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Cheap Chic

 

Cheap Chic
Milinaire and Troy
1975

As of this writing this book was still in circulation at a public library. I am sure all the folks my age and older will appreciate the fashion tips.  Woolworth’s just won’t do! If you work hard you can find a t-shirt for twelve bucks at Jax.  12 bucks in 1975 was serious cash (that was nearly 2 evenings of babysitting for me) and paying 12 bucks for a tshirt doesn’t sound that cheap (or chic) to me.

Make sure you scroll down to see a very cool picture of Cher rocking some jeans and the “ideal butt” shape for pants according to a designer.

A fashion history collection? Maybe. For all others, no.

Mary

 

 

More fashion books:

Modern Style for a Modern Girl

Dazzle them with Denim!

The London Look

21 Responses to Cheap Chic

  • That “perfect” butt drawing looks like something out of the “Baby Got Back” video. 😆

  • Cher is wearing mom jeans and the lady in the first picture looks as if she is wearing the blanket off her bed.
    Thanks for today’s laugh 🙂

    • They weren’t “mom jeans” at the time. However, they do NOT fit “the way jeans should fit,” or they would not gape at the top of the zipper like that.

    • And what, pray tell, is wrong with “mom jeans”? They’re more comfortable and frankly look way better than those low rider jeans. Especially since women insist on wearing the latter two sizes too small giving themselves a muffin top they wouldn’t otherwise have.

      While I agree many fashion choices back in the 70s were scary, I still prefer them to modern styles. Whale tales and sagging especially. At least in the 70s the waist of the pants was actually worn at the waist!

      • There’s nothing “wrong” with any style of jeans so long as they’re flattering to the particular wearer. Some look better with a lower waistband, some look better with a higher one. So long as they fit properly, they’ll look fine. High-rise jeans have made a comeback anyway, so cheer up.

  • I really rather enjoy the t-shirt mugshots. And they should be mugshots, as those are pretty near criminal as fashion choices. Yikes.

  • That picture of the “ideal derriere” … adjectives fail me at the moment.

  • Oh, Woolworth’s… The suburban stores didn’t carry clothing (at least mine didn’t) but every “black Friday,” although it wasn’t yet called that, my mother and I would go from our suburb to San Francisco to Christmas shop. One stop was always Woolworth’s! Lot of clothes in the City.
    “My tailor was Eric Con Stroheim’s tailor” and remember how good he looked? Hardly, he died in 1957! Who is that guy on page 71 anyway? Sweatpants with his “impeccably” tailored jacket?

    As for the problem then finding plain t-shirts… there was no problem. We bought men’s t-shirts! Jeans too, Levi button fly, and even the cords.

  • ALL of those women’s fashions are back in style (minus the pilled blanket)

  • I’m suddenly quite glad I’m too young to remember the 70s. (Not that the mid-to-late 90s, which I do remember, were really all that much better.)

  • The $12 t-shirt was not mentioned as a cheap option — it was intended as the opposite, as an example of how hard it was to find a plain one. But yeah, what about Hanes or the even cheaper brands for men at the time?

  • I had this book as a teenager (still have it, in fact, plus its sequel. You wouldn’t believe some of the prices being asked for them online.) And it’s true: so many of these looks have come back. I think some current designers and manufacturers pretty much rip them of wholesale (so to speak.)
    http://piece-piece.com/products/cheap-chic-update-by-caterine-milinaire-and-carol-troy-1978

  • I didn’t realize there were multiple-pierced men that early! (And if LaBelle’s was the same store I remember, I kind of miss that place…). However, the dude wearing sweatpants with a suit jacket is just plain weird.

  • If it helps, down-filled jackets are all the rage in New Zealand right now, because it’s winter. I suspect this will not impress the fashion-conscious of North America or Europe, however.

  • I snagged this book from my mom and I’m sure it’s still in a box in the basement. I bought a later edition, too. As a teen I really loved it and I have never forgotten that photo of Cher, which I thought was awesome.
    Still, you’re right; it does not age well. And the seventies it’s a decade whose fashions I have no desire to wear again: sweater coats, bell bottoms, peasant dresses, and those odd smock tops that look like pregnancy blouses.
    Weed on!

  • I keep seeing that “ideal derriere” drawing as a really bad sketch of a ballet dancer’s foot. Really bad.

    And I keep reading the caption as “high, round, and weaselly”.

  • That butt picture kinda comes in from nowhere, huh. It’s talking about men’s fashion in Europe vs. the US and then O HEY there’s a perfect butt! Also, that blazer (?) and sweatpants and sneakers combo is…quite something. I do commend the book for being pretty open about personal style, though, and including things like piercings and that soon-to-be-80s makeup rather than falling back on more traditional advice.

  • And did anyone take a closer look at the *caption* on that “Ideal derriere”( which, apropos of nothing, I’m nearly certain was copied from an archaeological find, if I could only locate the reference)? “Round, womanly and *black*”?! Not sure how some guy having a race fetish translates into fashion advice for the rest of us!

  • Didn’t you already feature this book? It must be in libraries all over the place!
    I guess featuring it on this site wasn’t enough to get libraries to weed it.

  • Caterine is still around, apparently. She looks more “mom jeans”than “bare-midriff-t-shirt” nowadays.

    http://www.newportseen.com/archived-news/caterine-milinaire-exceptional-icon-of-an-exceptional-era/