A friend’s Facebook post today of his infant self, garbed in velour, got me thinking about my days of velour, which, incidentally would be a great autobiography title. I stumbled across this 1979 Sears catalog image, and was reminded of a velour green dress I donned at Christmas that year (with a white satin blouse underneath-trust me, ’twas all the rage), in the final vestiges of the unseemly 70s. Or was it velvet or velveteen? Who can discern the magic of textiles?
Listen, I could collage up this joint and post all kinds of velour images across this page, but honestly, it’s overkill. I think we get the gist of velour off of just this one plush-fabric pic. It’s a lipglossy, pre-Working Girl meets Studio 54 (I almost said Area 51; Freudian slip) era, with the skinny belt, skirt slit, and stilettos, to boot. I can’t tell if they’re 13 or 43. But look at Miss Purple’s jutted elbow. She is NOT having sassy backtalk today. You flip through that Rolodex, girl. Fierce.
Now should we bring velour back? Heavens, no. When I see it in the wild nowadays (once just this year at church), I shake my head. The moment is over. It only whispers “Goodwill reject bin” from the fibers of its sheen. And we all know the only relevant sheen in 2018 is a Netflix Martin.
But can we take two minutes to appreciate it today? Even just saying the word is fun. Velour. Make it rhyme with sewer. Is it flattering? Heavens, no. It makes pre-teens look four months pregnant. Does it keep you warm? Yes. Did it take these girls from playgrounds to champagne? Or is the lyric “from crayons to perfume”? Whatever. Velour does that. That’s the power of velour.
It’s Stevens Twist Twill, lest ye forget. The red lion. And just in case you’re not familiar with twill, it’s a fabric with ridges. It’s the Ruffles of the material world.
You know how people these days looooove to say how important it is to “start a dialog” about things? How necessary it is for them to “start the conversation”? It makes me want to wretch, that kind of speech. So let’s just have a chit-chat about these manufacturer names, shall we? First off: Jack Tar Togs, that’s brilliant. It sounds like the mascot for a little league team. Go, Jack Tar Togs!
Hit Em Hard seems aggressive, but the list includes many manly names like Big Dad and 5 Brother (forget 5 Sister) and Stur-Dee. Sounds super reliable, right? But then others are more vexing. Pool’s is “swetpruf”? What is that about? That’s not even phonetically-spelled.
It reminds me of Farmer Jack’s advertising ploy. But he does it on PURPOSE. Or purrpuss, shall I say?
And as for Tuf-Nut? Yikes. I’ll take your word for it.
This just broke my brain. That is not a flat iron. That is not a Chi. Drying clothes happens inside a house, not near trees. Serious planning and diagramming was involved to just DRY CLOTHES. The woman on the right looks quite vexed, like an angry cat. She needs a box of wine.
And check out the master of coat hanger origami.
Oh, my poor grandmothers! I haven’t hung stockings/hose to dry this century. Does anyone wear pantyhose any more? Is metallurgy required? Does anyone even USE WIRE HANGERS? I sure as H do not. I saw Mommy Dearest. I’m no fool.
And what on earth is this? I can do both the Mashed Potato and the Twist, but not in a bowl of pajamas.
What kind of female McGyver was the housewife of yesteryear supposed to be? She was too busy making avocado melon Jell-O molds to dabble in repurposing kitchen utensils. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Can you really blame Selena for kicking this one to the curb? There is no way to justify this catastrophe of an ensemble. Does this really appeal to teen girls? Where is the shame in looking presentable? When did we decide to stop dressing nicely? Was it when ladies started burning their bras? Damn you, libbers!
Now this was appropriate garb in a high school cafeteria back in 1943. No hoochie mamas present, thank you.
This was how people dressed in Chicago to attend the movies in 1941. No, it wasn’t even Broadway.
Check out these folks riding bikes…
Even if they leaned forward toward the handle bars, there was no threat of whale tail in effect, no tawdry tramp stamp to mark them past their due date.
See how modestly these gals of the paper mill were attired ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY YEARS AGO? Say what you will about the ruffles that appear to be multiplying and about to attack her head; she’s quite fetching chilling on the railroad tracks. And what comportment!
Even Granny’s mowing outfit looks better than how people dress for church these days.
But this–this is the sad part. Even this GANG from 1916 looks sharp by today’s standards.
Minus the smokes (and the gun), that’s street urchin style! You can bet your bippy these kids were not of grand means, but they took the time to put an outfit together. What happened, America? What happened?