Okay, let me just start this by saying I spent my entire teens in the 1980’s. So not only do I remember these trends but sadly I have to admit to participating in most of them. Not all, but most. As we bopped around with our giant hair covered in half of a can of Aqua Net talking like a totally tubular valley girl we thought we were so cute in our trendy threads. Thankfully I outgrew the trends before they outgrew the 80’s so by the age of 17 I had reverted back to the clothing of my people (tomboys) and wore 501 Levi’s and t-shirts. So, without further ado I present you with some of the weirdest clothing trends of my youth….I apologize in advance.
1. Neon Everything
Because not only did we dress funny but we wanted you to notice and what is harder to miss than neon? From our feet to our heads every one of us had something that was neon colored on at all times. If you don’t believe me then just ask to go thru your mom’s closet and jewelry box because there is a very good chance she’s hung on to her youth in items hidden there and that youth is neon colored.
2. Bracelets were like potato chips.
You couldn’t have just one or two or five. No, when it came to bracelets you had to have at least 5 on one arm and no less than 10 “jellies” on the other. Jelly bracelets are thin little plastic bands that came in all colors and were an accessory must. You could leave the house without make up but not without your arm load of jellies. In fact you couldn’t even buy individual jelly bracelets. No, you had to buy them in packs of 20 at a time.
3. Dangle earrings.
Why? Well, because 80’s hair was huge and tiny little studs couldn’t be seen let alone noticed hiding under 15 pounds of permed hair covered in another pound of gel, mousse and hair spray….Geez, try to keep up!
4. Leg warmers.
The 1983 movie Flashdance started this 80’s clothing trend but I can’t explain why. What I can tell you is that the main character wore them to keep her ankles warm while she worked out. I’m assuming it was to prevent injury but when the 80’s ladies got a hold of them we wore them everywhere with everything. They went with skirts, pants, shorts, high heels, flats, flip flops, you name it. They weren’t for working out they were for ‘working it’ out in public. All I can say to defend leg warmers is at least they weren’t bell bottoms.
5. Off-the-shoulder tops.
Another gift from the 1983 movie Flashdance. It was another piece of the main character’s workout ensemble and another item picked up by designers and taken way too far. Some of them fell so low that an “apple” would pop out if you tried to run, jump up and down or otherwise bounce. The good news is that in the 80’s wearing numerous tanks wasalso a trend worn with or without the off the shoulder tops so very few of us were in danger of a “wardrobe malfunction”.
6. Shoulder pads!
The 80’s wasn’t just the MTV pop music video decade but it was also the decade of the working mom wearing power suits and trying to show men that they can be just as powerful. Somehow power meant big, round, exaggerated shoulders. Shoulder pads were so popular that it was actually difficult to find blouses that didn’t have shoulder pads. It was also a “thing” to buy tops with removable shoulder pads. There was Velcro sown into the tops and on the shoulder pads. This made it possible to remove them for washing your clothing and using different size shoulder pads with different tops. Of course the idea of removing the pads and wearing the blouses without them wasn’t going to happen unless you enjoyed the scratching of the sandpaper like Velcro on your bare shoulders all day.
7. The Fanny Pack.
Don’t ask me what we were thinking. There is nothing cool about them. What I can tell you is that I never owned one let alone wore one. What I cannot deny is that my future husband did (hangs head in shame). In his defense he rode motorcycles and it made it easier to carry all the things he would have normally kept in his glove box. Yes, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. As much as I miss being 16 I will never miss the trends.