Who was rocking those eighties?

You like to look good, don’t you?

I was thinking this morning about how I look back at the 1980’s and some of the fashion makes me flinch hard enough to cause pain: women’s pants that belted mid-torso; eyeglasses that competed for size with some Buicks; hair that often seemed modeled after either a poodle or a macaroni penguin; baggy neon-colored sweaters, leg warmers . . . I think we made a lot of style errors in that decade. I’ve heard people talk about how when they looked back at the style of the 60’s they were embarrassed by the things they thought were cool and wore, and then remark about how it’s all coming back into style.

Could the world handle a resurgence of 1980’s America? What would that look like, eh? Back on top with good ol’ Ronnie at the helm, just the way it should be; none of this frustrating political infighting that makes the Daily Show such a pleasure to watch; lots of cheesy catchphrases like “where’s the beef?” and “I’m not Herb”; corporations leveraging media to get everyone to buy and eat their way to happiness – it was the decade of big television, that’s for sure – and the toys! I’d go back to the eighties just for the toys. They weren’t plastic, they weren’t metal; they were a happy sort of melange that incorporated the strengths of both materials and made them really fun to play with. I have no clue how many hours were spent swapping heads, torsos, and legs on my G.I. Joe action figures (by Mattel, of course.)

But the fashion often left much to be desired. I look back and I do feel somewhat awkward for the people in those photographs. I see David Lee Roth in that red spandex whatchamajigger and think, ‘really, Dave? What made you think that was cool?’ A musician wants to make a statement now, they just show you their boobs or shake their money maker and Twitter goes nuclear – no crazy get-ups required. The Black-Eyed Peas like to dress up, though, so there’s them. (Dear Will I. Am – you go, good sir.)

So that gets me to wondering, will I look back and regret that I’m still wearing plaid flannel this far after the 90’s, or is that timeless? Will there always be lumberjacks and lesbians to help me rock the look? Will my children or grandchildren see pictures of me and shrink back in terror, exclaiming “good god, what is that terrible outfit! Look at that hair! Holy cow, is that a wristwatch?”

What do you think? Was there any decade quite as flinch-worthy as the eighties, or am I just plain nuts?


This post was prompted by today’s Daily Post prompt.

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11 thoughts on “Who was rocking those eighties?”

    1. They had some great flannel at Target this winter too, and I missed the one color I wanted – orange and blue – after it hit the clearance racks. That’s what I get for being a cheap ol’ penny pincher!

  1. Having spent a whole bunch of time researching 1977, those are some pretty cringe-worthy outfits. I mean, I had big hair in the 80s, but I had Farrah hair in fifth grade, and it was a VERY unfortunate decision on my part.

    1. I stand corrected! Sorry, I was just throwing the Mattel thing off the top of my head – maybe they made my He-Man or Thundercat figures. 🙂 But I didn’t explicitly say that leg warmers were “style errors”, I merely said that “style errors” were made. Whether or not leg warmers is one of them is ultimately a matter of opinion.

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