Thursday, April 03, 2008

Memories - - Stuff I Wore

I was in one of my closets the other day and noticed something hanging next to my old Navy Uniform - - a shirt I haven't worn since I was in my late teens. I was kind of startled to discover I still had it and a quick look told me it wouldn't fit anymore, but still. It was a button up shirt, long sleeved, that was dark, dark blue, almost a black covered with what could only be described as electric blue sparking effect all over it. It was fairly fashionable in the mid-70s but today would be considered a bit . . . strange.

I was watching a cable channel that showed mostly old sit-coms and was seeing an episode of The Partridge Family in which Lorie Partridge was dating a guy out of pity and in order to show just how out of it this guy was it zoomed to his feet to show him with what was then the ultimate fashion faux pas; he was wearing white socks, something no self-respecting male would do in the 70s. My old socks were mostly blacks, blues, and browns with one or two red pair but white socks were a no no! (Except in gym class.)

A man in high-heels? We didn't call them high-heels, though that's really what they were though they were bulkier than a woman's high heels. We called them platform shoes and everyone had them. I think I got rid of my last pair after I graduated from college as they had faded.

It's kind of strange but I don't think the school janitor needed to sweep the floor when I was in school because we swept it for him, constantly. Our bell bottom trousers dragged on the floor when we walked and only the toes of our shoes stuck out from underneath.

Our good suits followed a set pattern. The trousers (again bellbottoms or flairs) were usually printed in some way, mostly stripped, checked or plaid and were relatively light in color. Our suit jackets were solid and colored in a dark color that harmonized and contrasted with the trousers. The shirt could be white or a lighter shade of the jacket's color while the tie would be either the same color as the jacket, or follow the pattern of the trousers.

Two things about the ties we wore. My junior and senior years in High School bow ties were quite popular and were sometimes worn with casual clothing. Our neckties weren't these skinny things that people were today but were WIDE and I think I still have a couple that range from an inch and half wide to two and a half inches wide. When narrow ties started coming back into fashion I didn't like them one bit. (Of course I still believe that the neck tie is the most completely useless article of clothing ever created.)

Our trousers or slacks were usually printed in some way even in our casual cloths. Also they did not wrap around our waists but hugged the hips on both sexes. When a shapely young lady with a tight top and tight hip-hugger slacks went by . . . well what can one say. Of course when young women wore halter tops and hip huggers . . . hmmm memories. Of course I was young myself then.

I think the clothing I grew up wearing was more colorful than what I see a lot of today. Printed tee shirts existed and most people had a few, but they were minor items in most wardrobes.

No self-respecting male would dare to have pierced his ears.

Tattoos were uncommon, though a few people had them.

Womens' fashion of course was different, and yet in some ways not as different. The Dukes of Hazzard did not exist so those shorts weren't called "Daisy Dukes" but "Hot Pants." Spike heels were not generally worn but a platform style shoe was where the sole and heel was one solid piece that ran the full length of the shoe. Another thing that most women, of all ages, wore was a charm bracelet. Those were kind of cool and I was kind of sorry to see them fade, even though I would have never worn one.

Nike shoes did not exist but we were proud of our Adidas style gym shoes.


Blogger Mark said...

I remember the bell bottoms alright, they would drive me nuts now, going swish, swish, swish with every step? how the hell did we walk in those things? I remember a pair I had that were striped red white and blue! wouldn't they be classy today?

my two favorite suits I remember were a denim one and a corduroy one. the denim was brushed and bleached, the cord had a reversible vest, light brown like the coat or chocolate brown to get that bit o color! cool! huh? now I won't even get in a suit for a funeral, sorry, maybe a sportcoat, that that's it.

sideburns and a cookie duster were a must. I still have the cookie duster, though I went without one thru most of the '80s, oh, can't forget the shag hairstyles!

11:30 PM  
Blogger Skip said...

I realize that I am from the "Tshirt as bumoer stickers for humans" age but I remember my OLDER brothers way of dress, (one pair of brown two-tone ankle breakers sticks in my mind.) I still have to admit those plaid slacks and wire rimmed galsses from my 7th grade dance were ummmm
My girls (16 and 20) look at our yearbooks and laugh as much as we did our parents. But they would kill to have some of the retro looks from SR's yearbook.

11:42 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

I'm older than you, Shoprat. I had young children in the 70's that I sewed those bell bottoms for. I also remember buying normal jeans for them, slitting them up the sides and sewing in colorful inserts. That seemed to be all the rage in the third and second grades! LOL! I still have a pair of those jeans that I showed my oldest daughter the other day and she covered her face with her hands and said "Oh, my Lord! I wore THOSE!? Yep, and she loved them. As for me, I didn't wear pants, I wore dresses and suits and normal shoes, fashion be dam*ed! :)

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Tom said...

How times have changed...

One of the things that I have noticed about the young people here in Germany is that they have colored hair (red, green, blue...) and are much more liberal with piercings than any US school. And this is both male and female.

Next is that the older people (my age & younger) are picking up the hair coloring, but not the piercings, or at least as much.

Have no ideas about tattoos - the weather is still a little cool to observe any skin decorations.

1:43 PM  

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