Thinking Aloud on a Sunday

Fashion

Thinking about this today, as I was getting dressed in some creased shorts, a tee-shirt, and a fleece top.

Hard to believe now, but there was a time when I was concerned about being ‘fashionable’. During my teenage years, in the 1960s, fashion was all. It changed from month to month, and god forbid you should appear in something ‘old-fashioned’, when you met up with your friends. Trends changed constantly. One week, high neck shirt collars called ‘giraffe collars’ would be all the rage. As soon as you could afford to buy at least one of those, it had changed to ‘pin-through’ collars, and your contemporaries would scorn you for turning up in a ‘high-neck’.

Then there were leather coats. The cost of one of those mid-length, or full-length overcoats might exceed a week’s salary for one of your parents. By the time you had cajoled one of them to help you buy one, it would undoubtedly be ‘last week’s news’, and you were almost ashamed to be seen in it. Having a Saturday job, and school holiday jobs didn’t help. Armed with the money from working at those, you rarely knew what to buy, to stay ‘on trend’. The ‘Mods’ had a lot to answer for, at least where I was brought up.

I recall a craze for ‘cycling’ tops, as worn by Tour De France riders like Eddy Merckx. By the time I saved up for one, which looked awful on me anyway, my friends were smiling at me turning up in something that was so ‘last month’. Then Parkas became the rage, driven by the people who wore them when riding scooters, like Lambrettas, or Vespas. By the time I had saved up enough to buy one, it was high summer, and I dutifully turned up in it, sweltering in the heavy coat during summer heat.

Suits then became all the rage. Italian mohair, two-tone Tonik, and three piece, including waistcoats. If you were a ‘Soul Boy’, they were de rigeur, and you wouldn’t dare show up to a club or party without one. That was my fashion heyday, helped by the fact that my Dad had various ‘contacts’, so could supply suit lengths of material, easily made up by tailors of his acquaintance. Between my own savings, and some parental contributions, I soon had a nice selection of up to five suits, in different colours or shades. Other ‘contacts’ provided the shoes. Only the best, from Church, or Loake, at a fraction of the retail price. Back then in London. everything seemed to ‘fall off the back of a lorry’, and the world was our oyster, at maybe 20% of the retail price.

Between the ages of 15-19, I finally struck fashion gold. I was ahead of the game, and even setting the trend. Suits were definitely my thing, and I could finally get better ones than almost anyone else I knew. I was happy at last. No longer trying to catch up, but easily out in front. By the time I was 25, and getting married, I had stopped worrying about it. As long as I had a reasonable wedding suit, and something to wear to a restaurant, or dinner party, I was happy enough. Life became concerned with bills and mortgages, and fashion took a back seat, at a relatively early age.

Here I am now, retired, and aged 66. Fashion could not be further from my mind. I don’t even own a suit any longer, though I should get one. After all, I have a lot of funerals to attend these days. My only concern now is comfort. Warm fleeces for the winter, and a selection of heavy coats. I am still wearing shirts and tops bought as long ago as 1989, and couldn’t care less. During the so-called ‘summer months’, I am in shorts from March to October, and don’t even need to wear socks. I no longer even know, nor care, what is considered to be ‘fashionable’, and I don’t even own a pair of denim jeans.

It is freedom, pure and simple. You will get there too. One day.

Advertisements

80 thoughts on “Thinking Aloud on a Sunday

  1. I always set my own trends and didn’t follow what was “popular”. I remember a time when my dad offered to pay me to stop dressing gothic every week I would get a set amount and I had to wear what would be pleasing to my family’s name and be “prettier” as they called it but nope never settled. I wore my rocker clothes and still do. I also always use to wear gyspy/hippie getups and still do. I even had dreadlocks as a teenager. I am just too wild for that and I got to admit I laughed so hard when I read “giraffe’s neck”!๐Ÿคฃ Is that the same thing as a turtleneck

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What you call a turtleneck sweater, we used to call a roll-neck jumper. The giraffe-neck was a high formal-shirt collar, usually cinched together by a tab clipped under the tie. I can imagine you being a fashion rebel, and thought it was hilarious that your parents actually gave you money to wear ‘respectable’ clothes! ๐Ÿ™‚ x
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Like

