My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Technology Trauma

I got home from work today to find my cable modem dead. It is former. It is an ex-modem.

So I call tech support (from my cell phone, of course, because my home phone is dead) to see how to get a new one. The tech support guy, bless his heart, asks:

“Do you have electricity?”

Um. Well, I suppose there are people THAT stupid.

So clutching my dead modem, I go to the nearest cable service center, which is luckily very close to my home. I wait in line for less than five minutes, then exchange my dead modem for a brand spanking new one.

I come home, plug everything in, and power the modem up. Miraculously, it cycles and then shows connectivity, in a fraction of the time that the old modem took. Feeling reckless, I power up the wireless router, thinking “Oh yeah, right, like this is gonna work without any hassles.”

You know what? It did. I was up and running on my wireless network within five minutes of walking through the door. Color me gobsmacked.

I hope this cable modem has a long and happy life!

Deli Debut

I actually wore something I knit! I actually wore something I knit!

Okay, I wear stuff that I’ve knit all the time, but it seems like it’s been a while, because lately I’ve been knitting a lot of the stuff for my book, so those knits are still virgin, waiting to be photographed.

I wore Deli to work today and am quite happy with it. When I tried it on Saturday morning for the blog photo, I thought “Eh.” Definitely not thrilled with how it looked with jeans and a t-shirt. But it looks much better over a silk dress. Very very comfy to wear, and virtually no shedding, either.

And for the cowboy boot aficionados, please note that I wore my mauve Justins, which almost matched. Stylin’!


(P.S. to Susan: I’ve actually not bought any cowboy boots in years, so don’t have a favorite source for them to share.)

Wouldn’t You Like To Be a Preppie Too?

I finished the back of the tennis sweater last night, with my eyelids propped open by toothpicks, as my mother used to say. (Yup, yesterday was a sleepy day.)


And on the train this morning, I got started on the front.


The unabashed preppiness of the color combo makes me smile.

This morning I was having an email conversation with the Divine Ms. Em, in which I divulged the following deep dirty secret:

Back in the 1980s I had Ralph Lauren argyle kneesocks. With the little Polo logo embroidered on them. I wore them with “dress shorts.”

. . . the horror . . . the horror . . .

Okay, this gave birth to an idea for a contest. Presenting . . .

The “How Hideous Were You in the ’80s?” Contest

Leave a comment to this blog entry describing your most hideous 1980s outfit. If you have a photo online, you are encouraged to link to it. I’ll choose a winner 5pm EST Friday (April 8) to win a yarn-fabulous prize.

Usually I ask for email entries, but let’s put them in the comments this time. Because we wanna share all the visions with everyone. Don’t we?

Sleep . . . zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

I did manage considerably more sleep last night. That is, until a certain somebody:


tapped me gently on the shoulder with one chubby paw so that I would turn over so she could climb up on me and purr rapturously into my face with her Fancy Feast breath. Oh, she has me well trained. I obey her in my sleep.

It does warm my heart to read that I am not alone in my hatred of Daylight Savings Time. But I gotta say, I loved this comment from Elena:

Am I the only one who’s too lazy to break out the manual for the car clock? I just know that, for half the year, it’s one hour off. I’m so glad it’s back to being right!

Elena, I’ll admit that it crossed my mind to do just that. But my car clock was a few minutes slow, so I was already making the mental adjustment to speed it up a couple of minutes when I looked at it. Having to mentally add an hour and two minutes into the clock every time I looked at it? More than my little pea-brain wants to deal with.

Except that now it seems to be a minute fast. What? Am I obsessed with time? Why do you ask?

Oh, and I have to look at the manual for my everyday watch (Citizen Ladies Corso Eco-drive with day/date display, in case you care) on how to advance the date every single month that doesn’t have 31 days.


  1. Well, it looks like we’re trying to win Sleep, which I’m all for.

    Ok. Very tight black synthetic pants, hip-huggers, with 12 inch bell-bottoms. Coupled with a striped top, and a very long white chiffon-y scarf-like thing tied for a sash around the (below) waist. With platform shoes, of course! Ok, now I’m embarrassed.

    My cats wake me up all night lately – on the bed, off the bed, on the bed, off the bed, quick fight next to the bed, throw up, on the bed, off the bed. It’s gotten particularly bad lately; it must be the time change . . .

  2. We complain about changing the clocks, dealing with non working modems………are we spoiled in this age or what?! Where would we be without all of this? I know when the cable is down, I feel like I’m cut off from the world.

    Kitty breath in the wee hours of the morning…. we aren’t “pet guardians”, they are “people guardians” and my pets rule me too. Gotta love em.


  3. I had an awesome shorts-suit kind of thing. The top was a white button down, short sleeved shirt with an ATTATCHED black vest with white polka dots. The matching shorts were white with black polka dots. With this outfit, I wore a stretchy black with white polka dots headband and some serious bangs. I remember this outfit best when I wore it to a Beach Boys concert and got my period for the very first time.

  4. I was only a kid in the 80s, so I didn’t choose most of my clothing. But one terrible fashion choice was the bright pink legwarmers. Hot pink. Burn your retinas pink. You need to wear sunscreen pink. Very, very pink. I loved them to death, though. And I do have memories of wearing them to gymnastics class, so they did have a place as an actual implement to warm muscles that needed to be warmed before stretching and bouncing around. But they were still hot pink legwarmers, and still horrid. (Let’s not get into my demanding to wear clothes from the dress-up-box to school in 1st grade. Yes, a fashion disaster, but probably not the type of 80s fashion disaster you were thinking of.)

  5. Oh boy. Where do I start? In the 80s, I was a child of practical parents in a non-practical, completely preppy town. Preppy, but materialistic to the nth degree. I was a confused, conflicted mess. I wanted to be an individual, I wanted to REBEL! But, I was still materialistic. So, I would wear 4 different neon nylon socks, with the cuffs all rolled down so you would see a roll of each. Pair that with a pair of pale pink pearl jelly shoes, and that was some fancy footwear. These of course were worn over my black stirrup pants. And over that— my favorite red and black sweater dress!! A simple, elegant black turtle neck was all I needed under that. To accessorize, what else? My gigantic, plastic charm necklace. It was a thing of beauty. Most of the charms were 2-3″ in length, and had some function. They were all in neon or hot pink (and etc…). Add my swatch watch with fish on it, and I was so cool.

    Good thing I have fine hair and any perm I got would fall out within a week. Because if I had the high hair to go with the completely disgusting, non-matching outfit… oh boy.

    And then of course, there were the days that my Mom had enough of my sass and made me look like everyone else. Many tears were shed. But, looking back, I wish I did look like everyone else, beccause my photos of that time are atrocious!!

  6. ok, you DID say most hideous, right? How about this: Lime green and pastel pink walking shorts, with a white Izod shirt, and pastel pink sweater, worn like a cape (sleeves draped over shoulders and knotted loosely); lime green jellies and pristine white ruffled socks (tipped in pastel pink)….and to top things off, I would wear my hair in a “tree” half-knot on the top of my head, with either a green & pink polka-dotted plastic cone. Yeah, in 83 I was 19 and a prep…wannabe maybe

  7. I was thinking back to the early 80’s and the dress shorts with the button down shirt, navy blazer, knee socks, string ribbon tie, but since the 80’s covers alot of ground there are so many more… the bad eyeshadow that matched the outfit and went up to the eyebrows, the “business” suits with the bow blouse, the very badly permed hair. It is all to awful to remember.

  8. OK, try this–and keep in mind that I was a horribly, horribly awkward kid with ginormous glasses with pink frames and hair that I had cut myself so that I could be pretty like Princess Diana, and who always Tried Very Hard to fit in (with predictable results). I think the worst outfit I had was a neon-blue sleeveless jumpsuit (the pant legs were far too short, so I pegged and rolled them, and I remember that it rode up in the crotch all the time). Underneath that went a hot pink henley layered over a lime geen tank top. I accessorized this smashing combo with innumerable jelly bracelets in corresponding shades of pink, green and blue, hot pink converse high tops over lime-green ruffled socks, and, to top it all off, giant white hoop earrings and a length of hot-pink netting that I tied around my head a la Madonna. Part of me wishes I had not destroyed all pictures of myself in this ensemble, but most of me is glad I did.

  9. Well being in single digit ages for most of the 80s, I have some horrible memories (and print pics) of wearing large New Kids on the Block shirts over denim-print leggings. More specifically, the shirt was only of Jonathan (who was color-blind, which I thought was adorable, but who devastated me by dating Tiffany).

