Column: '80s fashion is back: How soon we forget
Oh, how easily we forget. Give the average human a little time, and we'll soon forget that Steven Seagal was once a legitimate action star. Or that high school really wasn't the best time of our lives. Or that a Blackberry was once either a fruit...
Oh, how easily we forget.
Give the average human a little time, and we'll soon forget that Steven Seagal was once a legitimate action star. Or that high school really wasn't the best time of our lives. Or that a Blackberry was once either a fruit or a scent of candle at Wicks 'n' Sticks.
This convenient amnesia can be the only possible explanation for why we have again embraced the '80s.
Or, more specifically, '80s fashion, in all its sequined, gold-lame wrapped, Linda Evans-shouldered glory.
Today's fashion designers must have decided the recession hasn't made us miserable enough. Apparently, the sting of a dwindling 401(k) will only be lessened by wearing harem pants, a "Miami Vice" jacket and stilettos previously only found on stages dominated by brass poles.
Or maybe this season's fashion is meant to soothe us with nostalgia. We can pretend to be back in 1988, hanging out at the mall food court and buying banana clips at Claire's with that cute boy who looks like Emilio Estevez.
All I know is that these new-old fashions frighten me. They didn't look good on me when I was 20 and unfamiliar with the ravages of gravity. They certainly wouldn't look good now. The ones that scare me most:
* Harem pants. It doesn't matter if you are 17 years old, 6 feet tall and 120 pounds. These weird, baggy pants will make you look like MC Hammer, someone who was turned away from Studio 54, or a belly dancer in a 1950s' biblical epic starring Victor Mature. Either way, you can't win.
* Ruffles. Unless they are sparse and sparingly used, ruffles are very hard to carry off with dignity beyond a "certain age." At best, you will look like a mom who is trying to borrow clothes from her
14-year-old daughter's closet. At worst, you will look like Baby Jane Hudson.
* Stirrup pants. Sure, they're comfortable and somewhat versatile as a layering piece. But if you choose to wear them as pants, pair them with heels or top them off with a too-short sweater, you are just one black hat away from a Debbie Gibson impersonation.
* Shoulder pads. In a way, I'm torn on this one. On the one hand, I love how shoulder pads balance out, er, "womanly" hips. (If possible, I would even sew them into my swimsuit.) On the other, it's very hard to carry off power shoulders without looking like a "Dynasty" cast member. Also, the shoulders seem like such a strange, asexual area to emphasize - especially for women. It's like designing clothes that emphasize your elbows or your left clavicle.
* Acid-washed jeans. Really? The design world is so bereft of ideas for denim that they've resuscitated the wardrobe from a Whitesnake video? (And they actually expect the public to buy them, after we've been brainwashed by Stacy and Clinton about the unflattering consequences of light-colored denim.) The donning of acid-wash jeans means one of two things: a) You are too young to have seen Richard Marx wear them in the first place, or b) You have never stopped wearing your Max Headroom T-shirt, Swatch and Mike Reno headband.
Gag me with a spoon.