It's become a bit of an iconic image — a young woman wearing a cactus bikini. The photo dates back to 1940 when the Tucson Sunshine Climate Club dressed some University of Arizona coeds up in cactus apparel as a publicity stunt. Of course, it wouldn't have been called a 'bikini' back then, since that term wasn't yet coined. It was called a "cactus sun suit." The suits were made out of Saguaro and prickly pear cacti.
The photos then spread far and wide, including into Nazi newspapers, where they were offered as examples of American decadence, "a peak of utter lack of taste."
The model in the top photo is Merri Ciochetti.
Life - Apr 7, 1941
Arizona Daily Star - Feb 27, 1945
One more photo from the photoshoot.
San Bernardino Sun - Mar 27, 1940
As a model at Chicago's Merchandise Mart in the late 1930s, Myrtle Reinhart got to dress up in things like lampshades, curtains, and streamlined underwear beneath a coverall of cellophane.
Could this be her obituary
from July 2007? The city (Chicago) and age seems about right.
"You've heard women say they haven't anything to wear. Well, next time they say it, men, look around the house a bit and see what you can find. Miss Myrtle Reinhart at the Chicago Merchandise Mart's home furnishing show produced this lampshade outfit." (continued below)
Pittsburgh Press - July 18, 1937
"Golfing Outfit: At least it would draw attention away from those dubbed shots. It wasn't really designed for the links, however, but to demonstrate the new streamlined underwear. Myrtle Reinhart and Don Fristy do a bit of golfing on the roof of Chicago's great Merchandise Mart with the above-mentioned streamlined undies and a coverall of cellophane for appearance's sake."
Star Tribune - July 17, 1938
Greenfield Daily Reporter - Oct 14, 1937
In 1965, "granny gowns" became the favorite fashion among teenage girls. These featured long, ankle-length skirts, long sleeves, and high, round necklines. They were seen as a reaction against miniskirts and other skin-revealing fashions.
In November, 1965 one girl got sent home from school for wearing a granny gown — told it violated the school policy against "extreme clothing."
St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Dec 22, 1965
Orlando Sentinel - Nov 25, 1965
Asbury Park Press - Nov 20, 1965
Fashion from the 1970s. For couples that like to match.
The Oshkosh Northwestern - Jan 8, 1970
Unisex apparel goes one step further with the advent of "His and Her" two-piece bikinis, shown in New York from the design board of Rudi Gernreich, creator of the topless bathing suit. The male's top looks like an athletic shirt that ends mid-point between the shoulder and elbow, exposing the abdomen from that point to the waistline.
Nordstrom is now selling pre-dirtied jeans
for $425. And here I've been washing my jeans all these years! It reminds me of that guy back in the 90s who sold shotgun-blasted jeans
, though his prices were more reasonable.
I wonder if the dirt washes off.
For slightly cheaper ($395) you can get what looks like paint-stained jeans
Ah, the hillbilly! What a once-potent icon. Used anywhere these days except Cletus & Family on The Simpsons
Ad scanned from Playboy
for March 1962.
The splendid sartorial sense of this fellow is explicitly deemed by the advertisement to be inducement to trust his taste in another area. What product would you imagine his clothes are justifying. Liquor? Cars? Hairspray?
The answer is here.
And after the jump.
More in extended >>
"Imagine your phone could communicate with your socks," says the Blacksocks company. But imagine no more, because the company has now created "the smartest men's dress socks in the world." The company admits that, "This is something we dreamed about and we have made the dream come true."
The socks feature a "communication button" that allows the socks to speak to your iPhone. The things your socks might tell your iPhone include:
which socks belong together,and could help sort them out,
how often you have washed your socks,
when your socks were produced,
when you ordered your socks and
when your socks were dispatched.
Your iPhone can also tell you if your black socks are no longer properly black and help you buy new socks.
The smartest socks in the world come with a price tag of $189 for 10 pairs. So $18.90 for each pair.
, via Oh Gizmo
Irwin Silver put a dress in a can, gave it a frenchified name, and then sold these for $25 a pop. This was back in 1966, and it was a marketing gimmick about as cynical as you might guess. Silver was cashing in on the mid-1960s fad for anything canned, and he figured that if people were stupid enough to buy canned air (i.e. an empty can), perhaps they'd also buy a canned dress. Apparently he sold around 100,000 of them.
More info from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
- Dec 14, 1966:
Everything's packaged in cans these days, even candles and air. But the newest tinned item to roll into stores is "Le Canned Dress," the bright idea of sportswear manufacturer Irwin Silver.
"I was being driven crazy by cans," he says. "Every time I turned around, I seemed to bump into a can. First I saw canned candles, then someone gave me a tin of canned air. I began to wonder why dresses couldn't be put up the same way."...
The fashions produced by Silver's company, Wippette, each weigh 4½ ounces, come packed in gay one-pound cans and are tagged with silver labels designed to look like the top of a can."
Image source: Cabinet magazine
St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Nov 26, 1966
Jughead - July 1967
Betty and Me - June 1967