Friday, November 2, 2012
Hot Pants - Kicky!
Of all the zany, wild fashions of the 70s, some actually bring back fond memories - memories that is of my wasted youth. The Hot Pants were one such fashion trend that is remembered fondly. Oh how I would have done better in school if it wasn't for those hot girls in their hot pants! Here are several pics of that most appreciated 70s fashion style.
Hot Pants - Kicky! The adjective Kicky is code for "Buy these and you'll induce tongue wagging lust in men and green-eyed envy in women while staying just inside the boundaries of current socially accepted fashion norms". The title of this page from Aldens Catalog in the early 70s is perfect for a blog page today. It is like the author was a blogger in the pre-internet era writing the title of a blog in the future which then finishes the blog of the past! Sort of like the time travel paradox, but with mail order catalogs! Yes you read it here first: fashion is like time travel with the past and the future co-existing simultaneously.
Ohh my head hurts from these metaphysical ponderings. But wait, look, Hot Pants, Yipppe! I feel better now!
You'll notice that Kathy is wearing a wig, at least I hope it is a wig because, to be honest, I don't find it a good look for her. You see her in this wig in a few shots from this era. Perhaps she is trying for a more sophisticated look, or perhaps she is trying to go incognito to hide the fact from the other members of the K Club (Kathy, Kay, Karen, and Colleen) that she is getting extra work at Aldens. In fact I almost missed her in this shot when I was scanning old photos.
You'll also note the strange dress coats that are shown over the Hot Pants with bottom buttons left strategically undone. So the message here is "Wear Hot Pants to be Kicky, but if you need to be a little more modest, wear this dress coats over them, but then if you still want to tease a little, leave the buttons undone". So it's another paradox: show leg, don't show leg, show leg. Time travel is almost easy to understand by comparison.
Ohh, another paradox, I'm feeling ill, like I'm back in some college Physics class about Quantum Mechanics. But wait, look, more Hot Pants, Yippeee!
Kickeroo! Who says you can't turn heads while being a child of the Age of Aquarius? This page from Simpsons Sears says, yes, you can have it all baby. Once again we have the Hot Pants with the strange dress coats - kinda like The Matrix meets Rowan and Martin's Laugh In. Simpsons Sears was the Canadian version of Sears. However, they must have used the same modeling agency because we have Kathy and Karen here too.
The expression on the girl on the right is great for this shot. It is like she dropped acid during a John Lennon concert and never came back. She's been humming "My Sweet Lord" ever since. Maybe that is why they had her wear the groovy indian headband with a heart! She's so stoned, she didn't even notice. I love the descriptions under the clothes. Kickeroo?!? What, are we in Australia or something?!? What does that mean exactly, and why the fixation of the word "kick" with Hot Pants. Maybe the same guy wrote both the Aldens and Simpsons Sears pages.
Yea, I know, another knit hat on Kathy that looks totally out of place with the outfit - except maybe for the 70s. And the footwear. Eke gads, those are hideous. Why wear Hot Pants to show leg and then cover them up with bizarro stockings and cloddy shoes and boots that must have taken 30 minutes to lace up? Oh I know, another paradox.
Ohhh, I'm fading again. But wait, look, Short Shorts! Double Yippeee!! I'm saved now!
Who wears Short Shorts? Kathy wears short shorts and looks amazing doing so in this shot from the 1976 JCPenney's Spring/Summer catalog. Short Shorts were the ultimate evolutionary expression of the Hot Pants lineage. And when they arrived, blamo! They were everywhere for a fleeting, glorious golden highlight of mid-70s fashion. Being banned from High Schools accross the land only made them more popular. Also 1970s anthropologists have noticed that the test scores of teenage boys plunged dramatically during this time. Coincidence or paradox?
Then it was all over. Hot Pants, Short Shorts, the Mini, they all seemed to vanish overnight into a 70s drug induced mist. Were they real or only imaginary? Perhaps fashion really is like the Time Travel paradox, where what we call the "past" and the "future" are only constructs of our own minds so that those terms have no meaning apart from our own existence. Or perhaps we do live in The Matrix (fashion version) where everything is an illusion and the images in the catalogs programmed our minds to accept that illusion . Say it ain't so! The Hot Pants HAD to be real! THEY HAD TO BE!!