June 10, 2015

Are the 1980s poised to be the next "forever" decade in the vintage world?


Whoever has been in charge of PR for 1980s fashions has really let the ball drop from about January 1990 onward. But perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself there…

I don't hate modern fashion in the slightest (no do I think, as Li Edelkoot recently declared, that it's dead - though I do see why she said as much for sure), but most of its offerings - and its exceedingly fast fashion driven mindset - do not jive with my own tastes or sense of style, more often than not.

For many years now, I've looked around at what western society at large has been wearing - a sea of faded black leggings, sad, stretched out yoga pants; collar-less shirts with needlessly large breast pockets, skinny jeans two sizes too small, pajamas donned in public, and sneakers sported with darn near everything - and found myself wondering, on many occasions, if, in say, forty, five, eighty or a hundred years, anyone would be clamoring to get their hands on these kinds of garments or replicate the way people dressed back in 2015.





Will there be books, websites, and even a whole collective community of people who love "2010s" styles? Maybe, but if I had to put my money down on that point right now, I'd bet on "no" being the answer.

Before delving any further into this post (which, objectively, is just the tip of the iceberg on this vast topic), I want to point out that I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, saying, that there isn't great/creative/fresh/fun/and yes, even collectible, fashion being produced today. There is, at all price points, and tiers of the industry, and that is a truly wonderful thing. No, what I'm talking about is the fact that, in general (and again, I'm not per se wrangling modern fashion bloggers, those in the fashion industry, or others with fantastic senses of style into the equation here), there is a real sense of homogony at work in 21st century fashion.

This isn't entirely new by any means (trends aren't called trends for no reason after all), but it is not the same, say, as a million women in NYC in the 1940s wearing gorgeous, flattering, elegant rayon or wool crepe dresses, cute little tilt hats, and wedge shoes. Pieces so pretty, so well made (often even at a very inexpensive price point level), and so desirable, that not only are they collected and worn by some today, but that for all the ensuring time between then and now, a select percentage of the population had the good sense to hold onto, and often see the worth in, those items so as to ensure they reached their 60th, 70th, 80th, etc birthday.

Where, in a world, in which you can by a whole wardrobe with every piece coming in under $10.00 a pop, that rarely last more than a dozen washes, and look like countless other closests out there, is there room for a distinctive sense of style that defines an era and makes it become one that people yearn to emulate again, apt to take root?

Today's post however is really, ultimately, not the subject of what folks are wearing in 2015, though it does loop back to such in some ways. Instead, it is about the 1980s and the clothing and styles that this decade of excess, beauty, and grandeur produced.

As someone who has worn vintage for over half my lifetime, as well as (more recently) someone who sells it for a living, I can tell you that the 1980s were an incredible time for fashion. Seriously - and I'm not prefacing that word with "-ly bad" either, as certain folks are apt to do.





The 1980s were the last great bastion of fresh, fantastic fashion in my opinion. Before the grunge days, minimalism, boxy shapes, epidemic of (what I call) kindergarten teacher dresses (see this post from 2009), and raver club influences of the 1990s took hold.

From there we saw a jumbled mix of styles, or lack of styles in some cases, emerge in 2000s, growing ever more casual, in general, with each passing year. I'm all for comfort, but as I've touched on here scores of times over the years, comfort does not have to equate to looking like you're ready to do a 5K fun run at the drop of a hat 24/7.

There have been lovely elements of fashion in the last twenty-five years or so, but not nearly as many, in my opinion, as in any of the decades of the 20th century (or 19th or 18th, for that matter) that proceed that era.

The 1980s looked back to the past often for influences in its designs - so hence why we now have a whole category of clothing called 1980s does 1940s or 1950s. Some of these looks rocked, others were eyebrow raising, but they were all fun and youthful and creative.

Indeed, for all the trends and styles of the 1980s, creativity ran rampant, in my opinion, and for every Valley Girl, Preppy, or aerobic gear fan, there was someone channeling their own Andie Walsh and marching to the beat of their own sartorial drum.

Beyond that, or at least in conjunction with it, there were great off the rack styles to be had as well. I was but a mere speck of a child during the six years of the 1980s that I got to experience. I don't profess to have scores of firsthand memories of the styles of those days, but I do recall what I wore for some of them, and moreover what the adults in my life were wearing.





I loved the baggy sweatshirts, the ankle grazing micro pleated skirts, the 50s revival sundresses, the slouchy leather boots, the prevalence of pastels, the kooky accessories, the Jordache jeans, the safari styles, the mile high perms, and yes, even some of the punchy makeup hues.

A few months ago Tony and I were rewatching the Crocodile Dundee movies and I was struck by how the character of Sue Charlton (played by Linda Kozlowski) sometimes wore fashions, hairstyles and makeup that seemed more akin to me to the 1940s and 1980s, than they do today (including, but not limited to, full skirts, gloves, and hats). This isn't the first movie where I've spotted this. It springs to mind with the Naked Gun series as well, amongst others.

Yet, these particular looks and plenty more like them were not meant per se to emulate the 1940s or 50s. They were just more classic, more beautiful (IMO), and more refined that what you’d be apt to see your average movie character (let alone person on the street) wearing today. Even when curve hugging, they didn't risk looking vulgar (which isn't to say there weren't vulgar looks in the eighties, there were, of course) or like a person was going to tumble out of their wardrobe and have a Janet Jackson experience at any moment.





1980s fashion had a prevailing sense of youthfulness to it, as well as strong lines, designer influences, a rainbow of hues, and looks to suit a million and one types of fashionistas/os. I truly love a lot of the styles of this decade, but even putting aside my own passion and nostalgia for the eighties, I can appreciate and look with a vintage wearer’s, and dealer's, eye at the decade that gave me life.

In doing so, I've really started to feel in the last couple of years that the 1980s are going to see an explosion of popularity on the fashion front in the near future. I'm not talking about hipsters wearing 80s pieces ironically, or a few select items that have always remained popular or highly collectible, nor even the 80s just having a moment (as the 70s are this year).

