Throwback Thursday #21 & JusJoJan – Sense of Style

Welcome back to Throwback Thursday. Lauren picked a great topic last week – I enjoyed everyone’s responses. I am back this week to explore how we developed our personal sense of style. If you want to join in, it’s easy:

  • Write your own post sharing your memories and leave a pingback to this post in the comments.
  • You can use the photo above in your post to make it easier to find.
  • Tag it with #TBTMemory or #IRememberWhen.
  • If you do not wish to write your own post, feel free to tell your story in the comments below.

This week’s prompt is: Sense of Style

This week we are revisiting our foray into fashion and how you learned to express yourself through your outward appearance and adornments.

You might consider some of these points and questions when you write. There is no right or wrong way to approach this. Just tell us about your style – this is for girls and guys!

At what age did you become concerned about the clothes you wore? Did you get hand-me-downs or new clothes? Were any of your clothes made by hand? If so, by whom? Were you allowed to select your own clothes and assemble your own ensembles? At what age did you start buying your own wardrobe?

What fashion fads did you adopt? Did you have certain colors you loved to wear? Were you of the hippie generation of perhaps a child of the 1980s? What was the wildest or craziest outfit you ever wore?

What about jewelry? Did you have piercings? Were they done by you or by others? What jewelry fads so you remember?

Now think about your hairstyles. What cuts did you sport? Did you ever color your hair? Did you try to alter your hair in any other way (cutting, ironing, shaving, curling)?

How has your taste changed over the years?

Feel free to share photos if it helps illustrate your look. Have fun!

My post follows:

My first step into the fashion world was making clothes for my Barbie. Let’s just say she was not on the best dressed list.

I was the youngest of four siblings. By the time my parents had raised three other children, they had relaxed the reins a lot with me. However, being the youngest of three girls meant I got a lot of hand-me-downs.

Paul A Hernandez, Saddle shoes – 02, CC BY 2.0

I do not remember a lot about the clothes I wore when I was very young. I do remember wearing saddle shoes in first grade. I also remember the first time I was made to feel bad about something I wore. I was in grade school and wore black patent leather shoes to school with white lace-topped socks. One of the more well-to-do girls made a fuss in front of all my friends about how you should never wear socks with shoes like those – it should have been nylons. We were kids and I never knew anyone my age that had ever worn nylons.

When white Go-Go boots came out, I wanted a pair so bad! They were all the rage, but it was not to be. I had to love them from a distance. Several girls had ear piercing sleepovers where girls took turns piercing each other’s ears. I was not brave enough! I did however, find some pierced looking screw back earrings that allowed me to fake pierced ears.

Ralph William Williams & John H. Breck, Inc, Kim Basinger and her Mom, Ann Basinger for Breck Shampoo, 1972, marked as public domain, more details on Wikimedia Commons

I started to develop my fashion sense when I started junior high – 7th grade. I grew my hair long as an act of rebellion against all the pixie haircuts forced on me as a kid. I dreamed of being a Breck girl – they had the most beautiful hair!

My parents bought my clothes, but I was allowed to pick what I liked as long as it was in the budget. Most of our clothes were similar to others in our age group. I had empire dresses, short skirts, bell bottoms and yes – hot pants! We sewed colorful patches of peace signs, smiley faces, LOVE, Grateful Dead Bears, Snoopy as a Hippie, Keep on Truckin logos, etc. All over our jeans. I took the hems out of my jeans and fringed the ends to have at least a half an inch fringe on the ends.

I joined the Air Force right out of high school. In basic training, you must follow a very strict protocol in the way in which you dress. There is a great sense of freedom when you can start wearing ‘civies’ again. Since my room, board, and clothes were all provided, all my money was mine to spend as I saw fit. I spent a lot of it on clothes and jewelry. I had the best wardrobe of my life.

My style was bolero jackets, huge bell bottoms and elephant leg pants, peasant blouses, crushed velour, halter tops, mini skirts, distressed jeans, snake arm bands, rings, long dangling earrings platform shoes, and long straight hair. Definitely a child of the 70s.

When I divorced at 22, I rebelled by cutting my very long hair and getting my ears pierced. I was such a rebel! Today you would find me in jeans or sweats most of the time. My fashion sense today is all about creature comfort. 

Written as part of Linda Hill’s JusJoJan.

Prompt word today (protocol) submitted by John from The Sound of One Hand Typing.



Throwback Thursday – Fashion

Image by Mary Pahlke from Pixabay

Day 256, The real blog

There was a time in my life I was so interested in fashion. Not high fashion, mind you. Just looking good and feeling good.

There wasn’t a lot of excess money when I was in high school, so I wore the basics and never really thought much about it. Mom had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and the rest of the world just seemed to float by me. What I wore or what I did to my hair did not seem to matter all that much. All my friends were very conscious of their clothes, even though I’m not sure why. It was the early 70’s in central Ohio and let’s just say it was not the fashion capital of the world. I did have a pair or two of ‘hot pants’ but for the most part, I just dressed to get out the door.

After high school, I joined the Air Force. This would be the first time I earned my own money and could spend it on anything I wanted. It was a foreign world. People from all over thrust together in dormitories left to their own devices to find themselves and their tribe. Being in the military meant my daily attire was issued by Uncle Sam as was my food and a place to live. That meant all the money I made was disposable income — at least for me. I was too young and free to be thinking about my future.

Retro Me in the Dayroom – 1973.

Bell-bottoms were the rage as were peasant blouses. I wore my hair long and straight. I spent a lot of money on clothes and shoes. If I wore jeans, I ripped the hems out, frayed the edges, and sewed ‘cute’ (not functional) patches on them. When not in uniform, I was dressed suited for whatever occasion. Halter tops and platform shoes, headbands and arm bracelets, Tabu and crushed velvet, and always blue eye shadow.

Reader’s Digest version of my life follows…

Fast-forward through life a little. Marriages (and not good ones), children, work and of course age takes a toll. My self-esteem was shot and slowly I lost the desire to worry about fashion. Divorce helped, but it would be a while before I came into my own again. I found a nice job and I was good at it. I worked my way up the corporate ladder and I dressed the part.

But outside of work, I wasn’t dating or trying to impress anyone.

I eventually fell in love again and love sure does boost one’s self-esteem. I started caring again about how I looked to others. Eventually, I remarried and found happiness again. The funny thing about love, though, is it is easy to get comfortable and get into a rut with how you dress and how you look. Today I’m a jeans and sweats girl. I like comfort. Years of wearing heels have made me appreciate shoes that are easy to wear — I hesitate to say comfortable shoes but let’s be honest, that’s what I like.

If there is any special occasion in my life, it might require me to either pull out something ill-fitting from my wardrobe or else I may need to make a special purchase.

The funny thing is I am not uncomfortable with this version of me. Since retiring, I have taken more interest in how I look and feel. I am happy with who I am and when I am happy, everything else comes naturally. Well, everything but this hair. That needs professional attention.