Contents List Our Memories Fashion Victims

Suddenly, what was cool and chic looks dated and bizarre.  Then ... seven years later (allegedly) ... it all comes back into fashion.  The last 50 years have seen such things as drainpipes, French crops, winkle-pickers, bouffant hairdos, kipper ties, Duck's Arses, flares, hipsters, hot pants, tab collars, quiffs .... an endless variety.

This page is intended to capture images and recollections of our teenage styles.  Please contribute!

The Fifties

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Off to the Dance 1959

The efforts of senior needlework classes were exhibited at a fashion show one summer and, uniquely for those days, the event was captured in colour.

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The Sixties

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Fashion Show c1962 (1) Fashion Show c1962 (2) Sixties Girls - 2 photos
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Winkles & Drains
(see wearer inside)
Cool Dudes c1962  

In the 60s, we girls used to cut each other's hair, go to sleep with heads full of painful plastic and pins, sellotape curls to the sides of our faces, and roll up our hair ends in cotton wool to achieve trendy 'flick-ups'. It's a wonder we're not all bald now!

Sue Harper

I remember when trouser turn-ups suddenly became uncool in about 63/64.  We also used to customise our ties with black ink etc. and carefully remove all the threads in a yellow stripe or whatever to give the tie a certain individuality.  I remember we used to put 'segs' or, if desperate, drawing pins in our shoe heels to make our shoes sound cool, although 'cool' was not in use then, nor 'wicked,' .nor 'ace,' just 'fab' really.  Everything and everyone was 'fab' (or not, as the case may be).

Even 'out of school' clothes which we could only really wear on Saturday evenings, Sunday mornings sometimes and field trip outings were severely regulated, with jeans being forbidden even! . We had to wear school uniform all of the time virtually then, even in the evenings!. Very hard to believe now.

The girls were only allowed to wear white bras and other severly-regulated underwear. No wispy sexy black French knickers from Agent Provocateur or whatever unfortunately.  Although suspender belts and stockings were actually part of regulation uniform, tights were at the height of fashion then so they mostly wore those somewhat unhygienic and hard to get into things instead.

Ian Gomeche


The Seventies

I was so slow at needlework that by the time I'd finished whatever I was making for myself, I had invariably grown out of it. Morag - can you remember when we had a fashion show, in the Sports Hall, of the stuff we had made? I had to wear this white smock (it was the 70's after all) that had taken me a whole year, rather than a term, to make and I could barely get in it.

Tina Richardson

I don't remember that at all, although the thought of parading in the sports hall in stuff I'd made would have filled me with so much fear I would have banished it from memory. Who else was involved?

Morag Muir

I've just reviewed some old photos and I'd forgotten just how much of a "decade that style forgot" the 70's was:

These were only some of the tyrannies forced on our young and developing bodies. What other travesties can anybody remember?

Sid Sidey - the Style Guru

Not that I wore anything of the kind, but there were always the Loons and Oxford Bags early on but they have reappeared in slightly modified variations recently. What about "Tonics" - those trousers that changed colour slightly, depending on how the light shone on them? Of course there were the kipper ties and yes Sid, we have all seen the photo so don't deny it!

The OVERPOWERING thing I remember of that time was the smell of Brut. It was everywhere.... I need some fresh air.

Steve Grant

Didn't we used to call the trousers "Chronics?" Then there were "Chronic Ruperts" which had both the changing colour effect in combination with a check pattern. Lovely!

What about towelling socks? Bright red went particularly well with school uniform or even one red and one white for commemorative occasions.

Colin Leaford

Firstly the ties weren't officially kipper ties. Kipper ties were *very* wide, not just rather wide. But even the ones I did use (which weren't kippers) seemed to have more material in them than a kilt. Wasn't there a WyColler (would have left about '71) called Herring, nicknamed Kipper? Sorry for the mental leap sideways - that just passed through my mind in a flash. And as for Tonics? Chronics? Chronic Ruperts? You oldsters had a language all of your own, didn't you?

I do remember that "thunders" was always a euphemism which tickled my mother's funny bone, except when she had to wash them.

Sid Sidey - the Sartorially Challenged

As for tie width, one of the main problems with the school tie was tying the knot so that it filled the huge space between the "elephant ear" collar. You had to make sure that the front section was still long enough to tuck into your Leon Andrew (yet another 66-73 bod) black tank top.

Stressful being a teenage fashion victim in the 70s. Perhaps when we meet for reunions it should be obligatory to wear the gear from your own era at Wycoll. Bill could come in drainpipes and winkle-pickers, I could come in crushed velvet loons and a tie-dyed grandad vest and you could wear your "thunders" on the outside! What do you think? Perhaps Morag could come in hotpants!!!

P.S. For years after flares fell from grace I thought I had big feet ... not used to seeing them I guess. Laughable really as I am 6 foot 3 and only take size 9s.

