Vintage Fashion - Culottes, Gold Boots, and Fashion Plates

As some may know this is Pamela Sue Martin playing the part of Nancy Drew in the 70's, almost 80's, TV show The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries. My brothers and sisters and I grew up checking these and The Hardy Boys Mysteries out at the library and watching them over and over. Pamela Sue Martin is one of my favorite Nancy Drew's only second to Bonita Granville in the late 30's. Except for her slightly cocky air, I liked her because she was quite the intelligent sleuth and very fashionable, which brings me to my subject.

In the 70's fashion naturally was just as diverse as it is today. In fact if you look closely at some of todays fashions you can see bleed-throughs from the 70's. Its true. But there are some elements of that time period I wish they would bring back that they haven't. Like her denim culottes in the picture to the right. Very classy. In my opinion, though, the outfit makes her look a little anemic. The girl was as straight as a stick. The costume designer should have accounted for that, but then they all were as skinny as toothpicks back then. 

In the last photo, Jean Rasey as George Fayne is wearing classic denim bell-bottoms, another of my favorite 70's styles. A little more tomboyish in dress, George is still stylish and up to fashion date.

I love her lemon drop yellow turtleneck and matching plaid jacket. One thing is for sure, I'll bet her turtleneck fit better then than any do now days. Those you can buy today are short on the arms and stomach and make me very irrational.
Also noticeable is her hair. Very pretty and curled at the bottom. But thats another blog.

Gold boots have no match! But the funny thing is how she has her pants tucked into them. Honestly, I prefer the culotte look. The way they hang out almost takes away from the neatness of the outfit.

At this point, she is making a get-away on a mechanics roll-around, or "creeper". Thus the reason for the moment. It just so happens this is the only good shot I could get of her boots.

(Here's a glimpse of my (short) past. Growing up I would play with my Grandmother's (or rather my mother and her sister's) Fashion Plates. If you have played with them, you know what I mean. But for those who do not, they were plastic interchangeable plates with raised indentions of girls and their clothes. You could lay your choice of outfit and girl in the proper area, set a piece of paper on top, then close the flap to hold it in. Then taking a crayon sideways you'd run it down the paper over top of the plates. Sigh Many is the time I sat in my grandparents living room on a warm summer day, the air conditioning whirring in my ears, and made style after style just so I could give them to Grandma, Mum, or stack them among my own “treasures”. Those were the days.
The reason I brought this up is some of my favorite choices in that selection were the culottes and boots. Funny isn't it. These were retro 70's-early 80's, just so you know.)

To the left is a sideview of Nancy's outfit. Later on in the show, which happens to be The Mystery of the Diamond Triangle, she wears a white jacket/button-up over top of the pink but I couldn't get a good reference photo so I stuck with this one.

Back to the boots, they are another element of the 70's readily attainable today. Boots are definitely in. And gold boots are a keeper. Okay, I have to admit, I like browns and golds when it comes to shoes. 

In this last photo, our subjects are wearing robes after having gotten soaked in the rain. George's robe is rather un-glamorous, even though I like the pattern. But as ever the fashion model, Nancy is wearing a classy white robe that complements her feminine figure. (Poor George.)

Why can't we dress with as much class now days as they did back then? In my opinion, it all starts with caring how we look. Do we let the modern fashion designers dictate their choice of clothing to us or do we make our own choices based on how we believe we should look? I know many people would heartily disagree with me, but the latest fashions now days scream "ME!" or "Trampy". I ask, "Would you classify yourself as a tramp? No? Then why would you want to look like one?" Also I hardly call some of the modern styles classy, albeit, there are a few. But, risking being too old-fashioned, I love retro. Its in my blood. But don't worry, you couldn't pick me out of a crowd by the way I dress; I look pretty normal most of the time.

Next, I'm thinking about trying Nancy's hair style on myself. Usually my sister is my guinea pig but this one might just be right for me. I'll have to see how it turns out before I promise a blog post on it. So until then...


  1. I hear ya, Amy !

    I grew up in the late '70s and remember when this show came on it made somewhat of an impression on the youth of my age.

    Girls admired both her skills as a detective, her gritty determination against all odds to get to the bottom of a mystery that only she and her friends could solve and her attractive dress and hair styling ( I presume Ms. Martin had more than a little imput what Nancy wore ).

    Most of the girls I went to school with cared about personal appearance and dressed in the style mentioned above.

    What's more, they carried it off with aplomb.


    1. Thanks for taking the time to read my posts and leave a comment.

      Its definitely sad these days the way no one cares about their appearance. I and my siblings were raised to look our best when going out, and even some of the time at home (within reason, of course). I find it irritating when I want to dress nicer but there really isn't any reason to. You end up feeling like you don't fit in when you look neat.