Friday, July 3, 2015

Fashion Flashback: The 70's

 
    My spare closet is stuffed with clothing from the bygone era of my youth. This includes a few maternity outfits from the late 1980's that I just haven't had the heart to part with. Goodwill probably wouldn't want a tent-size nautical shirt with a big white bow on the collar, anyway.

     When I pull a few of these old relics out of my closet, I'm instantly transported back in time. There's the pinstripe satin shirt and blue velour knickers I wore on my first date with my husband. And let's not forget the sequin tube top and red leather pants that were a big hit on the disco floor in 1980. 

     But what I really miss are my clothes from the 70's. I often wonder what happened to them. Maybe my old halter tops and corduroy pants are part of a moth-eaten, patchwork quilt in somebody's attic. Or maybe they're trapped beneath a pile of non-biodegradable diapers in a landfill somewhere in south Florida. 

     It seems like only yesterday that I was walking to middle school in my hip hugger, bell bottom jeans and a pair of my Dr. Scholl shoes. I also had a red bodysuit with snaps at the crotch, but that was long before I hit my "jelly roll" stage at fifteen. The bodysuit had a short lifespan once I realized that I needed to be a contortionist in order to unsnap the outfit quickly when the urge to pee hit.

     The boys I dated wore some pretty sharp outfits as well. Tartan plaid pants with wide belts and turtleneck sweaters were all the rage. This was accented by shaggy hair that dusted the tops of their shoulder blades, and every boy I knew kept a comb in his back pocket. It wasn't until the mid to late 70's that I found myself drawn more to boys in white painter pants and tight, nylon shirts. Bonus points if they wore a Puka shell necklace or an Italian horn on a gold chain around their neck. 

     Stepping out for senior prom in the 1970's meant pastel colored leisure suits and platform shoes for the boys while the girls donned flowy, chiffon  gowns and carried dainty, seed pearl purses. 

     You name it, I owned it:

*Terry cloth shirts (they could have doubled as car towels)
*Gaucho pants with a belted tunic and boots (safari bound?)
*Fringe shawls (they should have come with knitting needles and a rocking chair)

*Hot pants (these left little to the imagination for the boys) 
*Wool poncho with a fur collar (not sure where the fur came from: Raccoon? Possum? Squirrel?)
*Shirts with high, ruffled collars (channeling my inner granny) 
*Crochet hats and bandanas (best way to hide a bad hair day)
*Rabbit fur purse with a rabbit's foot keychain attached to the strap (okay, that was just MESSED UP)
*Jeans with bright stitching on the outside (long before we knew what a Bedazzler was)
*Elephant pants (yes, they really were large enough to hide an elephant inside….or chunky thighs)
*Smock tops with ruffled sleeves (nothing screamed "maternity top" more than these super blousy shirts. Not cool when you're twelve)
*Midi skirts (should have come with a warning: "Not designed for women with cankles")
*White overall shorts (going for the naughty "farmer's daughter" look)
*Chunky I.D. bracelet with my boyfriend's name etched across the front (the bracelet lasted longer than the boy)

*Wooden clogs (yeah, those were really comfortable…. for about two seconds)
*Quilted denim vests and skirts ( yes, we thought looking like human bed covers was attractive)


       My husband didn't have quite the variety of "stylish" clothing that I owned, but he had his share of outfits that belong in a section of the Smithsonian called, "Ugly Fashion From The 70's That We Hope NEVER Comes Back In Style."

*Paisley shirts in bright colors (throw in some psychedelic drugs and these shirts would have you tripping in no time)
*Wide leather belts with a marijuana leaf or peace sign belt buckle (nothing like advertising your extra curricular activities)
*Corduroy pants (pretty hip, especially if you owned them in egg plant purple or mustard yellow)
*Aviator sunglasses (no airplane necessary)
*Leather or silk headbands (think Jimi Hendrix or Tonto)
*Cut-off denim shorts (these were so short that the frayed ends tickled the testicles)
*T-shirts with popular sayings printed across the front ("Sock It To Me," or "Keep On Truckin'."  Too bad "WTF" t-shirts didn't exist back then…)
*ANYTHING that was tie-dyed (this type of clothing was enhanced by black lights and sandalwood incense)
*Denim overalls (no shirt required)
*Polyster sports suits (in colors that made you look like you owned a Good Humor ice cream truck)
*Fringed leather jackets (Davy Crockett wanna-be)
*Plaid, cotton madras shirts (channeling your inner lumberjack)

*Nylon shirts and gold chains around the neck (the shirt was left unbuttoned to the middle of the chest----back when hairy chests were considered sexy and razors were obsolete)                                                                             *Velour pantsuits ( maroon ones with gold stripes were especially popular. What the hell were we thinking?)
*POW bracelets (because everybody knew somebody who was fighting in the Vietnam War)
*Jackets with wide lapels (large enough to use as landing flaps)
*Suede cloth jumpsuits (good thing they didn't come in orange, otherwise you would have been mistaken for an escaped convict)
*Desert boots and "earth" shoes (ugly as sin, not to mention the nasty foot odor caused from wearing them)
*Corduroy sports jackets with leather patches on the elbows (what were those patches for, anyway? Walking around on your elbows? Protection from rug burns?)