  10. I can’t believe I’m going to admit to this one. My mother even has a picture somewhere. Remember the “Madonna look”? Well, that was me. Picture it – HUGE permed hair, teased to death with a quarter can of Aqua Net (who can forget that smell?), makeup that would make a hooker envious and embroidery hoop-sized earrings. The outfit was equally horrific. The requisite fish-net short-sleeved shirt over the tank top, mini-skirt, baby-doll socks and short heels. Let us not forget the assorted chains and beads around my neck. That my mother let me leave the house still amazes me. Oh, she did forbid me from wearing rosary beads.

    I now need a margarita to recover from the memory.

  11. great tennis sweater and why has my desire to get boots come over me again. ugh the 80’s. i don’t think i burned all the pics. i’ll have to pull one out.

  12. Fun, ugly ’80s clothes! I was really young then, I turned 3 in 1980, but the worst I remember wearing was a bright (think hunting clothes) orange sweat shirt with the nect cut off Flashdance style with a black wife-beater under it, a very short, very tight, denim skirt, neon green fishnets, black lace ankle socks, hot pink jelly shoes, an arm full of jelly bracelets, huge plastic charm necklace, and my butt-length hair in a side-ponytail with the big hot pink plastic tube-shaped thing holding it up and huge bangs, with glitter hairspray. I think I was five or six and my mom let me wear it to school.

  13. Oh god, I had the misfortune of growing up in the 80’s, so not only did I have to wear horrible clothes, I had to wear horrible clothes that my MOM picked out!

    The worst was definitely a neon yellow, pink, green and white “jumper” that looked like it belonged on a Barbie. And of course that was paired with high top Converse All Stars. I even had several pairs: black, orange…shudder. How I didn’t get beat up every day is still beyond me

  14. Book? Had you mentioned the book before? This makes me rather excited… can’t wait to see it.

    The fact that you’ve been doing a whole slew of secret knitting in addition to the tons and tons you DO post for us just flabbergasts me… when do you find the time???

    So, on to the 80’s… I’m pretty sure that even for then I wasn’t very stylin’, so I’m sure I have a ton of things that would count as hideous (then or now). So, let’s see…

    I had a pair of rayon print pants… off-white background, but the print was in the colors of (and somewhat random splotchiness similar to) camoflage. If I remember right, they were also too short (not hard… almost everything was).

    I had a pair of pink pants with an uber-wide waistband… ya know, so the top of them was REALLY high. I know stuff like that was regularly worn then, but looking back, it makes me think of grandpa pants worn up to your armpits.

    I also had a white and yellow paisley knit top. I rather liked it (and even now wouldn’t say it was bad), but there was a guy in one of my classes that kept calling it my sperm shirt, and that embarrassed me to no end.

  15. I guess I have to find my 8th grade school picture of me in the huge glasses, Garfield sweat shirt, and HAIRBRUSHED PERM. The horror. Though, I have to admit, the one thing I liked about the 80s was black and neon. I admit it. I even made a tank out of Capri Cotton Tape to celebrate it, which I happen to be wearing *right now*.

  16. Picture it: The eighth grade dance, Madison Wisconsin, 1986. I had just discovered the miracle of styling mousse and had gotten my ears pierced over the summer. The look: neon pink bat-wing sweatshirt, black harem pants, and red suede scrunch-down booties. Dangling Madonna style earrings. Long bangs molded into a cresting-wave shape centered over my left eyebrow. I had also just read Bret Easton Ellis’ “Less Than Zero” (yes, I was a precocious reader with little parental supervision) and was affecting a world-weary L.A. attitude despite the ridiculousness of such a thing given my naivete and location. Ah, youth, how I don’t miss you…

  17. Annie B says:

    1981. Gone was my college wardrobe…gone was my grey wool pea-coat, and my cotton cords, and my poor-boy sweater. In its place, my teaching wardrobe. Polyester skirts. Trim fitting vests. Polyester shirts with ruffles, or matching scarves to tie around the neck, or both. And how I longed for one of those stylish marshmallow-like goose-down-filled mid-calf-length coats!

    Polyester…Rayon…Ruffles…Bias-cut A-line plaid skirts…”dressed for success” suits, and blouses with soft bows around the neck…those were the days!

  18. The 80’s? Oh yes – I had a waist back then..:0)
    Definitely punk era with a side order of goth.My favourite outfit for work ( I was a librarian) was knee high black plastic boots, full length black rib knit skirt ( unable to walk in), long black sweater complete with slashes and black lace insets, the obiligatory black choker,4 pairs of HUGE circle earrings ( unable to answer the telephone), white lipstick/black eyeshadow topped by a crowning glory of 2 cm high spiked purple hair lathered in gel.Oh grief! Please don’t tell my teenager….

  19. Annie B says:

    Oh no. I just remembered. In my community theater days, for a party, I did wear purple/black lightning-striped Zubaz, with a purple shirt with black cuffs and collar, with rhinestone buttons, cinched in with a silk cummerbund. On my head, a stylish wig made of deep-turquoise tinsel strands, and over that, a beret covered with pink sequins.

    Late 80’s. Small mid-west town. No drugs or alcohol involved. (I wonder if I still have that beret?)

  20. Wendy

    1) when I was in the DC area last week I knitted on the Metro numerous times. I’m sure I just passed you somewhere ๐Ÿ˜‰

    2) now I am cleaning out my old crap from my parents house so they can move, and *I* had dress shorts too. Woo-wee were we styling!

  21. Laura in Alameda, CA says:

    Knickers. Courduroy knickers, with a striped sweater and a courduroy newsboy hat. And a white button douwn shirt, with pony, to tie it all together. I need to go drink something, now.

  22. Who could forget the 80s! Two words: Aqua Net! Another two: hot pink. There is a photo of me with a lethal combination of the two but I won’t torture you with that!

    Instead, let me just say that I love your sweater. I’ve missed cabling and looking at yours makes me crave some now!

  23. 1983-pale mauve courderoy knee breeches with matching bolero-cut jacket over a pink plaid blouse with the ruffle thing that starts at the collar and continues down the button plaquet. Mother of pearl snaps instead of buttons. White tights and loafers. Ponytail on the top and slightly over to one side of the head. Skinny mauve ribbon tied around ponytail.

    1985-ginormous black sweater big enough around to hold three of me, goes down just about to the knees, 3/4 sleeves, colored in random neon triangles and zig-zag things. Underneath, pants in the strangest color-a purple so pale it’s almost white, stiched with a brighter purple thread-capri length but really wide legged and somewhat pegged at the bottom, covered in pockets. The layered socks thing, all neon colors, in a different arrangement on either foot (eyeshadow to match the socks, of course), and shoes that DIDN’T MATCH.

  24. Tracy Philpot says:


    The outfit that came to mind when Wendy asked for an 80’s get-up was this: I was back from college in Oregon and thinking I was a real earth child. For my date with my boyfriend and his family to some cheesy melodrama/dinner theater (barf-a-long) I wore my purple paisley peasant skirt with bells, a purple organic cotton peasant blouse (braless? I can’t rightly remember), purple tights and of course, Birkenstocks. Before I left the house, I asked my mother how I looked. She replied “Well, you look like you. But there’s a danger in looking too much like you.”

    Crushing. I thought I looked so hot too!! And to make it a perfect evening, I remember that later, at the dinner theater, I got my period, unexpectedly. Yep. That’s my story. Have at it.

  25. Wow, the 80s spans a lot of bad fashion, as someone else already mentioned. I decided to do the early 80s (84ish?) since I actually have a photo (gasp)! And besides, I kind of liked the goth look I was sporting in the late 80s. So without further ado, the “new wave” me:

    I was going for a Culture Club look here. The photo’s not that great, but I’m wearing a white puffy shirt with rolled up sleeves that button and a white panel across the chest, cropped black crinkly rayon pants with white polka dots, ankle socks with Xs and Os, and black Chinese Laundry shoes. Oh, and the fedora. The FEDORA. My naturally curly hair was PERMED and BRUSHED into frizzlivion. Curled hairsprayed bangs. Long dangly earrings. I thought I was NEW WAVE! Worn with this ensemble, but not pictured, was the black parachute-material “Members Only” knockoff jacket. Because my mom wouldn’t buy me the real Members Only jacket so I had to shop at Zayre’s….

  26. Leslie - knitting therapist says:

    Naturally curly hair done with blonde streaks in a “Flock of Seagulls” style.
    Dark, hot magenta lipstick from Wet’n’Wild (remember them?)
    Eyeliner out to the temple in any number of colours. My favourite eyeshadow was a combo of cover girl pink, yellow and turquoise applied wet in a rainbow fan shape from lid to brow (did I mention I also wear glasses?)

