Vintage Style #9: Soul Crushing Fashion Advice

I found this little gem at a flea market the other day. Imagen the possibilities: a book about how to dress and manage your appearance written in 1977!  With every page I turned, another horrific fashion atrocity was revealed.  The fact that, of all possible fashiones to choose from to grace the cover, the publishers decided on an African American woman in some sort of bizarre housemaid outfit says it all.

The picture above is from Chapter 6: "Heads Up for Good-Looking Hair".

"...Some styles help to cover up a long skinny neck. Others can hide ears that stick out or a forehead that is too wide."
This book is chock full of examples of how to cover up your God given ugliness.

Another example of lovely advice on how to de-emphasize your natural born unattractiveness. My wife tells me that they still do this in women's magazines. No wonder so many women have complexes about their appearance. I never even thought about whether my "forehead is too wide", until I read it in this book!

Some teenagers can wear all three primary colors and look great. In other words, some teenagers do not look great - some look absolutely horrible. I wonder if you're one of those teenagers that looks like shit in primary colors. I'm not trying to give you a complex or anything. I'm just sayin'.

"Everyone wants to look super. This trait is admired as much or more than beautiful features. It is not something you're born with; it is a look you can achieve. Whether you like it or not, your looks affect and reflect everything about you. This includes your mood, ego, school work and friends." (pg.40)

Translation: You were not born attractive, but it is something you can strive for. If you do not achieve it, your grades, friendships, and entire state of mind will go straight to hell.

Other than soul crushing fashion advice, this book did provide an interesting look at late seventies fashion. For instance, a page of clothing tags (above) brought back a flood of memories. Plus, the plethora of images of past fashion crimes made this book a definite page turner.

One final note: In the chapter on modeling, there's a picture of two child models. The girl looks remarkably like Brooke Shields.  She was born in 1965, which would make her12 when this book was published. The girl in photo is probably younger than 12, but there's no telling when this picture was taken. Hmmm. Interesting.

So class, what have we learned today? Hide your natural ugliness like your life depends on it. If you can't hide that long neck, those big ears, and wide hips, the best thing to do is just pray for death.


  1. I read a book called "Dress for Sucess" by John Molloy that was published in the 1975. It was the 1980s when I read it and it was WAY out of date then. Flared pants, high heel boots for men (women like the look of a man's back side when he wears them) and other interesting tidbits.

  2. The girl might be Phoebe Cates. She was like the poor man's Brooke Shields in the 70's and 80's.

  3. Last picture (with headphones) is Brooke Shields...

  4. I've always wondered just what the hell is in the distance that all catalog models are looking into with a small smile. Someone with actually nice clothes?

  5. I like the outfit on the black girl.
    "Tamara Dobson in 'Pippi Longstocking Comes to Harlem'. She kicks the Man's ass while she warms your heart!"
    That is Brooke in the photo but who is that with her? He looks familiar. Some long forgotten child star of the 70s I guess.

  6. Interesting. So it is Brooke Shields.

    However, that's not my favorite picture in the set. I like the dude blow drying his hair. That settles it, time to grow me a 'stache!