Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Retro Fashion

Sue , this one's for you. You wanted to see a picture of my going-away outfit, so here it is. For anyone who couldn't figure it out, I'm the one on the left. The other girls were my best college buddies. The dress and coat were made of ecru linen, and the dress inside was a sleeveless a-line sheath. I was wearing an orchid corsage. The orchid was detached from the center of my wedding bouquet. That was how many bouquets were made at the time. The shoes were the height of fashion, brown mary-janes. It was a very cold day, and there was an ice storm going on, so I was pretty near freezing. I shopped for a long time for this outfit, but then, as now, winter clothes could not be bought in the winter. Since I hadn't bought the outfit six months in advance, I had to buy spring clothes when I shopped. I must have just put this on right before the picture was taken, or at least I hadn't sat down, because it seems, if memory serves, that the outfit wrinkled if you just looked at it crooked. I doubt I wore it very much after this occasion because it had to be dry-cleaned, and it was impossible to keep neat-looking. Not the wisest clothing purchase I ever made.

Of course, this outfit looks pretty conservative compared to many of the clothes that were the style in the early 70's. My kids love to look at the pictures of my jumpsuits and hot pants outfits with knee-high boots. I loved the jumpsuits, but I really didn't like the hot pants outfits. I wore them because Terry bought them for me, and he liked them. I didn't wear them often, however, because I tended to be conservative in my dress, and I felt like I stood out like a sore thumb when wearing them. Another clothing trend was culottes with opaque hose, which I liked to wear a lot.

When I started teaching in September, 1970, dresses and skirts were required wear for female teachers. During that first year I taught, the rule was made that we could wear pants suits. Not just slacks and sweaters, mind you, but actual dressy outfits with matching tops and bottoms. I was really glad to see that happen, because my legs never have been my best feature, and I was more than happy to cover them up. I went out and bought several to go with the short dresses and skirts that were also the style.

Not so surprisingly, much of what was popular then has returned to fashion today, just with different names. Hot pants are just short shorts, but I don't see too many people wearing white patent leather knee-high boots with them, which is just as well, believe me! Culottes are today's split skirts, and I see them a lot on the fashion pages, along with jumpsuits. Fabrics are different, and so are the names, but the trends are the same. I even saw a pair of shoes EXACTLY like my favorite shoes of the 70's made by the same manufacturer advertised in the paper last week. I could hardly believe my eyes. I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Today I am content with slacks and t-shirts, sweatshirts, or sweaters. You will almost never see me in a skirt. In the summer I will don capri pants, or what we used to call pedal-pushers when I was a kid. Shoes for me today are strictly chosen for comfort and tend to sneakers or pull-ons with sneaker soles. In the summer, I have a few pair of heavy duty sandals that I wear. Nothing so dainty or sexy for me anymore. It's all about neatness with comfort! Life is good...


Susie said...

What fun to see you in your going away outfit! You look so happy..
My orchid corsage came out of the middle of my bouquet too. I had forgotten that part!
Loved your memories of fashion in those long ago days. When I worked at the telephone company in the late 60's we could only wear dresses or skirts. What fun climbing up onto those high stools dressed like that!
I'm sure I have some pictures of me in some of those other styles you described.
Fun post Nancy!

Anonymous said...

Oh, but why didn't you post the hot pants and boots picture? ;-)

I only wish you had saved some of those clothes. Perhaps I could fit into a crazy outfit or two and wear them for halloween or something :-)