    Favourite sweatshirt was a turquoise green one that had rivets that can only be described as a tribute to Mork’s costume (a friend used to call it my space cadet shirt). Or a vintage cotton kimono shirt in black and red.

    Jeans (preferably black) so tight it’s a wonder I could breathe, and this was before Lycra!

    Black slouch leather books with a distinct military feel, or a pair of black ankle height wrestling boots.

    Coat was either a chemical warfare coat from the local army surplus or a vintage khaki/purple blue shiny sharkskin trench that I got in Kensington Market (how I wish I still had that!)

    The horror is right! One at a time maybe, but all together? The wonders of being 17 (sigh)

  27. From the bottom up…

    Jelly shoes, turquoise leg warmers over deep pink stir-up leggings, one of those big sweatershirt tops that comes down to mid-thigh covered in multi-color, abstract paint sploches, glitter, and rhinestones… all pink and turquoise, toppped off with a banana clip and pink lipgloss.

  28. I was born in 1982, so I don’t have the sort of hideous 80s outfit you were looking for. I remember my favorite outfit (I wore it in my school photo for 3rd grade in 1989) was a “denim” colored dress that was made to look like a skirt & top (there was a wide black waistband that was visible). I also had the requisite really bad perm and I always wore my hair half up & half down and it always looked bumpy.

    I’m actually pretty glad that I was a kid back then & not an adult faced with such horrible fashion choices.

  29. I have straight, straight, STRAIGHT hair that I permed to within an inch of its life in 1988 (okay a half inch). I remember my school picture. If I had it (and a scanner) I’d send it for a laugh. I thought that I was seriously stylin’ for that shot. I dug it out a few years ago. OMG!!

    About your knitting, however, that is a great color combination for that sweater.

  30. Early 80s look: Izod jeans–they had that alligator on the pocket–I thought I was so cool (I owned the Preppy handbook). Add to that a button down shirt and one of those little tie ribbons around the neck with argyle socks topped off with deck shoes (what were they called?).

    The mid 80s (high school rebellion): madonna style jewelry, a bad U2 mullet hair cut dyed pink with jello and of course lopsided. Then the clothes–I bought all of my clothes at the Westminster, Maryland local salvation army. I wore men’s pajama pants and the ugliest hippy shirts. Oh the days.

    I can’t wait for my daughter to hit those teenage years. What could be the retribution?

  31. Heathre says:

    Unfortunately, my favorite color scheme in the 80s was heather grey with pink or heather grey with (I can’t believe I am sharing this…) PEACH! As a redhead with pale skin, these colors were the worst on me, but I thought I looked so great. My favorite outfit in that color scheme were the “dress shorts” in grey and a heinous peach short sleeved sweater (no, not a nicely handknit one, either!) with peach ankle socks and leather boat shoes. I would even add royal blue mascara to my blondish eyelashes, which stood out so strongly on my face that I even questioned the blue at the time. It was hip, though!

    To add further damage to the overall look, I had my thick reddish hair permed, and the woman had to use two perming solutions due to my amount of hair. I couldn’t get the “pick” through it for days, and the perm stayed in for over a year! I can prove that part since it appeared in two different school photos during middle school. Scary. It was so bad, especially once I started brushing it. It looked as if I didn’t have gravity on my head, and I wasn’t even using hairspray (except on my perfectly curled bangs, of course). Geez… Thanks for reminding me!

    At least I am not alone in my horrible fashion memories. ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Lynn S. says:

    Scary 80s clothes! I think my worst (Oh, but stylin’ at the time!) was a pair of baggy purple pants with the button-cuff thingy at the ankle worn with some kind of mesh spike heels. Don’t remember the top ‘tho I’m sure it was equally hideous–but the hair was HUGE and the eyeshadow matched the pants. Also had l o o o o o n g fingernails and lots of silver jewelry. No photos, thank God! Wore this get-up to go out drinkin’ and dancin’ at the country & western nightclubs. And this is Texas, y’all, so you know just about everyone else was in Wranglers and Tony Llamas. Oh, we were a hit! (Shut up, Liza, you KNOW you were dressed the same!)

  33. I was just a kid in the 80s, but I do remember my fourth grade yearbook shot.

    I had a button-down top/jacket type thing and matching pants in a denim-print style (not actual denim!) with multi-colored musical notes all over it. I wore the top open so I could show off my super-stylin’ NKOTB t-shirt. Top that off with unfortunate permed hair and you have the yearbook picture I hope my boyfriend never sees.

  34. I feel so excluded. I was a baby and a toddler in the eighties. The worst I have photographic proof of is the token Bad Baby Bonnet that parents love to inflict on their kids and the pink tutu that I once wore every evening for weeks in a row. Neither of those are decade-centric. In fact, I am fairly sure that all babies are photographed in horrible hats at some point, and given that I’m a Clara, I was fated to go through a ballerina phase. I did have a red plaid nightgown that my grandmother made me that I wore constantly. I loved it so much that I refused to change into my clothes for preschool some days, and ended up at school in my winter coat, bright pink leggings, and purple snowboots.

    But really, bad clothes and kids are simply natural together. I shall have to make a point to come back for another contest, hopefully one in which I am not persecuted for my age. [Yes, I shamefully covet yarn. Sorry.]

    By the way, I have trouble with daylight savings as well, and I love and adore Deli. Must find the pattern. I want it in blue.

  35. I spent most of..ok all of the 80’s pregnant 5 times, and nursing in between. SO, on those rare occassions when I wasn’t in maternity clothes..oh ya..those were there years BEFORE they had a clue you didn’t always want to be in Peter-Pan collers…ya…so sexay and stylin’….
    I had one dress in particular…bright neon pink flowers, turqoise something splashed on white…with a HUGE wide very stiff belt and a buckle that would make a Vegas cowboy jealous, padded shoulders to make your high school football team jealous for the amount of padding you had protecting your collarbones, wide lapels as the front of the dress buttoned down the front. An A-line skirt to make Joan Collins weap….add to that the neon pink/turquoise with white trim shoes in heels. Now, to finish it off..think “Barbie and the Rocker’s” makeup…neon pink cheeks, layers and layers of eyeshadow, Brooke Shields’ thick eyebrows, and HUGE button earrings that make my ears hurt just thinking about them. Don’t forget the matching thick clanging bracelets. The hair, although it was already a curly mess…had to be permed and was hair sprayed at least 7″ above my head, squished skinny on the sides..TEXAS STYLE(read BIG A$$)…oh bow to the blow dryer, crimping irons, curling irons, and my old brush -with a curl down the forehead for God know’s why ala Elvis style, and we thought the bee-hive was bad…AHHHHHHh and we were becoming ladies again..after the teen years of ripped and freyed jeans and men’s t-shirts with pockets. My mother with her ‘Sunday go to town gloves’ was so proud. lol…but then there was the t-shirt knit peplum dress with black skirt and white peplum and white top with a black belt and padding to revel the Michelin Man, too…
    tough call…between those outfits.

  36. My favorite 80s outfit, unfortunately (or fortunately) all photographic evidence self destructed 1/1/90. Well, I live in Indiana. We technically didn’t leave the 80s until 1993 or so.

    Overlay pink button up shirt with black micro polka dots. The hem almost hit my knees. Shoulder seams hit at about my elbows. Over this I wore an oversized sweater with deep V neck almost to my belly button. Wide (6″) black and pink stripes. Black knit stirrup pants. (Who in the world told me that would make me look tall and skinny???) Over the pants I had pink slouch socks worn with little black ankle boots like Holly Hobbie wore. Add some hideous pink and black earrings and I thought I was hot stuff! (Well, I was ready to be a Solid Gold Dancer.)

  37. I don’t think that I want to track down a photo–I was at an all-girls school and was an aspiring punk rocker. I wore a really short red and black plaid mini skirt, torn up black t-shirt, black fishnet stockings with garter belt, and yes, the things that held up the stockings showed because the skirt was so short. Spiky hair, doubled black belt with spikes, spike bracelets and probably Doc Martins.

    don’t miss the outfit, but I sure wish I was that skinny now!

  38. Here’s my late 80’s contrubution: anyone remember those stores in the mall called UNITS where all the parts were in a stretchy knit and everything matched with everything else AND preformed multifunction duty…your belt, became your skirt, became your tube top, became your headband…YIKES, what were they thinking??…and thankfully all pics from the 80’s of me wearing these little gems have been destroyed ๐Ÿ™‚

  39. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who wore knickers, and I also see I’m not the only one with the multiple pairs of neon socks–but could I be the only one who had neon GLITTER socks? I hardly think so. So: baggy hot pink button-down shirt worn cinched at the waist with wide white fabric belt, over white baggy capri-length pants with a neon green, orange, blue and pink paint splash pattern, with one neon green and one neon orange glitter sock (oh yes!) cuffed over those soft leather black ankle boots (or, alternately, Keds). Neon orange dangly earrings. Plastic and rubber neon bracelets (the more, the better). Green eyeliner, blue mascara. Frizzy hair that had been Sun-In’ed and was now a bizarre brownish-orange tint.

