I was looking through some late 1960s and early 1970s issues of Seventeen magazine recently. Two things struck me. 1) There were lots of ads for sewing patterns, sewing machines, and fabrics, with an emphasis on how you can be unique and make your own looks. 2) The latter part of each issue was devoted to wedding articles and ads for engagement rings, hope chests, and dinnerware.
I glanced at current issues of Seventeen in the library recently and neither sewing or weddings are featured anymore. I’m not bemoaning the lack of attention on marriage for teen-agers, but the now the ads are focused on branded clothing and fitting in.
Not only sewing but dyeing was a big deal. Here are some ads for Rit and other dyes. It’s interesting that Rit paired up with other companies to co-market their products.
Here Ked’s white sneakers are advertised with a sneaker painting kit. It seems that there were even sneaker painting contests according to this newspaper ad from 1968.
“Rit Invents Electric Satin.” How to dye fabric for sewing clothes with Simplicity patterns (pattern numbers are given that top).
Hot Stuff Rit Liquid Dye ad for hot pants and tank tops you and he dye together. The opposite page has complete instructions.
Ad to “tie-dye your own original fashions.” This ad and the column on the opposite page have instructions for tie-dying a sweater, hat, windbreaker, skirt, and scarf. That’s a lot to get into one ad!
Two years later, after you’ve ditched the boyfriend, you can invite the whole gang over to tie-dye.
“So you’re out to change the world. We can do it together” ad for Lady Esquire Instant Shoe Coloring, which came in 45 colors. This ad features an entry form for a contest for the “most original and workable idea.” Winner received a $3000 wardrobe by Pierre Cardin, New York.
Here’s a great article on shoe make-overs from the July, 1970 counterculture fashion magazine Rags. I think I need to make those star shoes.