  2. Oh! Of course, Farah, and I also omitted Ben Sherman shirts ๐Ÿ‘”
    Those were the days Pete, those were the days ๐Ÿ˜Ž
    Reading my first post back, tie-โ€˜diedโ€™ ๐Ÿคจ
    I will be back in touch re significant songs list Pete I did work back to your Number 1๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป
    Magic.
    Regards G

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah, yes, fortunately I was never pulled/nicked by the fashion police, although Iโ€™m not quite sure how i got away with it
    Yet again Pete, you manage to land on a subject that we, of a certain โ€˜vintageโ€™ can relate to in a glorious way.
    Over quite a few years, the following fashion faux pas have ensued.
    Levi Jeans, yup! Sat in a bath of water with em on โœ…
    Levi jacket โœ… my denim period.
    Wrangler (cord) jacket โœ… top button only fastened, naturally
    Evaprest trousers, various colours โœ…
    Flared โ€˜loonsโ€™ with tie died 3 button vests โœŒ๐ŸปWith hair of appropriate required length obviously. โœ…
    3/4 length leather coat that i practically lived in โœ… well until the night that I left it on the back seat of my car at night school. On returning to said vehicle, one smashed window, one missing coat!
    I also loved 3 piece suits, you just canโ€™t beat a waistcoat ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป
    I still wear โ€˜jeansโ€™ only these days they are usually from M&S ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a cracking list, Gordon. And you confessed to Loons! Brave man. I never went through the tie-dyed long hair period, and I haven’t had a pair of jeans since some black Levi 501s, in the early 90s.
      I do confess to wearing some Farah trousers in the late 70s though! ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  4. Oh you have bought back some memories here Pete.I remember you always looked dapper at any function at Lotts road.
    My only real slave to fashion moment was the trend to lay in a full bath with new Levi jeans on…. why did I do that !, only remember getting out with cold and very blue legs.
    I’m so pleased nowmy preferred choice is the tramping / walking light weight trouser.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think I had a period of worrying about “trends” in my teens but as I had no taste and no money I don’t recall it being very successful. Now, I won’t pretend I don’t care about what I wear or how I look as that it is very obvious to anyone who reads my blog that that is not true. However, I wouldn’t say I am a follower of “fashion”. I would prefer to think that I have personal style and that I choose things that I think look nice on me and suit my body. Comfort is important too… which is why the only time you’ll ever see me in heels is if I go to a really glamorous function (about once a year). I have the added challenge of on weekends when I am with Little O always needing to wear something I can breastfeed in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As someone very familiar with your outfits, I can confirm that you have indeed adapted a style that really suits you, Abbi. I wouldn’t know whether or not any of it is fashionable, but I do know it always looks good on you. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  6. I suppose I ought to write my own post instead of putting this on yours but it sort of fits as you often talk about what you have seen on TV. This Sunday a very unfashionable queen appeared on a most delightful ‘Countryfile’ programme. She was at Sandringham,with a mac. and headscarf and we found out about her love of racing pigeons! Would you believe it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not a fan of the Royals, Julie. They can make some of the world’s most expensive clothes look ridiculous. Mind you, I have been to Sandringham, as it is not that far from where we live.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  7. I don’t think I’ve ever been fashionable (there was the money question when I was a child and I was rather large, so I wouldn’t fit into the right clothes anyway), and I haven’t cared about it for a long time. I’ve always been one for comfy shoes as well, and I see most of my friends coming round to my way of thinking. Just a matter of waiting a bit… Thanks, Pete!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You just reminded me of the awful time hotpants were the fashion, and my Mum MADE me a pair for heavens sakes. They were purple. But everyone else had shop bought ones and I felt that. Stupid stuff is fashion, glad I’m so far over it now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no! Home-made stuff was the worst! When roll-neck jumpers were all the rage, my mum knitted me one. All the others had smooth, close-fitting jumpers, and I looked like a Scottish fisherman!
      Speaking as a teenage boy back then, I have to say I was a big fan of hot pants though. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Fascinating post, Pete. It never occurred to me when I was a teenager desperately trying to be in fashion that boys were going through the same angst! I’m so pleased to hear you don’t wear socks with your shorts – not a good look at any age!!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Mary. It was almost as awful for teenage boys, I assure you. The ‘cool guys’ would make sure to pull you up for any fashion faux pas.
      And the suits and overcoats were far more expensive that mini-skirts and hot pants too. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. My big fashion challenge as a youth came with the advent of our American preoccupation with street gang clothing — tight-fitting blue jeans, white cotton tee shirts and leather motorcycle jackets. Back then we were too poor to keep up with fashion and I was always the wallflower at school — never being invited to attend any social function except the ones that were totally public. Now, I am into the new fad of using sweatpants in lieu of the bluejeans. It’s the newest thing and I must admit that even at my advanced age, I turn a dashing figure (although an overweight one) in sports jacket, black tee shirt, gold chains, gold watch, Italian leather shoes shined to the 9s — or high-end sneakers … and I really don’t care what people think because I still get the best table at the restaurant if they see me coming. LOL! LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Pete, I realized, when I wore multi-colored bell bottoms as well as a frilly multi-colored “puffy shirt” – a choice so disastrous that I am glad no photos exist – I have NO fashion sense at all…if not for the choice my wife makes for me, I might as well go nude

