When a couple contemplates a vintage style ceremony, the vintage elements can run anywhere to using Grandma’s dress and having the rest of the proceedings feature the latest trends, to recreating every detail authentically to match the Gatsby, Post-War, 50s or other era of choice.
One element that is not mentioned in vintage etiquette and celebration books is the lighting of the unity candle. Why? The tradition of the unity ceremony element in weddings was non existence. Couples did not pour sand or light a large candle.
The closest reference is the practice of lighting altar candles in a Catholic ceremony, but this is usually reserved for close family members at the beginning of the ceremony. The earliest noted references of unity candles only go back to maybe the 1970s. Unity candles are still not often found in a Catholic ceremony, and certainly are not featured on the altar, but if you are going 70s or 80s style, it is not foreign to the era, but would be more likely seen in a Protestant ceremony.
The pouring of sand has no clear specific origin, but is a very modern addition. Anecdotal evidence supports the notion that Native American or ceremonies for Hawaiian native islanders included it, but there is no absolute documented proof.
I have a novel idea: Why not show the joining of two lives and two souls by exchanging vows and rings? How retro!1970s, etiquette | Comment (0)
No one, apparently, got the memo that Christmas music is absolutely not to be played until at least the day after Thanksgiving? If i ruled the world, the sleigh bells wouldn’t ring until December 15th. This way, we could all truly enjoy it instead of burning out on it by December 5th.
Dad, ever the astute observer always defends his position with: “There just are no Thanksgiving carols, are there?” maybe not when he was growing up, butt if you delve into the early days of rap and hip hop and transport yourself to 1979, there is ONE Thanksgiving carol, even though it is hidden within a 14 minute, 36 second long song. Well, the Sugar Hill Gang probably didn’t intend it to be festive.
Have you ever went over a friends house to eat
and the food just ain’ no good?
I mean the macaroni’s soggy the peas are mushed
and the chicken tastes like wood.
So you try to play it off like you think you can
by sayin’ that you’re full,
and then your friend says momma he’s just being polite
he ain’t finished uh uh that’s bull.
So your heart starts pumpin’ and you think of a lie
and you say that you already ate
and your friend says man there’s plenty of food
so you pile some more on your plate.
While the stinky foods steamin’ your mind starts to dreamin’
of the moment that it’s time to leave
and then you look at your plate and your chickens slowly rottin’
into something that looks like cheese.
Oh, so you say that’s it i got to leave this place;
I dont care what these people think
I’m just sittin’ here makin’ myself nauseous
with this ugly food that stinks.
So you bust out the door while its still closed
still sick from the food you ate
and then you run to the store for quick relief
from a bottle of kaopectate.
And then you call your friend two weeks later
to see how he has been.
And he says i understand about the food
baby bubbah but we’re still friends.
With a hip hop the hippie to the hippie
the hip hip a hop a you dont stop the rockin
to the bang bang boogie
say up jump the boogie to the rhythm of the boogie the beat
May your Thanksgiving be full of cozy, Rockwell-inspired moments (Norman, not the “Somebody’s Watching Me” Rockwell and far more delectable food than what the Sugar Hill Gang was subjected to.1970s, entertainment | Comment (0)
There are a number of popular songs that mention fashion designers or specific articles of clothing. Today I was thinking that fashion that ends up in song may not be reflective of the actual attire of the time, as it seems that for something to make it into song, it has to be outrageous. Someone usually needs to obsessively love a fashion or piece of clothing, or is pointing out something unusual. After all, your everyday socks don’t inspire artistic expression. For example, the polka dot tie that I mentioned in the song Pink Shoelaces.
Sometimes, it is amazing to ponder how sensibilities change in such a short amount of time. In 1971, the group with the ever so pious name of St. Cecilia, was kicked off the air for their tune Leap up and Down (wave your Knickers in the Air) for singing a “rude song.” Of course, with the “knickers” title, this created an uproar in England, as it wasn’t referring to the synonymously named faux jodhpurs that were so popular with middle school girls in the 80s.
In the early 80s, when tastes changed, and people calmed down about the song, they were able to perform it and it was considered rather tame, and a little silly. In fact, the song makes many lists of worst songs of the 70s, despite the hoopla. A decade after the song saw light, we of course started seeing people’s behinds on network television, such as on NYPD. Apparently waving one’s knickers around had become passe’ and “no knickers” was the “new knickers”.
