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Thursday, August 25, 2016


Award-winning author Catherine Chant writes rock ‘n’ roll romantic fiction and stories with paranormal twists for young adults. Learn more about her and her books at her website. 

One of the fun things about writing a time travel romance novel set in 1973 is researching the clothing. Most of the outfits used in Nothing Stays the Same are things I remembered from my childhood, since I grew up in the ‘70s, but I also did some online research to find some questionable outfits that represented the times, and then dressed my characters in them.

I created a Pinterest board as I went. (If you can't see the Pinterest board—you may need a Pinterest account--I have placed links to some of the images in the article below).

Bell Bottoms
A definite fashion staple of the ‘70s. This style of jeans started in the 19th century with sailors, but became popular for everyday wear in the 1960s. Kids were still wearing them in 1979 when I was in high school. They're probably something that will never go completely out of fashion, though they may never be as wide as what David Bowie was wearing in this photo from 1973. 

My main character, Leah, in Nothing Stays the Same is a jeans and sneakers type of gal, so she of course went for the blue jeans whenever possible, and didn’t mind the wide leg.

Gauchos and Culottes
One fashion piece from the early '70s that features in my book has made a recent comeback. Gauchos! You can buy them new at places like Macy's.

Anyone else ever wear these? Or culottes or skorts? They were all very big in the early-to-mid ‘70s, and my school wardrobe had quite a few. I remember the gauchos less fondly than the culottes, though. Culottes looked a lot like a skirt (as seen here), which wasn't bad, but gauchos always felt like high-water pants to me.

I cringe now just thinking about them. Not attractive at all, so of course I decided to torture one of my characters and make her wear them. Leah's older sister, Callie, the heroine from Wishing You Were Here, gets stuck in gauchos in her first scene back in time--hideously bright orange ones, just like I had to wear to school. {evil grin}

Earth and Other Shoes
Earth shoes are classic icons of the '70s, so of course they make an appearance in the book. Anyone remember them? Introduced in 1970, they were quite popular when I was in school, but I never wanted a pair. Ever. They were plug-ugly, if you ask me, but unisex, so both men and women could wear them.

In the book, Leah shares my opinion on the Earth shoes, but sadly she's forced to wear them most of the time. Supposedly the heel design made them good for your back, but that still wasn't enough to make me want them.

No, my coveted footwear in the early '70s was a pair of white go-go boots. My best friend had a pair and I wanted them so badly, but my mother got me black ones instead. Sigh. I still wore them, but I really wanted the white. In one scene in the book, Leah gets to live my dream and wear a pair of white go-go boots to a party.

I also mention the classic white Keds sneakers in the book. Every girl I knew growing up had at least one pair and we’d use white shoe polish to keep them pristine if the washing machine didn’t. Callie chooses to wear Keds whenever she can. After the gauchos incident, she tries to go for a simple, understated look whenever possible.

Men's Fashions
Although I admit I tortured my characters with vintage fashion, I could have done a lot worse. :-) I tried to stay away from the truly embarrassing styles that men endured in the ‘70s, such as the plethora of ugly knit vests and ponchos that were around, but the male characters in Nothing Stays the Same couldn't escape the classic corduroy trousers, the loud polyester shirts or the blue and white striped "Winner" sneakers from Sears. I had a pair of those puppies myself and wore them until they fell apart. They were unisex, like Earth Shoes. The ‘70s seemed big on equal opportunities for groovy footwear.

Men's swimsuits were particularly "interesting" in the '70s, as well. I stayed away from hand-knit briefs in the book, but they did exist and did not look comfortable at all! Instead, I opted for the tight, shorty-short style you see here for one scene where the characters attend a beach party.

So What's Your Pleasure?
If you found yourself stuck back in 1973, what do you think you would wear? What would you avoid? Are there any vintage '70s fashions you wish would make a come back?

I think I still have a yearning for those white go-go boots, but the gauchos at Macy's are starting to grow on me. I might have to go take another look. :-)

Nothing Stays the Same, the Soul Mates series
One Choice Changes Everything…

Soccer star Leah Reinard has been crushing on Brennan Basford for ages. When they end up at the same summer job, she thinks the fates have finally aligned in her favor. That is, until Brennan suddenly disappears. One day he’s there, the next day, he’s gone. And no one but Leah remembers he ever existed.

Brennan’s wish to change the course of his dead father’s life has dropped him back in 1973, on the set of his father’s successful teen sitcom, and into the midst of its disintegrating made-for-TV band, The Beat Detectors.

Brennan’s determined to redirect the course of his father’s young life and create the happy ending the man deserved, but even the smallest change to the past is wreaking havoc with the present.

Can Leah find Brennan in time to stop him from ruining both their futures?


cchant said...

Thank you for having me as a guest on your blog, today! :-)

Angela Adams said...

I loved wearing culottes and miss them. Maybe they'll come back in fashion soon. Thanks for the post.

cchant said...

I always thought culottes were cute, too!