“You’re the one I want.  Oh, oh, ooo, Honey!  The one I want, oh, oh, ooo, honey!  The one I need. Oh, yes indeed!”  Quick!  What is the first thing that you think of when you hear the word “polyester”? Terrible double-knit polyester suits in light blue? Or you can’t think because you are automatically feeling the urge to itch?  Bless polyester’s heart!  Despite its major downfall in the 1970s and its bad reputation due to that era, it does have a spectacular history!

Now, hop in my time machine with me and let us blast off to the 1940s!  Va, va, va-room!  Zoom!  Swish!  First stop, 1941!

Ah, ha!  Here we are-and that man over there is W. H. Carothers.  Who is he, you inquire?  Well, he is the one that made the fabulous discovery that certain alcohols and carboxyl acids could be successfully mixed together to create fibers.  Carothers was working for DuPont when he found the almost complete magic formula for polyester fibers; however, he soon wandered away from this experiment when he discovered Nylon.  He boogie-oogie-oggied away.

Whinfield and Dickson, two British scientists, took advantage of Carothers’ incomplete research and mixed ethylene glycol and terephthlic acid to form polyester fibers.  In 1941, Whinfield and Dickson patented PET or PETE. “Polyethylene Terephthalate forms the basis for synthetic fibers like Dacron, Terylene, and Polyester.” (www.whatispolyester.com)

Darlings, we have got to speed this time traveling up a bit because there is so much more to discuss.  Next stop-America, 1951!

Wondrous polyester was introduced to the American public in 1951.  It became known as the “magical fabric” or “the fabric that needed no ironing”.  Polyester zoomed though the years gaining extreme popularity.  Textile mills emerged everywhere-and I do mean everywhere (well, perhaps everywhere is a tiny hyperbole)!  Gas stations were the location of some of these mills-I need two gallons of gas, a Coca Cola, and that polyester dress, please!

Polyester kept its stardom until the 1970s when the double-knit polyester apparel gave the fabric the awful reputation of being itchy and uncomfortable.  Finally, we are back to the present-and the image of cheap, scratchy polyester is a thing of the past!  With a higher price tag and a sophisticated and structured look, polyester is staying alive, staying alive oo, oo, oo, staying alive!

So enough of history class-it is time to see how vintage and modern polyester pieces can be worn fabulously without leaving us looking like disco divas!

Blouse: Gap
Dress: The Attic
Belt: Betsey Johnson
Shoes: Jessica Simpson

A 1970’s polyester dress in light blue is a perfect match for a modern navy and white polka dotted ruffle top!  Adding subtle nude colored accessories with this ensemble leaves you ready to move and groove the day away in complete style!

Blouse: The Fashion Barn
Coat: Marshalls
Skirt: The Limited
Shoes: Jessica Simpson

Pick yourself up a big and beautiful coat to wear with a modern polyester blouse!  Burgundy is all the rage this fall and it plays well with emerald green.  A super precious sheer burgundy blouse adorned with a cream ruffle worn with a denim pencil skirt and topped off with a chic emerald green coat is an amazing way to showcase the staying-power of polyester-all while looking absolutely fabulous.

VIP Tips on Polyester:

  • Break Up:  Don’t dress head to toe polyester.  Do break up a polyester suit with a natural silk top or organic cotton oxford shirt.   This mix works well for the office or dinner with friends!
  • Plays Well with Others:  A sheer, polyester top plays well with a cotton cardigan, wool blazer, or even a denim jacket.  This play date keeps you warm and wonderful without catching the disco fever!
  • Forever and Always:  Invest in good quality polyester apparel items because they can be passed down from generation to generation. Forever and Always, Polyester.
  • Saturday Night Fever:  Halloween is vastly approaching so save those 70s disco pants and wide-collared suit jackets for the perfect throwback costume!  Dare to pair this Saturday Night Fever look with platform shoes to enhance your retro vibe!
  • Let’s Hear it for the Boys:  Pair vintage print polyester button-ups with dark denim jeans, a leather blazer, and a kicking pair of retro runners!  Sport this look while hanging out at the sports bar and grill, and you will have all the girls saying, “Let’s hear it for the boys!”

Join me next time for another fantastic adventure!

Be sure to like me on Facebook to keep up with the latest VIP news, sneak peeks, and giveaways! www.facebook.com/VintageInspriedPassionista

The VIP has discovered a FABULOUS place to shop in Columbus, Mississippi called “The Fashion Barn”. It is beyond perfection for any girl in the mood for some serious shopping! They have apparel items to suit every girl’s needs! From formals to jeans to lovely blouses The Fashion Barn has it all! Take a road trip to the friendly city of Columbus, Mississippi today and visit The Fashion Barn! Tell them the VIP sent you:)

Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

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One thought on “Two Gallons of Gas, a Coca Cola, and Polyester

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