Oddly enough, I have not been able to find the lyrics transcribed anywhere unless I got cracking myself. Are there any other crazy clothing songs among your favorites…or least favorites?1970s, entertainment, music | Comment (0)
1974 was an interesting year for fashion. Simultaneously, it was the golden age of synthetic fabrics and corduroy pants. All factors collided to make it a fashion moment that you are either utterly repulsed or you wax nostalgic over.
I brought this 1974 Jeep CJ/5 ad out of my collection today. It touted a special trim package of Jeep in Blue Jeans.” For a little while, I mulled over the benefits of a denim interior, and ultimately gave it the thumbs up. It may pose issues when sliding onto your seat in the middle of a rain storm that vinyl would never pose. Namely, your seat would stay wet longer. However, there would be many other benefits. It wouldn’t matter if it faded. You could always patch it too. Maybe I never really “read” the ad until now, but quite clearly it states:
Look what the well dressed Jeep CJ/5 is wearing! New Levi’s styled seats with matching fold down top. Made of rugged easy to care for vinyl fabric in absolute authentic styling-right down to the copper rivets!
Talk about a “bait and switch”
This was not the only false denim item being sold in 1974. Levi’s and Lee were clearly in cahoots.
Brawny – That’s the word for these Lee doubleknit jeans and matching shirt-jac. The cut hails from the West. In every detail…And comfort comes from the new non-glitter, snag -resistant doubleknit of 100% Dacron polyester.
Dacron isn’t denim! They sure don’t look like “jeans” to me.
It would seem logical that if something was labelled “denim” than it is made of the heavy cotton fabric popularly known as denim. It not, it is “denim look” or just quite simply “indigo vinyl.” If pants are not denim, but rather polyester, then they are slacks, cords, trousers, or pants, as they have nothing in common aside from a zipper.
I hate to be a stickler for details. Maybe it is because of my checkered past at a small high school where we relished our rare “jean days.” Show me a pair of pants that could be worn on a regular day and you won’t get me to call them jeans, no matter what the marketing department said.
I am going to go put on my gray fleece jeans, considered too “revealing” for school for both boys and girls (figure that one out) and take a jog around the block to try to cool off about this.1970s, 1974, vintage ads | Comment (0)
Today Sansabelt is at the butt of some jokes, portrayed as the fashion detail for folks who are looking for extra room in their drawers at turkey time. Did you know that back in the day, Sansabelt pants were considered pretty fashionable? What, no belt? Are you crazy? In fact, Jaymar offered the feature on their stylish windowpane plaid dacton trousers. There were oodles of celebrity endorsements, including one by Tom Shaw. At the time of this 1974 advertisement, he was the youngest touring professional golfer. In other words, they were pitched as pants for an active lifestyle. Or at least one that including walking, then stopping, then walking, then stopping.
The pants’ “exclusive hidden waistband never ceases to slim him, trim him, keep his shirt tail in and provide an incredible feeling of comfort around the middle.” Brown plaid is not your thing? “Sansabelt Slacks with Dacron polyester come in virtually every cut, color and pattern, each designed to look lavish, yet made to wear and wear.” And wear they do. I have found dozens of examples of the pants that look like the day they came out of the factory.
They were also known as the slacks seen on NBC, not that anyone was squinting at their 12″ black and white searching to see if anyone was wearing a belt.
I am just glad that Tom Shaw was a relatively conservative dresser. At the time, plaid pants were a little more de reguer than they are in 2010. I am not sure if you remember my post about 40s golder Tommy Goodwin and his fashion choices that kind of creep some folks out. (Click to see purely at your own risk).1970s, 1974, sports, vintage ads | Comments (3)
It’s 1974 week, everybody! In honor of SOMEONE’S birthday (The VintageGent-ette), the Daily will bring you all sorts of retro goodness from the 4th year of the Decade of the Creepy Moustache.
Ah, Paris! The lone accordian player on the street corner. Baguettes. Red geraniums on a wrought iron balcony. Mimes. LOTS of mimes. Forget the Italian suit; no man’s wardrobe would be complete without the French style shirt. But, as the Arrow ad contests, the shirt is not merely French, the reason for wearing it is VERY French too. Does that mean the wearer suddenly decide that Marcel Marceau is a genius and started eating pom frites? This ad appeared in current events and men’s magazines in 1974.