No, what I mean is that I think that the 1980s are going to start developing (or expanding, as I do know that there are already some such folks out there) their own group of passionate fashion fans who intentionally emulate the looks of the 1980s. Perhaps, these individuals will go a step further still and bring other elements of the eighties into their homes, music and movie choices, collections, garages, and bookshelves, just as those of us who favour early and/or mid-twentieth century styles already do.





In addition, the 1980s looks, even at their most extreme, often strike today's fashion crowd as being more akin to present styles and are seen as less "antiquated". The latter rarely, if ever, phases mid-century (or early) fans, but for those who are looking to dress from the past, but still keep one foot firmly planted in the present, the 1980s can be a great way to do just that.

I'm not going to lie, I'd personally have no qualms with wearing quite a few different 80s look myself, though I don't foresee trading in my Bakelite and platter hats for Esprit tops and duck shoes anytime soon. I could easily wear 80s garb though, and not just 1980s does 40s/50s, but full on, teased hair, blue eye shadow, power suit looks from that iconic decade.

In this hard, expensive, stressful, social media driven world, many people are looking - even if they don't fully realize it on a conscious level - for a return to (seemingly) simpler times and to when fashion wasn't just what Zara, H&M, or Old Navy put out on the floor that day, but when trends still had roots and style in general was more, how shall we say, nuanced.

I fully believe that in the next five to fifteen years, we're going to see the 1980s become a decade that some vintage fashion fans purposefully recreate and wear looks from on a daily basis. This decade will garner its own following and we'll see 80s clothing rise in both popularity and price, just as those of the 1920s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and early 60s started to in the eighties themselves and onward to this day, when they're hotter (and often pricier) than ever. Eighties fashion and accessories are still quite easy to find online and off, and that may help further bolster their appeal and following.

I dub the 1980s the next "forever decade" and would be very happy actually to see my prediction come to fruition (by “forever”, I mean that it’s popularity takes hold and remains for far more than a catwalk season or two, but rather endures in the way that earlier ones from the last century have). Not everything, fashion related or otherwise, about the 1980s was great, but heavens to Bea Arthur, plenty of it was cool, fun, creative, and well worth remembering and keeping the spirit of alive.

Will this actually come to be? Only time will tell, but whereas I wouldn't wager the 2010s being an era that is largely coveted in decades to come, I would stake a good sum on the eighties experiencing a renaissance of sorts in my lifetime and I sincerely look forward to that day, if it does arrive. How about you?

65 comments:

  1. Being a child of the 80s myself, I have noticed some trends from that decade beginning to pop up in my neck of the woods. Last year I was at a ladies' church conference and one of the young girls (around the age of 14) was wearing fingerless lace gloves and I couldn't help but smile when some of the young girls from my church were "oohing and aahing" over this fantastic NEW trend. It just reinforces the concept that style and trends are circular. Being a relatively new "baby" to the vintage world, and having lived through the late 80s and early 90s as a teen, I have no desire to replicate that era of my life as it doesn't fit with who I am present day, but it would be lovely to see some of those styles on our younger people again. However, I have no problem with wearing 80s fashion that mimics the 40s and 50s and one of my favorite dresses is a green polka dotted shirtwaist that is 80s does 50s.

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    1. Great point about how certain 80s trends have been reintroduced in recent years and treated like they were brand new. I've seen that with everything from scrunchies to statement sweatshirts to neons, too. I grew up in the same era and would have no qualms with sporting 80s fashions (most of the 90s weren't to my tastes sartorially speaking through, but even there, I do have a few nostalgic points, too :)), but the 40s and 50s have my heart and closet first and foremost, so I don't think I'll be trading in my pin curls for teased bangs anytime soon (on a regular basis at least). It will be really neat to see in the coming years and decades if in fact the 80s take their rightful place as a "forever decade" or remain one that is often the butt of fashion ridicule.

      Thank you very much for your great comment. Have a beautiful Wednesday!
      ♥ Jessica

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  2. I think you're right, it will grow to become a 'thing' much like decades before have done to the vintage loving community now.

    I can't see the throwaway fashions of now being regarded with affection mind you. If I do venture into a clothes shop now I am struck by the sheer amount of garments in t-shirt fabric, oversized tops which are either really wide and cropped or long and slouchy with no definition to be seen. Then there are the Ugg boots which I am still seeing and don't even get me started on the sheer leggings which look as though the woman or girl wearing them has gone out in a pair of tights and no skirt!

    I had some lovely dresses and clothing items in the 80's, namely all the bits which were 80's does 50's pieces and if I could have some of those pieces back now in my size I would wear them in a heartbeat xx

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    1. So true!!! Granted I was very young at the time, but I can remember certain 80s and early 90s garments (chiefly dresses and skirts, plus one cardigan) that I'd happily have back in my (grownup) size in a heartbeat if I could. For all the slouchiness of the decade, there was a lot of good tailoring, too, and the prevailing femininity of so many 80s styles will always appeal to me to no end.

      Thank you very much for your terrific comment, sweet dear. I hope you're having a wonderful week!

      ♥ Jessica

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  3. I think it really could be!! I am going to a eighties theme birthday party next week and I have NO idea what to wear though!!

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    1. That's awesome, Holly, I hope that you have a fabulous time! I've been thinking I might do an 80s themed party for my 35th or 40th, as a nod to my youth.

      Who are some of your favourite 80s celebs? Perhaps you could go as one of those folks or take styling cues from them. Please feel free to email me anytime if you have specific styling questions, I'd be delighted to try and help.

