Long-time readers will know of my fascination with the fashions, music, and pop culture of the 1970s. Is it any wonder? The ’7os held all my high school years and all but a few months of my college ones. I love looking at old magazines from the time because I remember a lot of the ads and get a good laugh out of others. The looks! The prices!
Last summer I bought a lot of six Seventeen mags from 1972. The price wasn’t bad considering how many happy hours I’ve had looking at them and being alternately delighted and horrified that yes, I used to dress like that.
Thought I’d share some looks with you from the December issue. Here’s a gem of an outfit from Bobbie Brooks, in Christmas colors, no less:
Remember those idiotic polyester knit vests? It seemed to be a contest who could make the weirdest-looking ones. This one has ruffly straps. WTF is up with the model’s glasses? Is she a welder in her spare time?
Maybe you’re in more of a pastel mood. JCPenney is there for you:
Let’s be honest; if men dressed like this they were pimps.
The palazzo skirt was actually wide-legged pants. Really, really wide-legged. I think an entire bolt of fabric was sacrificed to make them, and you could shelter a small family in there. And is that another ruffled vest? It is.
Moving on to an actual article of what to wear to a Christmas party, I found this:
It’s a pinafore. It’s plaid. It’s ruffled. And I’ll bet I wanted it. Note her perfume is “gay Ambush” — this was when “gay” meant “happy,” and that’s ALL it meant. Do not say “gay Ambush” nowadays, please.
Much earlier this year I showed you a retro ad for Yardley nail polish.
Guess what? This issue of Seventeen had an ad for the coordinating lipstick:
Ah, those old pink, orange, and white Yardley bottles and containers… I miss Yardley.
Seriously, I love these old magazines and ads. The models looked like real people, albeit beautiful ones. Many of them had freckles, skin imperfections, imperfect teeth, and normal-sized busts. Nowadays between plastic surgery and Photoshop, models look strangely fake and robotic. Who’s with me on this? I love the old makeup, too — lip gloss and nail polish were shiny but not glittery. One thing I definitely don’t miss from the early ’70s is the plucked-to-almost-nothing eyebrow look.
And now, here’s my Christmas gift to you. Remember the original Herbal Essence shampoo by Clairol from the early ’70s? Not the reformulated stuff from the ’80s or early 2000s; I’m talking the original green shampoo. This stuff, that always had the Hippie Queen of the Flower Children in the commercials:
It hasn’t been made for decades. I tried to find knock-offs because I loved the scent SO MUCH. Original Herbal Essence was the smell of my early teens. Ah, innocence. First love, polyester, and all that jazz.
Well guess what, I found a dupe. And it’s so cheap I suspect it’s full of carcinogens and radioactivity, but what the heck. It’s called Vanart, is made in Mexico, and is available at Walmart.
The price? $1.97 for a whole QUART. You read that right, $1.97 for 32 ounces. It smells exactly like the original Herbal Essence, so much so that I often use it as bubble bath instead of shampoo. At that price I can afford to pour an ounce down the drain now and then. (Warning: I’m not kidding about the carcinogens: http://ecowatch.com/2013/08/29/cancer-causing-chemical-in-shampoos/ Buy and use any beauty product with caution.) I’m such a sucker for the scent that I’ll live dangerously, though.
Finally, I’ll leave you with one of the marketing blurbs on a photo layout in this issue of Seventeen. It kind of sums up my entire teen years, or, to be more exact, how this shy bookworm wishes they’d been.
“Going — going where?” you might ask. We say, going wherever the good times are, wherever you want to go. To dance, to play, to party. To visit with friends. Even to sit quietly, think and read. The clothes follow the mood. The mood? Well, he calls, suggests an anything-goes evening. “Let’s just jump in the car and do what we feel.”
Gee, who’s the Hippie Queen of the Flower Children now???