Last week's post on Glad Rags got me curious about what else was out there in the early 70s world of denim fashion and oh boy did get I blindsided. It seems that Glad Rags wasn't the outlier but instead it was right in step with the times! Of course, I shouldn't have been too surprised. After all denim is about the most American of fashion statements there is. Naturally JCPenneys was all over this as these pics demonstrate.
The first pic is titled "Bold Tartan Plaid and Deminy Blue". Isn't all tartan both bold and plaid? I can't say I've ever seen "subtle" tartan. Also, what does the adjective "denimy" mean? It's either denim or its not. Oh I get it. It's the mood the outfits set - like dreamy only, in this case, denimy.
Kathy is a fine lookin' young filly in a overall style dress seems to say "Yee haw ya'll. Meet me down at the JCP corral for a boot-scootin' night of two steppin, line dancin', and if it really gets wild - square dancin'!". Her expression seems to say "Yea, I'm sexy and I know it". Otherwise it looks like Hee Haw collided with Braveheart. Note that the boots are 14.5 inches and made of leather! No pleather here in this pre-peta age! Not sure why one would wear work boots to a square dance, but they definitely give the outfit a casual, working-on-the-farm feel.
Meanwhile Karen's outfit looks like Braveheart goes corporate with a combination tartan vest, pants, and a three button denim jacket (with tartan trim) and a red scarf. Hmmm, let's see, she is wearing a shirt, a vest, AND a jacket - seems a bit much. Also this ensemble seems to violate the denim-on-denim rule (1). And both ensembles seem to violate the tartan-on-tartan rule (2). You know a little tartan goes a long way, no need to overdo it.
As a bonus, there is something about both photos in this post that is unusal for catalog shots in this era. Can you spot it? The answer appears at the end (no peaking!).
Next up is another pic of Kathy and Karen wearing more denim, this time tartan-less.
Karen's sweater seems to scream "Hey over here, notice me!" with the 60s rainbow colors on the sweater AND the sleeves. You see this kind of reach back to the 60s every once in a while in these pics. Meanwhile, Kathy's outfit definitely looks like it came out a modern Cabela's catalog with the western style look, except for the massive gaucho pants! Good thing she is sitting down in these because those things are not kind to any girl's figure (sorry, ladies but guys don't find these at all attractive on girls). Maybe she DEMANDED to sit down for the shot "No, if you're going to make me wear these gawd awful things, I'm going to pose where they don't make me look fat. And we'll be talking to my agent later!" And again Kathy spotlights knee high leather boots, but in this case they look a bit more dressy and come in high heels!
Once again can you spot what is unusual about these two pics?
Footnotes: (Second post with footnotes!)
(1) The denim-on-denim rule is that you are not allowed to wear more than one piece of denim apparel at a time. The only exceptions are: you are a real cowboy doing actual cowboy work (such as roping a calf), a member of a motorcycle gang (who is going to tell them no?), or John Wayne.
(2) I just made up the tartan-on-tartan rule for this post, but it is like the denim-on-denim rule except there is only one acceptable exception: you are playing bagpipes and wearing a kilt.
Answer to the quiz.
When I first pulled these pics I got the strangest feeling that something was different about them compared to the usual catalog pics of the era. Then it hit me. Look at the eyes. That's right! Both models in both shots are looking directly at the camera instead of staring blankly off at some odd, unexplainable angle like a human mannequin on narcotics. They are posing for the pics like, well, a normal person would. Both of these photos are from 1976, so perhaps the style of modeling was changing.