Set The Wayback Machine to 1975 Sherman

Wayback to 1975This past weekend daughter and I patroned a local antique store, typically located in the basement of an old musty building downtown. Whilst there I spotted something I simply had to have... an Eaton's Christmas catalog from 1975. I know. I'm weird. I bought a 35 year old catalog.

Now for my non-Canuck friends I'll explain. Eaton's was one of only two major department stores that existed when I was young. This was eons, erm, some time before the creation of the beast known as "The Mall"; everyone shopped at Eaton's and The Bay back then. And the Eaton's Christmas catalogue was a prized possession once it landed with a heavy thud on your doorstep each Fall. My siblings and I used to fight over scour that thick tome for hours, carefully researching our Wish List in preparation for the momentous visit to Santa.... on the eighth floor of Eaton's Department Store, natch.

So many memories came flooding back as I flipped through the cracked yellowing pages. So be forewarned, there will definitely be more posts to come inspired by what I've found inside.

One of the first things that struck me while perusing the book was the popularity of "Paisley" at the time. You know, that twisted teardrop pattern that was so prevalent in the Sixties and Seventies. Yes, it's still around today, but nowhere near the popularity it had back then.

Paisley dressIn nearly every section of the catalog there is something sporting the psychedelic Paisley design.

Now I must admit Paisley gives me the willies. I always had a sneaking suspicion it originated from some artsy-fartsy scientist after discovering them scurrying about on a microscope slide. Yeah, I know that it's really a very old pattern; but that doesn't stop me believing that they are simply creepy-crawly.

I mean, lookit!

It's like they were swimming all over women's dresses, flagella whipping about in every direction!

Paisley robe

Multiplying paramecium-like on men's dressing gowns!

Paisley tie

Utilizing their exterior cilia, they even crawled onto previously-deadly-dull striped ties!

Amazingly, household appliances didn't escape the invasion of the little buggars either...

Paisley vacuumAhhhhh! Paisley was epidemic! * Shiver *

Holy crap. I just remembered I even had a teacher in 1975 who was infected:

Mr PaisleyGak! Is that Paisley on his TIE too???

No wonder I did so bad at Dreaded Math. I couldn't concentrate with all those squiggly protozoans Freaking.Me.Out.

Mystery solved. Thank you, Eaton's catalog.

36 People would rather be commenting:

MahoneyMusings said...

No way! Eatons...ah, the memories.

Linn said...

I love this post and look forward to more jems from the pages of your catalog. We had the Sear's and JC Penny catalogs when I was younger.

Anonymous said...

Paisley was so cool back in those days. I wonder if it will make a comeback like sooooo many other fashions

Ceramix said...


You have won an all expenses paid trip for two to Paisley, Scotland..."

No, maybe not.

ToadMama said...

Like Linn, it was the Sears catalog for us. I had to chuckle at the paisley wet-dry vac. Jeez...

Sproglet said...

They're ALIENS!!

They live amongst us...unseen.

Nasty little unfashionable aliens.

They're here....they're waiting.

....Maybe I've been watching too much transformers....

Daisy said...

That paisley tie is especially horrible!

Tutus and Choo-Choos said...

Growing up we always waited for the Sears and JCPenneys catalogs to arrive in the mail. We would spend hours searching for what we wanted for Christmas.

Brenda Grolle said...

Simply hilarious! I can't wait for more! That math teacher, oh, that's too much! Keep it coming, please.

Kisma said...

Good times! Paisley was the thing to wear!

Stephanie said...


Autumn Mist said...

Understandable on a woman, but what's that man's dressing-gown all about? Yuk! I've never liked paisley either, and have never known it to be really fashionable here, but it probably was.

Bruce Johnson said...

This brings back many a memory of life back in the 1960s, when my favorite reading material was the Sears Catalog....both for th toys.....and those woman's underwear ads.....(blame it on puberty).

ReformingGeek said...

Peace, Maureen, Peace.

I think Mr. Paisley should have instructed geometry.

I think I have a paisley scarf around here somewhere.

Perpetual Chocoholic said...

I wonder what those people look like now.

Jen said...

Have never seen Eatons but we had the Sears catalog to look at as well as Speigel which I think they still make. Love the paisley. My mom had a quilted skirt with a paisley pattern on it. I just found it recently in a box of crap they never threw away and made doll clothes for my daughter out of it.

AshPup said...

Auntie Maureen,
I quite like paisley. Or should I say liked. I don't know if I'll ever look at it the same (the gargantuan print on that dress/robe were beyond a little much, I sympathize with you on that one).

Tooting Squared said...

Ha ha ha ha! That dressing gown / robe made me laugh out loud!

Picture the scene ... a wild night of passion. The next morning the man of your dreams sneaks out of bed whilst you're still asleep to make you breakfast in bed, and when he brings in the tray and you open one eye to look at him longingly ... HE'S IN PAISLEY!! HA HA HA!

Janet said...

lol I totally GET the catalog thing, Maureen! But I have to admit that I love paisley. I'm really digging that paisley vacuum. Could I have the number for Eatons, please???

Anonymous said...

Fabulous post. Gave me the giggles! Thank you!

Richard said...

Haha that's hilarious. It does look like back then people ran out of ideas and were like, "Hey, let's take some shapes from micro-organisms from this slide!"

caroldiane said...

oh yes, the Eaton's Christmas catalogue?! That was the best - it had everything you could ever want. I remember one year when I got exactly the outfit I wanted (may have been some plaid, don't think there was paisley...) and I felt just like one of the models.. ahh, those were the days!

