"It's like taking a nap on that little rug when you were in kindergarten."

Sears 1972 – Oh Yeah, I’m Going There!

Oh my goodness!! I’m sorry, the exclamation points were totally necessary.

While “investigating” for another post, my CRT (Crack Research Team) came across a time capsule – the 1972 Sears Wish Book. Ah, that great catalog of Christmas wishes for the youth of yesteryear.

I’ve pulled out 10 pages and added some MJ-style captions for your info-tainment.

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1. For that Gone With the Wind reenactment, or in case you need material for drapes:

Wish Book, 70s, Gone With the Wind

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2. Why not have the whole family look like a can of Budweiser?:

Wish Book, pajamas, budweiser Sears, 70's, Budweiser

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3. I said I wanted a wide lapel on the collar. And big bell-bottoms. Doesn’t anybody listen to me!

Sears, 70s, fashion

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4. Looking “fly,” girls. Fellas are waiting:

Wish Book, 70's, bell bottoms

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5. Thanks for the giant oven mitts, mom. Oh, and for the Mars spacesuits:

1972 Sears Wish Book page145

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6. Dude, your butt looks fine. Let’s go, the chicks are waiting:

1972 Sears

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7. WOW. The price for new technology. Only $330 for a 15 in. TV. AND it comes with a remote control that turns it on/off, adjusts volume, and changes channels:

TV, Wish Book, remote

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8. Y – M – C – A, it’s fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A.

Sears, 70s, YMCA

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9. My money’s on the girls with the yellow belt buckles. Nice ship’s wheel, there, Sissy.

70s, Wish Book, bell bottoms

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10. I’m either getting the ink blot dress, or the Piet Mondrian. I haven’t decided.

Sears, Mondrian, ink blot

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What do you think about the magical (some say “psychedelic”) style of the 70’s?

Comments

  1. Having survived the ’70s I must say I have fond memories of my clothes. Hot pants (before that meant something sleazy), wild colors, bell bottoms so big the seven dwarfs could camp out in your pant leg. And culottes! I loved those. Paisley shirts, zippered fronts with pull-tabs (but only zippered to mid chest so the zipper bent and poked out like you stuffed your bra, but only right in the middle). Awesome….

    Did you notice the blond in 3 and 4 is Shelley Hack? She was one of the later Charlie’s Angels. When the show went all to hell.

    • I thought that was her. Imagine getting her start in a Sears catalog. Pretty cool. And yes, she was not the best Angel, for sure.

      Wait till you see one of my upcoming posts – on my senior picture. The 70’s lives on. :)

  2. Judy Berman says:

    Wow! We’ve come so far. Thanks, Michael, for reminding us how fashion-challenged we were. Although I never did have a hankering for a Budweiser-themed nightware. Thanks for the laughs.

  3. Hey…the black and white dress on the little girl was cute. As for the rest… Um… Thank you, thank you, thank you that the 70’s are over. Especially for the guys. Wow, I look at those and can only think about the YMCA (and I had a crush on the construction worker, too…). Fun post. :)

    • Wild stuff back the, for sure. I only miss it as a side show. The colors and patterns were unbelievable really.

      It’s funny, I had a pair of platform shoes back then (I was 12, I think) that for sure would look like a pimp today. That’s for another post, though. :)

  4. Anonymous says:

    The bell bottoms, corduroy of course. Seems the 70’s as hokey as the 50’s with the cool 60’s in between.

  5. Sometimes it’s kinder just to keep moving on forward, and never look back. (Fun post, mj.) If you want to take a trip back to the 70s in a big way, watch Logan’s Run. I forgot about the hairstyles, and their idea of what was sexy. The story is a good one, but the special effects are also rather crude.

    • Logan’s Run. That movie ran up against Star Wars unfortunately. Had Farrah in it, too. Actually talk of it being remade now. Think the special effects will be a lot better this time around.

  6. Jennifer says:

    love it – good for a laugh you are. Can you imagine what they’re going to say about today’s fashion in 40 more years…??

  7. Hi,
    Loved the 70’s, but thank goodness we have moved on. :)
    The post did bring on a smile and a cringe at the same time, loved the post.