    The knickers outfit was worse, but I hardly remember it now. Mercifully.

  40. Beat this: khaki ballon pants, a black k1p1 long-sleeves extremely baggy acrylic/cotton blend sweater (which I still have, thankyouverymuch), black leather granny boots, as much long, loud silver jewelry as I could cram around my neck, and a string of plastic pearls that quite literally went down to my knees. That was the butch/dyke version of 80s chic. ๐Ÿ™‚

  41. 80’s attire, hmm? Let’s see – I have poker straight hair but every morning my two sisters and I would fight over the curling iron and carefully work our hair into feathered wings because that was what all the cool girls did. I pegged my pants. I layered my camp shirts. I owned – and wore – a collection of pastel beads and I had every color of canvas Keds available and would coordinate them with my outfit. Oh, and surely I was not the only one who wore her hypercolor t-shirt every chance she got.

  42. I’m another child of the eighties (late ’81), but was old enough by the end of the decade to have a say in my wardrobe. So, one of the ensembles:

    Very, *very* oversized t-shirt, tied up at the corner with one of those plastic thingies (big circle with a bar through the middle, to help create The Perfect T-Shirt Knot) that everyone had but no one knew the name of. Neon pink stirrup pants, with three layered scrunchy socks–white, then pink, then white. Overmatching is next to godliness, don’tcha know. L.A. Gear sneakers, and the fact that I grew up in California and still wore that dreck should give you a clue as to how sad my hometown is. On the head, very very long (and thick) hair pulled into a jaunty side-ponytail, so when I was sitting at my desk at school, I would occasionally find my head listing to one side as my neck neared total exhaustion. Absolutely enormous glasses, with some variation of plastic neon frames. Oh, and if I was feeling extra-daring, a slick of Tinkerbell lipstick.

    I’d also like to mention, because I will never forgive them for it, that the New Kids on the Block nearly ruined my fourth-grade life, because I admitted I hated them and thought they were stupid and spent the rest of the year with maybe three friends. Damn you, Jordan. Damn you to hell.

  43. Dude, you an your modem was me and MY modem LAST WEEK (I was calling Verizon about my dead DSL on my cell phone because coincidentally, my stupid Verizon phone service was down too!!!)Except, I had to wait A WEEK because the f^*KHEADS who said they were going to overnight me a new one never did!

    As for the 80’s — my mom picked out all my clothes for most of the decade (I was 4 through 14 in the 80s — I think I was in 6th grade before my mom would let me pick out my own stuff) Anyway, the WORST thing I can remember wearing was this BRIGHT. RED. SWEATSUIT. That had a *GIANT* BLACK SATIN CAT on the front of it!!!!!! To make it worse, it had this 5 inch band of thin black and white stripes on the upper arm of both sleeves and both ankles (it was TIGHT at the ankles too!!!)

    absolutely H I D E O U S. I’m pretty sure it took me about 4 or 5 years to recover from my mom’s infinately bad taste in children’s clothing and get a style of my own.

  44. Oh. Mah. Gawd.

    In 1985, I was CONVINCED that I was the illegitimate daughter of Madonna. Seriously. I read some article somewhere that I thought WAS JUST SO ME, and since I was adopted right about the time she’d have been spawning age….well…my pre-teen mind went a bit bonkers.

    So, keeping that in mind, (and hoping that this isn’t seen by anyone I actually know now), this was my most hideous:

    Peroxide-bleached hair, tied up with nasty lime green fishnet stockings, cut off to make hair ties. An orange lace stretchy tank top (whether it started life as a tank top or a t-shirt, I don’t know. I got it from a friend. And it was FLUORESCENT.), a SPANDEX SKIRT that was just long enough to see the tops of LACE THIGH HIGHS that didn’t match, even though both were, I kid you not, fluorescent GREEN. (Keep in mind, now we’ve got two fluorescents so far, and I’m already looking like some kind of overprocessed traffic cone.) Add in some little white or black socks that folded down with some lace on the cuff, and HOT PINK HEELS.

    Good lord. Just the memory of wearing this into public is making me twitch a bit. Add in the accessories — either some kind of beret and dangly earrings that would occasionally get caught in the lace of the shirt because they were so long, and jelly bracelets (always black, because those were the only “authentic” ones from New York — I grew up in flippin’ NEBRASKA.), and at least one, and usually many, crucifixes and long chained crosses, purchased at the local second-hand store, and were probably clutched thousands of times in prayer by devout catholics who never, ever thought some pre-teen pop-idol-madonnawannabe would be wearing it as a fashion statement….

    I don’t think I have any pictures of that particular outfit (thank all the gods who might be listening), but I do have one of my later-in-the-’80’s hair, when I got a perm to be more “serious” for college. Fear the Huge Spirals Of Death!

    The photo title Does Not Lie.

    whew. I feel like I’ve just been to confession. Sans the neon.

  45. As if I didn’t already write a book…

    But I just found one of the post-Madonna, just getting into Heavy Metal phase and had to share:

    Two words: Shoulder. Pads. Good gods.

    And then there’s the predominance of FRINGE for the metalheads — like these boots:

    I had a jacket that matched in 1988. Went well with my stone-washed jeans.

    I’m so glad I made it to adulthood, where my fashion mistakes are a bit less…uh…potentially embarassing. (Well, except for the Stripey Tights incident, and we’re just not going to go there.)

  46. Sheesh, You DID have to remind me of my fabulous looks in the 80’s/early 90’s, right? It was ugly. So was I. There are no pictures, but I can try to paint one, word-wise.
    My grandparents always brought used clothes for us to have, even though we had all the clothes we needed. One day they had this pink/lilac, faded, New Kids On The Block – tee with them, which I loved because – it was a rock star tee, and everyone had those, and I wanted to be everyone! I did not know that they were long gone… teehee. Right around then I had my hair cut to make me look like a boy, lost half of my teeth and had scars and bruises everywhere in my face. I had a fabulous pair of stretchy leggins with a very colourfull print on them that looked like newspaper ads had married a color printer and was spawning newspapers full of merry announcements of low prices. Pair that with PINK clogs and handknit socks plus my old, lilac coat that was too short in the arms and stumped at my bottom, I was hot. Really hot.
    Well, you asked, I will not be responible for any damage done by this mental image.

  47. Tifffany says:

    I had a pair of skin tight black capris with black lace on the bottom. I wore these under a hot pink mini tube skirt with hot pink high heels*. On the top part I had 2 t-shirts, one light pink (didn’t even match) and one black. I wore the pink under the black with the cuffs rolled up to show the pink.

    *as high as they could get for being 9 yrs old, heh

  48. do I have to do my own or can I get away with sharing one that I saw last summer in italy- cause it is WAY THE MOTHER FREAK worse…

    oh and in my family- ropers justins etc all get one name- Shitkickers. What do you expect from a child whose family owned a cattle ranch and dairy?

  49. Hi! I Love the deli sweater. I can’t wait for your book.
    worse outfit…well I use to “design” my own getups. the one I liked the best back then but cringe to thing of now was light pink/off white stripped harem pants that were about 36″ wide at the knee (I weighed about 90lbs) I had made a sparkly stretchy long sleeve top with tons o’lace at the cuffs and neck that made me look like a chicken..the best part was a quilted pinafore type dealy that went over the whole thing! I’d got a bag full of scrap yarn from this old guy that owned a fabric store (LOVE THAT BAG OF SCRAPS!) took all the pinks/fushias/white toned fabrics and made a tumbling blocks that was very organized at the top of the pinny and got progressively bigger and wild at the bottom. Of course the whole thing was edge in MORE lace! I sang in the church choir back then and boy did I make an impression! I would weave some of the lace through my butt length hair and had made quilted earrings to match. My shoes were decorated with the sparkly fabric. Good Grief! What was I thinking!!! I loved those huge genie pants because when I went dancing the boys would spin me and they would flare way out!! what a silly girl. My mom may have a picture of that getup. I’ll have to check!
    Give Lucy and scratch under the chin for me! I’ve enjoyed reading about everyone else’s outfits.

  50. Meribeth says:

    This subject is causing a serious spasm. sigh I was in my 30s and very single and was having a blast.

