March 14, 2015

Five Fashion Fads From The Class Of '78

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 photo moccasin.jpg
I loved my moccasins. For one thing, they were as close to going barefoot as you could get. For another, they made you short, unlike the platform shoes and others of the day. I loved being short because I'd grown so fast in grade school that I was 5'2" long before the others hit their own growth spurts. I didn't get over feeling like a giantess until college.

Now, talk about uncomfortable and potentially dangerous, Dr. Scholl's "exercise sandals" were just the thing. I had one pair; I should've tried walking in them before I bought them. Because with every step, I kicked that shoe right off of my foot. I could've maimed a small child with those things!

I guess the "exercise" was your toes. While the shoes promoted their ability to slim the legs, the whole trick photo SchollsSandals.jpg was to keep your toes curled tight against the wood as you walked. I don't have great toes anyway, and my legs were fine back then. Dr. Scholl's sandals were a total bust for me.

Embroidered work shirts! Oh, these should never have gone away. They were men's work shirts, hence the name. I suppose in California and maybe New York they bought actual girls' denim shirts, but here you could get the work  photo EmbroideredShirt.jpg shirts at Sear's for about two dollars. The most popular designs included mushrooms, peace signs and flowers. My work shirt was a Christmas gift from my cousins Jana and Marla, who both did their embroidery on it. I still have the shirt, it escaped the Great Basement Clean-Up! Alas, it no longer fits. But there's no way I'd ever let it go.

There was a phase of down coats with removable sleeves, thus giving you the choice of a down vest. photo DownParka.jpg Now, I don't find that a puffy vest does me much good in sub-zero Kansas wind chills but damn if it doesn't look good. My coat was actually prettier than the one shown here, if you can believe it! It was light blue with snowflakes on it. We used to wear our vests in class.

There's no fashion without jewelry, and mood rings were it. They had temperature-sensitive paper in them; the paper went toward red if your hands were hotter, back to purple and almost black if your hands were cold. So these gems didn't really measure mood, they measured hand temperature.

 photo MoodRing.jpgI have to give props to our biology teacher who taught us that. He also taught us that we could alter our own mood rings by concentrating very hard on "warming" our hands mentally. I would picture opening the oven to remove a cake and that paper would start to change toward yellow and orange. It was early biofeedback, which was being researched here in Topeka at The Menninger Foundation.

I still have my mood ring, and it still works!