More Music And Memories

When my mother-in-law recently started talking about how I used to wear mini-skirts when she first met me, I thought she must be going mad. Did I really? But, as this photo clearly shows, I did and she’s not mad at all. There I am, wearing a short skirt, together with a ‘fetching’ perm.  Perms were all the rage in the 80s and 90s (my 16 year-old daughter doesn’t believe that everyone had them, but they did, didn’t they?!) What’s more, it was glued rigid with Shockwaves hairspray so not a hair moved out of place. I remember a young girl watching me in the street one day and pointing at me. ‘Mum, her hair isn’t moving,’ she said in wonder, as gale force winds whipped up a frenzy all around us and slapped her hair from one side of her face to the other. Not mine.

I was 18 in the photo and I had just discovered the joys of nightclubbing. On a Friday or Saturday night, I would get ready, while listening to my vinyl records. My favourite song was Black Box’s Ride on Time which I listened to again and again, sometimes interspersed with Beats International’s Dub Be Good to Me and Technotronic’s Pump Up the Jam. Dad didn’t mind pop music (I think he liked to think he was ‘cool’ as he put it), but Mum hated it and was always relieved when I turned ‘that racket off’.

So, off I’d go, dressed exactly as I am in the picture, with no jacket, (why, I have no idea as we always had to queue for ages outside the nightclub, come cold, rain, snow…) to spend the night dancing, to said tunes above and many others of a similar nature, and drinking. My favourite tipple was Malibu and Coke.  I’m still quite partial to the odd Malibu and Coke, but as for Ride on Time, Dub Be Good to Me and Pump Up the Jam? Thankfully my love affair with clubs and club music was quite short-lived.   

Dancing Queen

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26 Responses to More Music And Memories

  1. Sue Vincent says:

    It could have been worse… I grew up in the ‘decade that taste forgot’…
    Thankfully, no photos survive. I hope. 😉

  2. TanGental says:

    And I thought I was brave posting old pics!!! Oh yes the perm phase. At least it wasn’t a mullet

  3. nestmadden says:

    One of these days I’ll write up the story of the utter farce of a load of coppers going “undercover” at a club in the ’80s to capture purple heart pushers. You’ve never seen anything so ridiculous as us lot got up as young clubers, the sergeant who was 40 if he was a day with a perm. Me thinking I looked like Sonny Crockett from Miami Vice when I actually looked more like Trigger from Fools and Horses and we never nicked anyone.

  4. You look fabulous Esther! We are the same age and have a very similar choices in music.My favourite decade. I hope you are well. X

  5. Sacha Black says:

    Look at those legs! They go on forever! Swit swoooo

  6. Helen says:

    You think that’s a mini-skirt! You need to turn your hem up another three inches, Esther.

    As a true child of the sixties there are rather a lot of photos with me in unbelievably short mini dresses. I reckon my mother liked making them super short to save on material. She made most of my clothes at that time. Anything that could be kept back from the housekeeping would be spent on antiques. Oh the savings she made: brown bananas from the market, Spam, tongue, liver and onions, faggots – and my father’s favourite tripe! No wonder all I wanted for dinner were banana sandwiches every night.

    Do love your picture, especially your description of how you kept your hair so firmly in its place. My hair couldn’t take a perm. (The hairdresser told me my hair was very strong, like Chinese hair). The curls fell out unbelievably quickly and I never tried a second time. Your perm looks very much better.

    I think by the time I was hitting clubs it was the maxi-skirt that was in fashion. Personally I prefer the mini. But I really don’t class your skirt as a mini. That’s just a normal length school skirt to me… In our day you never got sent home from school for wearing short skirts. In fact the (male) teacher liked to pick the girl with the shortest skirt to stand on the desk and open the windows. (No, it wasn’t me!) We giggled about it back then. Every one knew what was going on but not one of us considered reporting it. That strikes me as odd looking back. I’m glad people do report that kind of behaviour today. I don’t believe children of the future will ever wear skirts as short as we did. The minis of the sixties barely covered our pants.

    As ever, thanks for sharing these memories, Esther. Much appreciated.

    • esthernewton says:

      I was an 80s child and so the long skirt was in fashion for school so this is short for me! Your words highlight how times have really changed.

      • Helen says:

        In my first year at state secondary school we had to wear regulation school knickers in navy. We wore them under short tunic dresses. There was a different uniform dress for summer and winter. The knickers were horrible. If you ever forgot your gym kit, you had to do gym in just those knickers. Am sad to say, that happened to me once. I never forgot my gym kit again! Another example of how times have changed.

  7. Helen says:

    Butterick pattern 4567 (pink dress) and 5810 (red dress). These are good examples of what a minidress meant to me. No one’s getting to see the actual photos. I really did go to school dressed like this. My mother used these patterns. There was another really short one with pockets. But I can’t find the exact pattern. And a frillier pattern for parties. Also mega-short. The frilly dress had a bow.

  8. Helen says:

    Sorry that 5810 dress might have been Simplicity. It really is a different world today. You don’t get all the rolls and rolls of fabric in the department stores anymore. The same dress would look quite different depending on what it was made up with. There was a special fabric for party dresses that you don’t see in the shops anymore. Hopefully the name will come back to me. I love it when you trigger all these memories for me Esther. Thank you so much again!

  9. Helen says:

    Okay, I’ve been babbling tonight. Sorry!! Am in shock. Am finally going to confess that most of my current wardrobe is as short/shorter than your ’80s skirt!

    When people say you shouldn’t wear minis over ’50, it never occurred to me that I was…

    Am going to have to re-evaluate my entire life, Esther. You see I’ve done some research and your skirt IS a mini-skirt. And I’m still wearing them.

  10. Rajiv says:

    That you???? That really you??? How very pretty!!

    I don’t have any old photos of me. I was different from you.

    Skinny, I was, wore torn jeans and shirt, had shoulder length hair, and occasionally wore John Lennon glasses.

    Our concept of Saturday Night Fever was alive and well, and differed quite substantially from the version that John Travolta and the Bee Gees presented to the world!

  11. Now I know the reason why you disliked my choice of song this week. 😀
    I still see young people going out in the middle of winter with no coats or jackets. However, on the other hand, I do see some older people out in shorts and flip-flops in the middle of winter.
    I’ll buy you a malibu at the Bash. 😀
    Have a great weekend, Esther.

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