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Bombdigity! A Guide to Dressing for the 1980s

March 4, 2009

by Sonia Aggarwal
Bombdigity! A Guide to Dressing for the 1980s

Remember the days of fluorescent parachute pants and shoulder pads?  Well, most of us mercifully do not, given that those years were spent in diapers or the womb, but for some, the eighties were a tireless time of blue mascara, spandex, and far too much hairspray.  So why relive those seemingly disastrous years?  Nostalgia?  Reverence?  Or to have an excuse to don our baggiest sweatshirts, tightest bike shorts, and party like it’s, dare I say it, 1985?  We have the most gruesomely fabulous trends of the 1980s right here, in case you’re buggin’ about just how teased your hair must be, or how acid washed your jeans should be.  Get stoked!

There are some trends that are just too amazing to limit to one gender.  It’s been chilly for the past week, so why not layer those socks?  Different colors, different textures; It’s the icy way to stay hot.  Then there are, of course, the utterly iconic parachute pants.  Swivel in the satin rainbow!  And there’s always the acid washed denim, whether it be up top in a trendy jacket or down below in jeans or a mini.  The more destroyed, the better.  We don’t want to look like complete yuppies, after all.  As far as footwear goes, it’s an epic battle between the Converse Chucks and the Reebok high tops.  Both so trendy, both so fabulous.

For women, or those bodacious betties, bright colors are a must.  Stirrup pants, baggy sweatshirts that fall off of a shoulder, bike shorts, leggings, they should all be in your most exciting neon hues.  It’ll be totally flash.  In case you can’t get your spandex in time, mini skirts are always a hip favorite.  The shorter, the better!  To keep those bare gams cozy, accessorize with a pair of chic leg warmers.    And let’s not forget the final touches.  There is no such thing as too much bling when it comes to the gems.  Big earring, enormous belts, and jelly bracelets are all essentials when it comes to dressing the part.  For the face, it’s always good to emphasize color.  Who says that pink lipstick and blue eye shadow is too much?  Leave the natural looks to the Joanies.  Then comes the hairspray.  Teased hair, high ponytails, crimped locks, colorful barrettes.  Slip on a pair of jelly shoes and you’ll be the baddest girl in town.

If you’re a guy, make sure that you’re a total Clydesdale by breaking out with your peg legged jeans and Chucks.  All of the ladies will think that you are one super fly stud, especially if you add a Hawaiian shirt and your Ray Ban Wayfarers.  To take it to the next level, try those neon sided knock-offs.  What’s better than cheap and colorful?  For those who really care about high fashion, try a Members Only jacket.  You’ll be the most radical fella in town.  If you want to be super swank, add a square-end knit tie.  A pair of fingerless gloves never hurt a guy, either.  For the final touches, try a mullet or some wicked jheri curls.

One thing to keep in mind when dressing for this dope era is to keep it real as possible.  None of that subtlety or “classiness” that these modern folk seem to enjoy so much.  Try American Apparel for your colorful spandex needs, or a thrift store if you want to be truly authentic.  There’s never to much color, never to much elastic, and never too much glam, or you’ll be so 2009.

Photo Credit: NBCU Photo Bank

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