My style in the 1970s
I have just celebrated another(!) birthday; for some reason, it made me very nostalgic about my childhood, how I have evolved as a person and how my style has changed since the 1970s.
When I was a young child, my parents weren’t particularly well off, but there were two things on which they NEVER skimped: food and clothing. My ‘mummyji’ prided herself on buying her three young daughters ‘only the very best’ clothes (said in a thick Indian accent, with the mandatory head shuffle) from Marks and Spencer (commonly known as M&S) and British Home Stores (now commonly known as BHS). Incidentally, the thought of stepping into BHS now fills me with horror, but I do venture in for a light bulb occasionally. I wasn’t allowed to buy, choose or have any say in what I wore, until I was about 14; then, I’d get the odd tenner to pop to Littlewoods to buy an acrylic jumper.
In the 70s, hippie fashion took over, with loose-fitting, flowing maxi skirts and dresses becoming dominant. Oh, how I ADORED them. However, my parents couldn’t afford to buy us all one, so hit on what they thought was an amazingly ingenious idea, which I am sure no other first-generation Indians would have thought of… why not let our full-length nighties double up as maxi dresses?
So, the annual family photos are of three little girls, perched tentatively on our parents’ lap, with pink pearly lipstick and wearing… our nighties. And, when we went to birthday parties and even weddings, the same nightie (parading as a maxi dress) was rolled out. Forget that they were almost see-through – heck, they were long, floaty, patterned and made with the very best polyester. We felt like Charlie’s Angels in them.
Even during mufti day at school, we wore our nighties. Can you imagine the ostracism which my eight-year-old daughter would get now, rocking up to school/party/play date/wedding or any other social outing… wearing her nightie? It would be social suicide for us both.
Now, with the weather improving, I have brought down my summer clothes from the loft and dusted down my maxi dresses. Ladies and, for that matter, everyone who knows me, please rest assured – I no longer wear my nightie in public nor would I allow my daughter to.