Luckily, the folks at Arrow decide to clue us in on exactly what this all means. And it has nothing to do with mimes. Just read the fine print, Monsieur and Madame:
Is Arrow implying that the shirt was created by women so they could determine if a man was arm candy material or not? Just take away all the amply cut windowpane plaid blazers to check out what one is really advertising? But what if the gentleman is not slim and trim but rather round and um…untrim? Do ladies still want to see the “shape of a man’s body?” In the 70s, arm holes were smaller and shirts and jackets were more fitted in the shoulders than their modern counterparts. Overall, I think that it is a smart looking albeit basic shirt…relatively speaking…but the ad description is a hoot. I am sure if I went to France and interviewed 100 men I would get a few guys spitting their French Roast out their nose if I asked them “If every Frenchman wears shirts cut to show their shape.”
But is that why “American Men Look So Good?” Then why not call the shirt “American Style.” Ah, but one has to make a blue button down shirt sound a bit more exotic than that. Or maybe this shirt is put away, and in a couple of years, this guy gains some weight so he wears it unbuttoned and dons the latest fashion accessory – a disco chain.1970s, vintage ads | Comment (1)
I remember my brother and I staying home with a babysitter while mom and dad went Christmas shopping. We had a really cool babysitter named Renee. We would play games and record radio shows on our tape players. We played “Truth or Dare” and one of the silly dares was to walk outside in the snow without any coat on and yell, “I LOVE NORELCO!” for all to hear. Why? Maybe we heard that slogan on a commercial. We thought it was a funny thing to say, at least when you were five and eight years old.
I remember the Norelco Santa commercials, but had no idea they kept remaking it over the years. For your enjoyment, here is three decades of Santa
Norelco Santa from the 1960s. The commercial was stop motion claymation, produced in the CBS studios.
Here is Santa, as he appeared in 1978.
Here comes Santa Claus….1994 style.
There is one more Santa that I think I remember. He had a pointy hat and looked like he was made of gumdrop material, but perhaps that was for another product. If anyone finds that one, point me in that direction. Have you or a loved one ever went on a razor spending spree for the holidays?
Merry Christmas from all of us at VintageGent’s Menswear Daily.1960s, 1970s, 1990s, grooming products, vintage ads | Comments (3)
Step One: Take her out and treat her like a la-dy…
No, that’s the wrong year and that song is kind of stupid.
In 1974, Clairol knew that the way to “turn her on.” or more properly, connect her to a large supply of electricity that prevented her from going near water, or otherwise there would be an accident. You buy her a Clairol 3 Way Mist Hairsetter, an Air Brush, or a Crazy Curl! And remember those mirrors that made everyone look like they were sitting in front of a bug light and made everyone look orange? Yeah, that’s the way to a woman’s heart.
Take that, 1984 and your jelly bracelets or 2009 and your ipod! This Christmas, ladies know what they REALLY want.
1970s, grooming products, hysterical and historical hair | Comment (0)
It might be very tempting to occasionally trade in your double breasted suit, and with 70s elements always seeming to pop up everywhere in fashion, you are probably tempted to try it. But for you, a modern imitation will not do, you want the real thing. There are a few tips to consider when shopping for 1970s wear online or in a shop
- Do not be surprised if a size on all platform shoes are not printed inside. Usually they are, but occasionally the ink has faded with time or it wasn’t there to begin with. Always try them on. If you cannot, and are shopping online, follow the lead of the ladies. Gals are more accustomed to measuring the inside of a similar pair of shoes of a similar pair and choosing “new to you” shoes that way. Look at what the platform shoe essential is at the basic level. Is it a loafer, a sandal, a boot, or and measure comparable shoes accordingly.
- The arm holes on most trendy blazers and suit coats were cut higher and smaller than modern suit coats. If you have a slim build, you may find that 70s jackets may flatter you well. If you don’t, or broad shoulders, you may want to see if the next size up fits you better. Remember, though, that the fit in many things is supposed to be slim and your size regular size may indeed fit. You just have to get used to the cut. Most clothing was not made to be baggy with miles of “ease” room.
- Not everything was poly. Polyester was a big staple of the 70s, but if you have an aversion to it, there are plenty of other choices. Wool and other classic fabrics were still used in abundance. The idea that people have is that if it was wool in the 1970s, it must be boxy and plaid. Some of the other popular cuts were actually available in wool.