      Big hugs & happy Wednesday wishes,
      ♥ Jessica

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  4. Thank you so much for delving into this topic. I think a lot of us in the vintage world often wonder where vintage will go. Some people ask me if I will always dress in fashions from seventy years ago so that I would one day end up wearing today's fashion. I don't think today's fashion will last that long, I agree with you that there is not one iconic style. However maybe this is a good thing, it allows us to create our own style. I wear a lot of high street clothing but in a vintage style which I don't think I could do without the affordability of modern fashions. Personally I'm not a fan of eighties fashion but I do think it's very possible that the fashions of that era will see a resurgence. Xx

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    1. It's my sincere pleasure, sweet dear. Thank you very much for your fantastic comment. I'm with you entirely when it comes to availing of contemporary vintage appropriate finds and indeed, those are very nearly the only type of modern clothes (save for undergarments and pajamas) that I buy. They're a very effective way for those at all rungs of the budget ladder to help build their vintage + vintage looking wardrobe and I'd likely never cut them out of mine, especially since I'd loss most of my tops/shirts in an instant if I did! :)

      Many thanks again & have a wonderful Wednesday,
      ♥ Jessica

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  5. I say no way. Fashion today is just so..."everything goes." What I see people wearing is just a big jumble of what has been done already and I'm not saying in the context of a certain style ie., the empire style or mod style or whatever has come back, I'm saying today it's this skirt from this time with the grunge top with Mary Janes and an 80s jacket and 40s hat. No matter what fashion trend you see, it's been done before sometime in history. Today there just aren't any rules to fashion (except to me). And as for modern clothes, they're just not made of quality materials, or with quality construction nor do they fit to anyone nicely or properly. You won't catch me in anything after 1942 or if it isn't mine. I'll understand if you ban me from commenting, this is just a topic I've always studied and am passionate about.

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    1. Hi Krystal, thank you very much for sharing your impassioned views on this topic and vintage fashion in general with me. Fear not, I would never "ban" you or anyone for speaking from their heart in a way that was still respectful and friendly here, you're safe, my dear.

      I agree that there has been quite the "anything goes" take on fashion in recent decades and that as such, with this really grabbing hold in the 80s, a stronger emergence of pure, true 80s fashion might not be as apt - at least not for a while longer still. Time will tell and it will be very interesting to see for sure!

      Have a terrific Wednesday,
      ♥ Jessica

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  6. Denise @BuyRVintageJunkJune 10, 2015 at 9:32 AM

    I think the 80's were sponsored by the Aqua Net company. Imagine how much hair spray was used!

    I recently bought a black nylon/silky 80's or 90's jacket with shoulder pads. It has half moons and stars embroidered on it in gold thread. It was meant for resale but on a cool evening I wore it, and it was so comfortable that I have kept wearing it. Many people have commented on how they like it also.
    That one jacket has started my interest in the 80's and 90's (not all of the styles of course).
    Yes, Jessica, I agree with you. The 80's will be making more of an appearance, and shoulder-pad wearers of the world, unite! :)

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    1. So true - and 1990s were sponsored by Dep Gel (I remember even having the Totally Hair Barbie and Ken dolls, which each came with their own mini tube of Dep Gel). :)

      Your new (to you) 80s jacket sounds great. I can picture the style that you mean to a tee and remember one of my grandmas and one of my neighbours both adoring that style back in the day. I like them, too, and think they're a great way to bring some fun and whimsy into your wardrobe. if you keep it, I hope it holds up for many more years to come.

      Thank you for your great comment, Denise. It's always a pleasure to hear from you!

      Have a fabulous day,
      ♥ Jessica

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  7. Well, I thought of about this recently but more about the creative aspect of the 80's. Art History teaches us that usually you have a more full creative style and then a more minimal ( gothic then renassaince then baroque ...) and fashion follows it a little bit. I was born in 1993 and my memories of 90's and early 00's fashion is very brown and minimal, but nowadays prints are everywhere. There are seasonal trends and more lasting ones, like the 70's right now like you said. I'd like to see the rising of the 80's (in the gamming field it's already happening) not only in fashion, but in art and music :)

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    1. That is so true regarding there being periods of rather bland colours during those years - I look back on the 90s, especially from about 94 onward, and remember a lot of beige and khaki. Great colours of course, but I like a bit more vibrancy and variety myself. You raised a wonderful point, too, about how a resurgence in the 1980s could impact art, too, and I for one would be very keen to see that happen. I loved a lot of the art in the 80s and still get nostalgic when I see if for sale for peanuts at thrift stores and yard sales (I'm half tempted to turn my home all 80s looking sometimes, I swear).

      Many thanks for your comment, sweet gal. Have a beautiful day!
      ♥ Jessica

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  8. It's interesting, because I feel like the 80's weren't the last 'fashion' decade, just that in around the early 90's, fashion split into a greater divide. Fast fashion has totally changed the industry, including the styles available to people at the bottom of the fashion pyramid. High fashion is still interesting, often gorgeous, and well made. Designers put out beautiful stuff just like they always have. What has changed is the market and the customer. I think this is probably for several reasons, clothing manufacturing going overseas and getting cheaper and cheaper, stores compromising on quality (and style) so that they can sell the clothes for cheaper and cheaper, wages in the US staying stagnant so people can't afford anything but the cheaper clothes...I think its actually quite a complex issue! The reason Zara makes a lot of money, is because they actually still steal looks from high fashion. Forever21, Target, an most of the other fast fashion brands aren't selling clothing based on runways shows anymore. I only know because I watch the runway shows every season. I think this is more of an economics issue than it may appear to be at first glance. Super interesting though!

    I have never been a big fan of 80's fashion, too much polyester! I can certainly see what you mean about it being a really defined set of styles, distinct from what came directly before and after. I do love the 40's revival bits of it, I just scored a beautiful 80's does 40's ivory silk blouse yesterday thifting in fact! Thanks for this super interesting and thought provoking post Jessica!

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    1. Excellent points, Bianca. Thank you very much for weighing in on this conversation, I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on it. I don't think that fashion is dead either at all, but I do feel that something shifted quite radically on that front around the early 90s and I've often wondered if it's a coincidence or not my immense love for older styles took root at essentially the same time. It may be, as I was but a small child then, but I wouldn't doubt for a moment that such played in to things at least a bit, as I did honestly vow to myself that I would grow up and wear 40s and 50s fashions (even though I had no clue at the time that folks actually did so) and I did. :)

      Way to score a great 80s does 40s blouse. I flat out love 80s does 40s/50s fashions and am really grateful for the hard work they do in my wardrobe all year long.