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I wore bell bottoms (at least one of them had a double fly) and flares when I was a young student. After school, I wore blue jeans (which I still do). At some point (early teenage years), I became enamored of T-shirts, and eventually owned a considerable collection of them. After I moved to Las Vegas, I began wearing short sleeve shirts exclusively, as T-shirts were too hot, and I’d grown tired of the look. My arms are a bit long, so it’s always been hard for me to find long sleeve shirts that fit. In short, I went with the flow when I was young, but afterwards just wore whatever felt comfortable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting point, BF. I agree about style. The 1970s killed it off. When I got married in 1977, my suit lapels were as big as the wings on a light aircraft! ๐Ÿ™‚ I didn’t wear suits for work after 1979, as I was in a uniform after that. So they remained as formal wear for me, up to this day.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I have gone through a similar life cycle from being extremely self conscious about what and what not to wear to being totally oblivious to fashion trends. My wife is trying hard to keep me in line with the latest trends, but rarely succeeds. My emphasis is now on what is comfortable to wear regardless what the fashion experts dictate. Have a great Sunday, Pete!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This is an interesting side of you– the past, that is. I love the British terms for clothing–half on your list I had to look up to know what you were talking about. (Giraffe collars are cool.) I think it’s very natural when one is young and the body is as lean and thin as it will probably get–before age, work, and birthing babies leave their mark–fashion is fun to spend $ on. I did at 19. I wasn’t a dedicated follower of fashion, but if I had something fun to wear for a party or date, that was good enough for me. Like you, as I have aged, I have teacher-clothes and weekend clothes of t-shirts and shorts looking like a tomboy more than a mature woman. You should have posted a picture of yourself back then in your Mod clothes and fancy suits. I would have smiled to see you in your youth! Fun post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have so few photos from my teens, Cindy. Most of us didn’t have cameras then of course, and would never have carried them around if we did. The adults who owned cameras only tended to use them at weddings, or on holidays, as they considered it to be an expensive luxury, at least in my family. Today’s youngsters don’t know how lucky they are, to have so many photos and video clips of their stages in life. I have a few faded photos, stuck in old albums. Maybe one day I will take digital photos of them, and give everyone a laugh. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Like

  14. Love it! Great post, and the suits sounded good…and as for Church or Loake shoes, I have a friend who loves those, serious shoes…..and his didn’t fall off the back of a lorry! But he’s had them a good few years

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Predominately I’ve worn T-shirts and blue jeans all my life. Except for a brief period during my pre Navy teenage days when I had a Beatle jacket and hair cut. Like most young kids I looked a total idiot. Thank god I no longer worry about fashion in my seventies… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Well…I don’t think that ever since I was alive I cared for a single second about fashion. In fact if there is one thing I absolutely hate it’s going out shopping for clothes. It’s a necessary evil in my opinion lol. But you do manage to even make a post about fashion very entertainable: and that takes some serious skill Pete! ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad to see your posts are still an absolute joy to read !

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Thanks Pete, I just came back today ๐Ÿ™‚ Well, not everything, but a lot has calmed down, so I just couldn’t stay away anymore. Missed it way too much. It’s great to be back, and reading posts again ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 2 people

All comments welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.