Fake Tans, Fringes and Wooden Clogs

I WATCHED a news item about fake tans this morning. Several young, overweight girls were convinced that looking orange was going to make them as desirable as Angelina Jolie.

As I laughed in my own superior way, I suddenly remembered what lengths I went to as a young woman to try to look like Charlotte Rampling or Farrah Fawcett - a bit difficult for a Devonian stumpwort. But I had a go at trying to force my reluctant body and its accoutrements into some semblance of "fashion".

There was the year of long, sleek hair which necessitated me ironing mine every morning to remove its slight waviness. Then curly hair came in and my hair was not wavy enough. I'd post a photo of me with my Afro perm if it wasn't so embarrassing but the picture above will give you some idea.

I tried fake nails for all of one week until I realised it was impossible to do anything with your hands while wearing plastic talons stuck on with some inadequate glue - such a waste of two perfectly good opposable thumbs.

There was the era of fake lashes, so thick and heavy that for a while I went around with my eyes half closed, bumping into things. I was later similarly ocularly handicapped with the long side fringe that covered one eye.

There was the spell of the chalk white face with white lipstick during which I looked like an escapee from a tuberculosis ward.

Do you remember wooden clogs? I was banned from wearing them in the house after stepping on my mother's toe while wearing several pounds of seasoned oak.

I've looked like Rowdy of the range with my fringed suede jacket and skirt and leather boots - I shudder to think how many poor cows gave their lives to make me look like a poor cow. I spent a few months looking like a man, with sharp trouser suits, shirt and tie and a few more months looking like a Stepford wife with long floral skirts and floppy-brimmed hat.

Then there was the power dressing era with shoulder pads so wide I could hardly get through the door - shoulder pads on a jacket with rolled up sleeves, of course. I could go on .... and on and on but my fashion phases and faux pas are too numerous to mention.

What were yours?


  1. I did the clog thing and the like-a-man thing - thin ties, buttoned up collars, Dad's old evening jacket.... but never the make-up thing. Still don't - wouldn't know where to start.

  2. I lived in California in the seventies and remember wearing many long Hawaiian style dresses that had a strap that tied in the neck. It was the height of fashion. Those were the days when I didn't need to wear a bra. I also went through the ethnic dresses period with wooden clogs that were very cumbersome to wear. The ethnic dresses were fun. The wooden clogs were clunky, and cold in the winter time. We wore them with woolen socks.I was also a semi-punker for a bit with pants with lots of zippers and a really cool haircut. Oh, I loved it all.

  3. I've never even attempted to be remotely fashionable, which on a day-to-day basis means I don't impress anyone... but I don't have anything to cringe about years later either.

  4. devonian stumpwort??? i love it. and i guess if you can confess, so can i.


    never mind. it didn't work.

  5. I'd forgottent the wooden clogs!
    There was a brief, unfortunate period in which 'wet look' boots featured (knee high, with lace-ups and granny heels..........shudder!)

  6. This is hilarious and brought back so many cringe-worthy memories. Love your blog. Very funny.

  7. Yup...that AWFUL Farrah Fawcett hair. And liquid eyeliner. Blue. Ugh.

  8. Mine were the same as yours - are we twins separated at birth???

  9. Oh, fashion - I have a sneaking suspicion I may be of a similar era to you. I remember all those things - Farah Fawcett (in the days before she was Mrs hyphenated Majors) being possibly my first role model (although I think I may have hankered after a Donny Osmond hat some time before then...) Yes, clogs. I remember the time when me and my friend susan tried to carve our own clogs out of blocks of wood. After about six months I think I gave up and hammered a couple of strips of suade over the top and called them wedges. OH, don't start me off. Patchwork Brutus Jeans anyone?

    Great blog, by the way - and thank you so much for visiting mine.

  10. I spent so much time on sunbeds as a youngster I ended up with malignant melanoma. Oops. Survived it very luckily.
    Perms and colour wrecked the hair over the year.
    Dressing too old for my years, and probably heading into dressing too young for them now I have lost a bit of weight.
    Aggh!! Great post

  11. I was a teddy boy with a da and grease... now that was silly!

  12. Mopsa: Take my advice, don't even attempt the make-up thing!

    Gossamer: I rememeber those halter-neck dresses too! I never went down the punk road but there's still time.

    Rol: It's a bit different for women, I think. You can only buy what's in the shops and there's no way you can avoid the cringing several years later!

    Laurie: Stumpwort is what Sylvia Plath (who lived in Devon with husband Ted Hughes) used to call the local people. I love the term and I'm proud to be a stumpwort!

    Pondside: Wet look boots! Oh yes, and I've just remembered my mini white PVC raincoat.

    Louise: Thanks for the comment. You're very kind.

    Maria: That hair only ever looked good on Farrah, everyone else looked a mess!

    Akelamalu: We could well be twins, either that or we both have the same excrutiating taste in clothes!

    Brown Dog: Making your own clogs!? That's brilliant and what initiative to turn them into wedges. I'm full of admiration.

    Lakeland Jo: Glad you've got over the melanoma and hope you have a new wardrobe of clothes now!

    Mutley: My older brother had a wonderful D.A. Bet he wishes he had it now. Bet he wishes he had any hair at all!

  13. I did laugh at this and think we must be very similar... I quite often hide at the end of the day at work or save up going to the loo to avoid giving a certain person a lift! (There is a perfectly acceptable bus so I'm not being too mean...)

  14. Whoops sorry I am pretty stupid and have left my comment under the wrong post... obviously that was meant for the car sharing one... doh.

  15. I did puffball skirts for the two minutes they were in fashion.

    I spent my entire teenage years wanting to look like Julie Christie in Dr Zhivagho or The Go-Between.

    Truth be known I still want to look like Julie Christie in Dr Zhivago or The Go-Between.