Thursday, January 3, 2013

Budget Time!

One of things about Kathy and the other members of the K Club is that during their heyday, they were everywhere, and I do mean everywhere!.  Not only were they regulars year in and year out in the mainline catalogs but they appeared in print ads, newspaper inserts, circulars, and on the covers of products.  They had quite a nice little niche going at the time!

Perhaps there was a hierarchy in the modeling then as now, but I get the impression that it was a little different world then.  Remember there wasn't the exposure from endless cable TV channels and the internet back then, so perhaps the idea was to take as many assignments as possible.

As an example, let's check out a couple of pics of Kathy and her cohorts for the budget conscious shopper of the era.

First up is a mail order insert from something called Gift House Fashions....

Kathy dazzles in a "Screened Print Flower Top" garden fresh pantsuit that screams quality with every stitch!  "Bloom with Beauty" you betcha!  What fashionista wouldn't want to be seen out on the town in print flowers tied together with "perky" bows (how in the world can printed bows be "perky"?).  The pants make a definite fashion statement with "blissful s-t-r-e-t-c-h waistband" (in other words, if you're packing a few extra pounds, not to worry).  This ensemble simply wouldn't be complete without the "pearlized" buttons (normally only seen in shirts worn by Country and Western singers of the same time period!). 

Karen's "star burst" shirt is matched by another "comfy" elastic waist pants.  Meanwhile Dottie Harris (another catalog regular) shows off the "peek-a-boo" look.  This must be at  the high end of the line because this outfit is described as "glamorous" and "graceful".  Not to worry, however, as the pants still have that "comfort elastic waistband" that savvy shoppers of this line demand!

Finally, Kathy indeed shows us that "variety is fashion statement" (are they missing a word there?).  And variety is the one thing that is never in short supply when you are dealing with artificially colored man-made fabrics (orlon, acrylic, and polyester, oh my)!  Her "stunning" (yea that is one way to describe it) "wool feel" (of course it is not real wool, duh) pantsuit is "wonderful" and "brilliant" (okay, enough hyperbole, let's just stick with "economical" shall we?).  Every mindful of truth in advertising, they actually admit that the pockets are not real (who knew, budget clothing with a moral compass)!  And, finally and naturally, we have the ever present elastic waistband which seems to be the one constant in this low-end corner of the fashion world.
Not to be outdone, Eaton's counters with their Budget Bazaar which attempts to out shine the competition with a seemingly random assortment of eye-searing patterns (perhaps they should drug test their designers, especially for LSD!). 

Kathy and Karen each sport bizarrely long dresses which dispose of the "elastic waistband" problem by simply having no discernible waist at all!  The message here is clear ladies - don't worry about the figure.  You can moo moo your way all over town without any unsightly bulges showing, and if all else fails, the bright patterns will act as a kind of "dazzle camouflage".  Of course, to add that special touch, each dress comes with over sized white collars so common of the era.

Colleen goes upscale in a pantsuit obviously designed for comfort (her skinny legs probably got lost in those massive pant sleeves!).  This outfit does comes with a belt, but not to worry!  The belt is obviously designed to be loosened as needed for continuing comfort all day long.
Yes, we think back on the early 70s as the post-hippie era.  But as we can see, budget shoppers existed then as well as now.  And comfort NEVER goes out of fashion.  Long live the moo moo and the "elastic waistband" pantsuit.  May they forever occupy their rightful place in the pantheon of fashion styles!


  1. I remember these girls...especially Kathy! Will be checking each Friday....

    1. Glad you found the site! Hope you enjoy looking back on these crazy fashions of the early 70s as much as everyone else!