Greetings From Downtown Houston

“I Remember Distinctly”

Horn-Rimmed Halcyon Heydey

all images of Hammond High

Ah, 1965. Overhead projectors and horn-rimmed (NOT “horn rim”) glasses graced every classroom. And even then, the rims were not made of actual horn or tortoiseshell, but of plastic. All the better to see you with, my dear.

Some technology was old-school, like this microscope being used by a lad with a healthy head of Elvisian locks.

But new advancements had been made for this first year of German language lab. Bonus points if you can tell me what all those little chess-piece-looking things are.

Corded phones were still the only choice for office secretaries.

And there was this thing for numbers. Watch those bangs, sister.

Home Ec was called “industrial arts” at this particular high school.

While what we term regular “art” was still funded and practiced. Swell job, Peg!

Shop was called “Distributive Education.”

This was called “horseplay” and not cause for litigation.

Flirting was alive and well.

And teen silliness prevailed at the Junior-Senior Dance. What a lovely pair!

Now if I could only remember my locker combination…

Ugly Perms Of ’84

Vogue, April ’84

That’s how I feel about perms, too, Andie. Like Andie McDowell, I had curly hair in the 80s, so no perm was warranted. Frizz was in, and sleek was out. Even Paulina experimented with the volume of the perm. Clearly, she still felt sexy in her side-eye specs.

Perms were liberating, devil may care, and wild.

When mousse came on the scene, permed styles became wetter, evoking poolside images of Christie Brinkley in “Vacation” or Phoebe Cates in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.”

But some perms still looked touchably soft. Why bother with earrings at this point?

And let’s not forget moisturizing curls to keep them plump and full–and “sof” and free. Even the “t” in soft was too hard for these curls.

That arched eyebrow means she ain’t playing.

Some Vogue ads showed before and afters, pre- and post-perm.

It looks like they were going for a combination of Jennifer Beals “Flashdance” hair and Ola Ray from the “Thriller” video. What do you think? Is that smile cringey?

And God forbid you get a bad perm. You could never show your face in public. The solution to a damaging perm? Twigs and branches.

Sep ’84 Vogue

Hair Of Early ’86

Take a look around. People’s hair seems pretty tame these days. Yes, women from 12 to 55 are adding purple tint. That’s a bit odd. But basically, nothing in these 20-teens has anything on the 80s. Not the Oughties or the 90s.

Today we take a look at a tiny sliver of the 80s, January through April of 1986. All images are from Vogue.

Let’s start with this hair-raising vertical, erect pony. It certainly wouldn’t work for driving any form of car or truck. Perhaps she only traveled in the way way back of station wagons, prostrate. She seems the sort, no?

Gravity-defying was in, with temples swept up and away. With heavy earrings and fringe hanging down, hair needed to fly up, the opposite of the middle-parted hippie Cher hair from the decade prior.

Even the model in the fatty plus-sized section of the mag had her hair sprayed up to the heavens to make sure it never fell into her face. 

This six-year-old in a jubilant Esprit ad also had hair spiked and sprayed to the sky, accented with a bandana, a la Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical” days.

When inevitably the hair collapsed, one wound up with a Shaggy Dog look. If only she could see her own appearance, she would have jetted to the Supercuts for a trim.

These bangs win the award for thickest bangs ever. I bet you could hide a shiv in there.

And for the free and easy, peace-loving, inclusive Benetton ads, hair was free form as well. All the way down to those split ends. Peace out.

Those Bangs Tho

Va Va Voom by Chang

While I admit that Sophia Loren is a beautiful woman (no question), this image doesn’t sit well with me. It’s not just the fact that the hair is reminiscent of Klute hair (go Google that on your own time); it’s that this photo is credited as being taken in 1960. It doesn’t seem consistent with the moment. Think of Marilyn Monroe in 1960. This was not the style. Plus, it’s ew.

The classic Sophia has voluminous dark hair and thick eyeliner and a bosom for days.


If she’s supposed to be dressed in day-laboring peasant clothes, we’re not buying it. Her stare is regal, almost confrontational. Her skin is supple and dark, her posture solid.

Early blond bleach job Sophia is lovely (and ever-voluptuous), but nearly unrecognizable.

Getty Images

The internet is full of Sophia images with her arms raised, hairy armpits on display. Is that the Italian way? I’ll spare you those, as well as the classic Jayne Mansfield side-eye.

So instead, I’ll leave you with this playful one.

And this chiropractor’s nightmare.

Or fantasy, depending on your perspective.












When Your BFF Is Packing Two Coors Banquets In Her Hair For Later

Blackcat 1970

Coors Banquet beer was black market back in the day, only distributed within some 13 western U.S. states. Per, in the 1970’s:

Coors claimed that not only could they not make enough beer, but that their unpasteurized brew demanded being distributed exclusively via refrigerated trucks, lest it “spoil.” Thus, a mystique was built, and soon east coast folks were smuggling cases upon cases of the beer back home after a visit to the Rockies. In 1977, Coors even took out an ad in the Washington Post saying “Please don’t buy our beer,” insisting any in the area was clearly black market, mishandled, and prone to becoming “watery” (you can laugh now). This insane thirst for Coors hit its apex with the release of Smokey and the Bandit, the Burt Reynolds action-comedy about a legendary trucker willing to risk life, limb, and the law to illegally smuggle crates of Coors back to Georgia.

This ’79 ad for said beer plays like an ad for America itself. Coors Banquet is “born where eagles speak, and the sunrise slides from peak to peak.” Clearly, it’s “no downstream beer.”