Friday, March 4, 2011

Does the satin make my butt look big?

Sister Mercy! Did you hear? Bell bottoms are back in style this year.

Be still my Brady Bunch heart. I haven’t been this excited about a fashion trend since the Who Shot JR t-shirt in 1980. They say you’re too old to wear a trend if you wore it the first time it came around, but I’ve been known to wear white shoes after Labor Day, so I may throw caution to the wind and jump on board this train at the risk of looking like one of those middle aged ladies you see at the water park wearing a leopard print cover-up and gold shoes.

My love of bell bottoms goes way back to 1976, the year of the bicentennial. It was also the year I held a grudge against mama for weeks because she wouldn’t take me to Kaintuck Territory to see Dr. Hook perform live. Something about hippies, drugs and lyrics laced with sexual innuendo not being appropriate for a sixth grader. Whatever. I wasn’t mature enough to go, but I was a hippie at heart in my wide bells, as evidenced by this pep band photo.

That was my favorite pair of pants during sixth grade. The style back then was to sew patchwork material onto the bottom of your bells to give them a hippie edge. Mama latched onto that with gusto because it meant she got another four or five months of wear out of our pants after a growth spurt. I wore those pants OUT, and I remember being sad when I had to give them up. Sadder than when I outgrew my black patent loafers in fourth grade and even sadder than when I spilled soda on my ivory satin disco pants at Homecoming in 1979. And that’s sayin’ something because those satin pants were hot, hot, hot with my satin shirt and matching satin ball cap and purse. And Candie’s shoes. Don’t forget the Candie’s.

I think of those patchwork bell bottoms every now and then whenever I slide on a favorite pair of jeans or try on a pair that fits just right. I smile with memories of grade school band and playground games and old friends. And I yearn for days when the only things I had to worry about were math quizzes, saving money for the Bay City Rollers album and whether I should circle yes or no when DB asked me to “go with him”. Those bell bottoms gave way to disco satin, peg leg denim and high heels just a couple of years later, which makes me wonder if those will make their way back onto the fashion racks soon, too. If so, I’m gonna have to buy some Spanx. Or get a leopard print cover-up to hide my backside.


the parishioner who doesn't do anything said...

Since you were at the tail end of bells, I think you can pull this off. Since I was at the front in of bells, I think I better go with just a little flair. (Did you know I played the flute too?)

oreneta said...

Bells. I have to say that my enthusiasm doesn't run as deep as yours, but I am all for some jeans that come up a liiiiittle nearer my waist.

J.G. said...

I remember when if your bellbottoms didn't cover your feet completely when you stood still, they weren't big enough. You also made me think of sandals we called zories for the first time in about 35 years.

But I think I will be passing on bellbottoms this time, fearing the "mutton dressed as lamb" effect.

Jan n Jer said...

I remember well the "Bell Bottom" days...sadly though...those days will stay a memory. I am still having a hard time mentaly not being able to shop in the Jr's department.

GIn said...

I too am a hippy at heart & I love this post! :) And...I've missed your blog! So glad you're still here!

alphawoman said...

You are so cute. I wish I had saved all my bell bottoms. Wait, I was a bout a size six back then (one of those true size 6's!!lol)