Thursday, October 13, 2005

I love the 80s!!!!! (So exciting - 2 posts in one day!)

The Gardening Knitter informed her readers today (well, I read it today) that the 80s fashion trends are apparently coming back. Some of those fashion trends were a tad scary – remember large shoulder pads, wide belts over long tunic-y tops and skin-tight jeans? I was skinny enough back then that the skin-tight jeans weren't really a problem, but I do remember laying (lying?) on the bed and sucking my already flat stomach in in order to get those suckers zipped. Breathing was not an option!

I even had the two-tone jeans. Front of the pants were a grey acid-washed denim while the back were the blue acid-washed denim. Ah, memories. They were so cool! My favorite pair though was this pair I got at The Gap at Wonderland Mall (RIP Wonderland! Damn you, Wal-Mart) on the sale rack for something like $6. They were very tapered and I wore them with little pixie boots (grey suede) and I had them for years! I wore natural holes into the knees and remember getting quite upset the first time the worn faded oh so soft denim split. I was at the library (I worked at the library while at University) and had knelt down to get some books off the bottom rack of the book carts and all of a sudden my lily-white right knee was exposed. I nearly cried because I loved them so much. The good news was that it was right around the time that the ripped up jeans look was so "in," so I was right there! Usually I'm behind the fashion trends, but not then, oh no! I was at the forefront of the ripped up jeans, aren't I cool look!

And I wore those jeans for probably another two years (the left knee wore its own hole within a month of the right knee) and it didn't matter if it were the dead of winter or not, I wore those jeans with my vintage homeless lady wool coat (it was very damn thin, I will admit now, but at the time, I was very into my vintage look – rhinestones with jeans, old brooches on homeless lady coat, bowl cut hair with the sides and back shaved). When I started working at the Social Sciences Department as the student assistant in my last year I was known for wearing three different earrings – all dangling, all long, all silver (two in my right, one in my left) – and my ear band and my holey jeans. I had a wide black one which was the best since I was in my punk phase. The only time I wore a matching pair of earrings (one in the right ear and one in the left) was when I wore my chains. I still miss those, but I lost one one night when dancing.

And for a number of years every article of clothing in my wardrobe was black. One of my friends took to greeting me thusly, "I see you are wearing black today." And to this day, he'll greet me with this even though I'm so rarely wearing all black anymore. We will not discuss what I'm wearing today…but it might be all black.

I also wore rings on every finger (including thumbs). My younger cousins used to count them all the time and at one time I would wear something like 28 rings. Up until a couple of years ago I still wore a ring on every finger (the thumb rings got bent out of shape at my job in SF when the mailroom shelf doo-hickey thingy fell on my hand – thank God I was wearing those rings or I might have had a crushed thumb or two). I had progressed to having an opal ring for every finger (it had been a goal of mine), but then I got tired of the time it took to dry my hands every time I would go to the bathroom. I now wear one ring per hand and they're on my middle fingers, not my ring fingers – I gotta stay different somehow!

I'm so boring these days that I have color in my wardrobe, wear only matching earrings with my polar bear stud in the right ear (always). I have not given up my ear band and hope I never do. My present one I got in Egypt which means I've been wearing this one for ten years! Holy crap! Now that I mentioned that I'll probably lose the damn thing. DAMN IT!

Now when I thought about writing a post about the 80s, I was thinking mainly of the music. When I lived in SF, once a month there would be a dance party held at a local warehouse (essentially) called New Wave City. Now to me the title was self-explanatory, but when I invited people to go one Saturday, they asked me what kind of music it was. "Um, New Wave? You know, music from the late 70s and 80s." They were up for that, so we had a group meeting there. The one girl, in particular, of whom I'm thinking, got there and after a short while came up to me where I was dancing away on the dance floor (destroying my knees for later in life) to tell me that they were leaving (really no skin off my nose as I prefer to dance alone anyway) because the music wasn't what they were expecting. I was a little surprised as they were playing New Wave (The Smiths, New Order, Joy Division, Sex Pistols – yeah, I know it's punk, Iggy Pop, NIN, Echo and the Bunnymen, Style Council, The Jam, Japan, Sisters of Mercy, Siouxsie and The Banshees, etc.). To me that is 80s music. That's what I was listening to the 80s, but it's not apparently what everybody else was listening to. ;-) This girl was expecting Prince and stuff like that.

