Style Fetish: ’80s fashion, Part I

by DGO Web Administrator

For the next few weeks in anticipation of Snowdown’s 1980s theme, Style Fetish will remember a few outrageous and inspiring styles of the Me decade.

Quirky ’80s wears vintage

He wore vintage and retro-inspired clothing like 1940s zoot-suits with exaggerated proportions like big shoulders on extra-long jackets, baggy and pleated high-waisted pants with tight, pegged ankles, as seen on Buster Poindexter and Davids – both Byrne and Bowie. 1950s rockabilly inspired Duckie Dale and Brian Setzer into cropped, tight jackets, pattern-mixing, pointy boots and bolo ties. Fitted 1960s suits in contrast patterns with tiny lapels and collars, ribbon-thin neckties, cuffs and exposed ankle were worn by both Pee-wee Herman and Michael Jackson.

Life’s a Beach in the ’80s

Dolphin short-shorts, Baja hoodies over turtlenecks, Hawaiian shirts worn with wide 70s neckties, Wayfarer sunglasses, pale jeans with holes and checkerboard Vans shoes were worn most iconically by Sean Penn’s apathetic rebel surfer character Jeff Spicoli in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” He embodied the post-hippie, pre-slacker, anti-athletic style of ’80s surf and skate cultures.

You and whose army? The vaguely-uniformed ’80s

This fantastical yet official-looking style was inspired by the bling of historical regalia. Military styling and bedazzlements like epaulettes, ribbons, shiny medals and double-breasted rows of gold buttons on a uniform jacket marked this look perfected by Adam Ant. Old West and Native American details of leather fringe, beadwork and facial “war paint” insinuated their way into that look, too. Army jump boots and wool gabardine bomber jackets with simple shoulder epaulettes were key pieces in 80s punk rock and ska fashion.

Duran Duran rocked a group version of this style and Janet Jackson’s 1989 version bordered on futuristic.

Heather Narwid owns Sideshow Emporium, a vintage and second-hand clothing store recently relocated to downtown Durango from Dolores. She thinks you look nice today. Ask her anything at sideshowdolores@gmail.


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