Monday, June 29, 2015

Great Expectations - Part 5: Put a Ring On It!!

In our last visit to that little traversed section of the Big Book Catalog - that being the Maternity Section - a reader commented that the young models were always wearing a wedding ring.  This is a great observation, which is made a little strange considering that these were models after all, and they weren't actually pregnant anyway.  Still, we certainly wouldn't want to give everyone the wrong impression would we?  So let's check this out some more.......

Naturally, there's no reason why that the young mother of the couldn't look sophisticated in those happenin' early 70s styles.   But what our question is - where's the ring?  It's kind of difficult to tell on the main pic, but let's blow up that inset pic of Kay....

Whew!!  I am much relieved now.  We've staved off the culture collapse of the West for now (But of course this is before disco, rap, grunge, and, well, Caitlin.)

Even the catalog for the cost conscious - Aldens - found the practice to make good business sense. I'd do a close up of the two exposed left hands to show that they do indeed sport a wedding ring, but I think you'll trust me on that one.)

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in a baby carriage...."  From the low end to the high end stores like Spiegel, it appears that our reader was correct.  Kathy is wearing a wedding ring here, although it's s bit difficult to tell.....

Yep, it's there, faintly.  But I'm sure there were folks who checked!

A really, really nice pic of Kay.  And all the ladies are sporting wedding rings (probably from the JCPenney jewelry shop, how romantic!) .  Well, everyone is flashing rings except the gal in green.  She seems a bit on the shy side, wonder why?!?!?

Just because you were pregnant didn't mean that one couldn't participate in all the groovy 70s styles like earth tone hoodies and corduroy pants!  Just be sure to have that ring on like Jane here!

There was probably some low level staffer that was in charge of making sure all the models had rings.
And what happened when that guy forgot?  Well, the photographer had to do something!  So he made all the models pose with their hands behind their backs!

You're probably asking yourself "Did the emphasis on rings change as the 70s progressed?"  Good question!  Here is a pic from Sears 1978 and you'll notice that all the models are deftly hiding their left hands.  Sears still was the Everyman's (and Everywoman's) store so they had to be careful!

But Spiegel in 1978?  For shame! for shame!  They didn't even make an attempt to hide the left hands!  Yes, friends, you can see here how disco was already working it's corrosive influence on America!  The cultural collapse had begun, and it was all down hill from there!!


  1. Excellent research! A quick perusal of shows that most of the models (at least where they aren't hiding their hands) are not wearing rings (although that may reflect the greater variation in how wedding rings are worn, if at all, today). The trend in maternity clothing sales now seems to emphasize having a fake baby bump.
    Off the subject, but I haven't known any pregnant woman to "enjoy the wait" as Alden's says, unless enjoyment is morning sickness, bloat, and constantly having to go to the bathroom!

    1. Thanks! Yes how times have changed. I always thought the "enjoy the wait" type of lines were meant to be tongue in cheek. Our experience with pregnancy sounds about the same as yours.


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