Must- Have Fashions of the 1960’s

I’m a member of a Facebook group for people who live or once lived in the small town in the mountains of North Carolina where I grew up.

I’ve observed an interesting sociological phenomenon here.  People who no longer live there have fond memories of the town; those who still live there do a lot of whining about how great things used to be, but it’s now gone to hell in a handbasket.  Actually, that applies more to the people who never left.  Many people I know left and then returned by choice.  They love the town and the surroundings, but don’t think it’s the one and only place in the world to be.  Nor do they think it’s been ruined by(pick one) tourists or the government.  I’m not sure what conclusion can be drawn from this, but something surely could be.  All I can conclude is that you have much fonder memories if you left, than if you stayed.  I wonder why?

In any case, I innocently did a post asking if the women in the group remembered two particular hair care products:  home perms by Toni, and the gel Dippity Do. (They still make that, by the way.) You cannot imagine how that question morphed into all sorts of memories of must-haves of the 60’s.  From hair to perfume to clothes. I’m talking about the early to mid-60’s here, not the later 60’s with the influence of the hippy movement.

Here is a partial list of products and apparel:

Tame crème rinse.  Breck and Prell shampoo.  Breck had “Breck girls” in their magazine ads.  Ordinary girls, just like you and me!  We could be a Breck girl too, picked out of a crowd for our shiny hair!

Sleeping (or not much) in big round hair rollers (sometimes with brushes!) so our hair would be curly in the morning. If your hair was long enough, you could dispense with the rollers and use empty frozen orange juice cans.  Rinsing your hair in beer to give it body.  Using lemon juice to lighten it.

Perfumes:  Interlude.  White Shoulders.  (You weren’t allowed to wear the heavier stuff your mother had–Estee Lauder.  Jungle Gardenia.  Chanel #5). Canoe or Brute for your boyfriend.

Mohair sweaters.

Wraparound skirts.

Madras.

Bass Weejuns.

These are great memories and have been a lot of fun for everyone who answered.  But, I don’t miss those days of thinking we had to own or use a particular product to be worthy.  I’ve never seen the show Mad Men, but I might watch it.  That was truly the golden age of advertising.  And we were more gullible.  They still make Bass Weejuns, by the way.  I looked.

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4 responses to “Must- Have Fashions of the 1960’s

  1. ?These are great memories and have been a lot of fun for everyone who answered. But, I don’t miss those days of thinking we had to own or use a particular product to be worthy. I’ve never seen the show Mad Men, but I might watch it. That was truly the golden age of advertising. And we were more gullible. They still make Bass Weejuns, by the way. I looked.””

    Boy does that hit my sweet spot. Bass Weejuns, Madras (bleeding madras)” were a staple of my uniform in 1964. They offset my starched Levis perfectly, or so I and the other males on campus thought. Then later by 1966 bell bottoms became the campus rage and rah rahs were another staple. Boy were they a bitch to keep clean on the clay grounds of FSU.

    Other popular colognes were Jade East and English Leather. I held a treasured giant bottle of canoe for about 10 years; well into the 70’s.But my fav was Spanish Galleon which has disappeared from existence like the dinosaurs.

    Mad Men is among my all time favs. If you do start watching though I suggest you start at the beginning 1,1. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes. The character development is significant.

    http://www.amctv.com/shows/mad-men/episodes/season-1

  2. I tried Mama’s perfume once – it smelled like insecticide on me. White Shoulders has been my only scent since college. (My dorm mate once dropped a nearly full bottle of Wind Song which shattered on the tile floor and soaked our rug. I still can’t stand that aroma!)

    Ah, Brut – yes!

    Prell shampoo is still available.

    But mohair, never. It sheds all over everything.

    Not aspiring to being part of the “in” crowd, I was pretty immune to most of the hype. I didn’t see the point of madras but I did like penny loafers.

  3. The person who brought up mohair sweaters said the same thing you did; it was like having cat hair all over yourself. Nowadays I don’t need mohair sweaters, I have cats to do that for me.

  4. > you have much fonder memories if you left, than if you stayed<

    Possibly because memory can be selective, often focusing on the "good" ones.

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