Ah, sweet youth. No matter whether you grew up sporting a fedora, penny loafers, poodle skirts, bell-bottoms, leg-warmers, skinny jeans, Madonna-inspired net shirts and rosaries, goth garb, a spikey mohawk, or even a wave that would put the Bieber to shame, you made a fashion statement, unique to you. Describe your favorite fashions from days of yore or current trends you think are stylin’.
I had a feeling of déjà vu when I saw today’s prompt and true enough, when I checked January I found my response to Daily Prompt: Style Icon. I ran through the gamut of my styling attempts quite thoroughly then.
I mentioned a penchant for the 20’s look à la Louise Brooks which I favoured in my early teens, and some slight inclinations to Goth (e.g. Morticia). Looking back this evening over some old pictures, I think my favourite look is this one, taken not long after the hair I had shaved off the back of my head returned to a decent shape. I think I spent about six weeks doing the film noire femme fatale look, then moved on to my mullet, combat boots and boiler suit combination, on the grounds that it just took too long to achieve the Max Factor every morning.
Sometimes I’m surprised that people I knew then can recognise me these days
Daily Prompt: New Sensation
Toupee found on the street outside a nightclub known as Reynards one Monday morning. I don’t want to know how this really happened, it’s too much fun making up scenarios to account for it.
Weekly Photo Challenge: Object
Tell us about something you’ve tried to quit. Did you go cold turkey, or for gradual change? Did it stick?
Both sides of my family has a tendency to go grey early in life, and by the time I was in my twenties, I was already an 80% greyhead. I started colouring my hair in my early teens so it feels like I’ve been doing it forever – I ran through some of the permutations in Daily Prompt – Style Icon last month. In my twenties, I just wasn’t ready to rock the silver look, so I kept on with the regular dipping.
As anybody who dyes their hair knows, there is some strange law of physics that dictates your roots will grow out faster than the ends. By the time I was in my mid-40’s I was ready to accept that my rich dark tresses were largely the product of my imagination and regular application of nasty, messy stinky goo and it would be ok to relax and go natural.
First I tried cold-turkey – just stop doing it. The result was that within three weeks, my barnet was beginning to resemble an elderly Yorkshire Terrier. Amendment to that law of physics – some of your roots will grow out faster than the ends.
Next was a complete change – if I went ash-blonde, I reasoned, the contrast between top and tail wouldn’t be so obvious. That was true, but my eyelashes and eyebrows resolutely remained as black as they ever were. I looked like a zombie – back to the goo, pronto.
The next steps were to try lighter variants of my own colour, which resulted in a return to the Yorkshire Terrier look. There are only two options left to me: crop the whole lot back to the ends of the grey roots – not an option at all, because when my hair is short, my somewhat small skull above my rather broad shoulders makes me look like a pinhead; or hide my hair under a hat or scarf for the approximately 5 years that it would take for the grey to grow out to a length that I can live with – not ready for that either.
So just before I wrote this post, I gritted my teeth, applied the goo and said to myself “maybe next month…”
Describe your personal style, however you’d like to interpret that — your clothing style, your communication style, your hair style, your eating style, anything.
Being young can often mean being trapped into making extreme efforts for the sake of fashion. For me this was particularly true with hairstyles. At the beginning of the seventies, I was in my early teens and anxious to look my best. At age 13 that meant long hair, flowing dresses, and love beads. Then for some reason that escapes me now, at age 14 I got an Afro. When that grew out, there was a brief transition to the Great Gatsby, with a Louise Brooks bob and a cigarette holder. There was the “Purdy” cut. Then Ziggy Stardust invaded the world, and my hair stood on end. My eyebrows went missing around that time too. I thought I was beautiful. This was swiftly followed a biker phase, accentuated by the Farrah Fawcett look, which lasted until a revival of the perm, this time, waist length straight hair was transformed into a mass of corkscrew curls. Presenting this fabulous look at my then boyfriends house, his little sister anxiously asked whether “it” would get off my head anytime soon. Miraculously, I avoided punk, but did manage a transition to Goth in the eighties. Back to the Louise Brooks bob, but this time my head was shaved at the back from crown to nape. A shocking pink and gold eye-shadow combination and white lipstick completed the look. Not long after that a ubiquitous shade of purplish red infected hairdressing salons everywhere, including mine, and the bob morphed into a mullet. This was sometimes accessorised by a black and white clip on braid (“why”? I ask myself now). I’ve been a red-head, channelled Morticia Addams, and was platinum blonde for two hours. Somewhere in all that I had Bo Derek braids – they hurt.
Over the years I accumulated a range of hair styling devices that rivalled a medieval torture chamber and enough accessories to fill a warehouse. My hair was crimped, straightened, twisted, bleached, ironed and subjected to enough chemicals to warrant investigation by Greenpeace. I must have spent at least five years of my youth parked in front of the mirror developing weird cramps in my biceps while twisting my mane this way and that. These days my hairdryer gathers dust and the gizmo on the last can of hairspray I bought corroded with age. There’s space on my dressing table for a good book and the cat to snooze. I feel like I’ve escaped.
Daily Prompt: Style Icon