  8. Kricket says:

    ok, so this brings back fond memories. I remember spending a lot of time going thru the Sears Catalog and dreaming of the different scenarios of life that was being portrayed in the pictures. What can I say, I’m an avid romantic fiction reader and it started well before I could actually read! I had one of those long dresses. It was white with Black print on a quilted skirt. It was a favorite of mine. :O) I have one of those snow suits in my garage right now. My in-laws didn’t/don’t throw anything away. My husband used it as a child and my girls have used it when they were younger and now my Great-niece and Great-nephew have borrowed it. Well worth the $20 price tag. My in-laws both worked at Sears so they most likely got it at a discount! Growing up we had a remote to control the volume and channel from anywhere in the room, it was me! Being the youngest, that was my role. I never purchased a costume from the catalog, my father was a tailor and my mom sewed very well so most of my costumes were home made. I do remember having a costume purchased from our local Walgreens and the plastic mask had a whistle where the mouth was. That was something my parents couldn’t make and it was so cool!!
    Thanks for the trip down memory lane…….

    • Our family spent weeks looking at those catalogs as children. We had a VERY limited amount we got for Christmas – since there were seven of us. So we “shopped” that catalog till the binding broke and dozens of pages were dog-eared.

      Totally get how you would dream about the scenarios. And yeah, we all had our turns changing channels, fixing the rolling screen, and adjusting the volume. Didn’t get a remote until many years later.

      So great that your parents could make costumes. I always envied those kids. We usually just wore a mask from the store.

  9. My mom dressed me in some butt-ugly clothes in the 1970’s. Some of the ones I selected for myself were even worse. However, I wish I could get my hands on a circa 1977 one of those about now……..

  10. Loved them all, but the Budweiser wardrobe just crack me up.

    • Can you imagine – the whole family in the same pajamas, every day? I can see like a Christmas tradition, but … “Wow!” is all I can say to that picture. :)

  11. What? It’s Hallowe’en already?

    People wore these outfits? Like, everyday?

    Yeah, mahn. You all were far out! ;-)

    Kate

    • You’re killing me, Kate!

      Of course, I’m too, AHEM, young to know anything about that era. But I’ve heard it’s true – they wore clothes like those, every day.

      Craziest fashion era, possibly of all-time! :)

  12. Whoa! Man, I hope this fashion never makes a comeback! I’m so glad I was born after 1972. ;) Though I caught the tail end of that era. I have some well-hidden pictures around here somewhere. That catalog was a nice find.

    • You were very lucky, my friend. I lived it full-on, with um, okay, I didn’t love it. :)

      You need to bust out those pictures and let the 70’s flag fly high!

  13. laughed so hard at the snow suits!

  14. Ha! Now, see, I think the biggest belt buckle always wins. And who you calling Sissy? Oh wait, that’s my name, isn’t it? Because this is the 70s. Never mind. Let’s go get a Budweiser (hat) and call it a truce, ‘kay?

    • I think back then, the person with the biggest belt buckle probably hurt themselves more than anyone else. :)

      I always loved Sissy on Family Affair. So mature and sophisticated. I’m sure she would have blogged if she had blogging back then.

  15. This is hysterical!! I can’t believe we ever wore that stuff and looked that ridiiculous. Thanks for sharing and bringing back some…questionable memories!!!

  16. So, yeah, I spent most of the ’70s dressed like Holly Hobbie. I can totally relate to the little girls in pic 1, who are most likely still in therapy.

    ;)

    • Good times, right??

      The fashion designers must have taken the crayon box, dumped it on the floor, melted the crayons together, and thought “Hmm, this looks fantastic, let’s make clothes out of it.”

      I can almost feel that scratchy polyester against my skin. :)

  17. Once I got to the “snow suits” I was laughing so hard I could just about scroll down..hahahahaha..just another reason to be grateful that my mother had good taste!
    By the way, the Mickey Mouse costume….very odd. Either that is a gigantic child or a very weird adult.

  18. The one benefit of early-onset Alzheimer’s is that I cannot remember what fashions were back then. Or what I looked like then. Or what I look like now.

  19. I would totally rock that space suit. Gosh, it’d be hot though, huh? lol…

  20. You have such a descriptive voice, old magazines and catalogues are great for reminding us just how far we’ve come :)

    We have some family portraits floating around where we are all dressed… I’ll leave it at that – I sincerely hope those portraits remain in the album and not shared for whole world to enjoy!

    • Thank you Kanerva. These old pages just scream for some laughter attention.

      Your readers are clamoring for the pictures. You must pull them out and share. :)

  21. This. Is. Awesome! That shot of the three “dudes” has me in stitches! Love the outrageous colours but not so much the tightness of those pants!

