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Archive for the ‘Fashion’ Category

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Football Team School Bags

Posted by Big Boo on August 25th, 2010

Adidas HoldallThese days most kids probably have a school bag decorated with a picture of whatever the current most popular TV show is (so for the boys it’s probably Ben 10 at the moment, and for the girls maybe still High School Musical, or perhaps Hannah Montana) and that bag is probably a rucksack.

Back when I were a lad though, it would have been more likely to be a holdall style bag (or possibly a leather (or leather effect) satchel when you first started school – I bet they’re hard to track down now). For the girls this would probably have been pink or another girly colour, possibly with a picture of a horse or pony, whilst for the boys it would have undoubtedly been a football team bag, not dissimilar in style to that shown above, which is actually a currently available retro styled bag.

Now, I was never really into football. Sure, I had the odd kick about but since my Dad wasn’t a footie fan he never passed it on to me like many father’s do to their sons. When I first started going to school though, I suddenly discovered that most boys were big football fans, so in an effort to try and fit in I thought I had better start to show an interest too.

Most of the boys at my primary school would have had a holdall with their favourite football teams name on (and perhaps a picture of a footballer, a football or the clubs emblem). Most were also colour coded to the chosen team’s football strip as well.

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Ripped Jeans

Posted by Big Boo on July 14th, 2010

Ripped JeansAs time flies along, it brings with it certain fashions and trends which are embraced by the current generation of young people, yet which are looked on in horror by their parents. Some of these are perhaps understandable – imagine being a parent when such fashion items as the Bikini or the Mini Skirt were first introduced.

One fashion trend of the Eighties which caused consternation between the younger and older generations was the idea of Ripped Jeans. These may not have been as bodily revealing as the Bikini or Mini Skirt (unless you got very carried away with the scissors) but they causes differences in opinion for two main reasons.

The first reason was fairly obvious. Why would you even consider wearing a pair of trousers that had a hole in? Surely you would either patch them up or throw them away, depending on the size of the hole, said the oldies.

The second reason was the “waste of money” one. What was the point in buying a brand new pair of jeans only to cut and rip holes in them, or worse still, why would you buy a brand new pair of denim jeans costing twice the price of a normal pair, just because they had holes in?

As with all such fashion trends though, the kids didn’t listen to the grown ups, and before long every fashion conscious youngster was wearing them.

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Swatch Watches

Posted by Big Boo on June 9th, 2010

swatch watchThe eighties was undoubtedly the peak time when digital watches were all the rage. It’s no surprise as they generally offered multiple functions, such as alarms and stop watch features, and they were quite affordable when more traditional analogue watches still tended to be quite expensive.

The Swiss manufacturers of analogue watches obviously didn’t like this, as these new contenders from Japan were eating into their market, so they conceived a way of making the analogue watch popular again, and came up with the Swatch watch, a relatively inexpensive (compared to other Swiss made watches), fashionable and most importantly fun line of watches.

Swiss watches are renowned for being very accurate time pieces, but also expensive. Costs were cut by first reducing the number of components required to make the watch by almost half, and then by making the watch casing and strap from plastic instead of the more traditional metal.

Detractors of the digital watch would often complain about the use of plastic making the watches look ugly, but Swatch managed to avoid this criticism by ensuring that all their watches were given sleek, modern designs, with a wide range of colours to suit all tastes. Whilst some Swatch watches were just a single colour many had very bright, colourful designs on both the watch face and the strap, and this is what made them so popular.

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Mullet Hair

Posted by Big Boo on April 30th, 2010

mullet hairThe eighties was a great decade to have grown up in, there’s no doubt about that, but as with most decades us children of the 1980’s still have the possibility of a few old photographs in the family album that we look at and cringe in horror at what we looked like.

Luckily for me I escaped the fashion mistake that is today’s post, but I’ll wager if If you have a photo of yourself sporting the hairstyle that came to be known as the “Mullet”, it’ll be one of the photos you cringe at. For your own sake, I hope that picture was taken before the early nineties…

When people think of hair styles from the eighties the term “big hair” is often used, and the Mullet falls nicely into this group. From the front and sides, the typical Mullet looked fairly smart, with a nice centre parting or perhaps back combed or slightly spiked. Yes, for the most part (there are exceptions) the front looked OK.

It was the back that let the Mullet down. The hair was allowed to grow long, normally to around shoulder length, which on a bloke (for the Mullet was first and foremost a male hair cut) that always looked a bit wrong. It gave the effect that you had gone to the barber and only had enough money for half a hair cut, so the barber didn’t bother doing anything at the back.

Why did the Mullet catch on? Well, for some reason footballers and other sportsmen took a liking to the style, so of course impressionable young boys wanted to look like their sporting heroes. Pop stars also liked the look (I’m looking at you a-ha, but there were many more) so they were another big influence.

Oh, and there was DJ and Fun House presenter Pat Sharp, who sported a particularly large Mullet for far too long, although I don’t suppose there were many boys who went into the barbers and said, “make me look like Pat Sharp“.

