Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Best Decade For Style

Who knew that The Boy had opinions on stuff & junk? Hot on the heels of a debate we had Sunday night (in which I confessed that I had picked Star Wars as The Best Star Wars Movie -- a debate that included us trading off key lines from the movies, and a debate which I think that I won by making two key points: (1) only the original Star Wars had that cool song from the Cantina that gets stuck in your head and you can't get it out...

and (2), if it were not for The Empire Strikes Back, we would never have got to "Return of the Jedi" and the Ewoks.

So those were two key points, and also it was a very entertaining debate -- the kind of debate that should be on TV. Hello? Important Hollywood Execs? If you are looking for a TV show that can be made cheaply and will be entertaining and does not involve any form of dancing, karaoke, or losing weight... call me.

One example of why it would be so entertaining is that I am such an astute observer of culture that I have noticed our society has graduated from one which celebrates our great movies by recreating their scenes in Legos to one which celebrates our great movies by making Naughty Lego Parodies of them. With Lego Thongs:

Anyway, after that argument WHICH I WON, I mentioned to The Boy that yesterday I was going to do today's topic, but then Brett Favre retired, so I posted The Best Quarterback Ever. When I said that I had been going to do an article on The Best Decade for Style and pick the 50s, The Boy disagreed with me again! He said THE 40's.

The 40s? He must be nuts. Here's some "style" from the 40s:

What's to like about that? It's hopelessly dated and a little boring.

That is the problem with most styles, you know. Growing up, as we mature through the decade that will define us (in my case, the 1980s) we think this style is timeless and will never look dorky.

I thought that, at least, and so did my friends, and so did everyone. We had some reason to think that was true. Who could not like the 1980s styles:

Well, okay:

But at least the 1980s' fashions were not so obviously lame (Kajagoogoo notwithstanding) that we should have known that they would ultimately look silly. Some decades should have just realized that instantly. I'm looking at you, 1960s:

And other decades share the shame. Hello, 1920s!

As you review decades, in fact, it seems that Americans one unifying drive is to look sillier than the generation that came before them. Let's review quickly:








While most of those were women, men also had their own ridiculous fads. Especially in facial hair:

And it's not over:

We can then single on the 1970s for special attention. Disco PLUS hippies equals... this:

Men, you share some shame, too.

It's truly 200 years of shame. People bemoan Americans' lack of style and fashion now, and complain that we drag our beer bellies and giant butts (I'm talking just about me. And the people who sit next to me on planes) and our fannie packs and our Packers' t-shirts and our cutoff shorts:

all around the world. But is this:

So much worse than this?

I think not.

There's only one decade that really holds up well in terms of style and fashion, and that's the 1950s. From hairstyles:

To women's clothes:

To men's outfits:

To, yes, swimsuits:
The 1950s managed to put together a style that holds up over time and does not look ridiculous, even now. In fact, the worst excesses of the 1950s don't look lame, they look fun.

The 1950s also gave us classic style and fashion icons: The Man In The Gray Flannel Suit. Playboy. And, of course, this guy:
So, The Boy, I have to disagree with your disagreement. The 1940s? Pleh. For 219 years, America has existed as a country, and for 209 of that we've shown that we are, like 2-year-olds, unable to dress ourselves. But from 1950-59, man, we were awesome. The 1950s is The Best Decade For Style.

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Anonymous said...

NO,no,no, -First of all you are only picturing (which most of your pics aren't even coming up) one to a few pictures of each decade which is zero in the sea of styles that existed in each decade. How can you make an assumption on one measley 40's picture. "that's just dumb" Yes the 80's were too the most ridiculous besides the slobbery of today, easily. Hands down the best times for fashion were the 1920's - 1940's. =CLASS= ART DECO, ART Nouveau, nothing beats that. You have no class or taste if you don't see that. The 50's can't hold a candle to those times. Yes, the 50's had it's "cute" points, but it also had it's major goofy points, big Elvis hair, oh yeah that's cool! give me a break. The classey slicked back controlled look of the 20's - the 40's Errol Flynn, Clark Gable, (hello?!) beats the tacky Pomp of the 50's anyday and of course all the women's styles of the 20's-40's beat the women's hairstyles of the 50's. Late 50's bouffants, oh yeah! Just lovely lol. Also the music started cheapening, from the decades before. or Hot jazz and big band. There is NO contest. Dont' even talk about todays styles if you can even call it that. It's just a bunch of chinese sweat shop made disposable garbage. Wear a shirt today and have to throw it away tomorrow. Besides being ugly in the first place it's all stretched out and faded after the first wash. The fashion designers are just lame these days. What's with this gross witch Stevie Nicks white trash look, and ugly pointy witch shoes, the age of velcro sandals,long slobby shorts and t-shirts for crying out loud! Excuse me while I go vomit.

Anonymous said...

Wow, the pictures you picked out really do little justice for your "blog". The pic for 1920 is from the 40s, zoot suits got popular at the time. Also how is 1940s fashion boring? Its chic, mysterious, and sophisticated.

Anonymous said...

Although I was born in '90, I'd have to say I like the fashion between 1940-60.

don't know why. but I just like it when everyone cares a little bit more on how they look. I'm 18 now and if I try to dress a little bit nicer than jeans and a tshirt I'm asked by everyone what the special occasion was.