Favorite Fashion Flashbacks

I'm not necessarily talking about re-emerging trends here. I'm thinking about fun memories that, in retrospect, kinda make it seem like you and Fashion were destined to be together.

I've always taken clothing very seriously - I can't remember a time when I flat-out didn't care what I was wearing. Even before I started Kindergarten, I'd wake up before anyone else in my house, and I remember I'd always pull out my favorite outfits to watch Jem or She-Ra. It simply would not do to sit in my pajamas while they went off and saved the universe!

I also remember having a very heated conversation with my dad about pattern mixing! I had to be 4-5, and I'd emptied all my drawers looking for a top and pair of shorts that "matched." Poor Dad had a helluva time trying to convince me that it was okay to wear plaid with stripes. "It's looks pretty cool," he said. "It's fun to be different." At the time, I thought he was patronizing me to get me dressed faster, but now I know that he was onto something. :)

Where did you pick up fashion tips along the way? Were you always interested in clothes, or do you have a fun story about what piqued your interest? ... anyone else dress for the television?? o_0

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  • Ruby Tuesday replied 6 years ago

    I love hearing your stories Rae.

    I had a top which I loved in the eighties (I would have been about 7 at the time) and after having a massive growth spurt I would not let my Mum hand down the item because it now looked like the cool cropped tops worn on Top of the Pops!

  • Mochi replied 6 years ago

    I remember the first day of kindergarten. I had this adorable blue outfit with, I think, a pattern of red cherries on it. It was a jumper (which in Britspeak means sweater, but you know--the one-piece outfits with shorts and a top). I loved it so much that I insisted I wear it the next day, too.

    OTOH, I fought tooth and nail with my mom when she wanted me to wear a dress! I hated them. But I did have an inordinate love of certain items of clothing of mine...like I would just love them to death.

    I remember being into not tucking from way before YLF--even as a six-year-old, I must have known I was an apple!

  • mamaKate replied 6 years ago

    9th grade (1988), being shamed about pattern mixing: what I thought was an exuberant and appropriate combination of a jewel-toned plaid maxi skirt with a red-and-maroon striped button-down shirt. My classmate in "health" class said, "I didn't realize it was dress-like-a-clown-day!" Though it fazed me at the time I am still a pattern mixer at heart!

    Another one from 9th grade - a disagreement with my mom on the age-appropriateness of shoulder pads, with respect to two jackets I absolutely could not part with: my lightweight cotton sea green shoulder-padded dolman-sleeve number and a voluminous chestnut faux-leather coat with oversized lapel.

    My DD who is almost 3 already has the disease. Not only is she very particular about what she wears - and in what combination - but she changes clothes at least 3 times per day. She is currently very into matching "suits" top and bottom. Luckily my MIL indulges her and sends a couple new "suits" every couple of months.

    Thanks Rae for the laughs and the memories!

  • rachylou replied 6 years ago

    Mm. I had some ideas when I was very little, such as - Girls wear dresses, FULL STOP. My main concern until perhaps 6th grade was staying warm. I lived in my parkas (had a yellow one with a little bit of ivy embroidery on the front that I remember in particular). Hilariously, I'm still obsessed with staying bundled up. But in 6th grade it was brought to my attention that my jeans were "too big" and that fashion had to be considered. I was in a different clique and have to say I dismissed this advice, but that was the dawning of awareness.

    This, btw, was the time of tight jeans - I mean, for example, so tight that girls would have major crises and miss class because they couldn't get back in them after swim class. Also, in 6th grade, we had incidents like everyone refusing to sit on the same side of the bus as this poor boy (who turned out to be pretty hot in college) who wore cardigans of an uncool nature.

    So, ahem, hazing was more involved than anything else. But I did take an interest once I got a clue. I think this thrilled my dad, who was really a dandy I have to say. He brought me home a Vogue. Once I saw clothing taken to the level of art, then my interest became keen.

  • Mo replied 6 years ago

    I can recall a particular bright maxi dress (yes I was a maxi gal even back in 1976!) that I loved and the star necklace I'd pair it with. I can still mentally feel what sliding that star back and forth on the chain felt like.
    Also one, of a set of 3, mod shift dresses that I particularly remember because I was climbing the playground equipment in Cupertino near the library while waiting for my dad to get off work to pick us up after school. It caught the redwood in the polyester armpit and I got a splinter of a lifetime from it. Yes, I willingly wore mod shift dresses in 1979 and no, it did not stop me from climbing like a monkey, like any 9 year old would.
    Beyond that, I remember finally shopping on my own for my back to school clothes in Junior High and being soooo stoked on a pink off the shoulder sweatshirt dress number, a la Flashdance, from Emporium Capwells.

