THE FOLLOWING ENTRY MAY BE INAPPROPRIATE
FOR SOME READERS
THOSE HIGHLY SENSITIVE TO THE PHYSICAL CHANGES WROUGHT BY PUBERTY THROUGH ADULTHOOD -- UP TO AND INCLUDING MIDDLE AGE* -- SHOULD CONSULT THEIR PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN BEFORE READING FURTHER.
*INCLUDING RECEDING HAIRLINE, LOSS OF SKIN ELASTICITY, AND GUM RECESSION
I wasn't always interested in clothes. In fact, I am certain that I preferred no clothes. And mud. This was to change quickly, however, as I continued down life's path to pursue my destiny.
In the Sixties, it was considered the height of chic for little boys to wear overalls. Once I grew accustomed to clothes, I heeded fashion trends -- not slavishly, but I knew what was what. I believe those are matching red sneakers...or a very bad rash.
Here's another version of the popular overalls look, no doubt from the Paris Originals Healthtex line. I have no idea what that "66" up top refers to, btw. Must have been the 66th shot on the roll.
Even as a child, I was fond of horizontal stripes. Back then, horizontal stripes were for children. And prisoners. Adults wore vertical stripes. This is the last orange thing I've ever looked good in.
Though the political times were turbulent, even in the late Sixties I continued to cling to a classic look that would always be in fashion. No fringe vests or psychedelic prints for me...yet.
It proved impossible to ignore the overwhelming social pressures to look groovy. Hair was long, prints were loud, and shirts were double knit.
On the cusp of puberty, by mid-decade I had adopted a more classic style. The hair was still long and the sweater acrylic, but I recognized a timeless look -- as well as the value of an understated accessory.
I wanted so much to show you the embarrassing photographs of an awkward adolescence (a fundamental rite-of-passage for every adult American). Alas, fate had other things in store for me. No glasses, no braces, and no acne a little Clearasil couldn't hide. My teens were my most glamorous years; it would be a slow decline from there -- till now of course!
When I look at these thirty-year-old photos, only one thought comes to mind: Hair. I had such great hair. Oh well; today I have wigs, many wigs.
Along with the rest of the country, by the early Eighties I was starting to get branded. Nike shoes. Polo shirts. How I loved my red Mighty Mac zipper jacket. It was $80 at Bloomingdales, which my mother said was simply too expensive. So three friends chipped in and bought it for me. My Mom was furious.
If I still had this plaid shirt I'd be wearing it today. It's strange but true: I owned no embarrassing outfits.
Except this one. I was preppy -- too preppy. But weren't we all, dear readers? (those of you who were already born, that is.)
I abandoned the preppy look when I lived in Italy for a few years after college. Sadly, I lost those Persol sunglasses a few years later.
Still in my Italian phase: Easter in Montecatini, 1985. The hair is getting shorter.
This look definitely brings back the Eighties, which were nostalgic for the Fifties. I bought that jacket in Milan and it had wide shoulder pads. I still have that Valentino tie, a gift.
By the mid Eighties I had discovered hair gel. The "dry look" was over.
OK, those sunglasses. I think I'd lost my Persols by this time. But you know, when you're young, you can get away with almost anything.
As the Eighties came to a close, I lost my way a bit, fashion-wise (and not only fashion-wise). I never should have bought that vintage field jacket (I would own another one twenty years later...). That color is awful on me.
The late Eighties ponytail -- ugh. I no longer had the hair(line) for it and it simply didn't flatter me. But everyone was growing one so I did too.
By this time I had given up on my scalp and started to experiment with the hair on my face. Everyone had some sort of soul-patchy-goatee thing going on in the early-to-mid Nineties, and so did I. I'm actually wearing Rollerblades in this shot: how Nineties is that!
Variations on a theme. Now I wore vintage French sunglasses (whatever became of those?).
These were not my best years, fashion-wise, or maybe it was just the decade...
I did try to bring some style to the Appalachian trail, however.
As another decade came to a close, I made the decision to shave my head and I never looked back -- till I was forced to confront those old high school photos today, that is. Gadzooks.
A NEW CENTURY: THE AUGHTS
Back in Italy in 2001 -- I always dress better there; it's hard not to.
Mid-decade, and still holding on. I've lost a bit of my "bloom" perhaps, but the years have been relatively kind.
And now, thanks to my sewing machines and my new look, I'm ready for a new decade!
Loyal followers and lurkers, I hope you've enjoyed this emotional trip down memory lane. Kleenex is available in the lobby. Do you hate me for not having more embarrassing pictures? I swear, I hunted for some.
OK, it's your turn. What were some of your worst outfits through the decades? How are you dressed in your most embarrassing photo? Fess up!