Tuesday, April 07, 2015

That's a Skirt?

You can't blame a youngster for thinking terrycloth is only for towels, possibly bathrobes. Unless you lived through the Golden Age of Terry (1974-1979) it would seem rather strange to make day wear out of the stuff. Those of us that wore our share of fluorescent terry rompers, or pullovers with asymmetrical terry stripes across the bodice know better. Mercifully, I don't have any youthful photos of myself romper-clad, but when we get to reminiscing about velour, you'll need to brace yourselves for the visuals you won't be able to un-see. So there's that to look forward to.
Perhaps my favourite thing about this skirt is the tag that reads, "Back." As someone who still can't figure out front from back in a pair of tights, I appreciate the clothing manufacturers acknowledging my ignorance. I mean, in the absence of a tag, or an obvious heel shape in stockings, how the hell are you supposed to know which side is the front? Wait right here, I'm going to go see what Google says. Stay put, I'll be back in a jiffy.


OK, I'm back. After a quick check of the first few Google results, it seems no one knows. So that's settled.

 About the same time as the Golden Age of Terry, there was a fashion for these button-less cardigans with short sleeves. Not quite a shrug, not a proper cardigan, they were light enough to wear in a chilly office, and easy enough to strip off and hang over the back of your chair when the HVAC system was acting wacky, which it has in just about every office I've worked in. Remember offices where you could open a window? Neither do I.
The thing about these, "not cardigan" sweaters is that no matter how short or long your sleeves, they won't work. I think long sleeves peeking out through the lacy knit trim just adds to the awkward charm-like wearing a buttoned-up Oxford shirt beneath a tee-shirt (preferably one that says something inspirational like, "When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on"). I like to think I nailed the awkward casual look long ago, but it never hurts to take a refresher course. Long sleeves protruding from short will do nicely. Inspirational tee-shirt optional.
Long-time readers will know I collect items made at the Amana Woolen Mills, in Amana Iowa. They stopped making clothing (save for baby items) years ago, though the mill is still in operation doing beautiful blankets. The knitted items are still easily found in thrift stores in the Midwest, and are often quite inexpensive. I don't know that they will ever become collectible the way other heritage brands like Pendelton have, but if you like classic, well made knits, Amana might just be worth keeping an eye out for. I'm really not doing this lovely piece justice.
Outfit particulars:
 Early 80's Amana Woolen Mills Cardigan-ish jacket-Thrift World
Pendelton Country Sophisticates Blouse-Goodwill
1970's Terrycloth skirt-Goodwill
Beads-Thrift World
Earrings-K Mart
1970's shoes-Thrift World
70's metal mesh handbag-Thrift World
Slip (bunched-up under skirt-sadly everything shows through terrycloth) Filene's ages ago
Fragrance -Some new Boucheron fragrance that smells like cotton candy. Odd stuff, review coming soon.
 Not Whiting and Davis, but still a nice-ish bag for a buck.
When I rule the world, and all skirts and stockings will have a tag telling you front from back, I'll make a law about gum soled shoes-because they're the BEST! They never wear out, absorb impact, and look bitchin'. Apologies to the nanas out there, but these shoes are too good to restrict to the over 80 set. I was about to say, "Because I'm middle-aged" but what does that mean, really? Do I see dragging this tired ass around the retirement centre, celebrating my 100-something birthday with pudding because cake is too hard on my teeth that were already ruined half a century earlier? "Middle?" I really hope not. The way it works in my family, if you don't drop dead in your forties or fifties (most of them do) you're stuck-in for the long haul perfectly ambulatory using the wheelchair like a shopping cart to push your purse around, and sleeping over a coffee tin full of piss so you don't risk breaking a hip getting up to relieve yourself in the dark. Super. I'll wear the nan shoes now in anticipation of a respectable fifty-something, falling over at the top of the stairs sort of demise.  I've already made clear that if I do end up on the other end of the family survival spectrum looking down the barrel of the century mark, I'm going to be horrible. Oh, I don't mean screaming at the kids to pipe down, and get off my lawn sort of horrible, but the sort of horrible that deliberately hits the maximum amps you can eek out of a power-scooter to run into people blocking my way. None of that, "invisible" shit for me. Uh uh. Nope. I've been practising mouthing, "I hate you, please die" in case something happens to rob me of speech ability, and I'm able to establish eye contact with the bastard I've just run down with the motorised scooter. Maybe I should just invest in a self-inking rubber stamp. "I hate you, please die. Have a Nice Day!"

Since that whole, long sleeves under short thing worked so well with the Amana cardigan that isn't a cardigan, I thought I'd give it a try with this awkwardly swingy plaid jacket that isn't quite a jacket (I have a lot of clothes with identity issues). This looks like a maternity outfit. It isn't, but something about the cut of this jacket makes me look third trimester.
Better in profile, but still.
This is a look best left to people taller than 5'2.
But the long sleeves beneath a short-sleeved jacket thing works, so hooray for that. Know what? Hooray for me fucking too. I get dressed every day. God, I really need that self-inking rubber stamp.

