See My Vest
Since I launched this blog over a year ago (Happy Anniversary, self!) I’ve enjoyed all sorts of blog-related benefits: I’ve made friends, I’ve had more fun shopping, I’ve developed a creative outlet. It’s been good, happy, fun times all around. But another benefit is all the simple fact that I get to share goofy things I find on the internet with more people than just Matt and my cat. And today, I have a real gem to share with you. Like, the best thing ever.
It starts with this vest. This vest came from Revolving Closet on Ottawa Street, from a sassy, awesome lady with white hair and ‘tude for days. I love her and want to be her apprentice, but I digress. Back to the vest: I found this vest on the lower level of her shop, where she houses all her vintage. It was $7 (and she let me have it for $5) so I left the store happy as a clam. As with all vintage I find, I later did some Googling on the label: Faded Glory. Sometimes these searches reveal really interesting stories, and sometimes they yield nothing. Upon first search, this one, unfortunately, seemed to yield the latter. Most results suggested that Faded Glory was and and is Wal Mart’s long-time in-house denim label. So, my vest was more “old Wal Mart” than vintage. Sad face.
However, something about it all didn’t add up. My new sassy friend back at the shop would know her vintage from her Wal Mart. Right? Right. So, I refused to accept this as the end to my vest’s story. I Googled some more, and eventually learned what my gut was telling me all along: Faded Glory wasn’t always a Wal Mart brand. It’s actually been around since 1972, and was only bought out by the Happy Face in 1995. The label enjoyed over 20 corporate-free years of coolness before sellin’ out to The Man.
And thank goodness for that, because this is where it gets really good. This is where I get really really happy about having a blog because all of you can share in joyous discoveries this this. Not long after I confirmed Faded Glory’s independent past, I found this:
HAHAHAH! WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?! I know I should be horrified by the blatant objectification of that woman’s behind, but the whole thing is just so hilarious. I kept waiting for Bill Hader to show up because I was convinced it couldn’t be real. But it is real, and it’s spectacular. Did this work for people in the 70s?
Apparently, it did, because not long after I found that ad, I found several others that confirmed this was the only way to get people to buy jeans. Check out this one by Sasson Denim:
That one also gets a pass because A) It, too, is hilarious, and B) Roy Orbison?!
The real winner in YouTube’s pile of denim delights is this music video by Dr. Hook (who get bonus points for their band name alone):
The whole video is just this girl walking while dudes creep on her! And why isn’t be she alarmed by the two guys stalking her with song? And what’s with the eye patch!? (Oh wait, that’s probably the Dr. Hook thing.)
Okay. Brief pause to enjoy the fellow with the boom box guy 2:24….and there’s a guy on roller skates….and, wait. Really? A blind man?! Oh man. This is too much!
I guess that’s just what advertising was in the post-Draper 70s and 80s. If these videos are any indication, people just sat around boardrooms continually having this conversation:
“Here’s the pitch: We’ll have this girl in tight jeans walk by, and a bunch of pervie guys will stare!” “Yes! That’s it! And dogs! Dogs will also stare!” “NAILED IT! Cheers to us and feather haired!”
To be fair, I did find a few other commercials that tried for a more original plot. I don’t know if they succeeded in selling more jeans, but they still packed an obscene amount of unintentional hilarity into a 30 second spot. Here’s a prize piece from Zena Jeans:
The first thing I gleaned from this commercial is that these jeans are right for you on the STRICT CONDITION you’re a woman. No boy jeans allowed. Then, even though the jingle clearly states these jeans are “the jeans to be seen in,” all three ladies end up on a boat with no other human beings in site. And then there is the obvious impracticality of wearing heavy denim bell bottoms on a boat. What if they fall into the water? Jeans get so heavy when wet! They’re going straight to the bottom. But, death-trap jeans aside, this commercial ends on a high note, and the babe in the middle breaks out something I didn’t know existed: a cell phone bigger than Zach Morris’s.
Just think, if I didn’t thrift shop, I never would have found this vest. If I never found this vest, I never would have found these amazing commercials. I’ve I didn’t blog, you never would have had said commercials forced upon you. You’d have gone on living your quiet little life, wearing your tight little jeans, completely unaware that people like this are standing outside the movie theatre, watching you:
My blog: Home of thrifted clothing, outrageous internet videos, and now this guy. I’ve never seen a more compelling reason to keep at it.