Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Look Back and Cringe Contest

Everyone is saying that the 80's are making a big comeback in fashion. You'll have to drag me kicking and screaming back there. No long sweaters and leggings please. No ripped sweatshirts. Please, please no big giant hair with mall bangs. And I am absolutely not growing my eyebrows back out to look like giant Brooke Shields catepillar brows.

Being a banana clip away from a Styx concert got such a strong reaction from everyone (it even brought our pal Roger Clinton out of lurkdom into the comment light, hooray!) that you have inspired me to hold another contest.

What special outfit did you have in the 80's that make you resist going back to the 80's now? Was it the layers of purple eyeshadow? Was it your Madonna inspired headband? Was it the blouse with the giant sleeves? What is that special look that you so loved back then that makes you cringe now. I mean real embarrassment. Tell me why you don't want to do the 80's all over again on your blog. Be brave, this is no time for some wimpy "leave it in my comments" contest. We are talking the return of lycra leggings people, blog about it! The winner will get something special in the way of yarn.

I will confess, my 80's fashion transgressions were numerous. My absolute worst was a turquoise outfit that included rip-stop nylon pants. The pants had a ton of puffy pleats on the top and then tapered to very small ankles. These wonders were topped with a turquoise and white striped sailor shirt that had puffy sleeves. I wore this with my purple eye shadow, plastic turquoise button earrings (the bigger the better) and (gasp) RED ballet flats (white socks of course). I loved this outfit. I bought it myself with money I earned working at the insurance office after school (yes, I've been a big old insurance geek since I was 17). Oh God, I felt cute in this outfit. Oh does the thought make me cringe now!!

Obviously the benefits of going back are numerous.
  • We all await the death of the muffin top and the tramp stamp with eager anticipation.
  • If we can fashionably go back to butt covering sweaters, we can put away our "Firm" steps and get off the stairmaster.
  • If I never see another chubby teenager's belly hanging out of a crop top or a too tight shirt, it will be too soon (as my friend Dan says, there is such a thing as too much self esteem in children)
  • Maybe stores will start selling t-shirts in real sizes again. I have to buy large or even xl sometimes at places like Old Navy and The Gap. I'm a size 6/8 and have virtually no chest. I don't know what you do if you're an average size like 12/14 and actually have a chest. I guess you just can't buy Old Navy t-shirts most of the time.
  • I will be the first one at the flat-iron bonfire. I will be swinging it over my head by the cord screaming, "I have curly hair and I'm proud of it!"
  • Maybe we can find clothes that don't look like you're on your way to party with Paris Hilton. I need some coverage people!! I work at a "firm". Yes, people refer to my company as "the firm" and they wear ties. I can't dress like I'm headed off to a taping of TRL.
  • Flat shoes. I miss flats. I miss comfy toes. I have seen a lot of rounded toes in shoes stores lately and this is a sign. I love how my legs look in pointy-toed stilleto heels, but my hamstrings are now aproximately one fourth their original length.

There will be negatives to going back to some version of 80's fashions:

  • Spandex, need I say more?
  • Those butt covering sweaters take a whole lot of yarn. A whole lot. And knitting another 8-10 inches on the bottom of sweaters is going to take time.

So let's all look back and cringe together shall we? Contest will run through Sunday September 24th, winner announced on Monday September 25th.

"I'm plenty fashionable already. Does the return of the 80's mean the return of real dogs? Not just teeny-tiny purse-sized dogs that are worn as an accessory? I'm all for that!"


Lisa said...

Well I am definitely praying that the 80's aren't coming back. I have multiple humiliating pictures (including my cheesy engagement picture where I wore a pale blue shirt with giant puffy sleeves and a big V of ruffles down the front with the buttons on the side, YIKES!),which prove that the hair and fashions were, shall we say, HIDEOUS? I remember one of my favorite outfits, a huge oversized hot pink ribbed shirt from Express which I wore over skin tight black leggings (which by the way made my legs look like giant drumsticks - you know way too skinny on the bottom and a little, um, hefty on the top), then little white anklets with black pumps. Sometimes I belted it with a big white or black belt and giant white earrings and long white plastic beads. This all coordinated well with the over-permed poodle doo I was sporting at the time. Please, please you fashion starters....DON'T GO THERE!!!!!

trek said...

I was a very preppy dresser in the 80s; oxford shirts with the tails out and no socks with the deck shoes - but I did have these white linen baggy wrestler pants from the Express that I wore with a loud blue/pink/purple paisley number on top.