     Some people might view the 70's as an era of fashion disasters, but I'm all in favor of bringing sexy back with some gaucho pants, smock tops and a velour pantsuit!



***WANT MORE MENO MAMA? I am honored to have TWO posts featured on Midlife Boulevard this week as part of their "Best Blogs From The Past."! One is a humor piece about hot flashes, and the other is about the hunger games we play during menopause. You can read them here:  http://midlifeboulevard.com/hot-flashes/   and: http://midlifeboulevard.com/menopause-hunger/ 


   





    

56 comments:

  1. Omg you and your husband were such 70s hotties! I love it! My moms dad was a clothing designer and my mom had allllll the fashions back in the 60s and 70s. She still has some in the closet!
    What songs played at your senior prom??? I'd love to know!! #musicgeek

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    1. Oh gosh! Music then was KC & The Sunshine Band, Kiss….I'm drawing a blank right now but there were soooo many good bands back then. LOVE music from the 70's and 80's the best.

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  2. OMG these pics are freakin' priceless! You rock! My parents were hoarders and threw nothing away so Uncle Jeffy and I raided their closets and had some really swingin' 70's parties with their vintage clothes. We were the swankiest dressers. Jeff reached in the pocket of my Dad's plaid green 3 piece suit and honest to GAWD there was a horse racing ticket dated from 1976. Oh Yea Baby he was stylin' at the track!!!

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    1. That is freaking AWESOME!!!! What a cool find and I would LOVE to see some pics of your outfits!!

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  3. You are bringing back so many memories with this one.. I haven't heard anyone talk of Puka shelves for quite some time! I had gauchos as well, and jeans that had rainbow stitching that ran down the front that I absolutely adored!

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    1. I loved the gauchos---they hid leg imperfections really well!

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  4. I love it! My mom and dad have some old pics like this. We always laugh at my dad's pics because he had a huge head of curly hair and a long mustache. We always kid he rocked the Jew-fro! LOL

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    1. Nowadays everyone calls the thick mustaches like my hubs used to have as "porn-staches" ha-ha!

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  5. This was so hilarious! I can't believe how much of that stuff I owned! Great look back at our past mistakes. They say what goes out comes back in...hopefully it won't be for a very long time!

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    1. I'm Still waiting for shoulder pads to come back in style….

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  6. From what I remember, we took a lot more time putting our outfits together in the 70s. In fact, it was important that your underwear (if you wore it) had to match as well. Your purse was changed to match your outfit every day and the clips in your hair

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    1. Yes!!! And the shoes and hats had to match as well!

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  7. Oh my Marcia, that was a huge walk down memory lane... I owned many of those clothing items... what was I thinking???... lol

    I see people trying to bring back the 70's clothing... as long as they bring it up to date, I'll get on the bandwagon ... otherwise I have MUCH better taste now... ♡

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    1. I'm all for big blouses and bell bottom jeans!

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  8. Ahhhh, love this flashback, Marcia! I wasn't quite in those years but my older siblings sure fit these fashions. My brother had a suede, fringed leather jacket he loved and wore on Saturday night. He and his friends would gather around the stereo with a beer in hand, listening to Elton John's "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting" before they went out. LOL. No to the jumpsuits, velour and polyester. Some of these fashions are back in. I stay away from anything I've already worn in another decade. Why did hairy chest go out of fashion? Too hairy is a bit much but I don't care for the no hair look. That could be a whole separate post! Love your photos! I must read your post on hot flashes as I've been suffering from them. ARGH. Happy Friday, Marcia and thanks for the entertaining 70's post. :)

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    1. Thank you, Lisa! I agree---a little chest hair is a GOOD thing. I don't understand why everyone shaves every inch of hair off their bodies now.

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  9. These photos are awesome! So cool to see the old styles!

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    1. I seriously wonder where all those clothes are today…..

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  10. Once again, Marcia hits it on the nose! I remember all those embarassing styles! Elephant flare bellbottom pants, and wrap around skirts, boots (I had probably 3 to 6 pairs of kick ass boots in the day), Candies uncomfortable damn mules, clogs...ah the memories! I'm so glad you mentioned the puka shell necklace rage! Took me back to a simpler day, in a lot of ways. Why did we make it so stressful based upon ridiculous fashion trends?! Teenagers! Glad to say I no longer dwell upon coordinating my outfits. Basically, if I'm dressed, and I have a bra on...you done got the snazzy look! Thanks for the chuckles, as you always supply with such generosity. Love your ability to take me back to those days! You soooo rock, Marcia!

