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!!

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Big Book Catalog Series (Part 6) 1972d

Well, we've finally about to get through the Big Book catalogs of 1972!  And the last two that we haven't covered yet are the Aldens and Spiegel FW editions.  Speaking of covers....

I could probably do a post on the covers alone!  I can see it now:

"What kind of man reads Aldens?  He's always got the wind in his hair and a groovy chick at his back. (1)  Flying high in his WW I biplane, his sense of adventure is matched only by his dashing sense of fashion style."  

Combine that with Spiegel cover with the giant dog by the rocky coastline and the possibilities are endless!  Now that our interest has been piqued, let's move on to see what's inside these editions.

And what's waiting for our Aldens's man?  Well, after a typical exciting day of daring do and high adventure, he can look forward to a relaxing evening with some elegant ladies!  And, of course, nothing says elegant quite like polyester double knit.   No, nothing.

Not only is it elegant, apparently polyester is a magic word.  Who knew?!?!  If fact it is so magical, it is making the gals on the right disappear!

But is polyester as magical as the crushed velvet pants with matching belt?  Me thinks not!  Ohh, you can begin to hear, faintly at this point in time, the unmistakable beat of disco just a few short years away!

Still, Aldens always tried to keep it classy.  And what better way to do that than with the Ladyalden Shop?

Aldens was always good for some groovy threads, but Spiegel was different....

They were more upscale.  Still, they liked to have their fun too.  And who better to model that look than Kathy.  And no, I have no idea what the tree on the sweater has to do with anything.

Let's stay with the skirt and sweater theme.  Very nice!

Yeah, Spiegel always had that classy elegance to it.  Here are some classic dresses so typical of their offerings.  (2)

Still Spiegel had its moments like here.  What could possibly be behind that creepy looking wooden door?
Why it would be our favorite model (3) dressed up in a witchy looking cape with pointy hood! Aldens thought that they had the magic with polyester, but Spiegel had the real magic here!  Heck the outfit even comes with a witch's familiar (don't let the dog's laid back expression fool ya!)  


(1) Yep, if you were wondering, that is Kay on the cover of Aldens.

(2) For those of you that may want to download this pic, you'll notice that it is misnamed.  It really is from the Spiegel FW 72 catalog, not from JCP.

(3) I'm pretty sure that is Kathy underneath that hood.  What a great pic!  

Monday, June 15, 2015

Random Weirdness: Wig Out - Part 2!

Oh boy, here we go again with the wigs!  Now, as you all know, the wigs were something that really weirded me out.  Still there are some interesting things to note about them.

Wigs are certainly versatile, and Kathy certainly makes them look great.  Still, I must admit that I'm not a fan of the wigs.

I'm not sure what "modacrylic" is, and I'm not sure I care.

Here you have your choice between the natural looking modacrylic wigs, and the natural looking, uh, well, natural wigs.

Yep, all you needed was a stretch wig and some leather gloves and you ere ready for a night out on the town.  Maybe the wigs are a better option than what young women do to their hair these days.  I'll take the wigs over the neon hair dye anytime!

Wigs as gifts?  That's like saying "Maybe you should wear this instead of using your own hair."  I'm not sure it's the thought that counts in that case!

So let me get this straight.  You wear a wig and then want to style it like your own hair.  Makes perfect sense to me.

Kathy and Dottie get in on the wig action.  Of course, THEY could make the wigs look good.

Ouch, that looks like it hurts!  Of course, one great thing about wigs was the cool accessories: like the handy carrying case, boxes, and those creepy looking fake heads.  Yep, I remember my mom had those, really would freak me out.

Yep, those things really, REALLY freaked me out.  There's probably a cheap B grade horror movie idea in there somewhere.  *shudder*

Monday, June 8, 2015

Let's Get Into Physical (Part 4) - You Should Be Dancing!!

"Hey Grandpa, do you remember all those Jane Fonda dance tapes with the crazy neon colored tights and leg warmers?"

"Well, son, yes I do.  Those were wild times.  But that was in the 80s.  None that existed back in the 70s.

"So people didn't exercise in the 70s?"

"Well they did, but the fashions were taken more from traditional dance.  For example."

"Yes I see Grandpa.  It looked a lot less like the dance tapes of the 80s and more like a ballet studio.  Seems pretty boring to me!"

"Well son, you could still have fun."

"Yeah, it looks like fun, but they're not dancing.  They're just messing around."

"Okay, smart alack.  You want to see some serious dance faces?"

"Grandpa, they're still not dancing. And it looks like they're miserable!"

"Okay, okay, you want dancing.  Here's some dancing."

"I guess that counts as dancing.  However, I don't see mom doing moves like that when she's working out to her Beach Body Workout tape."

"Well son, this was a long, LONG time before workouts like that."

"Back in the 70s, we didn't have Beach Body, Brazilian Butt Lift, Insanity, or P90x streaming into our home TV.  No, instead we had the Sears Exercise Shop!!  Yes, in many ways times were simpler back then"

"Grandpa, I noticed all these gals covered their legs.  Why?"

"Well son, people were a bit more modest back then.  Also, and this something you'll learn, a lot of women are very conscious of how they look - especially in front of other women."

"But these gals don't have to worry about that."

"Good point son, good point.  You're learning fast!"

Monday, June 1, 2015

That's So 70s: Deminy Daze - Part 3!

Ahh denim.  What fashion style is more emblematic of Americana than denim?  Other trends come and go, denim remains timeless.  So let's take a look back at the denim styles of the 70s....

Wrangler is indeed a "Big Name" in jeans!  Not much here that says "That's so 70s", well except for those platform shoes.  Hmmm, haven't we previously seen Kathy in ads for Landlubber jeans?  So much for brand loyalty!!

Okay, here we go. Now this is a little more 70s style.  Barbara and Jill seem extra happy to be wearing the "Patchwork Denim-Look."  So let me get this right - you buy new clothes that have the look of old clothes that are patched up.  Okay, yeah, sure, that makes PERFECT sense.

Since we're focusing on Wrangler jeans this post, I had to throw in this ad featuring Susan Blakely. Now we can say "That's so 70s!"

Here Karen and Jane show us the pre-washed denim look.  Once again, we're buying new clothes that have been aged to look like old clothes.

And more pre-washed denim in that "lived-in look."  Hmmm, I'm not too sure about that.

Denim jeans aren't only for casual wear.  Heck, why not class 'em up a bit and head on down to the Yacht Club to hobnob with the upper crust?  I love the pose on the right.  Yep, I see that all the time at the boat dock - well maybe in my imagination!

We started this post with Wrangler jeans from Aldens, so why not end it the same way?!?  All I can say here is "too much cuteness for one picture!"