Vintage Style #20

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This is what I love about the seventies - no one seemed too worried about being low key.  It's not as if we were color blind, we knew we were blowing your mind with a palette straight from the bloody bowels of hell. Check out the guy in the image above. He's rockin' a lemon yellow shirt, black sweater vest, white belt and madras pants.... literally, a cavalcade of bad, and yet he is loving life.  Whether you love it or hate it, you've got to admire the chutzpa.

Ah, yes. One of the defining fashions of the seventies was the knee-high striped sock.  I remember feeling like quite the fashion plate when I could coordinate my sock stripes with my shirt or shorts.  It's almost alien to look at now, it's so counter to today's fashion of "no show" socks.  Coupled with ultra short shorts, striped tube socks were basically the uniform of kids in the seventies. I even remember the Life-Savers socks - the sock answer to the Mork rainbow suspenders. Hideously awesome.

If you didn't know, FHA stands for Future Homemakers of America.  I don't know if this once common school club is still around (the name sounds mighty politically incorrect), but their 1974 fashion show (pictured above) had me doing a double take.  Despite the Puerto Rico posters on the wood paneling, this photo is from an American High School Yearbook. Get a load of the gal on the bottom left! Words fail me.

Say what you like, but no one in the seventies and early eighties could be accused of being "fashion constipated".  All sorts of crazy shit was worn by average folks; whereas, now everyone looks sort of meh.... except for the late night denizens of Wal-Mart.

The Fashion Triangle
This is the concept of fashion shape between the 70s and 80s. In the 70s, you had wider clothes at the bottom of the body (i.e. flares) and the narrow clothes at the top.  In the 1980s, the triangle reversed its self... skinny jeans and shoulder padding coupled with larger hair.  Nowadays, the triangle can be worn in any direction and called 'trendy'.

.... just thought I'd throw this one at you for the road.  The question that instantly comes to mind regarding many of the seventies fashions is "were they on drugs?"  The answer to that question, dear reader, is an emphatic "Yes".


  1. AnonymousMay 18, 2011

    You are so right. Fashion is so boring nowadays. In the '60s, '70s and '80s, there was all sorts of wacky stuff you could wear, fashion wise, and just have fun with it. Embarrassment aside, one of the pleasures of growing older is to look back at one's youth and enjoy just how bizarre/wacky/odd/funky/strange were the clothes we used to wear.

    1. You say it is boring, like in normal? Would you not classify the same if we were in the '60s, '70s, or '80s? It is only boring because we have not yet passed the state of nostalgia. Give it ten years and you will feel differently. Noting you posted in 2011, you have a few years left until you realize your statement was slightly skewed.

  2. Short well-fitting shorts and tall striped socks need to come back. Baggy pants to the knee (or halfway down the calf like some idiots wear) are NOT attractive. C'mon, all it will take is one overpaid NBA star to wear some during practice and the rest of the world will copy him. I haven't been able to buy shorts for probably 10 years because they're all so fucking long and stupid.

    Re: last photo. The Roaring '20s trend that they revived in the '70s was just weird. You could tell who the rich bad guy was in a '70s cop show because he dove some hideous car that looked like a Stutz Bearcat, probably an Excalibur, and he ran a disco that had a '20s dance contest and all the chicks dressed in flapper garb.

  3. Okay, I totally need denim cowboy boots. Not so much the pointed ones with stitches, but that squared off pair? yes.

    Holly (who used to be Hef's main gf on 'The Girls Next Door') always wears super short shorts and knee socks with the stripes. She used to give packs of them as gifts to the other Playmates.

  4. I have the same complaint about shorts as Mr. Armpit. It is so hard to find men's shorts which don't go to the knee or have a million pockets.

    I can sure remember most of the clothes you're showing here but I do not remember denim cowboy boots. Denim pants, jackets, skirts, I even dated a girl who wore denim overalls. But I never saw denim boots.

  5. nanette rMay 18, 2011

    fwiw, FHA is now renamed FCCLA (future community and ?????? leaders of america)but it had its heyday, which i am proud to have been an FHA office 3 years running, and the yearly style show was one of the high points of the year. my school would not have allowed us to dress like the girl on bottom left. no way no how!!!

    1. Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America.

  6. I miss those short shorts! The tube socks and short shorts were always seen in gym class in the late 70s and early 80s when I was in high school. Rarely could I ever have a matching pair of tube socks...they always had mis-matched stripes. Even if you watch old footage of NBA games from the 60s through the 80s, they all wore the short shorts...but now all they wear are those giant shorts that look awful!

  7. Tracey Y.May 20, 2011

    Tube sox! Bringing back bad memories of Jr. High gym class ...