Saturday, February 8, 2014

"My Fur Lady": Broadway Joe Namath Meets the Sears Catalogue

What a miracle it was that Joe Namath flubbed the coin toss at last week's Super Bowl. Why?  His fabulous fur jacket got even more air time as the referee called for a second throw (guess the former quarterback was out of practice). But I wasn't complaining, as my eyes were glued to Broadway Joe's outrageous 70s flashback fur.

I realize that Joe had worn similar furs throughout his career.  There are any number of vintage shots showing him stalking the sidelines in furs galore. But I was transported to Prince Edward Island, 1970s era, and my Sears catalogue.

Did anyone else grow up on a small island? In the 1970s, there weren't many shopping choices.  My stylish mother would pack my father and me in our car and we'd hop over to the mainland via a ferry boat--Moncton, NB, was close, Halifax, NS, was further, but had more big-city delights. 

And if we were really ready to throw down the fashion gauntlet, my mum and I would board a plane with my grandmother and high tail it to Montreal, where my two elders would set up shop in the fabled Ogilvy's while I satiated my sweet tooth with a box of the generously cut fudge from the shops in the Queen Elizabeth Hotel.

But if none of those possibilities were available, there were two catalogues: the Eaton's Book and the Sears Catalogue.  And it was from Sears, while an elementary-school student, that I ordered my first fake-fur jacket--a Joe Namath-quality gray beauty.  On the Island, people dressed for warmth, not style (I bought my first pair of winter "fashion" boots when I moved to the States), but this fur jacket with complementary pleather insets did the trick.

And since then, I've been drawn to an adventurous fur look. Josephine Peary has long been a style icon in her arctic gear;

Nanook of the North rivals Namath fur best-dressed.

So thanks to Joe Namath for reminding me of that fur-jacket memory, long tucked away, but fresh as my then-schoolgirl attitude.


Jen Lawrence said...

I grew up in Calgary and Namath reminded me of my aunt's beau who sported a full-length wolf number. Fabulous flashback!!

materfamilias said...

I love this post! And yes, the Eaton's and the Sears catalogues were always exciting to pore over when we were small (especially at Christmas).

Miss Cavendish said...

Jen, my uncle lives in Calgary and he would always have the most serious shearling jackets.

Mater, I so fondly remember circling pictures in those catalogues for my Christmas list. Online dreams just don't have the same tactile pleasure. . .

GSL said...

Miss C, I'm glad you didn't miss Broadway Joe reminding everyone just how fur is done.
Love the top pic, is that jaguar?

Yes, the Sears catalog 'Wishbook' was big in my house too but more for the go-karts, mini-bikes, fishing equipment.