When people say 80s music, what do you think of? And for that matter, when people say 80s fashions what's your first though?


At Thursday, 13 October, 2005, Anonymous Mike said...

Hey Kat...that was a great post. I definitely had my 80s gear that I wore for years as well!!

It's seems like the 80s are on a lot of peoples minds these days. I was thinkin' about them so much a few months back that I got inspired to build this web site:

This will help keep those 80s fashions alive forever!! Just click the rate bar to see all the pics...and if you have one to put up please submit it.

Thanks for a great post :)

At Thursday, 13 October, 2005, Blogger Sherri said...

I graduated from high school in 88. I remember my junior year I had my hair REALLY short and spiked. I dyed it black, wore all black clothes, and always wore a trench coat. I lived in FL.

I also remember having shoulder pads in every shirt and sweater I owned.

Music....just go watch the wedding singer. I think that covers all of it. Bad MTV and men wearing make up. Oh...and don't forget hair bands! :)

At Thursday, 13 October, 2005, Blogger Dave said...

OHMIGOD!!!! The memories are flooding back like so much Ice Mist. If that stuff didn't keep the hair upright, nothing would.
The music at that club is everything I loved back then (and still do). I did the black wardrobe, the black dyed hair (a la Robert Smith) with the sides shaved (a la Howard Jones). Now I just look like some guy named Howard Smith. Sad, truly sad.
You gave me an idea for my next post. Not sure if you know of DJ Chris Sheppard...used to work for a station in Toronto called CFNY. He was a music god. I'll be posting that tomorrow I think, but right now I'm leaving work and joining friends at a wine & cheese bar.

At Friday, 14 October, 2005, Blogger Kathleen said...

Mike - I think the 80s are on people's minds because for a lot of us they were relatively idyllic times - high school or college. Sort of like our parents remembering the 50s.

Sherri - I absolutely love The Wedding Singer! Of course, it had Billy Idol in it and I had a huge crush on him back then. I had Billy Idol button pins galore. Wonder where those are!

Dave - At the bar I used to go to we had a Robert Smith look-a-like. LOVE HOWARD JONES! Ah, memories.

At Friday, 14 October, 2005, Blogger Beth said...

I already wrote about it, but for me, the 80's were about experimentation. I always led the fashion charge ... once my punk phase hit. I was the first person to cut the necklines off my shirts, first one to pierce my nose, first one to wear combat boots, etc. and so forth.

Still, for me, the 80's were about separating into sects. So many kids in the 80's really wanted to succeed in life. They wanted to be wealthy. I was blown away by all that dedication.

I liked how clean we were, that we smelled nice, that we didn't wear things with stains on them or pre-made holes. =)

Music for me is more of the techno sound, not to be confused with today's techno. I just mean more synthesizers. My favorites were gay though ... Spandau Ballet, Stray Cats, Madonna, Prince. I remember stopping a whole party once just because Spandau Ballet was having a concert on Mtv. This was back when Mtv just had music. Everyone was like, "OMG, not Spandau Ballet," but they all watched it. Hahaha.

At Friday, 14 October, 2005, Blogger Erica said...

My favorite 80s bands in high school: The Police, The Cars, Van Halen, U2, Rush...

My favorite fashion... hm, might actually blog about something there - today! Thank you for the inspiration :-)

At Friday, 14 October, 2005, Blogger trinamick said...

I was born in 80, but I'm the youngest child by 8 years. My sister is 11 years older, so I grew up listening to her music and imitating her fashion. It was all about the leg warmers and big earrings. As for music, Men at Work, The Police, Genesis, Robert Palmer, Duran Duran...the list goes on.

