Well it was going to be that wasn’t it?
I am looking into a crystal ball and seeing flashbacks of my wardrobe from the 80’s.
It was a look heavily influenced by Olivia Newton John (circa Physical), Siobhan Fahey from Bananarama and the pages of Smash Hits magazine.
Baggy trousers with the cuffs rolled up,worn with oversized shirts buttoned up to the top with a brooch at the top, and oversized jumpers in pastel green and pink. I’m also pretty sure I had a Choose Life tshirt too…
I’m sure I wore frilly blouses and I get the odd glimpse of tartan, but that could have been my sister.
I do know I wore black legwarmers worn over my jeans, my ballet tights to dance class, and once under a skirt, so they looked like leggings.
On my feet were brogues, suede pixie boots or jelly shoes. Socks were sometimes neon, but by the end of the decade, I had taken to wearing them very big walking socks and pushing them down, so they looked like legwarmers around my calves.
I see myself wearing drop waist dresses- one a blue and white sailor-style outfit which I wore to my first school formal in Year 7. I danced with Matt Molony who was in Year 10, who told me I looked nice. I was also wearing my first bra at the time! The next year I wore a drop waist pink pinafore which Mum made me with a candy stripe (pastel pink and lemon) cotton top underneath.
My hair was worn short with a long fringe, but by the end of the 80s it had progressed into a mullet style of short at the front with a bob at the back, with a perm through it to give it extra body. As if my thick hair needed any more body, but hair was big to go with the freakishly huge shoulderpads that were in everything.
I wasn’t necessarily a slave to fashion- I couldn’t afford to be, but my fashion faux pas were many and varied. I didn’t dress to suit my body shape, and preferred to hide my growing curves under big clothes. I think once I started looking to people like Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn as style icons, I think I began to understand style over fashion.
There is only one thing I have in my wardrobe from that time, and it’s an Oroton scarf which was my mum’s. It was a gift she passed on to me, a striped square in grey, white and black. It goes great with a black sleeveless shift I wear, to break up the black.*
I find it quite funny that 80s fashion has the odd resurgence, and I know my time of wearing 80s fashion was in the 80s. I went into a chainstore about six months ago to try on a jacket which I thought would be quite fetching with a new pair of jeans. The shoulders were like little wings, and I thought nah, done shoulder pads before, dont need ’em again.
The sales assistant asked brightly, “So, how’d you go?”
“Great!” I replied “The jacket is lovely, but those shoulder pads…”
She nodded. “Yeah- cool aren’t they?”
*Actually I lie- I have my first blue and white formal dress in a box. I can’t believe how small I was. A reminder of a magical night in the distant 1980’s.