Friday, November 30, 2007

Fashion of the 1980s

November 30, 2007

Tonight the yearbook committee is throwing an 80s Night as a fundraiser for the yearbook. For the past few weeks the teens have all been abuzz with fashion of the 1980s. "What did people wear in the 80s" has been the question of the month. It's hard to explain the 80s. There were so many different looks, and most of them were extraordinarily hideous: the "Material Girl" look, Flashdance, Thriller, Miami Vice, Jane Fonda, headbands, Swatches, sunglasses, acid-washed jeans, banana clips, parachute pants, shoulder pads, leg warmers, high top Nikes. The list is endless.

So in the spirit of 80s Night, I found some photos that best exemplify my tasteful style in this decade.

We start at the very beginning: 1980. I am sporting a button down Oxford, jeans, and clogs. My hair is particularly stylish with its feathered look.

Here I am in 1982. There are several hot items to note here: my boyfriend is wearing a classic 80s pairing: an Izod shirt (I had 13) and corduroy pants. To insure that we are a properly preppy couple, I am wearing an Oxford (I had a dozen) and a hairband. I believe those are my Calvin Klein jeans.

This shot was taken in Italy in 1983. This was one of my most popular looks: the printed turtleneck under the Oxford shirt. I probably had a dozen turtlenecks to go with my dozen Oxfords. In New York with also completed this look with an Izod polo shirt under the Oxford and a sweater tied casually around the neck. We called this look "dueling collars." No clue.

Now this look is unbelievably classic. This is my senior prom, 1984. The color of the year: dusty rose. My hair is carefully layered and feathered and appropriately short. My boyfriend's white tux is also quite fashionable, and, again, we are properly matching. Oh, and is that an add-a-bead necklace I'm wearing?

Fortunately, graduation gowns have a classic look. But my mother's red handkerchief snazzily sticking out of her pocket clearly points to the 1980s. Oh--and that feathered hair still.

Here we are on spring break from college in 1985 with some excellent examples. Joel is wearing Docksiders and some weird printed shirt. Lauren is displaying the Perm, which was an essential hair element for men and women alike. Suzie and I have classic footwear: the white tennie with bobby socks. Sweet.

I'm not sure what the hideous grimace is all about, but here I am with my oldest brother in 1985. The particular look going on here: stirrup pants with colored socks over the pants. I wore these particular black pants to death. I remember buying these Firenzes for about $30, and they were well worth the money.

Here I am, still wearing them. And Randy is sporting a sort-of Maimi Vice look with the open shirt and granddaddy T underneath. Very sexy.

But not nearly as sexy as this look in 1986. Suspenders? What was he thinking? In his defense, his mother took him shopping, and I think this is the one and only time he wore this...outfit. And so as not to make Randy feel too embarrassed, please note that my dress has a pink tie on it.

And what is up with this shirt? I don't know whose closet I grabbed that one out of, but, wow! That is serious 80s garb.

A few more examples of 80s at its best. Tracy is wear red thermals under her jeans with the tightly tapered legs. She's also got the high-top tennis shoes look going on, the big white shirt, and the bandana around her neck. Claudia and Kathy have the striped rugby shirt look; and to complete the red, white and blue theme that we apparently thought was photo-worthy, I have on tight white jeans. I remember that they were slightly cropped (enough to show off my red socks) and had zippers on the ankles.

Here are my brother and me in 1988. I included this because of my red Chucks (or Cons as they are called down here). Just goes to show that some trends are good ones and deserve to come back every 20 years or so.

And again, you can't go wrong in a graduation gown. In 1988 the eclectic and often downright scary looks of the 1980s were heading out and making room for a whole new set of fashion faux pas in the 1990s. I suppose when Duncan is a teenager, they will be having a 90s Night. I can hardly wait.


Friday, November 30, 2007 - Untitled Comment
Posted by Arby (
You're brave. Very, very brave! :)
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Friday, November 30, 2007 - hey!
Posted by DrHibiscus (
I CAN'T believe you posted that picture of me in the plaid pants / suspenders / red shirt combo... Have you no sympathy whatsoever? I'll never be able to show my face in public again.
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Friday, November 30, 2007 - Untitled Comment
Posted by skdenfeld (
Nice! In his suspenders , Randy looks like Duckie from Pretty in Pink.
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Saturday, December 1, 2007 - BWWWHAAAAAA
Posted by Anonymous (
I so needed that laugh! I could "hear" you in each description....too funny! You all look like a Benetton commercial; I could hear new wave music and smell a shopping mall through your post. How very Breakfast Club/Valley Girl/Dirty Dancing it all was back then 'eh?

Oh may tapered jeans NEVER come back (though they are trying with the Skinny least they aren't highwaters yet).

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Saturday, December 1, 2007 - Too funny...
Posted by Prodoceo (
I graduated from highschool in '81. I think just about every item of clothing you showed was something that I owned too!! Very funny...each picture made me laugh harder!
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Sunday, December 2, 2007 - Oh my goodness!!!!
Posted by fyftn (
I am at home, sick, and in no mood to laugh. Yet, this post is priceless. My head hurts worse now but well worth it. The pics of Randy are priceless. I'll have to see if I can dig up some old pictures to make you feel better.

Great post!!


  1. I love the pics! I'm doing an 80's day at my school and had no clue what to wear and google wasn't much help, but this was! I was wondering though- what shoes would you wear in the picture where you are with your brother, in the turquoise sweater and socks?

  2. If my memory serves me correctly, I think I would have worn black ankle boots. Sadly, I probably also wore Topsiders with this outfit…

    BTW, this post gets the most hits of any other!

  3. Hey, those fashions remain great! I still have fond memories of late eighties print shirts. Oddly, though you were probably concerned at the time by your brother's boho clothes and beard, that is probably the only style shown above that still works. And--there is NOTHING WRONG with Randy's outfit.

    1. I love the 80's era. In my opinion you look perfect, and so do your friends and family. A lot better then low rise jeans. You had a great sense of style. Very simple and elegant, and I am sure you still do.


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