      Thank you again, my dear. Have a great rest of the week!
      ♥ Jessica

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  9. This is such an interesting post, Jessica - and typifies to me why you are such a powerful vintage blogger! Your finger is truly on the pulse... I think you might just be right in your prediction here, particularly as there's going to come a point when older vintage is so scarce and expensive that I think people will naturally look to what's still cheaper and more available for inspiration. I can't see it happening for a few years yet, but I agree with you that there's more chance that the 80s will be coveted than the 2010s! I can't easily identify strands of current fashions, they seem to be endlessly trying to reinvent what's gone before and like you say, clothing is built to fall apart round about when the next season comes along. Thought-provoking stuff... x

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    1. Thank you so tremendously much, dear CiCi. You flatter me to no end! I too think that we may be a bit of a ways off before the tidal wave of interest in 80s garb happens - if it ever does - but by the same token, I suspect it's not terribly far off. In part what we need is a generation or two between the 80s and the present day, in much the same way that there was between the 30s - 50s and those in the 1990s - 2010s who have taken to vintage like a duck to water (of course there was a small number of folks wearing vintage before then, but arguably that is when it really began to take hold). I think once we have that - and we're not that far off at this point - then the likelihood of a major 80s (fashion) revival stands to have a fighting chance. Time will tell and how interesting it will be to see!

      Many thanks again - big hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  10. Does this mean I can start dressing like Boy George again? Because I remember doing quite a bit of that in the 80's.

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    1. You certainly could if so desired (goodness knows that Pharrell Williams has been taking a hat styling cue from his book for years now!), but one doesn't have to go that route per se to bring the 80s back into their wardrobe. Anything from a subtle touch to full on Boy George-ness is a-okay, so long as it brings you happiness (that's always the most important aspect to any style in my books).

      Thank you very much for your comment. Have a wonderful day!
      ♥ Jessica

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  11. Every decade has “bad” fashion that tends to be remembered to the point of parody (belted leotards?!), and nowadays the 80s sometimes seem to be only remembered for that! It’s true that it was really the last decade of “put-togetherness”. No one has worn hats and gloves, or the idea of matching jewelry, or whatever, in the mainstream since. I’m certainly not trying to say you can’t be put together without these things, but the level of casualness in modern mainstream fashion has really been taken to the extreme.

    I’m completely behind dressing however you want, but I really am disappointed by modern fashion. I work retail in a trendy, hip neighborhood and once counted how many people came in wearing leggings and a top during my 8 hour shift- and lost count somewhere after 35. I totally understand wanting to be comfortable, but it’s so boring to my eyes! A complete lack of individuality is sad to me, especially when we have so many decades and resources to draw inspiration from. I don’t dress full on vintage by any means, but do make a point to put outfits together, even if they’re casual, and frequently am asked why I’m so “dressed up” even in the most basic outfit. It’s very strange to me!

    Also, I had to rewrite this post twice (thanks bad internet connection), but I’m STILL laughing at “kindergarten dresses”. It’s so true!!

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    1. Precisely!!! I realize that this a point that's something of a sartorial mainstay for me, but I fully believe in - and put my money where my mouth is, so to speak - the incredible powers of looking well put together and think that a lot of folks would benefit from introducing more cohesiveness into their ensembles. Some modern dressers do nail that of course, I'm not saying otherwise for a second, but it is no longer a cornerstone of fashion for the masses and I feel that we lost something important when that faded away.

      Thank you very much for your fantastic comment, my dear - and for letting me know that you got a chuckle out my term "kindergarten dresses". :)

      Have a great evening!
      ♥ Jessica

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  12. I was a teenager in the 1980's and it was a great time to be growing up because there were less pressures on teenagers than today to look a certain way I think. There were some great, very pretty and glamorous styles but there was also a massive emphasis on individuality. Girls could have really short hair, men could have long hair and wear make up, it all just felt really experimental and free. I genuinely believe we had much more fun with fashion than my teens today, and that's before we get started on the make up!!

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    1. I love hearing your firsthand experiences with coming of age in the 80s, Philippa, and second what you said about their being less pressures in general to conform and look a certain way, even with all the many trends/fads that the decade produced, as well as that fashion was arguably more fun back then for some folks at least. Really good point!

      Thank you very much for your terrific comment,
      ♥ Jessica

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  13. A very interesting post! Even though I was born in the early 80's I should have more nostalgia than I do. I used to collect 80's concert tees but other than that I have found the cut of true 80's clothes not to work for me so I pass on much of it, even purses and accessories!

    this video is perfection the 90's and up look so boring I highly doubt anything will be highly sought after but that is the joy of getting old and seeing what sticks and what doesn't! My grandma thinks I am nuts for wanting her old stuff so you never know:)
    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/06/04/100-years-fashion_n_7512008.html?icid=maing-grid7|canada|dl12|sec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D658127

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    1. So true regarding not knowing for sure what will be highly sought after by future generations. I wish - for my own enjoyment - that I had more of my possessions from the 80s and 90s. Granted that would mostly be toys and children's clothes, but still, they were pretty awesome and I wouldn't mind playing with some of them again! :) (Pound Puppies, Keypers, or scratch & sniff stickers, anyone?)

      Thank you very much for your great comment, my dear!
      ♥ Jessica

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  14. Sorry, but truth is when you say 80s clothing (and this was the decade I grew up in) the first thing that springs to my mind are hideous over sized shoulder pads! Polyester which I don't like also featured in a lot of 80s clothes, natural fibres did not have the popularity they now enjoy. And while I didn't graduate from high school in the 80s it was close enough that we picked from the same styles of prom dresses and they were simply horrid. So afraid no, in general terms I'm not a fan of this decade. I remember having some absolutely gorgeous clothes as a small child in the early 80s, and was stuck in a school uniform for most of the second half, which made me look with even more longing at the clothes I couldn't wear. But they just didn't and don't chime for me, ... in general, of course there were and are always exceptions. Maybe the West Coast had a slightly different emphasis and spin on the fashions of the day that made them more appealing?