    Day wear: A pair of black suede boots that were real fur lined. These boots went to about 3″ above the knee and fit tightly. They also had a 6″ heal! I would wear them with a short black and teal knit skirt and a black sweater. Lots of make up, big permed hair, and a bllue streak in it. Not to bad, I guess, if you’re into the *itch look…

    Night: I had some very good friends who were gay and we would go to the gay clubs to party and dance. (No one can dance better than a gay guy!) On several occations my outfit was: The above mentioned boots. Black garter belt, fishnet stockings, black satin shorts, black lacey bra…that’s it. The drugged out slut look was a hit!

    There are no photos remaining!

    BTW…Wendy, you are my hero. All that knitting, margaritas and chocolate…that takes a real woman to do that!

    And, about waking up to kitty pestering. How would you like to roll over and find your nose next to Oscar’s butt? Oscar being a very densly furred persian. Eh, that’s fine with me…I can think of worse. But why does he have to put his butt next to my pillow???

  51. Hideous horror from the 80’s.. here’s mine (and it’s funny because I was just thinking about it the other day).. but I actually made AND wore one of those crocheted beer can hats.. where you cut out the side of the beer cans.. punch holes around them and crochet them all together.. mine was made from Budweiser (ugh) cans with red acrylic yarn… anyone else remember those? I had waist length hair that I would braid and then iron so it would make a big frizz.. then wear my uber cool beer hat along with my FAVORITE pair of jeans… the jeans were “decorated” with anything and everything you can think of from embroidered patches to painted on bumble bees… I SO wanted to be a hippie *grin*


  52. Thanks, Wendy! I’m heading to Texas next month, and I’m going to do some advance research before I go to see if I’ll be near any good boot shops.

    I’m not entering the contest because I looked wonderful in the 80’s. I wore black most of the time and had a mohawk, so I was out of step with the rest of the 80’s fashion world but thankfully not so bad looking in retrospect!

  53. Here goes…disco spandex olive green metallic pants with a white spandex one shoulder top with green/silver/gold trim. Shoes were same color scheme platform with 6 inch heels….Oh my God I can’t believe I told anyone….

  54. Oh, I had hoped to supress these memories by now. My most hideous outfit? Acid-washed jeans with strategic rips in them, red high heeled shoes, a black and white polka-dot shirt (oversized, of course!) half unbuttoned over a hot pink tank. Then, of course, the hair. Heavy blonde highlights and teased out. Since mine was longer I often did the Debbie Gibson ponytail with a sheer scarf that matched the tank top. Lots of makeup. I don’t think any of us left the house without our war paint! Blue or green eyeshadow, heavy kohl, curled lashes, pinky lipstick and blush.

    Thank goodness the pictures and negatives have all been destroyed!

  55. I thought I was HOT HOT HOT in white GUESS? shorts with big silver stars, a matching shirt with smaller stars tied at the waist, silver panty hose and silver shoes. My god, I must have looked like a creature from a bad B movie about aliens overtaking the planet…..

  56. Wendy in Miami says:

    My most hideous 80’s outfit……Well, let me preface by admitting I was totally a rocker chick. BIG, BIG hair, big earrings, way too much black eyeliner. I think my memorable outfit, and there were many, was the fuschia off-one-shoulder cheetah print tube dress over fuschia spandex pants with black suede knee-high scrunchy boots. Lots of studded bracelets and belts, and a pink tiger striped banadana tied around one ankle. I actually wore that to high school on more than one occasion.

    W. ๐Ÿ™‚

  57. Clothes from the 80’s. You mean we aren’t supposed to still be wearing them??!!

    Just wanted to say hi. I’ve been reading your blog from start to finish and I’m very impressed. You really have me wanting to knit! I must go beyond scarves….

    Thanks for the inspiration and I’m looking forward to your book. I also want to make a field trip from Minnesota to your knitting nirvana KH just because I read about it here!!

  58. Oh, my! I’ll let you know what I was wearing in the late 80s, cause my Mom worked at K-mart in the early 80’s – and the cruel kids called me and my brother the Blue Light Specials.

    For shoes, an assortment of Jelly shoes, Keds, and Converse could be found in my closet. These were worn color coded to the outfit and did not necessarily match each other.

    Socks – anything that cuffed and in all manner of colors. White, black, neon and pastel – mixed/layered to appropriately match the outfit.

    Pants – Acid Wash jeans – so tight that the ankles had zippers, with a hole in the RIGHT knee only. I don’t know why, it was just a fashion rule at my school. Or UNITS knit pants in black.

    Shirts – anything that was two sizes too big – for layering. The flashdance sweatshirt, the Hypercolor t-shirts, Neon, Black, and lots of purple.

    Hair – Referred to as “Mall Walker” hair. Curled with a perm, sides flared out above the ears (aqua net!), bangs high and curled in the Rooster or Wave. When the hair was pulled back, it was in a banana clip or the ever famous side pony tail.

    Oh, how I tried to break out of the Kmart Styles by rebelling! Right into the MALL!!!

  59. For my description of my horrid 80s look, please keep in mind that I am a petite Chinese girl and I always have been. This is important.

    I was in the 7th grade in the 80s and intensely insecure. One day, a local hairdresser came to our PE class to talk to us about hair care. After the talk, they put all our names into a hat and drew one. The winner got to visit the hair salon and get ANYTHING they wanted done for free. Guess who won? That’s right–me!

    I was thrilled! The other girls were jealous! A moment in the sun for me! That weekend I went to the salon and, full of hopes and dreams, requested that hairstyle so coveted by the girls in my grade–A SPIRAL PERM.

    Let us remember, once again, that I am a short Chinese girl.

    I don’t remember what I thought of the perm after I got it, but I do remember that night, in an effort to rid myself of the smell of the chemicals, I washed my hair. *insert screams of terror here* You know what happened, right? Instant frizz. For the next year I had waist-length poodle frizzy hair that radiated all around me in an 8″ thick halo. Scaaary. I was a little girl literally lost in dead fuzzy hair.

    Now picture this hair with my favorite outfit at the time: a METALLIC cheetah print blouse (the boat-necked kind that’s a bit puffy and falls off the shoulder a little), a jean skirt with a ruffled hem, and RED HIGH-HEELED SANDALS. I thought I looked so good! Oh, and not forgetting the neon pink huge dangly earrings and bright red and white plastic bangles. Sheesh!

    In the 80s, the tall blonde girls doing the Madonna thing could pull it off, but a little Chinese girl? It was sad back then! Thankfully all the pictures are buried away in a subterranean storage unit.

  60. Heather green/grey batwing jumper that my mum knitted for me. With long pointy collar. With sequins on it. Worn with a green shell-suit. With flat black court shoes. And huge, HUGE glasses.

    Man, I’m glad kids grow out of ugliness.

  61. Susan Maurer says:

    I say the Chinese girl wins! (But then, I don’t have the fiber-filled give-away.) Still, that was a very good yarn, HibiscuitsGirl.

    Here’s my story, but it’s not set in the ’80s; it’s in the ’90s. And it only relates to technology. I was working at a software support company, answering tech calls. So very many callers couldn’t figure out why their computers weren’t working. Here’s a hint: They weren’t turned on. It’s not that people are that stupid. It was just new technology (to them) at the time. And, most were older folk. We know all about them here in Florida. It’s not the computers we worry about here; it’s the older folks behind the wheels. (I know all about that too; I was hit by one in a car while I was on a motorcycle. Ouch.)

    The ’80s? Gosh, I was leaving college, living in Europe, and then entering the workforce. My very first professional job. I wore spiked high heels (yes, one pair were hot pink; had them stolen later by colleague who had a shoe fetish – found them in his drawers, desk drawers that is); business suits (I was employed by IBM, at least the women could wear colors other than Blue, but my suits were mostly striped or herringbone); and silky shirts, many of which had ruffles. Put a rapier in my hand and I could have passed for a Musketeer. But it didn’t look so odd then. Or so I thought.

    This is fun, Wendy! Thanks for the memory/ies!

  62. I had argyle legwarmers, yikes!

  63. 80’s clothes:

    I remember was the “prairie look” from the early-mid 80’s. I was just starting high school then and had two long puffy, ruffled skirts with matching puffy, ruffled asymmetrical tops that had sleeves to the elbows. One outfit had a jean skirt with a bright red shirt. Also I wore 3″ heels with this. Every time I hear the prairie look is back in style I think of those clothes.

    Another look I remember from high school was the “new wave waif” look. Dark loose, plain pants cut about 6″ too short in the legs, with large baggy white or pastel shirts, usually with tabs to roll up the sleeves. I had the some of the pants, but not the shirts.