  22. Hey, MJ! :) I’m so glad your crack research team uncovered that old catalogue! :) And can I tell you — I love it! What wonderful memories of a happier time, fashion wise. Yes, it’s fun to look at the different styles, but I’ll happily admit that I like them better than much of what it out there today. Everyone looks so covered up, so tailored, so presentable. And then when I see what Sears is offering to our young population these days? Low-cut sweatpants with sparkly letters on the behind, prom dresses that would have been banned when I went to high school, it’s sad, really, how much of fashion has degenerated this past decade.

    Now you, my friend, are very fashion conscious! First the hat, and now the dark shades in your new Gravatar? Tres chic. :) I really like the new photo.

    I’m a sentimental sap, we know this. So I suppose there is no other way I could look at those photos aside from longing for those plaid-bell-bottomed-zipped-up times. Though I will admit, the Mars “Outer Suit” with your captioned oven mitts — that one’s just the other side of okay. (Well, maybe way the other side. Like Outer Limits side.) Thanks for a trip down memory lane!

  23. I really couldn’t believe how “lively” the fashion was when I saw this catalog. I lived it, but had forgotten how colorful and bold the patterns were. It’s kind of interesting that when I look back on the perception of 40s, 50s, and the early 60s fashion, it seems to be in black and white, like the televisions. And then the 70s hit, and BOOM all the color just explodes.

    I’m with you on the sentimental sap part. I’m the same way. I think that’s why I identify so much with your writing “voice.” We share a similar intrinsic nostalgia.

    Thanks for the comment on the Gravatar. I was kind of messing with Darla – the Maineiac – since her picture had a coffee mug almost identical to one I have. And I don’t take myself too seriously, so I thought it would be fun for a change. :)

  24. As a 1970’s ~ the entire decade ‘clothes horse’ ~ I loved them everyone MJ, loved them everyone. However, yes, you must know…. I wore the widest, hippest, coolest bell bottoms of anyone (and I surely am NOT talking about the size o my rear end) at all. Yes sir, I was ‘looking good’ ~ mmm huh ~ if you detected the slightest hint of (clears throat) ‘smug’ in that description, it certainly was there at the time. Actually very fun for you to take us on a Sears 1972 journey down memory lane, now I may have to make a trip to our local fabric store just for a ‘look see’ of the here and now. Ima your friend @grammakaye on twitter.

  25. How far we’ve come, right?
    Great look back, buddy!

  26. Stylennn… if we thought that was the cat’s meow then it will be just as interesting to look back on what we dig “now”, if not more! Thanks for the smiles MJ, have a safely sane Independence Day(“-“)

  27. I love all of the styles except number 5! what on earth are those? LOL

    I wish I was born in the 70s, oh wait, I still dress as if I am in the 70s! I just love the colors! :D

  28. Wow, where did you come up with those magazine pages? Those are some pretty gnarly clothes! I can remember seeing clothes like that on my “older” siblings, and if I was wearing them (which I’m sure I was), it was before I had a choice, I’m sure! Great post, MJ!

  29. What memories… though I don’t remember some of these styles being worn by most of my farm friends or myself back in the 70’s. I disliked being plain and I always rebelled plain and practical farm fashion. HowEVER, when we moved to town, I was more hip being a town girl and used my babysitting money to buy some of my own clothes. I loved wearing hot pants, halter tops and gogo boots. Hip huggar jeans, scoop and V-neck t-tops… some of the 70’s fashion was great.

    I can’t wait to see photos of you back in the day… I’d be curious to know what music did you listen to? Were you in NE then?

    • You have a point there, Lori. A lot of 70’s fashion was pretty darn functional. Especially in the heat of summer.

      I mainly listened to pop, rock, Frampton, Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac. And quite a bit of R&B also. I grew up in Omaha, moved to Iowa for Jr High, and spent one year of HS in Minneapolis before my dad got transferred back to Omaha.

  30. sunshine says:

    oh, way cool man, i really love #6 and want a date with the dude in the green pants…gotta love his tan, his hair…although, we just got to zip that skin tight shirt down a bit, MJ. Haha…please tell me this really did not come from your personal Sears Wish Book catalog…hey, wait…is that yOu in #6? the one with the cool butt??? Lol!

    • I can see you and green pants dude out on the town. hehe

      I got this from a Google search on Sears Wish Book, actually. Crazy, huh? Would be cool to still have it, wouldn’t it? I was too skinny then to even fit into those pants. :)

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