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    1. You are sooooo sweet Dawn---thank you! I love remembering things like this and sharing those memories with dear readers like you. OMG Candies---I owned several pairs---those were some S-E-X-Y shoes!!!

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  11. I had many of the style clothes you did. Maybe my old clothes are off somewhere with yours. I'll tell you this, though, I wouldn't be caught dead in half the stuff I wore back then (although I DID just hear that bell bottoms are coming back in style).

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    1. As long as they keep long tunics and leggings in style, I'll be a happy camper!

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  12. I love it! Culottes are back as split skirts. Can Gaucho pants be far behind?

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    1. OMG you are so right!!! Culottes, for crying out loud!!!

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  13. We must be around the same age because I too had a red body suit with snaps at the crotch. Must have been designed by men who never dreamed that girls who wore this fashion atrocity would have to unsnap those darn snaps when they peed....and when they went to change their pad during their (egads) time of the month!! Thanks for a great peek back in time!!

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    1. I totally forgot how horrible those things were if you had your period. I wouldn't doubt if it was designed by a man!

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  14. I remember guys wearing plaid shirts called "madras" with matching belts. What were we thinking? Happy 4th to you.

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    1. I've heard that plaid shirts are making a comeback. Time to channel your inner lumberjack, Stephen. Happy 4th!

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  15. Too fun! I just popped over from the MBA FB group.

    Shellie
    www.thefabjourney.com

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  16. OMG. I remember all that stuff. It was the height of fashion!

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  17. I don't know what was worse - the 70's fashion or the 80's outfits!

    Hope you and your family have a great July 4th weekend! Enjoy and have fun.

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    1. I LOVED 80's fashion. Stay tuned--that will be another post in the future :)

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  18. Hot Hubs, Marcia.
    I think I saw him in an 80s porno movie. Just kidding!! LOLlll.
    Loooove Elephant pants. Still.
    you. bring. light & laughs.
    PS. I think we'd have lots to talk about over wine! xxx

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    1. Ha-Ha I agree! Yeah, that's my Tom Selleck look-alike right there---sporting a porn-stache!

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  19. Oh, yes, those bring back memories. Some I'd rather forget.
    Brenda

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  20. Awesome!! I miss my real lace up grannie boots the most - I have no idea whatever happened to them. And love the prom dress. Jessica McClintock??? I was so proud of my antique blue Jessica McClintock prairie dress!! Thanks for sharing these amazing memories!

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    1. OMG yes---the prairie dresses!!! I had a pale green one!

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  21. Hi Marcia,
    I was born in 1974, so I was pretty much wearing diapers when you were toying around with Culottes:) Loved the extensive list though, kind of gives you a feel of the 70 for real! I'd love to hide myself in those elephant pants:) xx Abby

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    1. I have to admit, they were super comfy….

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  22. Hi Marcia,
    So that you don't think that with me it's just hot air - I've finally put that 10 euros aside and bought your book from Amazon. I'm so exited to read it:)
    Abby

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    1. YAY!!!! I'm so excited---thank you!! Let me know what you think and hopefully if you get a chance, leave a tiny review on Amazon? Pretty please? :)

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  23. I remember Jessica McClintock!!! I sewed a dress with one of her patterns that I got at JoAnne Fabrics. lol I can picture it now. And I still have the terry cloth shirt my mom had made for me when I was the mascot of the baseball team she coached when I was 2. There's a chocolate ice cream stain still on it. ;)

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    1. And I bet you remember the day you got the stain clearly! Ha!

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  24. The fashion of the past is actually coming back now. :)

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  25. Thanks for the flashback. This was a great post and I love your little comments about them. I admit I'm not a fan of the 70's styles, but the memories... I was an 80's teenager and early 20s child, so I migrated fairly quickly to the Florenza sweaters, Swatch, and Guess jeans. LOL!

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    1. Ohhhh I loved all of those things, too….reminds me of the TV show, "When Boy Meets World."

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  26. This is awesome, Marcia! I miss my favorite plaid pants that I wore ALL THE TIME in the 70's! I miss them a lot. Not only were they plaid, but had huge flaired bell-bottoms. Awesome. Also LOL to the men's shirts being unbuttoned 1/2-way down their chests! Ha!

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    1. What I wouldn't give to see a picture of you in those crazy plaid pants, LOL!

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  27. You introduced so many new things and styles to me, today. As I grew up in India, had no clue of most of the changing fashions of 70s. Only you could do it. Touching the testicles....ROFL..Indian fashion and clothing needs a post altogether. But they say fashion repeats...doesn't it? Don't be surprised if your 70s clothes become the new trend in 2020. You will be the epitome of fashion then. Loved your pics, Marcia :)

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    1. Thank you so much!!! I would love to see photos of Indian fashion from the 70's!

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  28. Memories..... Dr Scholls and rabbit fur purses, some of my favs.

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    1. I wish I still had my Dr. Scholls…… NOT.

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