    Also I had a pair of Olaf daughter’s clogs in blue velvet with wooden heels. They were pretty comfortable after the first few wearings.
    Beth B.

  64. Wow. Your comments today are priceless!

    I was in middle / high school in the 80s, and grew up in New Jersey, which I think can hold its own against Texas as the Big Hair Capital of the USA! But alas, I had natural curls that could not be forced into the gravity-defying mall look no matter how hard I tried.

    I was a nerd with no fashion sense at all (I wore a lot of ill-fitting wide-wale cords), but a well-meaning, mega-trendoid friend took me shopping once, circa 1987?, and picked out this outfit for me:

    Pink/white/black pinstriped button-down shirt with SHOULDER PADS
    Scorching pink blazer, more SHOULDER PADS
    White cropped pants with lots of gathers around the calf (the right word for that ruffly look escapes me)
    Die-cut white ballet flats with long ties that laced up my ankles
    Frosted pink “pearls” about four feet long that wrapped around the neck more than once, and were always knotted at one end
    White lace fingerless gloves

    And of course I had big clear pink glasses frames, braces, and the aforementioned non-stylish hair. All immortalized in my eighth grade class picture. Which I ain’t showin’ you. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  65. I am so glad there is not a photo in existance of my 80’s do. How about a green Norma Kamali fleece dress (a big sack really) with HUGE shoulder pads (and I mean HUGE), with a low slung leather belt covered with metal pieces. My hair was short and stuck straight up in the air…long, long red finger nails. Oh, this hurts to even type. What was I thinking!?

  66. Elizabeth says:

    Anyone else remember those acrylic/polyester velour/terry onepiece strapless-short thingies? They were kind of like loose terry tube tops (elastic at the top of the tube), but with shorts on the bottom, so they could pull down while you walked I guess.

    I had several of these. My favorite was a deep burgundy with white piping, though I recall them also in aqua/yellow and pink/blue also. Of course I wore them about 6th grade, so there was really nothing to hold them up. I spent the whole day either yanking the top up or simply holding onto it while I walked around.

    I also had a weakness for hats, and my parents let me buy them from the 2nd hand store. Fedoras were quite in at the time, and I had 5 or 6. Add to that my mother’s cast off purses (way too big, which I filled up with things like a curling iron I never used), some off-brand jelly shoes, and an oversized men’s shirt (if it was cold out), and that was me in 6th grade.

    High school was men’s clothes. I wore men’s suit coats over white shirts (that I ironed every morning…along with the huge permed hair my morning routine took about 3 hours) and ties. I had quite a collection of ties, including some that were “funny”, with cartoon characters, though my favorite was a 70’s skinny black silk one. The fedoras worked well with this, so I kept them long after they were “fashionable”.

    These went with high-waisted jeans with lots of pleats, which were carefully folded at the bottom and rolled up. A difficult thing considering I have long legs, the jeans were often short to begin with, and when I sat down the cuffs often stuck halfway up my calf.

    The best thing about this time were the leather boots. Not cowboy boots, oh no. My friend in the midwest would call them “shit kickers”. They were those heavy leather work boots. In retrospect, I think that many people in my small midwestern town (~3000 people) thought I was a lesbian, though I didn’t figure that out until years later.

    Ahhhh…good times.

  67. Adrienne says:

    Oooh this topic is too good to pass up! Units… I hadn’t thought of Units since, well, probably since the 80’s.

    My favorite outfit, 8th grade, circa 1987:

    Gold stirrup pants.
    Oversized dark-purple rayon shirt with little gold keys patterned all over it.
    Belt consisting of gold medallions linked together, extra long so the end dangles down, to be worn outside of shirt around hips.
    Probably worn with black ankle boots, maybe with flats, I can’t remember…
    Purchased at Express.

    I *loved* that outfit!

  68. I had an oversized fuzzy grey sweater with large pale yellow polka dots all over it. I think the sweater also had shoulder pads, which were de rigeur at the time. What did I wear with it, you ask? A pale yellow knit skirt, of course! Ah, 1987…lovely.

  69. OK, khaki bermuda shorts, penny loafers (with pennies) with khaki-colored Izod knee socks with alligator, long gold add-a-bead necklace, an Izod polo shirt with the collar turned up, an oxford cloth buttondown shirt, and interchangable belt buckles with striped belt. Affected pretentious accent
    (This was for college speech class, on “the Preppy Life.”)

  70. I don’t think I have a picture of this outfit which is great because it would probably burn your retinas, anyway.

    Mulleted hair spiral permed to within an inch of its life. Huge, shoulder sweeping earrings and an arm full of bangle bracelets. Leg-o-mutton sleeved top with a double full front placket that buttoned up the side. I think I actually made the shirt myself out of some gawd-awful plaid material shot through with gold thread.

    That lovely shirt was then tucked inside of high waist capri jeans that had a long flat front yoke and then about five pleats on each side that started at about where your hip meets your lower abdomen so that you looked like you had a huge bubble butt from the back and grossly abnormal thighs from the side. These pegged down to just below my calf so tightly that I could barely get my feet into them.

    Worn, of course, with Payless Shoe flats that would stink after one wearing.

  71. Well I wasn’t going to share, but oh well what the hay. The outfit that stands out in my mind….

    Pink T-shirt with, Green around the collar, and cuffs. Green shorts that matched, Pink Socks, Green shoes, and Pink and Green earings. The horror was that everything matched perfectly.

    This may be why I often wear 2 different socks now, what a rebel I am.

    Oh and on the car clock thing, one of our vehicles radio knob broke off. It works for running the radio, but you can’t change the clock, the only way we can actually change the clock is disconnect the battery and reconnect it. I’m just glad it’s my husband’s work car, it would drive me nuts.

  72. Hmm..Horrible 80’s outfit huh?

    well..there is the extremely bright flowered tight leggings (white background HUGE fuschia flowers and green leaves) a huge oversized fuschia tshirt, big baggy socks and converse sneakers.


    How about the whole time when I dressed like Madonna. *shudders* yeah..think Desperatly Seeking Susan and you pegged me.

    What was I thinking??

    (btw..I tried to respond to your post on my blog and the mail didn’t go Thanks for the post!!)

  73. Ah, the 80s. My childhood. I’m not going to delight you with stories of mismatched socks and spiral laces, but I will share this little jem;

    When I was about 10 (circa 1987) my mother’s work won a cruise to Mexico. My mother, not realizing it, brought the only kid. Everyone else brought spouses/signifigant others/call girls/rent boys. It was a party boat. My mother, in all her infinate wisdom, decides that she needs to be able to ‘see me better’, so she requires me to wear certian things at all times on the boat. The outfit?

    NEON pink windbreaker with orange cuffs. NEON pink (but a different shade) SAILOR HAT. Verticaly striped rainbow sweatpants. And I liked sandels. With socks. Pokadoted socks. (I was ten, cut me some slack).

    Couple this with my little round body, and the HORRIBLE perm I had (tight little spirals in naturaly red hair) I looked like a clown. In fact a few patrons on the boat thought I was a clown. I made five bucks making a ballon animal (a snake) for some yuppy’s kids.

    And I thought I was *so* cool.

    Thank god I got to the 90’s, where I started to wear all black, all the time. Including black lipstick and sunglasses. Indoors. Yeah, I am *so* cool…

  74. sylviatx says:

    The eighties. I was a young advertising professional. It was all about Dressing for Success. Pretty boring. I was big on grey: grey slacks, grey blazer, grey shoes, I even had grey cowboy boots. And then one bright scarf.

    But then! I got a job at a magazine, and it was all about Being Cool. I think I have blocked out everything between the head and feet because it was all too traumatic. What I remember is the hair: permed to a poodle and dyed with henna to boot. And the feet: character pumps with those lacy top white socks.

    Those feet. How could I forget?

  75. Katey Jackson says:

    Ahhhh, the eighties…

    I lived in the exciting metropolis of Paris, Texas (the heart of American Fashion culled from MTV)

    I have several favorite outfit momories… the best/worst is probably when I wore only a black leotard and tights under a trash bag dress (it was really a trash bag!!) that was splatter painted. (Damn, I was cool!), the socks were the ever popular neon layered jobbies (you know, it was actually six socks all pulled on together, that way your shoes wouldn’t fit properly).

    The shoes, of course were jellies (mine were the ultimate in cool, they had grid cutouts). The purse, also plastic (blue with a grid cutout) one of the girls from Kate and Allie had one, so I knew i was HOT! The hair? Teased, permed, spray painted fluorescent pink and spray glittered. Halloween was year round at my house!