Ash said...

Wow. Who knew there was a magazine devoted to such disastrous fashion?! Love your blog by the way.

choochoo said...

teehee. It's coming back into fashion, you know. It's only a matter of time. Soon the creepy-crawlies will be crawling all across ppl's ties again. Muahahaha.

jay said...

I completely understand your fascination with the catalogue - I think I'd have been the same! Oh, the nostalgia!

But paisley .. oh yes, I remember paisley. I made a dress for myself once, back in the sixties. It was a 'tent' dress - remember those? With bell sleeves - and bust darts! What the heck happened to bust darts?

Anyway, it was made of a very strange, kind of smushy, almost plasticky fabric which supported that tent shape rather too well, and it was covered in a small paisley print. And it was orange! I hate orange!!

Hmm. Maybe the reason I now hate orange is because of that dress ... ?

Sproglet said...


The Literary Lioness said...

We never had Eaton's in the States, but there are so many department stores that are gone now: Gimbels, Sterns, B. Altmans, Abraham and Strauss, Bonwit Teller, too many to count in the last 30 years. Ah, I miss them.

I always thought that the really big paisley patterns look like something from under a microscope, too, and I HATED biology.

I also really hated math.

JoJo said...

That's how I felt about the Sears catalog in the 70's. Hey and i love paisley; I just started a paisley design colouring book.

Marla said...

1975 that was a year to remember. If only I could. :-)

Pam said...

FAR OUT, MAUREEN!!! Love your site, and your example! In appreciatin, I've left you a gift on my blog!

Ca88andra said...

I remember paisley. I wish I didn't!

JoJo said...

Hey Maureen, I think you got spammed....twice.

Maureen said...

MahoneyMusings: Yes, memories indeed... I miss Eaton's; especially the big store downtown.

Aw thank you Linn!

Wheelboy: It was groovy back then, and yes, it is back like everything else... I see it around but thankfully not on vacuums at least.

Ceramix: Ahahahahaha! Gad! I doubt I would have fun there; although I am sure it is lovely.

ToadMama: I know, eh? I had to laugh out loud when I came across that one.

Har! Sproglet!!! Invasion of the paisley body snatchers!

Agreed Daisy, agreed!

Tutus and Choochoos: As we did with Eaton's. Poor mom and dad; I do believe we would point out EVERYTHING in the toy pages to them...

:D Brenda!!! Yeah, it was only after I started writing about paisley that I remembered my teacher from Senior High! I liked him though; he was very nice. In a geeky sort of way...

Kisma, every groovy chick and dude was wearing it apparently!

Ahahaha Stephanie! Exactly!

I know Autumn Mist! That housecoat was horrible! I mean, perhaps a small print on the collar or something, but to plaster those HUGE suckers everywhere? Gah!!!

Har Bruce! You echoed EXACTLY what hubby said!!! You guys....

Reforming Geek: He DID teach it! And chemistry too... so I do believe he was destined to teach those subjects.

Perpetual Chocoholic: Ha! Yeah! I wonder... looking thru the catalog was like watching an episode of That 70' show... the hair!

Ha Jen! Well, that's ONE way to recycle!

Sorry about that Ashley! ;)

Ahahahahaha TootingSquared!!!! Hilarious! I do believe I would only be able to stand it if he were Mr Depp... and then I would demand he shed it ;)

Har Janet! So sorry; Eaton's went the way of the dinosaur many years ago.... * sniff *

thatisthewhy: Why thank you! You are too kind.

Didn't it Richard? I have to agree... and it seems that once they DID find a new pattern, they used it to death.

Aw, Caroldiane, that is so cute! Ha! I would have loved to see you "pose" !

Aw thank you AshleyDiane and welcome!

NoNoNoNoNo!!!! AHHHHH Choochoo! Don't even THINK that!

OMG Jay, I remember ALL that! Who can forget the "tent dress" (how flattering a name), darts (I hated those in sewing class), and bell sleeves!!!! And yes, that could very well be the reason orange isn't a favorite of yours, totally understandable BTW.

Um yeah Sproglet.... so I see!

Ahahahah Literary Lioness! Sounds like we are too much alike. My condolences.

Jo-Jo: I remember I had a doodle art full of paisley... gad it was every-frickin-where.

Har Marla! I think you need to expand on that.... ;)

Aw, Pam, you are too kind! Thank you so much!!! I shall add your gift to my bling page with a link to your site. Thank you!!!

Me too Ca88andra, me too...

Jo-Jo: So I see, thank you. Taken care of the little buggars. See what happens when I wander away for a tad? All heck breaks loose. Okay, maybe not ALL heck, but I hate Spam; both the web kind and the fake-food kind. Merci for keeping watch pour moi.

Katherine said...

Funny, a good friend of mine once looked at my Paisly Shirt (Yes, I had one) and said, "Oh LOOK! Creative sperm!" I think I blew milk out of my nose. I'll never forget that - paisley was never the same for me after that!

Ed & Jeanne said...

Ha! I have several old boxes of crayons from Eatons. Nothing escapes my crayon collection...

Maureen said...

Ahahahaha Katherine! Creative sperm!!! OMG, I would never wear the shirt again.

VE: Ha! Awesome! Yes, Eaton's is now extinct, so those are Very Special Crayons indeed.

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