  • Amy replied 6 years ago

    Rae, that's a great story about your dad!

    I have a few fashion specific memories:

    My mother made a satin Wonder Woman suit for me when I was a little girl. I wore that thing everywhere and every day. It was an ordeal for my parents to get me to change into something a little more conventional.

    I begged for a pair of parachute pants when I went into the 7th grade, but was refused. I believed my parents were out to make me the most unfashionable kid in my town.

    My mother and I worked together to sew my formal dresses for my school dances. One year, there was a lovely yellow skirt with a yellow and white halter, which I was too embarrassed to be seen in because it showed so much skin. At another dance, I wore a fuchsia confection with an iridescent crinoline; and at another, a short and strapless black polka dot dress with mini red ruffles along the bust, which kept slipping down all night and poisoned me to strapless dresses for evermore.

  • rachylou replied 6 years ago

    Ohmigosh, I sooo miss Capwells!

    Now I'm remembering some dresses my grand aunties from Jamaica made and sent to me out of the blue. They were very Jamaican school girl. And the fabrics and colors were a decade out of date for the U.S. They were unwearable... until I decided they WOULD be wearable. I really miss my neon mint green dress (yes there is such a color!) with red/white plaid top and giant red plastic buttons. The start of my punk-ette days...

  • rae replied 6 years ago

    RoseandJoan, that's awesome! Fashion that grows *with* you!

    Mochi, I clashed with my mom, too! Of course, I wanted to wear some pretty crazy things - I blame it on glam rock.

    Kate, classmates can lack tact, can't they? I know I had "car salesman" pants and "Gene Simmons" shoes. :T But I love the tidbit about your little girl and her suits!

    Rachylou, boopants on the hazing. >:( I first became "aware" of the power of fit when I wore a fitted babydoll shirt one day and an oversized shirt the next - a classmate asked me why my boobs were so much smaller than yesterday and accused me of stuffing my bra... I believe I wished a plague of boils on her more than once... But yay for your punk phase - I bet you had some fun with that!

    Mo, climbing trees in mod dresses sounds like a sweet photoshoot. :D

    Amy, how cool that you made your dresses with your mom! Really cool memory!

  • catgirl replied 6 years ago

    Love this thread!

    In high school, my (now deceased) friend Sarah and I spent days scouring vintage and thrift stores in Boston for 20s style items - we were obsessed with Julia in Brideshead Revisited. Also countless hours pounding the pavement in search of our perfect cool black jackets (mine ended up being some "Members Only" thing that cost a week of my earnings working at a movie theatre after school). We dressed to the nines for a Duran Duran concert in 11th grade.

    We had so much fun on those adventures, and she is probably still the best shopping pal I've ever had. I still have an antique earring from a pair we bought in Harvard Square - we each kept one.

  • Lantana replied 6 years ago

    Rae, I remember so clearly the feel and weight of a blue dress from 55years ago. Isn't that incredible? Another memory is of being a bridesmaid when I was eleven. I wore first a hoop petticoat, then a heavy satin underskirt and the dress itself was embossed satin with a pink cummerbund. I loved the feel and weight of that as well. I loved my school uniform! As for many kids of my era, it was the best quality clothing we owned. It was a grey tunic over a white shirt, with a tie striped in red, green and grey. Add a green wool blazer, grey gloves and a grey wool felt boater. When I became a prefect red and white striped grosgrain ribbon trim was added to the blazer. I guess that's when I fell in love with preppy. Lovely memories, thanks for sparking them.

  • ironkurtin replied 6 years ago

    I remember sooooo loving my velour top in second grade. I felt super snazzy in it, because it was so soft and nice. I also recall a red Jiminy Cricket shirt my mother made me, which I adored.

    You know, the sense of security, comfort, and joy I had in those items are exactly what I try to emulate in my wardrobe now!

  • Travelgal Nicole replied 6 years ago

    When I was a little girl (before I started school) I would only wear dresses everyday. As soon as I started school I turned more tomboy until high school when I started rolling my jeans and pattern mixing.

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