    Why was everything that we wore in the eighties made of plastic?

    My other favorite outfit was more about being completely inappropriate. When I was 11 we went to the Grand Canyon (in July), I insisted that I wanted to wear a skirt, pantyhose and dress shoes, and I accessorized with my Cabbage Patch Kid (Lanie Bernadine for those keeping score). (What a moronic thing to do!) My mom was too hot and tired to fight me, and it was terrible! I ended up in tears on several occasions that one day alone.

  76. Oh, I can think of a couple wonderful outfits from eighth grade or so, mid-80s.

    My mother made me a cute, boxy little top from cotton fabric, white with neon pink, green and orange scribbles on it (with little black scribbles for accents). Imagine my joy when I found a pair of pants in a store to match–exact same fabric, so I had quite the outfit. I think these pants were probably more like capris, and they went really well with the neon pink fishnet stockings and little white Keds rip-offs. I garnished this with a white fishnet Madonna hair bow and big earrings that looked vaguely like neon-colored fishing lures. My nails were usually polished in alternating colors (neon pink and black were popular) and I wore the heavy eyeshadow, blue eyeliner, and all that good stuff (and, go figure, no lipstick; I didn’t like the way it felt–especially the nasty slick glosses of the day–and refused to wear it until long after high school).

    The other thing that popped RIGHT to mind was the black and white paisley cotton duster coat, about knee-length, worn over a long black-and-white striped camp shirt and black knit pants. Also, long black-and-white earrings, probably to my shoulders (I’m getting a semi-familiar picture of a weird little pair that had a couple chains attached to black and white plastic balls and cubes; I think I also had a pair that were big white plastic ovals with little black paisleys on them). Shoes and socks aren’t coming clear in this picture, so they must not have been too frightening. (NO–wait, that had to have been when I had the black lace high-tops; unfortunately, I suspect I might still think those were cool.) And like some others here, I had the fedora. White fabric, black band.

    I have a bad feeling I looked like a pimp; I don’t know how my mother stood it. I thought I looked like David Lee Roth; at least, that was the ideal. I remember bringing the sleeve of the “Yankee Rose” 45 into the third-rate, small-town beauty salon as a guide. Didn’t really happen; big 80s hair was a serious issue for me. My hair is long, but quite fine, and it did NOT want to stand up as requested; it and I struggled through that unfortunate decade and have done better in the 90s and 00s. Unfortunately, I still seem to have retained a little of that big hair aesthetic (you always remember your first love) and continue to believe I look better with a slight poof around the face, rather than the stick-thin hippie hair I was born with.

  77. UNITS!!! Someone mentioned UNITS! I figured someone would… I wasn’t going to post except I have a UNITS story. My mom REFUSED to pay that much for simple Jersey garments with zig zag (sometimes contrast) sewing at all seams. Since I *had* to have some, and I’d already blown a year’s worth of allowance on some white guess? jeans that had zippers in the back (they tapered SO SMALL that they had to have zippers to get your foot thru — that’s CRAZY!), mom took me to JoAnns to buy the pattern and fabric to make my own. With a little help, I made a pair of leggings, a shirt with really tapered sleeves that could be “slouched”, a scrunch belt/tube top/skirt (although the second two functions were illegal in my house) and of course a matching scrunchy for my half-pony tail. Colors? Khaki and peach. I bought matching Khaki and peach socks to layer and I believe I wore this with keds, although I may be mistaken. The other thing I could NOT do without? A belt that was essentially 8″ wide black elastic with some sort of closure. I don’t think I EVER wore it. I think I just coveted it in my closet.

  78. Ah, the 80s, when I was 10-20. What a crucial time in my life. And what do I remember most? Desperately wanting that rainbow-striped sweater in 5th grade (which my mom knit for me, btw); wanting anything with the Agnier logo ‘A’; lusting after rainbow-striped SUSPENDERS a la Mork…the list of coveted things goes on and on.

    But my fashion embarrassment list is probably just as long, but more easily forgotten. One outfit I remember very clearly was a matched set of KNICKERS and VEST in slate gray fine-wale corduroy. Yup, loved it.

    And then there was my perm. Sigh. I was in 8th grade. For those of you who remember crazy details, there was a character on a soap opera (General Hospital, I think) named Holly. She was played by Emma Samms, I think. Holly had very curly hair she held back with barrettes and combs. Well, I, the girl with naturally wavy hair, decided I wanted a perm (not for tight curls, of course, but for loose, flowing curls). What did I get? A poodle ‘do! People at school called me Holly because of the similarity between my hair and Emma Samms’s character’s hair. Sigh. Won’t do that again. Note to anyone with a head full of lots and lots of hair: perms are bad news!

    I guess that about covers my disasters, although I’ll also note the number of items I chose to wear that were drop-waist “washer-woman” styles. Boy, did I love them, and boy, did they look like garbage!


  79. Oh, the horror, the horror!

    My favorite (although perhaps not the most hideous) was a royal blue jersey jumpsuit my mom and I made together. It had big dolman sleeves and a wide neckline so I could wear it off the shoulder layered over a bright yellow tank top with a bright yellow low-slung belt and big, yellow hoop earrings.

    I had hair that was short in back and on the sides, but with long bangs parted on the side that came down to the top of my huge aviator glasses. My brothers called me “Frisco” because it looked like Frisco Jones’ hair – you know, the guy from General Hospital.

  80. Wendy

    Will there be a separate category for those of us who thought RUFFLES were really cute for 20 somethings, who also thought they showed off the mullet look well?

  81. Cynthia says:

    Gee….the 80’s were my 20s – there was so much to love….
    Of course, I had the high-waisted pleated pants (with suspenders), the poufy white shirt with the skinny black tie and the so-stylish fedora. I never went for the big hair, thank goodness. The best (gag) outfit was a gift from my future husband (now my ex-husband). Black, skin-tight, parachute fabric pants (with lots of zippers), with a red & black parachute fabric vest with humungous shoulder pads. When I wore this snazzy outfit with my black leather hi-top hiking boots, I looked like I just stepped off the set of ‘Plan 9 from Outer Space’. I hesitate to admit that I actually wore this outfit to work more than once – oh the agony of remembrance!

  82. Claudia W says:

    This really got me thinking. I was in grammar and high school during the ’80’s, so what I can recall is quite a blur. I think that part of my childhood was scared due to the horrible outfits that I decided to wear that may have been fashionable at the time, if I only really knew.

    What I do recall is having to own a set of those plastic jelly bracelets in black and assorted colors (which I think that my mom still has stored somewhere), in addition to using banana clips in my hair, needing to have leg warmers as part of my essential wardrobe. The list goes on and on.

    On a side note, I am glad to hear that I am not the only person awoken by their cat during the night. (My ragdoll gets me out of bed every night before I fall asleep in order to make sure that he and my other cats receive their daily quota of treats. My husband would be the first to tell anyone that my cat owns me!)

  83. I can remember very well the horrible out fit that I wore on my birthday one year in the 80s. White corduroy walking shorts with pink and kelly green pin stripes, a pink turtle neck and a kelly green acrylic pullover. This was, of course, worn with white tights and pink ankle socks and green deck shoes that matched the sweater. No where near as nice as the pink and green sweater that you’re knitting. The funny thing is that I immediately thought of this outfit when you mentioned the pink and green preppie sweater!

  84. So many bad outfits, where do I start??

    OK – first, the Farrah hair. I had it: thick, wavy, long, and perfectly feathered. In auburn instead of blond. The wide-toothed comb with the handle sticking out of my back pocket – for keeping those tresses juuuust right. In purple, of course. The comb, not the hair [that was the 90s]. Lots of jewelry, epecially big earrings; hoops or long dangly chains. Lee jeans. With boots. I didn’t have the tapered, cropped jeans because I am very tall and manufacturers were just starting to make jeans for girls, but not tall girls. I had the rainbow sweater AND the rainbow baseball tee, but my favorite top was the dolman sleeve sweater in hot pink with thick black stripes alternating with the pink on the sleeves. *shudder* And the go anywhere accessory: the bandana. What a versatile accessory: the bandana might be a headband, a ponytail adornment, tied around the thigh [oh, I was such a trendsetter], and once I even tied two together to make a halter/bra top. Two different colors, of course. And for realllly special occasions, I would use hairspray to affix glitter to my hair – before glitter spray was commercially available. I knew no one else who did this and my classmates made fun of me; I was ahead of my time. If only I’d invented and marketed glitter hairspray. I could afford cashmere…

  85. As a h.s. grad in ’82, the college experiments in clothing (then cool and now hideous), the purple lace gloves (a la Prince), the black lace belt/scarf (a la Madonna), black spandex stirrup pants, black jacket over bright purple stretchy top, permed and teased Aqua Netted fine blond hair. Smoky eyes, body glitter, much rouge. Party girl then, praying Mom now!
    LOVE your blog and your knits!

