8.18.2010

cruel summer


I pulled these images from 1980's and 90's sewing patterns found on this website.  What you have here is a collection of outfits I see everyday on the street in my neighborhood.  Of course the styling is different, and no one wears shoulder pads anymore.  Although I swear I've seen that first girl exactly, the one with the side braid, only with added accessories.  But seriously, most of this stuff is back in style.  I was probably too busy wearing Air Jordan t-shirts and Umbros the first time around to notice it, but I'm definitely noticing it now.  I want to make fun of it, but it's hard to when all the superthin twenty-one year old hipsters with their top knots make it look so dang cute.  I say we all just sit back and let the joy of nostalgia wash over us.  Here's a Bananarama video to help get you started.

30 comments:

Jennifer said...

Yeah, living through it in the 80s I know I'm too old to try it again. It's funny, looking back at photos from that era I can't imagine anyone wanting to wear the clothes again. We made such fun of them!

Jennifer said...

I may be able to lose the clothes from the 80s, but the music will be mine forever (at least the new wave and alternative)!

erica said...

being thin and young makes pretty much anything look fabulous, i guess. i like your attitude about it, because lately i've been feeling like a crotchety old lady. kids these days!

Samantha said...

I only just decided I didn't hate the leggings revival after all, but I have my limits! I think it's easier to embrace an "old is new again" style if you don't have embarrassing childhood photos from the first time around.

pine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve said...

Loving the Bananarama!

Lisa said...

Yeah, I live in Berlin and my first thought when I saw this image was a snapshot of the Berlin subway! I never wanted to be that crochety old lady either, but I just don't understand the kids these day.

joyce said...

Um, this is how pretty much all my female students dress. I'm sure most of them don't even know they're referencing the 80s; they're just dressing like American Apparel models!

needleandstring said...

I'm only 30 years old, but it's kind of depressing when Different Strokes and Mr Belvedere are on Nick at Nite, and the clothes you liked as a kid are now considered vintage. I broke down and bought some pleated pants and shorts, because they were on sale, and I have to say, they were SO comfortable, and I didn't have to worry about the muffin top.

ilana kohn said...

haha, too funny! i was just doing some cleaning this morning in fact and came across a couple of ridiculously 80's polka dot button downs....i know my 21 year old cousin will be thrilled when i hand them off to her...as, uh, i most certainly can't/won't be wearing them a second time around... :)

karen said...

haha, awesome. i know what you mean! i'm fascinated by the love/hate feelings i have for clothes like these!

also, i was totally with you on the umbros the first time around.

Kristien said...

Oh, Jenny, Bananarama is one of my 80's favorites! I'm pretty sure I still have the Bananarama record (which I used to play on my Fisher Price record player, natch) buried somewhere in my parents' basement. I learned recently about Jack White's wife Karen Elson releasing a song called "Cruel Summer," and was sorely disappointed upon clicking on the link to the song that it was not THE "Cruel Summer." Everytime I hear the song, I am instantly transported to Daniel-son skateboarding to his first day of high school in the new neighborhood. I didn't wear leggings the first round, so have more or less embraced that trend on its second incarnation, but I cannot get behind the revival of anything acid washed, pastels, or Bill Cosby-esq acrylic sweaters! I think I may have bought a version of the red pants in the last scan you posted from Zara this summer...they look awfully familiar. P.S. It is funny to imagine you as a jock! ;-)

abby said...

I laugh :) I would have almost forgotten (I was trying) about the air jordans and the umbros. The revival of old styles is always such a trip to observe, especially of those that you lived through the first (or was it really the first?) time.

modaspia said...

they say people are nostalgic about the decade they were born into, having just missed it. and i think to some extent it's true. i do feel like that about the 60's!
the other fashion camp in the 80's was minimalist and black, not so sporty as this but it stuck and made a big impression on people, even today.

molly said...

i think that it's definitely all about interpretation instead of regurgitation.

megan said...

I really love that you posted about this - I've been noticing this and have been, frankly, a tad shocked and dismayed - it's so weird to see something you've been through before! It's weird and funny. And then, on the other hand, sometimes I have to admit that it looks kind of cool. Taking a look at Urban Outfitters catalog is full of these looks.

romaine said...

I read that much of 80's fashion was inspired by the 40's, and maybe i am dork, but some of these items pictured seem somewhat classic with just a slightly dated aspect. (perhaps this selection is the more tastefull side of that era.) There are no rips, netting, lace, huge shoulder pads, bright or neon colors, crazy prints or acid wash details on anything, not that those elements weren't kind of fun or fitting for that time. Instead, there are pleated bottoms, oxford type shoes, nautical stripes, basic tee and tank silhouettes, and button-downs.