Dress That Man is a site that I had stumbled by quite some time ago, and can’t believe I have yet to mention in the “Daily.” The 1970s are alive and well and expressed in fashion at the site. Hipsters, Rockers, and Halloween party attenders alike can find something to love. Browse the aisles and try on a pair of sky high platform shoes or a shirt. Of course, you can’t really “try them on,” you have to know your size.1970s, vintage clothing | Comment (1)
My brother and I were going through old family photos, and it really brought back a lot of memories. One such memory was recalling that, as a child, one of my loves was going down a giant fiberglass slide at the park. They gave you a mat, and you would make your journey up the staircase again and again. It was interesting for me to discover that there is a whole amusement park that based itself around an initial slide like the one I liked so much as a child.
Morey’s Piers in Wildwood, New Jersey started out with two brothers, a giant fiberglass slide and a dream. In the 50s and 60s, Bill Morey operated a boardwalk concession stand, while Will was a developer. They spotted a giant fiberglass slide languishing in Fort Lauderdale, and thought it was the perfect thing to attract more business to the boardwalk. But where do you put a giant fiberglass slide?
The brothers bought a mini golf course as well as a languishing restaurant to complement the slide, and Surf Side Park was born. The photo, at left, shows the slide circa 1969, and after 1976. The ape you see had been a part of a Planet of Apes Themed attraction/ride at Morey’s Piers, and the Ape is seen here at its new spot in the park. Way back when, the park was two piers separated by some municipal land, but it has grown by leaps and bounds since, hence the plural “Piers” in the name. It was the start of many great New Jersey attractions, all on one property!
Fast forward to today, and Morey’s Piers is a crown jewel among New Jersey amusement parks, roller coasters and other great attractions. As an added attraction, the Radio Disney Concert Series will be offered free to the public this summer. It begins next month and runs through August. Check out the Morey’s Piers website for details and links to accomodations as well.
The Piers are not just a place for having a great time eating more cotton candy than you can eat and riding the rides, but it is also a great spot for a Jersey Shore beach Vacation just like it was in decades past. Below, a beach scene from the 1970s, contemporary to the time of Morey’s Piers’ beginnings. Make your own memories this summer. Who knows, maybe the photos you take will give your family plenty of laughs in the future of what you all wore for bathing suits in 2009! The seventies can’t be the only decade of interesting fashion choices.
1960s, 1970s, entertainment, holidays | Comment (0)
I was having a conversation this week about cologne. Some of the descriptions of this Scent or that sometimes makes us laugh. Some colognes proudly tout that they smell “like saddle leather.” One in particular was the main source of conversation. That was Brut cologne. While we pondered the different high and low notes of various male and female scents (of course today, there are also unisex scents but that is another topic), we decided exactly what Brut smells like.
“Brut smells like the 70s.”
“The 70s…you mean the DECADE? Or do you mean the age.”
“Oh, the decade for sure. As far as the age…I don’t know. I know if you are in your 80s, the scent is probably brill cream.”
“Tell me that when you smell Brut, you don’t automatically think of the colors brown and rust, and creepy moustaches. Close your eyes and see what happens…”
Well, Brut is still around and hasn’t changed. If it has, then it is something that the casual nose can’t pick up. It once was the darling of scent counters, and now it is at every pharmacy and dollar store in America. I wonder: Does a new generation wear Brut, or are all the people buying Brut people that were preteens and teenagers in the height of the 1970s? Or do you think there are truly people “discovering” the somewhat musky smell?
That is a question to be pondered….
I guess it is best that an era smells like something recognizable. I am still trying to find out what “teen spirit” smells like. Not “Teen Spirit” the deodorant, but the Nirvana version that is probably the LACK of wearing Teen Spirit. Sweat Flannel. Jolt soda. I should know what it smells like because I am more of that decade as far as chronological age goes. I can just imagine sitting in my rocker with a grandchild on my knee reminiscing that “In my day…we didn’t have no Brut cologne. We just smelled like Doc Martens and grape Hubba Bubba…and we liked it.”
In the meantime, rock on 70s dudes, rock on!1970s, grooming products | Comments (4)
There are many designers that the mainstream just are not aware of from the past unless prompted to study academically because their fashion houses often closed upon their retirement many years ago. Unless, of course, one has studied them academically or they struck a chord with a particular social movement or clothed a Hollywood star. There are exceptions. There are greater opportunities today to license one’s name to insure that one’s moniker will be recognized in average households far beyond a usual time frame for a designer to have worked and then retired, and far beyond death. Pierre Cardin, who began his career following World War II was the first to come out with a “ready to wear” line. He was also revolutionary in bringing his fashion to China and Russia.