    But I am all with you about quality and construction, I do think that was about the last decade when you could easily find lower priced clothing that was well made and would last!

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    1. Hi Grey Dove, thank you very much for your comment and for sharing your first hand experiences with this vivacious decade with us. That's a really interesting point and I'm glad that you raised it. I think that most of North America was on something of the same of the same general fashion page in the 80s, but there would have likely been some variations in styles from region to region and between the US and Canada. When I personally think back to my memories of what the adult women in my life were wearing then, some of the things that jump out at me are very pretty and appealing: pastels, full (often pleated) skirts, thin knits, silky (though probably polyester, as you touched on) blouses, coloured slacks, sensible heels, huarache sandals, and a plethora of sweaters, amongst others - very Golden Girls-ish, though often with a younger bent, and that speaks to me on a deep level, nostalgia being the powerful force that it is.

      So true! I am consistently impressed with the quality of 1980s clothing when I find it while thrifting. These were not high end pieces usually back in the day, yet they've held up marvelously, while last year's "fast fashion" offerings all but fall apart on the neighbouring second hand store hangers.

      Many thanks again. Have a lovely evening!
      ♥ Jessica

      ♥ Jessica

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  15. The eighties certainly had a lot of fun and colour and novelty (especially in youth styles). Every decade has its hits and misses I guess, and I can see the best of the eighties being popular again and lasting.

    If so, my mum will have to knit me another pair of glittery pink leg warmers ;)

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    1. Too cute! Could she knit me a pair, too, please? :)

      Very true about each decade having hits and misses. Even the 1940s and 50s, for which the fashion was/is the be all to end all for me, had elements that I wasn't quite as crazy about (Dior's trapeze line springs to mind for the fifties) and which are not as frequently revived by those who today sport styles from that era.

      If the 80s do take serious root as a decade that some people wear on a daily basis, it will be extremely interesting to see which fashions/styles emerge as popular again and which are left in the proverbial dressing room of time.

      Big hugs & many thanks for your great comment,
      ♥ Jessica

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  16. I've really warmed to a lot of '80s fashions, and I think that is because of the heavy 1950s influence. But then again, I used to enjoy lots of items that were very distinctly '80s - I had a bubble hem pink dress that I adored and eventually grew too big for. And where would sportswear be today without the lycra revolution?!
    A lot of '80s fashion gets slated, and to be honest there's a lot of it that I don't enjoy, but watching a film like Working Girl or Moonstruck there are some FABULOUS fashion moments.

    I have to say that I was a teen in the '90s and as an awkward geek I enjoyed the camouflage of grunge, it was great to be able to wear checked shirts that my brother would wear, to hide a developing body. I still like checked shirts now and I still love those lingerie-type dresses.

    Super post!
    xx

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    1. Precisely!!! For each cringe worthy moment, there was an equally amazing one, too, and I think it's high time that these were given their just dues at long last.

      I was a teen in the 90s, too, and though I did start wearing vintage at age 15, there was still plenty of modern fashions in my wardrobe during those transformative years. Save for baby doll dresses, I didn't wear a lot of grunge type styles, but I did like the boho, 60s/70s revival looks and sported those a ton - and like yourself, will always love the lingerie/slip style dresses (especially when worn with a denim jacket - very Drew Barrymore style).

      Thank you for your wonderful comment. I really appreciate it, sweet gal!
      ♥ Jessica

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  17. Hello Jessica!
    Beautiful this post, I fully share ..
    The 80s for me were carefree years, I had my whole family, my friends, so many animals around me, a beautiful country that no longer exists ..
    The 80s are the ones that look more nostaglia, they are my roots ...
    The music has influenced me a lot, thanks to listening to my father, especially the new wave, the references to the 50s were widespread in the style of dress, and always interpreted with imagination and color.
    I think the 80s are special, because they contain the real traces of decades before. There was still something of the '70s, but also the most elegant taste of the 40s and 50s. I remember a dress "charleston" I had a gift from my older cousin, was beautiful, style charleston but plush cotton.
    Then I do not know ... I remember the faces of elderly Italian women with black kerchief on her hair, which with antique clothing went to public fountains to fetch water with their jugs of copper. And then my great-grandparents, people very elegant even if they belong to the workers and peasants, were people of 1800! I was very young but I have these images in my head and for me they are very valuable. After the 80s are over, and nothing has been the same so magical ...

    baci

    Serena

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    1. Thank you very much for your wonderful, insightful comment and for sharing some your memories and thoughts on the 80s with me. They were the time of my roots (and birth), too, and will forever hold an incredibly special spot in my heart because of that. They weren't perfect in the slightest, but no era ever is and I think that 80s have far too often received an unjustly harsh rap, despite all of their fantastic points.

      You nailed it to a tee when you said that they housed lingering echos of the decades that preceded them. That is such a smart, spot on observation, my dear. They definitely did - and in the same vein, there was people alive still who had lived in, and could remember, every other decade of the the century prior to the 80s still - from those born when it was brand new, to the baby boomers and the generation that followed them. Each brought and imparted something unique and important to the 80s, which often, I feel at least, was not really carried over into the 90s, especially after the first couple of years.

      Here's to the magic - real and imagined - that the eighties housed and everything that it means to our lives now, some 35 years after the decade began. May it all exist and continue to inspire and guide us in our lives.

      Big hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  18. Such smart commentary. You really know fashion. I learn a lot from your ideas.

    Funny you should mention the "80s does earlier-time" thing. As I think you know, I bought a dress in a vintage shop that looks like 40's style but the type and age of its material is definitely from the 80s.

    Last thing -- thanks so much for your blog-comments. They're so perceptive. I appreciate them greatly.

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    1. You're wholeheartedly welcome, Ally. Thank you very, very much in turn for each of those that you brighten my blog with here. I always love getting your impute on any post/subject and the wise perspectives you bring to the table.