Laura said...

boy i wish i could see a picture of that outfit, kate! i had numerous pairs of big plastic button earrings, that made me laugh.

why can't we make a fashion return to a classy era? like the 1930s or 1940s? i'd be all for that.

Guinifer said...

Perms. Big honking head the size of a basketball perms.

My "cool" outfit back then? I was livin' uptown and shopped at all the little shops up there - I stole all of my dad's old tweed jackets. Long button down shirts over my leggings, boots and dad's jackets. Brown lipstick.

I only have one little thing to add - things didn't get lots better in the 90's. I have one word for you.
Need I say more?

Chris said...

Hee hee... I'll do my entry (and plug for your contest) tomorrow!

Sheepish Annie said...

I'm serious...if I have to go back to wearing my underthings on the outside I will have a hissy fit of epic proportions. I am no longer able to "Get Into The Groove." Good song, though...

Beth said...

I don't want to look back! It's too painful. I was into the preppy stuff like Trek, but I did have an unflattering outfit or two (or three or ....). I'll see if I can find a picture for my blog entry. That ought to be worth a laugh!

Sydney said...

I have wavy to curly hair depending on the weather, and I actually got a perm. I have no idea what possessed me to do that. I also had my share of leggings, long baggy sweaters and long baggy shirts.

Chris said...

Ok, I'm in.

lorinda said...

Thankfully I have repressed those memories and all my photos are in storage.

--Deb said...

Luckily, I didn't pay TOO much attention to fashion in high school. (And when I did, I wanted to look just like Laura Holt from Remington Steele.)

Of course, that doesn't mean I'm going to run home and pull out the photo album, either . . . (grin)

But the curly hair thing? I do have curly hair and am proud of it--and have never owned a flat iron. The 80s don't have to come back just so you can wear your hair curly!

KnitNana said...

The big hair was a huge issue for me, with the hair dryer, the hot rollers, the blonde frostings AND a perm! But then add in the ever-present cigarette - yeah, it was fashionable, if dumb, then - THAT'S just too much. You know, I'm not sure how I didn't burn myself to a crisp with the hairspray and the cigarette!
(But I wouldn't mind the long sweaters again...)

beadslut said...

Clown pants. Like MC Hammer, you know? On top of being ugly, you couldn't wear the nice long sweaters (they tell me they're coming back this fall/winter) with them.

mrspao said...

Lycra leggings and leg warmers! I have no photos - phew!

Anonymous said...

Hey I have volumes of curly hair and it has always worked for me. I've never straightened it. I think it suits me, 80s or 00s.

The 80s were a horrible decade. I remember back in India we had these 'fusion fashions', i.e. westernized Indian clothes. I had a pair of pink stirrup leggings worn with a long tunic top with a (shudder) polka dotted cowl. I think the only saving grace was that I was a teenager in the 80s and extreme youth makes up for a multitude of sartorial sins. ;)

Now that I'm 30+, no thanks.

Chris said...

I can't do the 80's again. I just don't have time to do my hair anymore. And what about the increased cost of hair spray. How could I afford it. I will post my reasons tomorrow.

Tam said...

Count me in. My entry is posted on my blog. I don't know how to do the html but it's

I'm with knitnana in that I can't believe I managed to get through the 80s without blowing myself up. I had the hairstyle with the big "pouf" bangs and the "hiked up on the sides" thing. I used about a half a can of hairspray a day and I smoked. KABLOOEEE!

For that same reason I can identify with the comments about not having the time or the hairspray-money to go back to that hairstyle. Between the blow drying, the curling ironing and the spraying... nope, not enough time for that anymore.

Katie said...

I just posted my photos. They're pretty embarrassing! I do kind of wish now that I had been more of a Madonna wanna-be, though.

Kaye said...

I just posted my photos also. Sure brings back alot of memories.

Karen said...

I posted some too. This was fun! They can't possibly be bringing these things back, can they??

tiphanie said...

Aigh. No! I used to dress up like Punky Brewster. Didn't have a pink bandana kerchief so I tied a white silk handkerchief around my left leg instead. Even wore a banana clip.

Anyone remember animated Punky? With Glommer?

tiphanie said...

p.s. No pictures alas. But I'll confess on my blog.

Christina said...

I've got my picture up.
Yes, I remember the Punky animated series. The song is going through my head now.
Does anyone remember the Ronald Regan puppet music video? I think it went with a Phil Collins song.

Ann-Marie said...

two words: stirrup pants.
i had many pairs of those and in fact i was just talking about htem the other day.
also, i had hot pink corderouy with paint "splashes" on them.