Style | Mark’s Remarks - Republic-Times | News

Style | Mark’s Remarks

By on September 12, 2018 at 10:30 am

Who decides the style trends? I’m still amazed at some of the things we wore back in the day.

In the 1980s, we took our pant legs and tight-rolled them.  We flipped up our polo shirts and often wore more than one shirt for a layered look. Who started that baloney? I remember thinking I was right uptown when I dressed like that.  

I look back now and think I must have looked like a clown.

I remember when we used to make fun of the “dads” around town who would put on short sleeved shirts, Bermuda shorts, and then wear dark socks, donning sandals at times. That look was the epitome of the out-of-touch adult, and us teenagers thought it was awfully tacky I’m sure.

But just a few years ago, people started wearing dark socks with athletic shorts. You still see them all over the place.  Dark socks with shorts. Then you will also see dark socks, shorts and slip-on sandals.  What used to be middle-aged poor taste was now in style.  

Who decided that?

You can look back at the styles of history and wonder the same thing. My daughter was watching a kids show the other day, talking about how wealthy ladies in the 1700s might dress.  It was amazing. No wonder those gals had help getting dressed. No wonder some of them had difficulties with their health, often dying young or being frail. Giving birth was a risk, too. The way they were cinched up and weighed down by heavy garments, it’s a wonder they survived.

What about the upper crust men of those days? Knee britches with socks that resembled pantyhose. Many of them wore wigs, and guys in Europe even wore powder and painted little marks on their faces. 

Again, who started all that and said it was the way to dress? 

It’s very interesting to look at trends and watch how some things catch on quickly and fade away. I remember things like parachute pants and half-shirts in the 1980s making a brief appearance but fading out pretty fast. 

I mean, who decided to hack off part of a t-shirt and call it fashion? Although I was pretty thin in those days, I still didn’t fancy running around with my bellybutton on display. Still, many guys did it and it was OK.  

Parachute pants were novel, but so novel that they didn’t stick around for long. If you don’t know what they are, you might need to look them up. I can’t really describe them to you other than to say there were lots of zippers and pockets. 

Did you ever see the “I Love Lucy” episode where women in a Paris fashion show are led to believe buckets and gunny-sack dresses are high fashion, simply because the American Lucy got in to one of her usual schemes?  

I think that such things might happen even today. Somebody wears something they think is an unusual creation of some kind, only to have it catch on and become the latest trend.

When you start to turn up your nose at the latest style, I suppose you become dated a little. Kids in the 1960’s would call us “square.” I still can’t bring myself to wear dark athletic socks. Maybe it’s because I’m not athletic. I also don’t think I could ever bring myself to wear a wig of any kind, regardless of the popularity.

I see that a few styles from my younger days have come back. Even with a sort of modernized flair, it looks much like the same stuff we wore back then. I suppose trends evolve and come back around the pike.  

Nothing seems too awfully original anymore. Jeans go from straight-legged to flare-legged and then back to straight-legged again.

Don’t get me started on “skinny jeans.” Some trends should be reserved for just certain types of folks.

Mark Tullis

Mark is a 25-year veteran teacher teaching in Columbia. Originally from Fairfield, Mark is married with four children. He enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with his family, and has been involved in various aspects of professional and community theater for many years and enjoys appearing in local productions. Mark has also written a "slice of life" style column for the Republic-Times since 2007.