Writers Write

The 70s Vibe

A few of my classmates from 1975

Cherry’s swim team celebrated spirit week leading up to the district meet. Everyday had its own theme: Hawaiian Shirt Day, Dress to Impress Day, Dress Like the 70s Day.

“How did you dress in the 70s, Mom?”

I combed my closet for a pair of super bells, platform huarache sandals, or a Peter Max minidress. Didn’t I once own a boho bulls-eye shrink? I came up empty-handed. Even though I’d actually been a teen in Tom Wolfe’s “Me Decade,” nothing I owned now qualified as 70s style. Come to think of it, I’m not sure the terms, 70s and style, belong in the same sentence.

Of course, it’s a mother’s job to offer suggestions. “Tuck this button-down shirt into your low-rise jeans. I know there’s a giant horseshoe belt buckle buried somewhere in the garage.”

She gave me the look. “No. Just. No.”

Cherry’s generation is all about skinny jeans and Converse sneakers. She has no concept that before the Nike swoosh, her dad wore Chuck Taylors only when he played basketball. In the end, she dressed for school in leggings and an oversized sweater. She pitched out the 70s vibe like an old pair of earth shoes.

The episode made me nostalgic. What did I look like at her age? I dug out a yearbook. Fortunately, I was wearing a cheerleader uniform in almost every shot, and cheerleader outfits haven’t changed much. But I did find one candid, tucked between the rows of senior portraits. That’s me on the far right, stylin’ the seagull purse.

Check out my friend’s plaid pants under the table.


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