Friday, January 18, 2013

That's So 70s - Fashion as Couples Therapy

I noticed that I began a lot of posts with the phrase "One of weirdest fashion trends of the early 70s was __________".  So I thought, in the interest of efficiency that we could dispense with that phrase and just title these pieces "That's so 70s".

And one such example of that era was fashion as couples therapy.  In every catalog they pushed these insanely whacked out "his and her" coordinated clothes usually in the brightest colors that can be had with artificial fabrics.  Maybe it was a reaction to the sexual revolution "We're a couple, damn it! See, we even wear the same outlandish coordinated clothes".  Or perhaps it was just an example of 70s indulgence and narcissism on a family level "Hey, look at us, even though we're a married suburban couple, and we're still cool and all".

Not sure what I am talking about?  Let's ease into it with a toned down example (toned down for the 70s that is) and work our way up...

Matching shirt and blouse (down to the pointy collars), check!  Matching denim pants, check!  Matching belts, check!  And of course, matching denim leisure suit style jackets, check!  What are they trying to pull off?  It is like disco night down at the local rodeo.  It turns out just totally confused!  Adults should not wear denim, especially to work. Adults should not wear leisure suits, especially to work.  Ergo, adults should not wear denim leisure suits, especially to work, especially as a couple.  You'll notice one nod to "normalcy".  The buttons on the blouse and shirt are on the correct side for the gender.  Otherwise it looks like some sort of unisex nightmare!

Want something a little more blue collar oriented?  Not to worry.....

Matching unisex overalls for the couple that works all day together at the construction site (or more likely in their backyard suburban garden on the weekends).  They even come with matching hammer loops!  I'm surprised that they didn't come with matching lunch pails and hardhats!  Somehow, Kathy again manages to look totally cute / hot even in that garb.  The guy looks to be an early Zac Efron wanna be.

These his and hers coordinates weren't always exactly alike.  The more sophisticated (or kitschy) ones had a theme to them as shown below....

Ahh, how cute!  The shirt / blouse obviously go together but they are different parts of the same scene. Kathy is "up in the clouds" while the dude is trying to "get it up" in the balloon.  On second thought I better move on to the next pic before this gets out of hand.

Finally to highlight just how goofy these coordinates could get...

Hey, if you need symbols to know which one of you is the guy and which is the girl, then you have some serious relationship problems that I don't think you'll be able to solve with "His 'n Her" Sleepwear from Sears (Just a hint, Karen is the girl, no additional info required).

What I don't get is where would a couple wear these outfits?  I can't say that I actually saw anyone in these (except for the "Stupid" and "I'm with stupid" tee shirts), but someone must have worn them for they were pushed relentlessly by Sears and JCPenneys back then.  But f course, that was so 70s.


  1. Totally weird! Matching p.j.s...dear husband and I missed out on that fad!

    1. I don't think you missed out on much. I image that when one partner bought these and the otehr didn't want to wear it, a big fight ensued.

  2. The male model in the photo of Kathy wearing the "cloud blouse" is Kelley Jackson.

  3. wow great i have read many articles about this topic and everytime i learn something new i dont think it will ever stop always new info , Thanks for all of your hard work!

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    1. Thanks for the feedback. You might want to check out my other posts on the same subject - it always seems like the 'His 'n Her" coordinates are a hit!

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