BootLeg Betty

BetteBack August 17, 1974: Fashion In 1974

Lawrence Journal World
August 17, 1974

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Fashion in 1974 is not dictated by authorities or names or peers, but by needs, living patterns, individually and personal preference, New York fashion coordinator Virginia Sorem said recently in Kansas City.

Nowhere is this fashion definition better expressed than on the college campus.

Ms. Sorem, who selects all the women’s clothing for the J.C. Penney catalogue each season, said in 1974” there are no trends, there are concepts.”

THE CONCEPT of easy living reigns supreme on the Kansas University campus. Despite the fashion prognostication of an end to the blue jean uniform of years past, it will continue.

But the individualistic streak which prompted the blue jean era in the first place will permit students to experiment with some of fall’s new looks.

Lynn Cherry, who works for the Jay Shoppe, attended in May the Dallas Apparel Market which previewed this fall’s styles. The clothes she saw left her with the impression that “people are considering dress an individual thing.”

There are enough different looks available that if one doesn’t work there are alternatives.

“People want clothes which make them feel comfortable,” Ms. Cherry said.

THE 21-INCH skirt is one of the newest looks for fall, she added, and clothes in general are seeking a more tailored look. Even sweaters are tailored, she said.

The Western look, so popular in the past, “is not as predominant.” In casual clothes, comfort seems to be the key, with the coordinated look which was big last year still going strong.

Pants have no cuffs this season, except for jeans which hang onto the cuffed look. Waistlines are still high, “but not cummerbunds, like last season,” she said.

Women can choose from a variety of specialty looks, ranging for the ’30s femininity of the Gatsby Look to the mad-cap ’40s verve of the Bette Midler Look.

“Clothes generally compliment the famale figure this year,” Ms. Cherry said, “although they aren’t necessarily feminine.”

MS. SOREM said easy care is an important feature in fashion selection, particularly for busy young women: “Easy is a look, a way of life and a method of coping.”

And fall’s look for campus is clothes that hang up, shake out and look wonderful.

Velour tops and sweatshirts are both predicted to be popular casual looks for fall, said June McMillan, of the Alley Shop.

Hooded tops are also an import fashion feature, she said.

One way to make clothes go further is to cash in on the “put together look,” which Betty Broat, buyer at Weaver’s Store, said is popular again this season.

More outfits will feature skirts this fall, Ms. Broat said, with coordinating sweater, jacket and pants.

“Girls will be wearing dresses again,” she added. The colors to look for are dusty shades of blue and rose, as well as the clear shades.

MS. McMILLAN agrees that young girls will be buying more dresses, long and short.

Older women remain the foremost enthusiasts of slack suiting, she said; young ones are discovering dresses again.

There won’t be much change in dress length from last year Ms. Broat said, although there is a variety of lengths offered to satisfy nearly every preference.

Coat lengths will be different this year, she said, with longer and shorter coats appearing.

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