Buck's Blog

The Stream-of-Consciousness Journal of a Wargamer

Are Outfits from Sci Fi Outlandish?

Publicity shots of Anne Francis from Forbidden Planet

Publicity shots of Anne Francis from Forbidden Planet

I used to think that the women’s outfits in science fiction movies were outlandish and that women wouldn’t dress like that in real file.  While they were sexy, these outfits never seemed very practical.  (I still think that chainmail bikinis are absurd, but lately I’ve begun to think that the outfits in the science fiction movies and shows of the 1950’s through 1970’s foreshadowed today’s fashion in the same way that the Star Trek communicator foreshadowed flip cell phones.) My kids go to a school that requires a uniform in which the girls’ skirts are at a modest length.  What do these teenage girls do?  They “roll” their skirts, rolling up the waist band to raise their skirts three or four inches higher than the dress code requires.  And as soon as school gets out, the girls start waltzing around the malls in outfits more fitting for prostitutes than high school girls.

Sample of 1940's fashions, which continued to get more attractive for about 15 years.

Sample of 1940's fashions, which continued to get more attractive for about 15 years

I will admit that my tastes are a bit dated.  I think the pinnacle of womens’ fashions was reached in the 1940’s and 1950’s.  This post is not meant to offer an opinion that the world is going to Hell, but just to point out that I had a recent epiphany.  Fashions that I thought were ridiculous (though often alluring) in old science fiction movies and television shows were probably not that ridiculous after all.

Here’s what I mean.  In the far future, would women want to wander around in outfits like this?

Examples of miniskirts from Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Forbidden Planet

Examples of miniskirts from Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Forbidden Planet

Or this?

Erin Grey publicity still from the second season of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century

Erin Grey publicity still from the second season of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century

Well, I did a quick search for “skirts” using Bing and looking at “reputable” Web stores, like Target.com.  I wasn’t looking at porn sites or Fredericks of Hollywood, but below is what I found.  Without looking hard, I found these examples below.  People must be buying them!

Really short skirts from "reputable" places like Target.com and other on-line catalogs

Really short skirts from "reputable" places like Target.com and other on-line catalogs

These are outfits I’ve seen girls wearing at shopping malls or social events with their buddies.  Admittedly, these are not outfits I have seen worn by professional women in office settings, but they are outfits worn in public.

So how about form-fitting outfits like this one?  As sexy as this is, would women really wear such a thing except while scuba diving in cold water?

Jet pack girl

Jet pack girl

Or these…

Some random female science fiction outfits

Some random female science fiction outfits

Again, a quick Web search found these examples:

Examples of form-fitting outfits for a quick Google search using the key word "legging"

Examples of form-fitting outfits for a quick Google search using the key word "legging"

Frankly, I have never understood women wearing leggings that leave nothing to the imagination and then wearing seven layers of long shirts and coverups.  Why not just wear something a bit more modest?

Or how about see-through blouses?  Aside from the odd phenomenon in which women reveal more leg and cleavage in formal affairs than in other settings, no one would wear those in public, would they?

Is the see-through blouse from the UFO science fiction series outlandish? See examples of see-through outfits that some are buying to wear in public.

Is the see-through blouse from the UFO science fiction series outlandish? See examples of see-through outfits that some are buying to wear in public.

Except for the purple outfit, which I think is meant for someone on the prowl at a dance club, the other three outfits are things I have seen in stores and other public places.  As someone on the downhill side of 50, there are things I know not to wear anymore; however, most of the women I seen wearing these outfits in public are NOT fashion models from catalogs who can pull off these looks, but they wear them anyway.  So those costume designers were prescient after all!  (By the way, the costume designer for the UFO show pictures above was a woman.)

Another view of Anne Francis from a Forbidden Planet publicity still

Another view of Anne Francis from a Forbidden Planet publicity still

So the next time you are oggling Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine), Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi), Gates McFadden (Dr. Crusher), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Anne Francis (Altaira Morbius), Erin Gray (Wilma Deering), or some other science fiction heroine, thinking, “Wow, the twenty-fifth century will be great!” remember that the twenty-fifth century might not be that far off with respect to women’s fashions.

Wow!  The twenty-fifth century will be great!

Wow! The twenty-fifth century is great!


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