Saturday, February 8, 2014
"My Fur Lady": Broadway Joe Namath Meets the Sears Catalogue
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.