      Have a blast with your 80s does 40s dress (I love those so much!) and a great rest of the week!
      ♥ Jessica

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  19. I have to admit the 80s are not my favorite era, though I can certainly appreciate elements of it and I do like the wackiness. As for the 90s it is the decade I was a teenager and college student in so I do have a certain fondness for it, and even for the grunge look which I sported at the time but wouldnt ever wear now. Overall I agree with you I prefer the looks of the past, but a realatively narrow slice of the past, the 1920s through the mid 50s, with the 30s being tops for me. These are simply my favorite periods for myself and I think many other people look fabulous in looks from the 60s, 70s, or 80s but its just not for me. I used to follow modern fashion but now I really have no interest in it. I dont think its dead, its just not for me

    retro rover

    PS great post

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    1. Thank you very much, sweet Kate. I love the wackiness, as you so aptly put it, of 1980s fashion, too - there was such a youthful, carefree, anything goes sort of approach to things, and yet, there was still a degree of structure to how most outfits were composed and I just love that.

      I really appreciate your wonderful comment, thank you again. Big hugs!
      ♥ Jessica

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  20. Interesting thoughts on this! I've noticed the more 1940's look often present in 80's movies and tv shows, too. One of my favorite tv shows is Remington Steele and when thinking about the character of Laura, it really is interesting to think of how many of her outfits, along with her hair styles, are much more 1940's than a lot of the other characters (sometimes I wonder if, in part, it's a hat tip to the old movies they're referencing).

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    1. Excellent example of this, sweet Inky (I loved that show as a youngster!). Laura's pussy bow blouses and fedora hats channeled a wonderful Katharine Hepburn/Marlene Dietrich kind of vibe that was so classy, elegant and well put together. I wish we still saw more sophisticated attire like that in mainstream TV/movies these days.

      Thank you for your lovely comment - I swear, I'm not thinking about Pierce Brosnan right now (nope, not in the slightest :D).

      ♥ Jessica

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  21. For the first time I don't agree. :) That is, I think you are right, but I was 16 in 1980, so I was young and smart in the eighties, but when I look back I don't like what I see. I remember the power suit (do watch Working Girl and you know what I mean), I remember all the neon, the leg warmers (but why?), the shiny and tight training clothes (for everyday use), the very broad shoulders (we all looked like rugby players), the poodle perms, and the harsh makeup (believe me, I had mascaras in ALL colours, literally all!). What I do like about the eighties are the fifties style, which lasted for long, the pastels, the cuteness. Many of us, me of course, wore full skirts and flats and Bardot pink lipstick. I am sure my love for the fifties already started back then, and I have never let go. I think the problem today is that there is no style era definition, there is simply too much to choose from. So many get confused and end up in sweat pants and tee shirt. Back in the fifties you had the full skirt silhuette or the wiggle dress, end of story. Very easy to choose from. Either choose for the occassion or for what looked best on your body. And it lasted a decade, so you could use your clothes for years without being out of fashion. Today, I cannot see if a style is from the late 90s, the zeros or the tens. Same blurry mass. But although I don't want the eighties back (been there, done that, literally got the tee shirt - an Alf tee with a neon pink hoodie, still got it in the basement) I think you are right. The last style straw to cling to. And we have just watched all three Dundee movies too, how fun. I love them, but I can tell you that Linda K was very atypical eighties, just the fact that her hair wasn't permed. Fun fact: I made myself a red sexy sideless dress like the one she wore in the first movie for DH's 25th year birthday, haha. :) If you want to see more eighties fashion do watch Miami Vice, so much fashion fun. Thank you for a well-written and thoughtful post as always, dear. Have a lovely day. :)

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    1. That is 100% okay, sweet Sanne, it's awesome to get all kinds of perspectives on any subject and I really appreciate you sharing your take on eighties fashion with me/us. The 80s does 50s (and 40s) looks were sensational. They so often paid perfect homage to those earlier decades and showed that older styles could mesh with present day ones superbly. We have repro these days, which is fantastic of course, but mainstream fashion hasn't revived the 40s or 50s again to anywhere near the same degree since and as we continue to become more and more causal in our attire, I strongly wonder if it ever will.

      I think you struck on such a fantastic point when you said that part of the issue with fashion in recent decades is that there is so little in the way on a concrete sense of structure. Instead of using the abundance of choice at their disposal, a lot of people often for uber causal styles and don't put in the leg work needed, per se, to cultivate their own fabulous sense of unique or at least highly stylized fashion. The 80s were unequivocally as much in my books and I know that's part of the reason why I'm quick to defend the clothing and fashion camps they offered up.

      I love Miami Vice so much! I've probably watched every episode two or three times over my nearly 31 years of life (I'm also a huge fan of Don Johnson's 90s classic Nash Bridges, too, but aren't as wild about the fashions from it as I am those from Miami Vice). Aside from the cool clothes and interiors, it was a great show and certainly inspired many of the cop dramas and movies that followed in the decades to come.

      I know (okay, at least really assume) that had I been older in the 80s, I would have honed in on, and worn, the fabulous 80s does 40s and 50s trend so much, too. The homage that that decade paid to the mid-20th century was nothing short of sensational and hasn't even come close, in the mainstream world, I mean, to being emulated again - and honestly, at this point with the continued causal-fication (my homemade word) of fashion, I doubt it ever will. It's so cool that you got to experience those years and fashions first hand and I love that you were rocking vintage styles so early on. You were a vintage adoring and wearing trail blazer for sure, my dear friend.

      Thank you so much for your fabulous comment. I loved reading it and that you shared so much with me/us.

      Huge hugs!
      ♥ Jessica

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    2. Yes, I got carried away, almost talked your ears off. ;) Do check your Instagram, I took a photo of the red Crocodile Dundee dress for you. :) Wishing you a fabulous weekend. :) I've got more weeds to kill, sigh.

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    3. It's sooo awesome, sweet Sanne. Thank you very much for the Instagram tag and for letting me know here. You looked smoking hot in that total va-va-voom Crocodile Dundee inspired dress!

