As I peruse fashion news and retail sites of late, I keep noticing the prevalence of the color salmon, which was the shade my mother wore when she remarried in 1976 (we called the color peach back then). As you can see it had an attached cape. My dad (he adopted me after the marriage, bless him) wore a creamy beige suit, a tie that matched my mother’s gown which he told me recently he thought was really neat, platform shoes, and a Tom Seleck-worthy mustache. He still has a more closely trimmed version, but no platforms. I was eight-years-old and a “junior bridesmaid” in a white dress with multicolored flowers and a choker collar attached to the bodice by an array of straps across the neck and chest as you can also see above. I adored that dress! My mom had one other bridesmaid who wore a dress that matched mine. All of them were made by a local dressmaker in Muncy, Pennsylvania.
After noticing so many analogous designs across the web I asked my dad to scan and email me these blasts from the past. My dad was not exactly fashion forward, and we lived in a small Pennsylvania town that didn’t get much in the way of metropolitan fashion influences. Still, Dad was rocking platforms! Like that unforgettable scene in The Devil Wears Prada makes clear, colors (and platforms, presumably) are often determined by the fashion elite and eventually sneak into closets everywhere. He told me yesterday he remembers having some platforms that were up to three inches high. It was de rigeur for the times, even in rural Pennsylvania.
In the ’80s, though, I could not abide my bridesmaid dress. I found it embarrassingly out of fashion. But now, maybe because I’m older, I can appreciate the little glimpse of fashion history the photo provides without getting judge-y. And I’m not saying replicas of our dresses would translate today necessarily, but maybe I’m loving these photos so much right now also because ’70s fashion is everywhere at the moment.