Thanks for sharing!

Jennifer said...

Hilarious.
I love all of the images you collected from the 'vintage' patterns.
In the 1980's, 1990's when I was in high school and thrifted for 'vintage' clothing, I was looking for pieces from the 70's, 60's and 50's! Now all the thrift stores are full of clothing from the 80's/90's. It's rare that you can find a good dress from the 50's in a thrift store anymore. Time marches on.

Yoshi said...

Hey, I was born in the early early 1990s, and just missed out on the 80s. You may look back on it and think, "wow I can't belive we ever wore those"... but in my opinion, the loose clothes of the 80s are so popular among young people now because they are in marked contrast to the super-tight clothes of the late 90s/early 2000s.

I agree that people are nostalgic about the decade (or at least the part of it) they were born into. One of my tutors has a theory that people are likely to be attracted to the styles that were popular in the decade before they were born. I think this is also true.

Ivana said...

Talking about the 80s- please, watch this (can't stop laughing):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28KobNbbI2s&feature=related

:-)

jennifer said...

i love that video. i think we should project it on the wall for endless studio inpsiration.

ALL said...

I don't think there is any reason to be disdainful towards a mainstream return of this era of style, regardless of whether any of us were present for the first time around. And let us not forget that these "80's and 90's" styles were most certainly adapted from looks in previous eras. Fashion cycles are changing so quickly these days and nobody is moving at the same pace. Even mainstream revivals of certain trends (take American Apparel for example) are being adapted by individuals in ways that hint at historical influence but are still unmistakably modern.

Clementine said...

This is so funny, because I absolutely remember my mother had most of these patterns, but definitely the first two from the left. I don't think she ever made them, but I distinctly remember them being in the drawer of the sewing table when I was a kid.

And as Jennifer said above, in the late 80s/early 90s, "vintage" = 50s/60s dresses. I had a gorgeous silk dress with a black and red rose pattern that I would KILL to still have, it was straight out of Mad Men. Sigh - the things we get rid of when we go off to college!

Sweet Ronit said...

I actually think the harem-ish pant styles are cute! Like Jennifer and Clementine, I wore vintage in the 80s (anything from the 40s through the 60s). But I scored a pair of 80s pants a few weeks ago, and I get a lot of compliments on them, plus they're so comfy!

jenny gordy said...

I always like to be light-hearted about fashion and poke a little fun. I try not to take it too seriously. I definitely think these styles are cute when updated and styled in a modern way. It's impossible to avoid fashion recycling--so many designers look to the past for inspiration. Style is so subjective, and everyone has their own taste--either you like it or you don't. I say anything goes.

amy h said...

I think that first jumpsuit might very well be the pattern for the first thing I ever sewed. My grandma helped me and I was so proud. Then the first time I wore it, I hooked it on a door knob or something and ripped it (not along a seam). I was so sad I didn't sew again for YEARS. I still have the matching hair scarf I made with it.

caroline said...

you hit the nail on the head with this one, and the bananarama video fits in so well! i envy the 21 year old models' ability to look incredibly cool and offhand in this stuff, too. the one with the side braid? she's everywhere.

Regina said...

My Mom-in-law has passed down to me a lot of patterns like these, and I have been thinking the same thing. All this is back in style. However, I think I spent enough baby sitting money on shoulder pads and style at the Express and the Limited in my younger years to take away any possible amount of desire to attempt it a second time around. Especially so many added years to my life. :)

Samantha said...

I know this is an old conversation, but I've been reading the comments with interest. I think the point I was trying to make with my comment (not that I think anyone was directly addressing it) was that I feel like the fashions are being recycled too quickly. I mean, grunge is already back - I barely got a chance to miss its absence!

I could be totally wrong on this, but it's something I just thought of, just now, as I was doing the dishes.

I do appreciate that, for the most part, the "better" parts of the '90s have returned. I think I just always have a knee-jerk reaction because my own personal style tends toward the "classic" (though I hate using that word - makes me feel conceited).

ALL said...

I am really liking how quickly trends are being recycled. It's very different from when I was in high school, there was cool and there was uncool and not too much in between. Now, there is so much less definition and there are more options for everyone. It's why places like Forever 21 have been so successful, in a mainstream sense, because they cover a ton of ground in their assortment. I think it's easy to get down on the way other people dress when you have a personal connection to it. Maybe what some commenters are touching on is an issue with authenticity...but to be authentic does not require having been present for the first incarnation of the trend. If we were only influenced by the styles of our generation we would look even sillier than those skinny Williamsburg girls with their top knots and side braids.