Incidentally, most of my wardrobe is black and I wear rings on every finger. Most of my CDs are from the 80's. Hmm...

At Saturday, 15 October, 2005, Blogger Jason said...

Talk about fashion trends. Switzerland is really messed up. I´ll try to post about that tomorrow (Sunday). My 80´s (musically) are largely your 80´s (as you know). The 80´s ruled, but I certainly was not a fashionista...more like dorkanista. I´ve been traveling with my mom for about two weeks now. Ouch! I know why you dread traveling with yours. Hope you get your passport. I got mine in about 4 weeks, but I had mine expedited. Cheers!

At Sunday, 16 October, 2005, Blogger Glen said...

Hey cutie!! My 80's musical memories run the gamut from ABC and Berlin to Y & T and Zebra. At the dawn of the decade I was a rock radio kiddie, listening to Van Halen(saw them every year that they came with DLR on vocals) and Cheap Trick and because we lived so close to Canada lots of Rush and Triumph and 707. Sometime in the summer of '81 we got cable TV and I found MTV, which opened my ears to a plethora of styles that our radio stations didn't play. I found Iron Maiden and Saxon and Motorhead...fell in love with Terri Nunn(Berlin) and Dale Bozzio(Missing Persons)...more so with Terri though because in addition to being uber-hot she was also a spaz with a great personality which made her so much more attractive!! I found INXS and The Psych Furs and Billy Idol...I still remember feeling sad in '84 when Billy broke HUGE because we saw him in February(the 1st) in front of 3,000 people at Hill Auditorium and again on June 1st at Pine Knob and there were 16,000 people...I still had that thing going on where you didn't like it when EVERYONE ELSE got into your faves. I wanted him to be successful but I didn't want him to become the flavor of the month!

At Monday, 17 October, 2005, Blogger Kathleen said...

Trinamick - Hmm, so, you're really my younger sister? ;-)

Jason - Passport arrived on Friday, took about four weeks.

Glen - I was SO at both of those Billy Idol concerts and remember thinking the same thing at the June concert. My main issue were all the wienies who now thought they were punk and were really just slutty.

At Monday, 17 October, 2005, Blogger Patsy Darling said...

Ah the 80's, what horrible fashion days. I'm so glad I'll never have to wear spandex pants with wigwam socks and a giant stretchy belt ever again. Oh god and the hair, here in Jersey it was all about the hair, the higher the hair the closer to God.

At Tuesday, 18 October, 2005, Blogger missbhavens said...

Ooooohhhh, yes. The 80's. Musically? I think of The Smiths, The Cure, Erasure, Bowie, Bauhaus, The Go-Go's Prince, Yaz(oo), The Police, The Specials and, unfortunately, Quarterflash.

Fashionwise? Eek...I think of my favorite Saturday night dress: a black knee-length, boat-necked, sweaterdress with a giant pink cabbage rose print all over it, a wide pink spandex belt, black leggings and black suede creepers, tons of rings and oodles of rubber bracelets (insert shudder here). And that's what I wore when I WASN'T headed for Rocky just can't imagine the wardobe I had tucked away for that special purpose! And it wouldn't be the 80's without a mouthful of Bubble Yum or, if feeling minty, Freshen-up (SQUIRT!)

Great post, and thanks for the visit...I have to go look up what Smiths songs didn't make the cut!)

At Wednesday, 19 October, 2005, Blogger GoingLoopy said...

The 80's...ah, yes. Music of Duran Duran, Madonna, Wham, and Michael Jackson. Clothing: anything neon (I owned a particularly awful wide yellow belt, which did such lovely things for my wide dimpled ass), stirrup pants, big plastic jewelry, shoulder pads, and those horrible, horrible drawstring-waist jeans and pants. Oh, and those bubble skirts. And big giant propeller-like hair bows.

*Shudders violently*


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