be quite tricky and finicky.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. My youngest daughter lost her hair after chemo, (in fact, she invited her friends around for a head-shaving evening after it started falling out). She was relieved when it grew back thicker than ever.
          The first growth was curly, which I gather isn’t unusual after chemo, but after a while it has returned to its former straightness.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. After three rounds of chemo her scan showed her cancer wasn’t responding so decided she must have a slow-growing cancer that doesn’t respod to chemo. I’d gone to New Zealand ready to nurse her through her planned hysterectomy, but after more tests, the op never heppened. They found cancer in her lung lymph node so an op wouldn’t have got rid of it and it would have been a massive op with around six months recovery. She’s on Tamoxifen to starve the tumours of the hormones they feed on and one tumour has actually shrunk recently. She blogs about her cancer at http://www.mycancerand.me/.
            She has just returned from a 780km walk across Spain – my last blog post was a reblog of hers after returning.

            Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve always loved clothes. From the age of 16-18 I worked in a bank in London and made a friend who lived in London, so had access to Carnaby Street, Oxford Street and late night shopping on Thursdays. But I also was careful with my money. I’ve been tall since I can remember and never could buy trousers long enough, so learned to make them on my Mum’s treddle sewing machine. She told me that fashion goes in cycles and comes back, especially when I bought my first pair of platform sandals. I liked and still do, to do my own thing and be different. It seemed I had the first maxi coat where we lived, in Kent, bought with my wages, aged 16, from C &A in Oxford Street. I loved it. When I got home, my Mum confiscated it and said no daughter of hers was going to shame her in front of the neighbours! 🤣🤣🤣Other girls were still in micro minis and hot pants ( which I never wore) showing their knickers and all their legs.
    It was the same when I bought a midi skirt and midrif baring white top. Considering my Mum gave me my love of clothes it was a bit hypocritical. I was more in fashion with hair styles..lol 🤣

    Liked by 4 people

    1. My problem is opposite to yours – short legs – so I have to shorten most of my trousers. I was never in the forefront of fashion though, so my mum had generally got used to the look of things by the time I wore them.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. I am also the same era, as you know. I had an Ossie Clark dress that lived in the dressing up box after I’d finished with it. (I wore it a lot). When I went to salvage it in the late 80’s (when it was worth something) it had disappeared!
    Hey ho I hope whoever took it enjoyed it.
    I felt obliged to buy something from the original Biba shop in Church Road, Kensington. A rather nice skirt, but who knows what happened to that. Oh, and there was that long waistcoat and flared trousers made out of curtain fabric🤣. They also lived in the dressing up box after I’d done with them.
    Those are my memories of the 70’s fashion.
    I never started wearing jeans on a regular basis till I retired. (I think that was something to do with the stretchy fabric that had been developed by then)!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I must admit I spend most of the winter in jeans these days. I still love the old bell bottoms though in the summer, and lately I’ve been wearing a brown, wrapover skirt you’d probably recognise. I’m sure I had in my twenties

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Like you, I didn’t like the short trews that are everywhere now. Then I bought two pairs of warm merino trousers and shortened them to fig. Then I washed them : most of my merino things even go through the drier without harm. It’s a wonder textile. Oops, they shrank. I put them on the goodwill shelf… Then, wait a minute! Reframe. Now I wear them nearly every winter day, with boots. And glee.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I still have a pink shirt that used to be white before I washed it with a purple top. It has faded with time but is still unmistakeably pink (and I no longer wear white, so fortuitous

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.