I love love love old school yearbooks. Whenever I am out thrifting, I'm extra-stoked when I find one, and greedily snatch it up, no matter that I know no one within its pages. Yearbooks are a grand document of the times, and often enjoyably showcases the particularly hideous judgment that teens can reveal in their choices of personal style. Last weekend, I scored a sweet Big Bird-yellow yearbook dated 1973, from a small town in Washington near the Canadian border. Having lived through this era myself, I knew that when I opened the pages I would find camp gold, for 1973 had to have been one of the worst years ever for fashion in every way. Long gone was the sharp mod lines of the '60s, or even the Boho-chic hippie gear. No, 1973 pretty much looked like the designers just gave up, lost in a a Quaalude haze somewhere, leaving the public looking like some grotesque patchwork of mid-century cast-offs. It hadn't improved much by the time I myself graduated high school seven years later, although I had the absolutely brilliant foresight not to have my senior portrait taken. I will never not feel smug about this.

So today I am presenting the best of the worst of the senior portraits from this found 1973 treasure in three categories, with bonus points awarded to seniors with double scores. Please to enjoy!


Let me state this fact to all 17- or 18-year-old boys: YOU LOOK LIKE A COMPLETE IDIOT WITH FACIAL HAIR OF ANY KIND. This is true throughout all decades. I mean, I know very well WHY you do it: because you think it makes you look more grown-up and you think you might be able to get more respect/buy beer, and simply because you CAN. But the reality is, that to absolutely everyone older than you, you look like a kindergartener who glued yarn on your face. Let us now celebrate these young men following this great misguided tradition!

This serious young teen with his immaculately-combed bangs has a mustache that just screams "future middle manager" to me.

Look at those chops! I bet he smells like auto repair class and hot dogs.

Eww, this wimpy bunch of wisps just makes me want to scrub his mug with a Brillo pad.

Cheech or Chong?

I know this is hard to see in the photo, but this dude appears to have patches of ginger pubes randomly growing on his face. Bonus points: glasses from 1964.

This tiny little 'stache just spoils a perfectly-good Prince Valiant haircut.

AIIEEEE! NO! Bonus points: inexplicable hair coloring.

WTF??? Is this really Martin Landau with fuzzy sideburns and a sidepart??


We try, we really do. We try to do good things with the hair we have, we girls, but we are always MESSING IT UP. I don't know of anyone who doesn't look back upon some of their former 'do's and shriek, "WHAT WAS I THINKING??" I say this now as someone with bright red hair with bright blonde streaks. We never learn. These girls just...well...look.

The Single-Side Bang Flip. Bonus points: crooked wire-rims.

The Parted Bangs.

The Schizo Bi-Level Bob Thing.

The Darth Vader.

The Blob. Bonus points: slightly crooked wire-rims.

The 1963 Aquanette Special. I had a plastic play wig when I was a kid that looked just like this.

The Cocker Spaniel.

The Monk. Fifty bucks says she entered the novitiate after graduation.

The Beehive of Wonder. Really, the only people wearing these in '73 were Texans or drag queens.


I've worn glasses since 1970 -- almost all of my life. The only glasses I wanted when I was a kid were the little round John Lennon granny glasses. My eye doctor made me get the most unfashionable glasses possible then: the brown tortie cateye. PAIN. We have lots more choices in eyewear now, cateyes are back in style, but for now let's peer at these optically-challenged youths!

These heavy specs just call attention to his lazy eye.

These glasses look like those "X-Ray Spex" sold in the back of comic books.

These geometric nightmares don't flatter anyone. I know, because I wore these EXACT SAME GLASSES in 1973.

These almost look like plastic googly eyes. She must be farsighted.


The modified giant aviator glasses take up a good 1/3 of his face.

Well. It all just works, doesn't it?


The plastic rims with the dark on the top and the flesh tone on the bottom always creeped me out, although I can't exactly say why.

I think this guy was in the band "America," or dreamed he was.

And finally, we have square-rim, super-side-part lad, who as a solid citizen now nearly 60 years old, probably looks exactly like this again.