52 Ancestors – #30 – The "Mono" Skirt

The prompt for Week #30 of Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge is “Colorful.” I’m still trying to catch up after returning from our trip so I’ll make this short and sweet. (Like me!! Sorry, couldn’t resist!)

During my teen years, I made pocket money babysitting for neighbors. BTW – does anyone do that anymore? I made a whopping 50¢ an hour. Of course, minimum wage at the time (late 1960s-early 1970s) was about $1.60!! I often sat for the Moskowitz family who lived four doors down. I liked sitting for them for two reasons:
1) They always had Mallomar cookies
2) Mr. Moskowitz worked as a fabric salesman. He would often give me his old sample books and sometimes even a half-yard or so of fabric. I was about 4′ 4″ at the time and didn’t require much yardage so I could make clothes with little fabric. Hot pants and mini skirts were in fashion, so that helped too!

If you don’t remember the fashion trends of the “Mod Mod World”, let me refresh your memory: leisure suits, hot pants, mini/maxi skirts, bell-bottoms, platform shoes. The fabric of choice was polyester – preferably in shocking bright hues such as pink, yellow, blue, and green. Think Peter Max the artist. Oh, that polyester – you could throw it in the washing machine and dryer and nothing would happen. But get within 5 feet of it with an iron? MELT!!

So back to the topic. I had one particularly favorite outfit that I can envision perfectly. It’s too bad I don’t have a picture of it. Let me describe it to you: A yellow turtleneck shirt topped with a multicolor knit vest. A pair of hot pants (with cuffs!) fashioned from a half-yard of emerald green polyester. Knee-high socks with wide stripes of yellow, red, and green. And finally – red, yellow and green patent leather platform shoes! Yes, I wore that to work – gotta problem with that? I do have one picture to help you get some idea…

1973 – Southern Connecticut State College
The vest and shoes were my go-to accessories!

If that’s not “colorful” enough for you, I saved the best for last. This item was a mainstay in my wardrobe – especially while I was recuperating from mononucleosis in March 1974. I created the patchwork skirt from dozens of psychedelic polyester fabric pieces torn from sample books given to me by Mr. Moskowitz. I still have the skirt, affectionately named by my sibling as “The Mono Skirt.”

1973- Present from my Mom for my18th birthday -My first real 1″ scale dollhouse
 OMG! Am I wearing the skirt AND the vest???
No longer in my wardrobe rotation (come on- give me some credit!), the skirt makes an occasional appearance at Halloween. I figure Paisley may enjoy it for dress-up a few years from now when she’s older and taller.

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