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Fads from my cluttered past are in style again!

One year my daughter gave me one of those 'Storyworth' legacy accounts in order to chronicle my life for posterity. History. Something. It turned out to be a pretty intense exercise. Here's one of the lighter stories:


I’d had long hair forever.

In the sixties and seventies, everyone tried to have thick, shiny, waist-length hair, including me. My reflection in the mirror looked better than usual that particular morning, because the braces I’d worn since age thirteen had finally come off. I practiced my new smile in the mirror.

My mind flipped back to my family's many military-mandated moves, and how my relationships had all been I’d loved certain things about each place, but tried not to get attached because we’d be moving in two or three years. Thinking about style had been the last thing on my mind, because wherever we moved, the style was different, so why even try?

But I did try. I wanted to fit in.

In Bellevue, Nebraska, it had been all about dirty, white tennis shoes. I’d moved from Little Rock, and gleaming, white and black saddle shoes had been all the rage in my age group. Now, from eleven to twelve years of age and in a different part of the country, the saddle shoes and white crew socks stood out like a sore thumb. I tried to scuff up the white tennis shoes I’d insisted Mom buy for me, but it felt weird to desecrate the white canvas. When I finally did get used to this trend, we moved again.

About those knee socks.

I loved knee socks because I could wear them in different colors, but when we moved, I discovered quickly that knee socks were NOT cool everywhere. It took me a while to ditch them.

When my dad decided to retire in Little Rock, I dug in and latched on. It was hard to make friends at first, but Carol Rogers rescued me in homeroom and started hanging out with me out of pity. I was considered an alien for a long time. I soon learned how to say ‘y'all’ and ‘fixin’ to’. In 1968, baby doll dresses were a thing, cute pony tails, or pigtails, as they were called. Patent leather baby doll shoes with an inch heel and a single ribbon across to tie them. I embraced all the styles, and my mom made me dresses or we shopped together in Park Hill at a store called ‘Belles and Beaux.’ When I turned sixteen, I still had long hair. I slept in huge, plastic rollers every night. We all did. I wore mini-skirts and colored, matching hose. Turtlenecks were in for many years, and I had one in every color.

I loved bell bottoms. A-line hip-hugger skirts and slacks had morphed into hip-hugger bell bottoms and they swept the country. I loved them! Now they are totally back in style.

In college, I did the white, patent-leather, go-go boots and hot pants, the term used for short, rompers that were paired with tall boots and naked thighs. I always felt weird in this outfit, but hey, everyone was wearing them. Mostly, I went to class in bell bottoms, lots of jewelry, and platforms. Also, earth shoes were a huge thing. And Candies, those huge, platform shoes that fractured ankles because the soles were three inches thick and solid wood. As I think back, I appreciate my father so much for bankrolling me to buy all this stuff. I drove a '68 Chevy Camaro, which he eventually sold and bought me a '69 Pontiac Formula Firebird V-8. Those cars are still cool in 2023! Since he didn’t teach me how to take care of a car, when I moved to Colorado in ’75, I ran the thing into the dirt, coz nobody told me when a car started banging loud I had to pull over and get it towed or something. It died by the side of a road as I drove from Boulder to Denver, and I got a ride with nice people in a white Cadillac to a gas station to call for help. I bought a cute little four-door, white Fiat after that. I was making my own money by then, so I financed and bought the car, which I’m sure relieved Dad, but he was upset that I’d bought foreign! I never did discover what happened to the discarded Firebird.

My college sophomore year, I wanted a change. I’d lost the 'freshman 25' and wanted a new look to go with my new silhouette. I went to a Jonesboro stylist and told him to chop off my long hair. I got what would be called a ‘pixie’ today. Pretty drastic! I loved it. This was before curling irons and all those fun things enjoyed from 1995 forward to style hair, so it was tough to get used to. But I liked the look, and Twiggie's pencil-thin form and pixie bob haircut were very much in style.

Everyone went bra-less in the seventies, me included. Bare midriffs and halter tops were important, and looked great with bell bottoms and platforms. This was basically the college co-ed female uniform. That, and a dark tan. We started the 'quest for the tan' in March, on the roofs of the dorms. The guys liked to climb the buildings and stare at us.

I love keeping up with trends, but I really don’t have the energy anymore to chase that elusive goal of always being ‘in style’. Certain trends don't look good on everyone, anyway. On Hilton Head Island, where my husband and I landed almost nine years ago...the uniform is mostly a variety of white pants with cute tops, or a simple sun dress; great sandals and tasteful jewelry with an island flair. Easy-peasy. And ageless.


Bell-bottoms are back in style and I just bought two pair. I still love them!

(Wearing bell-bottoms and my 'pixie' stage below, LOL)


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4 comentários

You were, and are, beautiful! my gorgeous cousin! I remember the long hair and the subsequent haircut! I also got the cutest hand me downs! I can still them perfectly! They skirts were fabulously short and I loved them.

Kerry Peresta
Kerry Peresta
09 de nov. de 2023
Respondendo a

I had no idea my stuff was passed along! Glad the clothes stayed in the family! ❤️ Thx for the compliment!


Kerry you were cutting edge during the early years at Sylvan Hills. You were a trend setter, and never in my opinion were you a follower. You could pull off wearing whatever you wanted, and that is rare! Your military background made you strong in ways not normal at that age. You still are. Great walk down memory lane and best wishes to a great writer and what I consider a good friend. Keep your passion!

Kerry Peresta
Kerry Peresta
09 de nov. de 2023
Respondendo a

Aww. I. sure didn’t see myself that way. Glad you did! Thx for your support and friendship!

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