Saturday, January 12, 2008

1975: Chuck Out Your Flares!

I find the way that the 1970s have been rewritten during the last ten-to-fifteen years very amusing. Many of the things we attributed to the '60s in the '70s and beyond are now celebrated as "'70s innovations" and the 1980s are also raided for pop culture and fashion to call "'70s".

Reliving the '70s through the newspapers of the decade brings back many memories of just how grim and stagnant the decade really was style-wise. Flared trousers, the hippie uniform of the late 1960s, had begun to enter the mainstream before that decade ended, but in the '70s, in the absence of new ideas, flares got rather stuck.

Even though I was only a kid, flares were a grim, militant uniform for me and my peer group and the same was true of teenagers on the council estate where I lived. You wore them or got picked on. There was nothing hippie or "loving" about the trend. And they lingered on and on.

'70s fashion designers did seek to shake off the outdated '60s fashions. They never quite managed it, but they did try. And in this article from the Sunday People, November 23, 1975, we see an attempt to call "time" on flares and revive drainpipe trousers:


From now on, trousers are straight-legged, even drainpipe slim. If you have flared trousers too good to throw away, it's worth a try to narrow the bottoms and wear them rolled up to just below the calf.

Of course, people had neither the time or money to step out of flares immediately. But it's good to see from actual material of the time that the tide was turning. It is also highly instructive to those writers, Wikipedia types, TV people and fashion reviewers who try to pretend that the '60s happened in the '70s and that the '70s were a great era for fashion.

They were not. The advent of both flares and psychedelic clothing took place in the mid-to-late 1960s and the so-called Summer of Love was in 1967/68.

To all those who pretend otherwise - haven't you got lives? Is rewriting the past a good thing? Does it give your lives in the present day some sense of meaning? Does it make you feel good about yourselves? Don't you think it makes you look rather silly?

Because anybody who takes a few minutes to study the facts can see you're writing/talking a load of nonsense.

Take a look at some 1969 fashion stuff here.

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