A 1976 Flashback

I don’t know who actually wrote “Strap in, shut up and hold on. We’re going back.” about the 1977 JC Penney catalog, but even though it’s been going around the email circuit for awhile now, it still makes me laugh. An excerpt for those of you unfamiliar with it:

“The clothes are fantastic. Imagine if you wore them today.

Here’s how to get your ass kicked in elementary school:


Just look at that belt. It’s like a boob-job for your pants. He probably needed help just to lift it into place. The belt loops have to be three inches long, for god’s sake. And way to pull your pants up to your armpits, grandpa.

Here’s how to get your ass kicked in high school:


This kid looks like he’s pretending to be David Soul, who is pretending to be a cop who is pretending to be a pimp that everyone knows is really an undercover cop. Who is pretending to be 15.

Here’s how to get your ass kicked on the golf course:

This ‘all purpose jumpsuit’ is, according to the description, equally appropriate for playing golf or simply relaxing around the house. Personally, I can’t see wearing this unless you happen to be relaxing around your cell in D-block. Even then, the only reason you should put this thing on is because the warden forced you to at gunpoint.”

I recommend you read the entire thing. It’s funny stuff, whether you lived through the 70s or were born later.

I bring this up because my sister sent me the booklet I made for her and her husband Steve when they got married in 1976. I was 12 years old and obviously thought I was a comic genius.

I called it “Steve & Debbies Wedding Book” (sans punctuation). The cover is made of construction paper, and I used my best cursive throughout. I cut out pictures from magazines and pasted them on each “themed” page. Overalls, big ties, and of course, tan leisure suits were big back in 1976. So was the whole red/white/blue color combo.

Here are some of the pages I made:


I assure you Debbie did NOT wear this lovely polyester number.


And Steve didn’t wear this. Check out the red, white and blue tie with the blue jacket. It screams Herb Tarlek (from "WKRP in Cincinnati").


The author of "Strap in, shut up…" also noticed the matching clothes trend of the ’70s. I think these two share the same hair style, too.


My dad wore coveralls similar to this outfit. All my mother would have had to do is cinch the middle with a belt, strap on some chunky heels and sport a top hat and she and dad could have worn matching clothes, too!


Preacher Man? I listened to too much Dusty Springfield, obviously.


I particularly like the peacock panties.


Every man needs a Budweiser shower towel, don’t you think? And what exactly is that man in the red long johns looking at? Do you see the foot next to the man’s right foot? Hmmm….

I’m so glad my sister saved this. What a fun trip back to my childhood. Yes, I was a geek, but based on the clothes people were wearing then, so was everyone else.


10 thoughts on “A 1976 Flashback

  1. Oh how I am LAUGHING. Do you see those stretchy footie pajamas, red and white horizontal stripes? I had those. Awww, Girl. And those two in the overalls with the red shirts, that’s when I officially lost it, had to pause and wipe my eyes. Oh my goodness. love,V

  2. AAaahhh a trip down memory lane. I graduated high school in 1980 and have been trying to forget the hairstyles and clothes for all of these years. (My kids ask “did you really dress like that?”…sadly….yes). Thanks for the laugh 🙂

  3. So where are my peacock panties? You SO are a child of the 70’s! You had me laughing out loud. I’m so glad that you had me in the 80’s and best of all, I don’t remember much of it…so it’s 2 terrible decades behind me!

  4. My mother had those red and white stripped pjs – she probably got them around 1976. I loved them, they had a flap in the back so you could do your thing. My mom wore them for years and finally when I was big enough – which would have been about 8 to 10 years later – she gave them to me. I was just telling my husband how badly I wanted a pair of PJ’s that had feet and zipped from the ankle to the neck. My mom was soooo sexy.

  5. OMG, those men’s pajamas! That is the most atrocious thing I’ve ever seen. I do have a lot of pictures of myself as a kid wearing red, white and blue plaid pantsuits, though.

  6. You knew what a trousseau was when you were 12 years old?? I’m in awe…
    And in tears, since I was laughing hysterically at your wedding book. Love the boy’s striped night-shirt. Good Lord….

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