Outfit Particulars:

Knit swingy jacket thingy-Goodwill
Act III 1970's blouse-Goodwill
1970's Ultra Suede skirt-Goodwill
Bakelite clip earrings-Thrift World
Fragrance-Woman by, Jovan

Funny story-I had to run Danny over to the county Extension office with a moss sample from the yard for identification (don't ask). Danny wants to dig up a clump of it for making terrariums and fairy gardens, and would like to be able to know what sort of moss it is, and if he can collect spores to grow more. They were unable to identify it for him (leave it to my kid to grow oddball moss) but we're going to take it next week to the University in Lincoln for further testing. They don't see too many children marching in with moss samples, so they were quite nice and let him use their high-powered microscope to get a better look at the roots. I've said this before, but it is worth repeating-your local extension office is a great resource for questions about gardening, canning and preserving, insects-you name it! I've lost track of how many times I've had questions answered by the great staff and volunteers, but I am so glad to have their help. I also learned that the white things on the underside of ferns aren't a disease-they're spores. Exciting! I fully expect to open the door to my son's room and find mushrooms growing out of his stinky gym shoes. I'm sure there's enough dirt and organic material in there.

Driving home, I start smelling something-not bad, but familiar like I couldn't quite put my finger on it.

"Are you wearing cologne?" I asked Danny.
"No, but I'm holding an open vial of fresh moss."

It wasn't exactly Mitsouko, but I thought there was something chypre-ish coming from the back seat!


Beth Waltz said...

The silver bag for a buck is indeed a score worth marking! I'd also have tried on the shoes -- anything with a heel that might be a Naturalizer is good for my feet. However, I hae me doots about the cardiganish garment. I think I once wore something like it over sleeveless shells (back when I was a 32A and mighty oaks were acorns).

Terry cloth for 'Florida's heat and humidity'? Thank you for reminding me to ensure that THOSE vacation photos from the 70s that haven't faded away are duly destroyed. Made some dog beds comfy 'tho.

Mosses, lichen and fungi are truly otherworldly life forms. If ever Danny was inclined to mess about with water colors, he'll find them suitable subjects. The Victorian Naturalists (collectors of flora and fauna, not the nudists) filled portfolios with them! There's a brilliant yellow thingy called "Hen of the Forest" that's figured in several classic mysteries...

Mim said...

I don't remember terrycloth as a fashion, but at least it must have been easy to launder. I like your cardigan too, another thing I don't think we had over here.

Intrigued by the Boucheron. The only one I've got is Trouble, now discontinued, which I always thinks smells like Shalimar's churchgoing granddaughter - it's very sweet and polite, but you can tell it's got something in common with the rackety old lady...

Sue said...

When you rule the world can I be your second in command. Oh the fun!!

Goody said...

It is Boucheron Place Vendome. I was seduced by the beautiful bottle, and pink liquid but be warned, this stuff is sugary-you could get diabetes just from wearing it.

You may, but no staging a coup when I'm off having the corns filed off my feet ;)

@ Beth Waltz
Hen of the Forest is also called, "A Tree Brain." We have fresh mulch and a week of cool rainy weather ahead of us-I can't wait to see what starts sprouting up after that.

Bibi said...

Now, now. I still see plenty of terrycloth clothing on QVC. Can you believe QVC has caught on in Thailand? We were in Bangkok last spring & Thailand was all abuzz & abluster over shopping on TV. I'm bootlegging Thai QVC on my satellite dish atop my hovel right now!
I remember those short sleeved cardigans as being sort of the 'hip' version of the classic twinset, NOT the busty gal's friend!
I think I saw that swingy plaid jacket in the maternity section of Target circa 2006. I did wonder then why any pregnant lady would want to look even more pregnant by wearing a style like that. Little did I know I'd turn up pregnant about a week later.
Everything Boucheron has made in the last 15 yrs has been like 'skittles & suntan lotion' in a gorgeous bottle. I did like their 'Jaipur' for men though.
Sign me up for at least 2 of those "I hate you, please die. Have a Nice Day!" stamps. Maybe 3?

Curtise said...

Awkward Casual? Now that's a style I can do! A bit like Geek Chic for the over 40 brigade, terry toweling optional. A toweling skirt is pleasingly multifunctional, you can wear it AND dry your hands on it. Or the dishes. Result!
Anyway, you're rocking the Seventies as always, and I know I won't be the only reader looking forward to your Velour Retrospective.
Ha, you can just give yourself a rub down with some moss and get a whole new perfume for free! xxxx

Northern mum down South said...

And boy do you get f*ing dressed every day Goody, I've been wearing the same skirt all week but I did change the top as I sometimes have to stand near people at work to speak to them. Keep up the good work and I'll try and step up my game . . .

Goody said...

If the stories about predictive software are true, Target probably knew you were pregnant before you did.

Velour was bad stuff. I still wear selected pieces on occasion, but I still wouldn't call it an good look.

I'm too much of a slob to wear the same skirt day after day, otherwise I would. I get undressed and everything I've eaten comes tumbling out of my shirt and bra. I like to think that's calories saved that ended up on my clothes.