      Have a fantastic weekend - big hugs!
      ♥ Jessica

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  22. the 80´s were the time of my teen years - and i did really enjoy the avantgarde fashion of this time. because the usual powersuit/tracksuit/aerobic stuff was not my cup of tea even then, i was totally in new wave and second hand style. i even did sew me a few 2 piece dresses in the style of comme des garconnes - without really realizing it was so fashion forward. i just loved the look.
    thank you for the memories my dear!!! have a nice weekend! xxxxxx

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  23. Personally, I think it's too early to call the 80's a vintage decade. I was born in the 80's and I'm much too young to be vintage ;) However, there are a few fashion trends of the 80's I think might come back in fashion. Personally I love the jean jacket, it always makes me think of the 80's. I have a small collection of jean jackets, and think everyone needs at least one jean jacket,.

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    1. Hi lovely Akram, thank you very much for your great comment. When I was in my early to mid-20s and I saw the eighties being called vintage, I felt the same way, but in recent years and especially since hitting my 30s last year, I actually sort of love it, as it gives me another link with one of my biggest passions in life (vintage).

      I'm with 100% when it comes to the awesomeness of jean jackets. I honestly don't know if there's ever been a time in my life (childhood very much included) when I didn't own at least one. For years now that's been a classic Levi's denim jacket, which I wear a lot in particular during the spring and early summer (interestingly though, it hasn't appeared in an outfit post here yet, I'll have to do so one of these days). I'd love to find a pink jean jacket. I had one as a kid, but that was over 20 years ago now.

      Thanks again & have a splendid weekend!
      ♥ Jessica

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  24. I couldn't have said it better myself! I went to high school and college in the 80s and it was indeed a time of great innovation and there was a lot of fashion forward thinking in the 80s. I went thru fashion design at college from 1986 to 1989 and it was an exciting time to be studying fit, design and movement of fabrics. I have often said ( and been highly criticized for saying!) that IMO the 80s were the last decade of thru inspirational design outside of technology. After the 80s everything has just been rehashed, regurgitated and re-done. Movies, music, fashion, even furniture design is all a version of another decade. It makes me sad really. I often think what people will covet 40 years from now in a vintage sense and I highly doubt it is that pair of tights from Ardene in the mall. But then, those tights won't last 40 years either.

    If you had told me in 1987 when I was in 2nd year that I would live in a world where disposable clothing bought at a grocery store was the hot ticket ticket by the time I was in my 40s I would have NEVER believed you. Never.

    Anyhow, I digress!! great piece!! thanx Jessica!! :)

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    1. Very well said, Lisa, I agree with you across the board and was especially nodding up a storm when you mentioned how you'd never thought that disposable (as in fast fashion) clothing bought at the supermarket would become a hot ticket item. I second that big time!

      Thank you very much for your insightful, terrific comment!
      ♥ Jessica

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  25. Oh Goodness, my take on the 80's era and my own personal experiences seem to have dissapeared when I hit preview and had to log onto google. Well, Jessica, if it shows up you have the option to publish it or not. Signed your friend, ChristyByTheSea. Redondo Beach, CA.

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    1. Hi sweet Christy, oh dear, I'm sorry to hear that you're running into issues with commenting. Blogger is not always, I personally find, the most mobile of friendly platforms, if you're trying to do so from a phone or tablet.

      Thank you very much for trying to share some of your thoughts on 1980s fashion with me (and for doing so in your latest email). It's always such a joy to hear from you!

      Tons of hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  26. Hi Jessica, I'm caught in a Google plus & blogger loop. I commented on the 80's and it's quite lengthy. I didn't get to preview it. Publish at will! Christy

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  27. There allready Is an 1980's sort of craze in the media.
    I took a look at what's on TV (I do that sometimes, rarely, since my time is ever so limited, and I've writen about waisting it being bad).. and I've noticed there are few TV shows that are "placed" in the '80. Now. now.. I can't exactly judge the decade, I was a toddler then, but.. I got the feeling that those shows only feature some hints of fashion from the era, and everything else is uber-modern (the lies, the behaviour.. the social standards and the stories themselves are shifted to the '80 but suit today's audiance)..
    I have a feeling that we'll soon struggle to find the "real 1980's" as much as we're fighting to bring back the true identity of 1940's because the movie and TV industry has transformed them so much, that folks get the "oh, these were romantic times" feeling (mock turkey, while you wait for the air-raid to stop, anyone?).

    Stunning post!!!
    Marija

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    1. Thank you very much, honey. I was very young in the 80s, too, and indeed only got to experience six years of them, but what a transformative, fantastic, influential six years those wear. I have zero doubt that some of my own passion for mid-century fashion took root in the 40s and 50s revival styles of those decades, as well as some of the movies set in them that came out then (and the 70s, such as Grease).

      Very true! I've already noticed a lot less 80s fashions in thrift shops in recent years, as the demand for them increases. I could easily see them becoming close to, though perhaps not quite as, sought after as early 20th century threads one day. I get what you too regarding the real 80s getting loss in a 21st Hollywood take on them. Hopefully not, but it does seem to happen to most decades sooner or later.

      Big hugs & many thanks for your terrific comment and insight on this fun topic,
      ♥ Jessica

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  28. I always get a little sad when I see anything related to 80s fashion.
    I was a child in the 80s and remember certain garments from my mother's closet that I would just sit there and stare at…. a striped dress with a broad belt, blouses with shoulder pads, the shiny night clutch.
    Fashion seems to always make a come back (even the odd unexpected ones) but they always tweak something trying to update it and quality is always questionable, even with high end garments.

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    1. I have similar memories, though more so with my paternal grandma's closet at the time. It was a small walk-in closet (the first I ever remember seeing or standing in, as my childhood homes never had them) and I was in awe of her wardrobe. It was feminine, sweet, beautiful, full of different textures and scented lightly like her signature perfume (White Shoulders). I'm convinced those experiences helped to fuel both my fashionista side and my love of walk-in closets alike! :)

      Thank you very much for your lovely comment, dear Lorena. Have a stellar week!
      ♥ Jessica

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  29. While I COMPLETELY agree with you, and can't see the "00"s being anyone's beloved satirical choice anytime soon, I've got to say that I can also totally see where you are going with the 80s thing.

