Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Never out of style

    As a very young child with a quietly desperate desire to cross-dress, I used to fixate on the fashions of the day that I found pretty. This is probably a tale that could be told by many readers of this blog who found themselves in the same situation.
    For me in the early 1970s this meant the brightly coloured prints, long sweeping skirts, floppy hats and frills that the adult women I encountered were wearing at the time. Laura Ashley's influence lay heavy upon rural England at the time.
    I still have something of a weakness for the looks from that era, watching an episode of The Sweeney from those days I find my attention divided equally between the cops, the cars, and the fashion.
    I was less of a fan of late '70s and early '80s fashion. The Shake 'n Vac lady's blouse and skirt didn't do it for me, but as a teenager later on in the '80s the fashion excesses of that decade caught my fascination once more. Those meringue-like ballgowns you'd see on television spectaculars back then were probably the pinnacle of my deeply closeted teenaged aspirations. Yes, I was a mixed-up youth who seemingly preferred quantity over quality.
    Now I am a no-longer-closeted adult with a fashion sense all of my own it is interesting to look back at the past few decades and re-evaluate those looks. My life fitting in as a scruffy bloke has left me without the fashion baggage that a natal woman might have of having to move with the times and update my own look, but it has left me with something of that cross-dressers burden, the risk of being attracted to something inappropriate simply because I like it. Browsing vintage fashion web sites it's easy to spot the bad choices, the 1970s huge collars and paisley for example, but what about the ensembles that don't quite cross the line? One of the women who made an impression on me back them was my cousin, at an inch shorter than my current height the tallest natal woman I know, and from her example I learned that tall women can carry off a large brightly coloured print with aplomb.
    Good style is good style, whatever the decade it was produced in.

4 comments:

  1. Hi Jenny. My earliest recollections of fashion were rooted in the late forties and early fifties. I especially liked the Polka-dot era with the very wide and full skirts but I also had a passion for corsetry and the effect it had on the figure. Later, in the early sixties with the advent of the stiletto heel I couldn't wait to get myself a pair. I never was really a dedicated follower of fashion but I was and still am hopefully fashion-conscious, I hope I have dress sense too. Yes, it is all about style too and every woman has their own style don't they?

    Shirley Anne x

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  2. Nostalga is not what it used to be - well someone had to say it LOL.

    Louise

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  3. I wear anything Louise throws out and fits me, does that count as style?

    BTW Louise more than half of that last lot of tops were great...

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  4. I know exactly what you mean, but I am a tragic child of the early nineties with fashions: meaning that I'm trapped between the eighties, the sixties and post-modernist takes on the seventies with female fashions.

    In my case, I don't think there IS any good style in those eras...

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