According to the Vintage Fashion Guild Label Resource:
“Some see his couture accomplishments eclipsed by his reputation as “The License Man.” After all, the Cardin moniker is affixed to more than 500 licenses. Caroline Rennolds Milbank states in her book, Couture, “Today, Cardin’s diversification overshadows his work in couture. His current reputation rests more on the variety of his endeavours…as well as on his undaunted efforts to dress (or somehow effect) every human being in the world.”
So what does one do with so much clothing? There has to be a way to know what to look for, with Cardin items existing from the couture on down to discount and from the 40s to months from now. As far as strictly the eye of the vintage lover, it is important to note that Mr. Cardin had a hand in design up until the very early 70s. In particular, this Creation Pierre Cardin label from a silk tie that is shown at the bottom of the photo is a good example of one of the Cardin labels to look for, though there are other earlier ones as well. After that, Mr. Cardin was more of a figurehead and a marketer. Other people designed items, if indeed they were not produced elsewhere, or even sold under other names, and just affixed with a Cardin label.1970s, designers, fashion history | Comment (0)
An East West Musical Leather Jacket was featured on Ebay recently. The item was bid up to $1,625.00, but the reserve was not quite met. Unreasonable? Maybe not. East West Musical jackets are very sought after, and are considered one of the “ultimate” leather jackets to own and I have seen particular examples go for upwards of several thousand dollars.
All the jackets have an artistic bent to them. Sometimes it is very obvious, such as hand painting of the leather, or the leather pieced together to create a specific pictorial design. Often, other times, even if a jacket is monochromatic, the tailoring and cut is very inventive. The jacket pictured, offered by designervintagelabels4u, falls into the latter category. Pay special attention to the pocket design and how the front stitching/yokes play a visual part. I would put the value at of course less than the louder and more intricate jackets just because people are willing to pay higher for a theme, but this one is also a very handsome example as well.
If you see an East West Musical label, it is definitely worth taking a second look at the item. You will more likely find them on the west coast, but of course, as anything, people migrate with their possessions. If you are a vintage fashion collector and you spot one at a steal, check the condition of course, but try not to hyperventilate.1960s, 1970s, auctions | Comments (4)
“I rode my bicycle past your window last night.
I roller skated to your door at daylight.
It almost seems like you’re avoiding me.
I’m okay alone, but you got something I need.Well, I got a brand new pair of roller skates,
You got a brand new key.
I think that we should get together
And try them out you see.
I been lookin’ around awhile,
You got somethin’ for me.
Oh! I got a brand new pair of roller skates,
You got a brand new key…”
Do you remember the song “Brand New Key” that was first recorded by Melanie and then covered a million times? I think it was also on the Sony and Cher show. I somehow don’t think the song will come back again as a hit because kids just don’t have any need for a roller skate key because they have wheelies. Well, be on watch, wheelies: There is a brand new mode of foot transportation that has been invented and they are called Orbit Wheels.
Do you know how some people answer those quizzes that ask you what animal you would want to be if you could pick? This is for those people who answered “fiddler crab” and love seeing the world go by sideways.
Well, with those you certainly couldn’t enter the world roller skating championships. I doubt if that still goes on these days. Maybe it just happens in New Zealand. Who knows. At any rate, in 1981, Billy Richardson & Holly Valante were the world rollerskating champions.
I have been taken to task on my skepticism on the popularity of old school skating. There is actually an entire forum dedicated to skating. In fact, I stumbled upon it by searching for Richardson and Valente who gave their red jumpsuited and skating skirted all. People on the forum referred to it as “our sport,” so I guess I stand corrected. It is good to know that regular ol skating is alive and well and not everyone has been sucked in to the latest thing. Maybe when I have kids someday, metal skates will be big again and Melanie will get lots of royalties.1970s, 1980s | Comments (2)
Here and there for the past few days, I have been rolling out an encore of “Joe Famolare and the Platform Shoe,” which is a summary of a workshop that was conducted several years ago. As I was surfing around, I came across a pair of Famolare skates with the iconic bicycle label. I did not know about the existence of skates before. I have not seen them in any older ads, nor do I remember them.
These are not for men, but for a ladies size 8, so ladies, you might want to snap these up right away. I don’t know when I will ever see another pair like them. They are available on Etsy from the VinnyandVernelle’s. CLICK HERE to grab them before they are gone!1970s, famolare shoes | Comments (4)