    Not that I'd be on board with it, because the closest I come to 80s wear is the ever popular 80s does 40s/does 50s pieces. I don't like anything past mid-1950s, so I'm happy to stick with my two favorite decades and leave the 70s and 80s explorations to everyone else.... ❤

    xox,
    bonita of Lavender & Twill

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    1. Hi lovely Bonita, thank you very much for sharing some of your thoughts on the rockin' eighties with me. My love for this decade is so incredibly deeply rooted. I could go back in time and relive it (that decade) over and over again Groundhog Day style no problem, but that doesn't mean that I look at them through (neon) rose coloured glasses, nor that I love every last element of eighties fashion (I don't - linebacker shoulder pads will never float my sartorial boat, for example). I highly doubt I'll be trading my swing dresses for Jordache jeans anytime soon, but I am open to exploring 80s looks every now and then. I think there's something seriously cool - and special - about coming full circle in the sense of returning to the fashions from the decade in which you were born many years later.

      In general though, I do very much think that in a few years (I'd estimate 5 to 12 or 15) we're going to see the 80s be welcomed more in the permanent vintage fashion scene fold and I have no qualms with that in the slightest. It was a cool, creative, vibrant time and I think it will meet a lot of peoples' vintage fashion needs fabulously.

      Have an awesome week!
      ♥ Jessica

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  30. I find it very hard to consider 80's as vintage as it feels too recent, though obviously it was decades ago. I am not sure that I would ever want to wear 80's fashions but I guess I can see that people may want to do so. After all, as well as the hideous stuff there was some great stuff too!

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    1. Exactly, sweet gal, and just as there are elements, for example, of mid-century decades that are not sported often by today's vintage enthusiasts (1950s "sack dresses" really jump out at me there), so I think will the more elegant/timeless/creative styles of the 80s be the main ones that we see come to the forefront with those who opt to wear this decade's looks on a regular basis.

      Thank you again very much for all of your fantastic blog comments this week. It truly is kind and thoughtful of you to "catch up" like that and I really appreciate it.

      Tons of hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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    2. Gosh, I am so behind on my blog reading so I am sorry to be commenting a few weeks late on your posts but I still have things to say and wanted to be in touch of course. In fact, I am massively behind in everything but I am slowly getting it together! Maybe I will even catch up with my blog feed soon!

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  31. I've actually talked about this with my aunt. We discussed each of the styles that have set apart every decade, at least of the 20th century, and how since the 2000's there hasn't been much of anything that would set it apart from fashion in the 2010's fashion. It's just sort of blah. :-/

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    1. It really is strange how, by and large, fashion has not been very defined in the last 15 - 20 years. I'd love to see that turn around, but I'm not putting any bets down on it.

      What a cool conversation to have! I bet that was a lot of fun. I want to have it with someone now. :)

      Tons of hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  32. Catching up on this awesome post from your link today - I've enjoyed reading all the comments and varying opinions. I was a teen during the 80s (high school grad 1985!), and I absolutely loved the fashion then. Things I would wear again: my harem/gypsy pants (before MC Hammer did 'em), my long jacket plaid skirt suit, most of my dresses. I do agree that the 80s seem to have been the last great era with a definable fashion sense (lots of colour! Bigger is better), and I like to point out to younger people how very important the 80s were in terms of feminism and women's equality. The 80s big shoulders were a direct link back to the 40s, but also symbolic of women taking more above-the-glass-ceiling roles in the workforce - they were deliberately masculine in shape (the inverted V, the broad shoulders) to echo the look of men's suiting.

    I adore finding early 80s clothing in thrift stores - the quality is amazing, most of it is made in the US/Canada, and event the fabrics are superior. The polyesters were not as heavy as those in the 70s, and of course, they're still washable. Many of the silk garments produced then are also superb quality (all mine can be washed!), and much thicker than the silk you see today.

    I love incorporating my 80s vintage into my modern looks - today I'm wearing a high-necked baby blue ruffled blouse that I think I paid around $8.50 for. It's gorgeous! And I can't wait until winter to wear my vintage Valentino again, not to mention my extremely 40s-inspired Simon Chang houndstooth jacket (the shoulder pads are so architectural!).

    I think that one day the 80s look (or what the younger set interprets as the 80s) will be emulated as "vintage dressing" much as many vintage lovers emulate the looks of the 40s and 50s. I hope so! I love to see fashion changing and seeing how it's interpreted. Hmmm...I think I need to go shopping. :)

    Thanks for the awesome article, Jessica!

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  33. Hi Shelia, thank you very much for your absolutely fantastic comment. I really, really enjoyed and appreciated hearing some of your thoughts on eighties fashion and love that you raised the point regarding feminism in that decade. That is so very true and really helped to shape and drive a lot of women's styles from that era (it could be argued even more so than any of the ensuing decades that have since followed).

    I too try to find 80s clothes at thrift and consignment stores. Up until a few years ago, such was still quite common, but around here at least, I find that such rarely the case and I can go months without hitting on a great 80s gem (whether I just see it, or opt to buy it). Between online and off line sellers and people with hipster fashion leanings, I think a lot of it is getting snapped up. I suspect though, that a fair bit still resides in peoples' closets and that we'll see more come (perhaps in waves) for the next 1 - 3+ decades, much as 40s/50s/60s garb landed in thrift stores big time between the 70s and early 2000s.

    Your current outfit sounds awesome! I can hardly wait to see it, if you post photos.

    Blending 80s and newer pieces is such a great styling approach. You get the diversity, (often) quality and creativity of the 80s and the current-ness + colour palette + accessory options of today. If I wore more contemporary looks, I bet I'd do the same (80s + modern) a fair bit myself, too.

    I really hope so as well. I stand behind the statement that I would have zero qualms (and would actually really enjoy) wearing full on 80s garb. It was fun, experimental, often looked to the past, bold, colourful (or, conversely, pale and pastel), and chalked full of great jewelry and shoes. So much to love and for future generations to discover and make their own all over again.

    Thank you again, dear Shelia. I really enjoy this great conversation about eighties fashion.

    Big hugs & happy weekend wishes,
    ♥ Jessica


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