  86. I was very young, during the 1980s, and insisted, but insisted, on wearing my tracksuit top tucked into my tracksuit bottoms. I remember a truly foul purple and grey velour tracksuit, (inherited from a much taller ‘friend’ at school) which I wore with grey pixie boots, and an Alice band in my hair, with silk flower hairclips (barretts). I don’t think I wore that particular combo often (I got given the tracksuit because I’d said it was nice, in passing, once. I was only being polite – and then I had to wear the thing… Urgh. The fact that it belonged to the least popular girl in the class and that everyone knew that it belonged to her, did not help matters). I was only about 9 years old at the time… Other horrors include the pale green ladies’ sundress, and lacy blouse, that I used to dress up in, since they were floor length, with some net curtain affixed to a hairband, pretending I was a princess in. When I was very short (about 3) I had Mum’s nylon baby-doll nightie and dressing gown – very frilly, lots of layers, to do the same thing.
    Oh, horrors, horrors.

  87. I went to a New Kids on the Block concert. I wore tapered zipper ankled acid washed jeans and way too much New Kids paraphanelia. I had the t-shirt, hat, shoelaces, pins and even socks. And I had bangs that rose straight up in the air for about 4 inches before feathering back and the rest was crimped (it took at least a half hour to construct). Luckily there are few pictures… You don’t even want to know what I wore in the 90’s.


  88. okay, here goes…I had this pink, yellow, and blue (all pastels of course) patchwork sweatshirt that came to about mid-thigh that I wore with gray stonewashed jeans that zipped down the leg at the ankle and pink scrunchy socks (worn over a pair of yellow scruncy socks). I then added white (shudder) vinyl ankle boots and 57,000 jelly bracelets in every pastel color of the pastel rainbow. This look was topped off with a banana clip and frosting pink Bonne Bell lip smackers.

  89. High waisted jeans with an eensy weensy belt and a foldover top (remember those?), flourescent pink socks, white lace up ankle boots, a black and white newsprint sweatshirt with flourescent pink and yellow, dozens of jelly bracelets, 2 inch oval “silver” drop earrings with flourescent pink centers, ratted hair out to there, purple eyeshadow with pink highlights, purple mascara, bright pink lipstick, and flourescent glow in the dark pink nail polish.

    It was pretty scary.

  90. I wore a pastel pink jogging suit, with pastel pink legwarmers and a thin black belt (!!!). Besides, I dyed my hair BLONDE and had permanent waves (do you call it like that in English?). If you have a look at my picture in my block, you maybe can imagine, how awful this looked. My natural hair is dark brown (well, in the meantime grey, but no one knows it…psssst!) and straight.

  91. I had/still have a gold lame’ tuxedo. To be worn with REAL Converse All-Star high tops. Pictures of CT’s on my site, sadly no pics of the fabulous tux.

    I last time I actually wore this outfit was to the opening of the Hard Rock Cafe grand opening in Las Vegas. Aerosmith was the opening band. People loved my hightops. Some got down on their knees to touch them.

    Ahhh, growing up in Las Vegas had it charms.

  92. I had these jeans, acid wash, tapered legs, with one pink pocket and one blue pocket on the back. They also had bows on the backsides of the ankles. I wore them with pointy dress shoes and a pink and blue tshirt (pink at the top, blue at the bottom, with a white fadey bit in between) with white lace drawn on with fabric paint around the yoke. And rhinestones. I also owned (and wore) a pair of turquoise capri length leggings with reeboks and four different colored slouch socks and a giant tshirt that was white with neon pink and green glittery hearts on it…tied on one side.

  93. misslunablu says:

    Being a child of the eighties I had absolutely no choice of what my mom bought, therefor the hideousness of it is not my fault. I would say my standard wardrobe would be stretchpants worn with an oversized and overly long button shirt, at least three pairs of varying colored socks rolled down and a pair of off-brand Keds or Jellie shoes. My hair would be crimped, worn in a ponytail on the side, big bow, with bangs hairsprayed straight up. Jewelry included large amounts of bracelets and plastic earrings. Sadly I do not have a picture as my sister has them, but I beleive you can imagine it fairly well.

  94. Good lord, I shudder to remember…..I will start from the top down with my really bad hair do. I think it may have been a *bi-level* with some spikey hair that stood up around my part. Actually it was most of the hair on my head. (That can easily be explained by a tragic hair cutting incident with my best friend as beautician. Her *spikes* looked so good and how were we to know they were thinning shears??? I tried, oh how I tried to AquaNet it down so you couldn’t tell it was only millimeters long, but alas, it was a feeble attempt in that humidity) This freak show was accessorized by a navy Izod cardigan over a lacy collar white long sleeve shirt. Navy or maroon corduroy short pants that buttoned below the knee…can’t remember the name they were called…. I probably blocked it after all the therapy to forget….We then move on to the Argyl socks of maroon, navy, forest green and yellow pulled to the knee and finally to the penny loafers. I must have been an out-of-place sight stumbling out of my head-banging brother’s carpool in a cloud of smoke with Ozzy’s Crazy Train blaring behind me as I leaned to pull my socks up and hope none of my preppy friends saw…..oh the horror.

  95. i’ve held off, because i was hoping to find the proof sheets to offer up as proof. but they are buried so here goes the textual blow-by blow:

    starting at the bottom, four inch spike-heeled sandals, two tiny little white with gold cord straps across the foot, a white satin ribbon wrapped ’round the ankle.

    one single burgundy leg-warmer, in wool, complete with a six inch cuff, folded over at the top, and several holes.

    a strapless mini which was in fact a very full [almost circle] skirt pulled up high enough to wear as a dress — white with bright, multi-colored polka dots all over. cinched with a four inch wide belt. the belt was clear vinyl in the back and black leather in the front.

    hair? all over matrix curly perm. bandanna worn as a headband? check! in purple. safety pin through ear with chain that was subsequently pinned to the top of the mini-dress. wild japanese-inspired makeup involving liquid black eyeliner used not just to outline the eyes, but also to draw geometric designs on my face, hot pink blush used as eyeshadow not only on the eyelids but up over the eyebrows onto the forehead, and enough shiny lip-gloss to keep a small country well-lubricated.

    and the final touch? a miniature meat cleaver worn on a leather cord around my neck. i think it came with a cheese catalog, and was about 5 inches long.

    i blame the tropical heat [guam], a lack of anything better to do, and the japanese pop magazines. but no one ever forgot who i was. i really need to find those pictures, my daughter will laugh and laugh at how silly mama looked.

  96. After I married (1st time) I took up sewing. One of my favorite patterns was of a gigantic, long tailed shirt. The back tail dangled at my knee elbows. And the coupe de gross? Home made leggings to match, complete with removable foot straps. I probably made three of the shirts, one in the big rose pattern that was so popular back then. Cabbage rose, that was it.

    And I had eyebrows Brooke Shields would kill for. And my favorite casual look was cigarette jeans, with legwarmers and pink, high top reebok aerobic shoes. Through most of the 80’s I sported almost the same hairstyle I have now though (tres short).

  97. Ah, the ’80’s. The Era of My Youth. I was in high school and college in the 80’s. I ran the gamut. In early high school I typically wore the Preppy Uniform. Two polo shirts, of different colors, with the collars turned up to show the inside color. The outside HAD to be LaCrosse or Ralph Loren; the aligator or polo guy was a must. Jeans were Levi’s 501’s pegged so tight I had to leave the ankle unsewn for 4″ to get my heels through. Black & White saddle shoes or penny loafers with one penny and one nickle, so I could give my two cents worth three times. One day I was feeling a bit down on myself, so I let my Punk side show through. I slipped on fish net stockings and red stilleto pumps, did my hair in a fin (that’s a mohawk that’s glued into place with Elmer’s beause even AquaNet wasn’t strong enough), blue eyeshadow up to my eyebrows, blue blush and blue lipstick. To top it off, a black Glad garbage bag belted with duct tape. I felt like garbage, I dressed like garbage. But ’80’s fashion will always make me think of red – “shades of the rising sun” to fellow Pacific Northwesterners. The rest of you can read this interesting article about the Rashneeshee cult –

  98. michelle says:

    I wore a madonna ribbon tied in my permed hair with spandex shorts with the florecent stripe down the side. The top was a matching florecent pink.
    I have a madonna tattoo. I love her. i love the 80’s. yeah