Miscellany and detritus, from the writer of Is This Mutton?com

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Back to the 70s

I went clothes shopping last Saturday and was pleasantly surprised.  I saw so many clothes I could buy. So many colours I liked. It was not my experience of the previous two years, when I despaired of finding anything to wear. Those empire line tops and dresses, baggy tunics, cigar pants and harem pants, did nothing for me.

The new season trends of florals, colour blocking, all-white, stripes and "70s vibe" are very much me. Perhaps not the colour blocking. And really I shouldn't do florals, though I can't resist (occasionally) a floral dress or skirt  (I found a divine floral skirt in Coast - left).

The discovery of Biba, exclusive to House of Fraser, was a revelation. I loved everything! Which I didn't when Biba was an iconic brand in the 70s. It seemed a bit hippy-esque then. I bought a high-waisted skirt (left)  and a ruffle shirt, (below right) although I am less convinced now about the shirt.

But not only is Biba back. The Times reports today that Chelseas Girl, which used to be as ubiquitous on the UK high street as, um, Dorothy Perkins or TopShop, is also coming back. It became River Island a few years ago and they are launching a new Chelsea Girl range of vintage fashions for young girls who like vintage but not the price tags or fusty old smell that goes with it.

Today's Times also carries a glum piece about the challenges of wearing the latest waist-high (or higher!) flared jeans. We have been resisting them for a few years, apparently, and sticking to our low-rise jeans, but now the high waisted jean is de rigeur.

The writer was very pessimistic about them though, saying you have to be very tall and very thin. Phooey. In my youth, flared jeans and trousers were everywhere; the bigger the flare the better.  I remember being awe struck when my 15 year old best friend, Susan Payne, produced a pair of cream trousers that had the biggest flare I had ever seen (to this day). Our jeans were by Brutus, Lee, Levi, Lee Cooper and Easy. And they are easier to wear than low rise, where a muffin top inescapably falls out over the top.

Wedge shoes, gipsy tops and big floppy hats are also back, which makes me a little nostalgic, but also suspicious, because didn't I once read that if you wore a fashion first time round, you shouldn't do it when it comes round again? What do you think - will you be embracing the 70s revival or giving it a wide berth?


Anonymous said...

Damn you and your mention of 70s fashion brands! Now you've got me humming the Richard Shops radio jingle!

Sharon J said...

I love the gypsy tops and have bought one so far, along with a gypsy dress. Not sure whether I'll actually wear the dress though - I guess I'll just wait and see whether I'm ever in the right mood for it.

I'm really pleased to hear that Chelsea Girl will be making a comeback. Boy, how I loved that shop when I was a teen in the 70s :)

Anonymous said...

I love gypsy tops and already have a couple.
I don't know if I will buy into much more of the 70's trend - though for a girl who is allergic to the sun, its nice to see floppy hats are back in style...

Maddie Grigg said...

I seem to remember you wearing that same ruffle shirt back in the 70s...
I am all for the high waisted jeans - hurrah, at last! Also like the pretty florals. And yes, I went through the 70s but was more of a punky/modette in those days so it's kind of all new to me.

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