Stocking Fillers - Suppliers to Father Christmas
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Jelly Shoes

Posted by Big Boo on April 2nd, 2010

jelly shoesOver the years there have been many fashion ideas which when you hear them described to you sound ridiculous and wholly improbable that anyone would want to wear. Jelly shoes are a good example. A shoe made of brightly coloured rubber. Doesn’t exactly sound that promising, does it?

However, Jelly Shoes did become incredibly popular during the eighties for several reasons. Firstly, the range of bright colours available worked well with the other colourful fashions available at the time, but secondly, and probably most importantly for many, they were inexpensive. Jelly Shoes could be picked up for just a couple of pounds, meaning they were ideal for their target audience of youn, cash strapped teenage girls.

The rubber used to make the shoes was normally brightly coloured, but it was also normally transparent, so completely clear shoes were possible (but you really should have had nice looking feet in order to wear these!). The rubber was often also full of glitter, which often further increased their appeal.

Being rubber they were a very good choice for wearing to the beach, since they were easy to slip on and off, and it didn’t matter if they got wet when paddling in the sea, as they would soon dry off afterwards.

Jelly Shoes are still widely available today, and can be bought in a surprising array of styles. The more familiar flat slip on shoe has now been joined by Sandals, Flip Flops, Lace ups and even High Heeled and Platform varieties.

I can only assume though that girls feet must be different to boys, and must be less prone to sweating. Last Summer I got myself a pair of the Jelly Shoes more recent popular cousin, the Crocs, but having worn them on a hot day I’m not proud to say that my feet were both incredibly sweaty and covered in dust that got in through all the little holes in the side.

How do you girls wear these things without ending up with feet that should have a public safety notice attached to them?

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Shoulder Pads

Posted by Big Boo on February 15th, 2010

shoulder padsFor pretty much the entirety of the eighties it was fashionable for women (and men to a certain extent) to wear clothes with shoulder pads in. Initially this trend was mainly confined to suit jackets, but before long it was not unusual to find shoulder pads added to blouses, jumpers and overcoats too.

The fad was so popular that even if you bought an item of clothing that didn’t have shoulder pads (say a T-Shirt, although even this humble item of clothing could find itself with added shoulderiness) you could always slip a pair of detachable shoulder pads in to give you that American Footballer look. These pads could be attached with velcro to the bra straps or straight into the item itself.

Some garments even came with a choice of interchangeable shoulder pads so you could have merely accentuated shoulders or go for the whole Star Trek Romulan look if that was what took your fancy.

The reason behind this fashion trend was primarily due to the rising number of women working in office settings. The eighties were a decade where women found themselves with more choice in how they wanted to live their lives than they perhaps had previously, even in the seventies. In a bid to be treated in the same way as men, the rise of the so-called Power Dressing phenomenon came about, with smart business suits the order of the day. Shoulder pads soon became a staple part of any high flying female’s wardrobe.

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Slip On Shoes

Posted by Big Boo on April 3rd, 2009

slip on shoesI remember that at some point during my childhood there was a real craze for slip on shoes, or loafers as they are perhaps more correctly called.  All the kids at school were wearing them with their white terry towelling socks and I wanted a pair too, for several reasons.

Firstly, they were easy to keep clean.  Shining your slip ons was simple, just apply polish, rub it in and buff, without having shoe laces keep getting in the way.  The tongues on my lace up shoes always ended up looking worn out because I couldn’t be bothered to remove the laces to clean them.

Sticking with the laziness motif, they were also easy to put on and take off.  Slip on, slip off (as Mr. Miyagi might say).  Laced shoes were more bothersome.  All that tying of bows was just too much hassle, plus you sometimes end up with a knot that you have to pick undone to get the shoe off.

Of course the real reason any kid wants anything is peer pressure.  I didn’t want to stand out with my normal lace up shoes.  In the end I never did get a pair, Mum always said something about my feet being the wrong width or some such excuse, but that was OK.  Not having a pair of slip ons paled into insignificance when the “what brand of trainers are you wearing?” question was asked…

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Fashion Wheel

Posted by Big Boo on February 24th, 2009

fashion-wheelHere’s one from the depths of my sisters toy cupboard. Well, not exactly, as she didn’t have the real fashion wheel but an imitation version, but it was just as good – probably better since it was smaller in size so easier to play with.

The Fashion Wheel allowed junior Armanis to design their own fashion collection by rotating the wheel to select different items of clothing, then placing a piece of paper over the selected options and rubbing over it with a wax crayon held sideways, a bit like doing a brass rubbing, if anybody still does that these days.

The wheel was split into three sections that rotated independently, the top featuring a head with various hats or jewellery, the middle different shirts, jackets and blouses, and the bottom depicting skirts and trousers. These images were raised off the plastic of the wheel, so when you rubbed the crayon over them an image of the outfit you had designed was left on the paper. The designs could then be coloured in if you wished.

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