Colin Leaford


The Eighties

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Him Her

Wymondham College Fashion (from the 1988 College Magazine)

It is certainly true that Wymondham College pupils have their own "style" of dress. While walking around the City, a Wymondonian can be spotted a mile off amongst the turquoise ski jackets, snow-washed jeans, white socks and slip-on shoes of the average outsider, or 'Gary' or 'Wayne', as they are better known.  The college students can be seen drifting about in groups of three or four, clad in black, emerging from such trendy shops as Oxfam, Antiques Clothes Fare, Head in the Clouds, or the indoor market. Your 'street cred' would be reduced to zero if seen entering or even hanging around outside such "Clothes" shops as Top Shop, Concept Man, Mr. Byrite or Burtons Menswear (cringe!). However, there are some factions of the College population who have now adopted the Rick Astley look and are often caught sheepishly searching through the racks of pastel-coloured garments in C&A's.  A certain 7th year (S.J.) has even been observed and reported carrying a Marks & Spencer carrier bag containing a hideous specimen of a green cardigan.

So what makes the Wymondham College fashion so different, as 'DIFFERENT' is the only way to describe it? What exactly is meant by the term 'Goth'? How do you become a college trend? We will attempt to answer some of these questions. If you want to be "hip and rad" read on....

What makes us stand out so much? Maybe it's the hair, the standard short sides, cut professionally (?) in the salons of the C dorms of Lincoln and Peel by Vidal Newis and Paul 'Eddie' Baysting, with their clippers-cum-sharp shears for 50p a time, if you dare let them loose on your precious locks. The short back and sides, combined with the longer top that has been lifted a bit above its usual position, completes the typical male's hairstyle. This has been taken to its extreme by certain members of the 5th year whose style would look more at home standing on a tropical beach with coconuts hanging under it, or even so short and spiky that they have to be very careful when crossing the road!

Moving down, the grey/black cardigan or enormous plain-coloured jersey hangs loosely from the shoulders. These quite often have patches where the iron was left on just too long.  It is either an uncanny coincidence or just that all Wymondham College boys are incredibly bad at ironing.  Under the jumper lies the ancient grandad shirt passed down through generations of your family, or the ex-German army shirt which is "tucked" into the trousers in just the right way so as to drive any housemaster crazy after screaming "tuck your shirt in!" from 9am until 10pm.  Sometimes the shirt is substituted for a T-shirt. This usually shows the wearer's current taste in so-called music, with pictures of his favourite group.  You won't look trendy in anything less than either a Jesus and Mary Chain, Cure or Joy Division T-shirt.  You may just get away with a Pink Floyd or U2 model, but Madonna and Queen are definitely out!  Then comes the vital item of the trendy Wymondham outfit — the BLACK JEANS! Without these you are nothing!  However, blue jeans will be accepted as an alternative.  These taper down the leg for a perfect fit, and are rolled up at the bottom to expose the thick woolly arctic socks which, after being cooped up in a black pair of desert boots all day, are able to walk to the launderette by themselves.  On a cold day a trench coat/sports jacket is worn "fresh" from Oxfam.  Alternatively a cami jacket or grandad's old dinner jacket can be seen around the site.

Unlike the boys the female contingent of the college do not follow an exact trend, nonetheless they are still quite apart from anyone else.  Not the classic hairstyle of permed back and flick, cemented into place by lacquer, so that there is no question of "is she or isn't she" wearing Harmony hairspray, the stone-washed denim jacket and skirt, and white boots of the 'Sharon' or Tracey' seen clogging up the entrance of Top Shop.  No, the Wymondham female prefers to take a much more original approach!

Starting with the hair. This comes in varying styles, ranging from medium to long in length, straight or loose perm. One thing is for certain, the colour is constantly changing from brown to ginger to blonde to black etc, etc.  Working downwards, we have the light grey cardigan hung off the shoulders, covering the layer upon layer of grandad shirt, at least two T-shirts, and one sun top. No matter what the weather, snow, rain, sun or ice, they will never wear a jacket of any sorts.  As we emerge from the house in coats, hats, scarves and jumpers, the girls walk about quite happily with just a T-shirt, shirt and scarf. Who says boys are tougher than girls?

When it comes to wearing clothes below the waist there seems to be a difference in opinion over what is trendy and what is not. For most the mini, mini skirt over the black tights, for others long loose dark skirts edged with tassels, whilst some prefer the more conventional leggings or jeans. Why some Wymondham girls have such a fixation with their mini skirts is a question long unanswered; perhaps they 'think' they have nice legs (M.S.).

As far as footwear goes, a wide range of shoes and boots can be seen trudging about the site. For most the choice is between black plimsolls, more commonly seen in a primary school P.E. lesson, or a whole variety of boots, some of which would seem more apt in the surroundings of a building site. However surprising it may seem, the whole outfit looks very presentable and totally original.

Moving upwards to the hair, it comes in many shapes, colours and styles, but, unlike the local 'gal in the street', not set hard as a rock with God knows how many layers of gel and sprays, mousses and lacquers, but usually a loose perm with perhaps the odd highlights seen, which constantly change colour from blacks to blondes.  Then, finally, to complement, the face lightly made-up, perhaps a touch of eyeliner, the odd touch of colour here and there, but most girls are definitely against the thick cement treatment with bright blusher and day-glo lipstick.

Most Wymondham College pupils only try to be original and set apart from the majority of kids about today, but all are dressed impeccably for school!

Ashley Fletcher
Andrew Nunn
Tim Salter


The Nineties

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Wymondham College Remembered