Sunday, January 16, 2011

1-16-11 once more with the nostalgia

I'm pretty impressed with my daughter's fashion sense. So far, at least, she's pretty quiet on the fad front. But that may be because we aren't a decade or more out looking back and laughing at the things that seemed "normal" at the time.

And of course, that's really easy to do with the decades in which I grew up.

I think it probably started, for me, with the Kangaroo sneakers. Who wouldn't need a pair of these with a zipper on the side that would hold exactly one key and nothing more? Indispensible!

But maybe the Yo-Yos sandals came first. . . the kids version of platform sandals with giant chunky wood with a hole in the center. Absolute must haves.

Oh! and as I was thinking back just now, the other had to have, which I cannot find a picture of, was a duffel-shaped purse you could buy at the cheap shoe places that had screen prints on them, usually of rainbows and unicorns. Mine was baby blue with a rainbow colored striped tiger. (It got stolen at the skating rink, so I'm pretty sure it was a hot item.)

But those are really the only three fads I can remember being pulled into in elementary school. I was a sheltered kid at a private school whose 6th grade class had 12 kids in it. I didn't listen to popular music and didn't watch a lot of popular television shows. When I went to the movies, it was mainly to see Disney re-releases, although I remember the thrill of getting to go see Superman in theaters in 1978. I remember being swept away by that John Williams score, the first I'd ever heard. (No, I didn't see Star Wars when it came out.) Sheltered.

And then came the 80s and teenager-hood, and public high school. What fad didn't I revel in?

Banana clips, leg-warmers, twisty beads, red swoosh classic nike sneakers, jelly shoes (blech, how those made my feet sweat) OP, James Avery dangle rings, Members Only jackets, jams (shorts), penny loafers and top-siders, popped collars, Coca-Cola rugby shirts, acid-washed everything, pastels, layers of scrunchy socks, Miami Vice rolled-up-sleeve jackets, Neon anything, that temporary hair colored mousse that let you have purple streaks without your parents kicking you out of the house, dark blue mascara and bright blue eyeshadow, RayBans, spiral perms, giant hoop earrings, tapered and high-waisted Guess jeans, off the shoulder and midriff baring "flash dance" tops, berets, double-layered collared tops -- the outer one almost down to your knees cinched with a giant belt and layered over stirrup pants (my favorite was covered in paisleys), new wave haircuts . . .

Okay, I never owned a pair of Vans or parachute pants. But I should have. ;)

And of all the junk listed above, I own none of it now, except in pictures.

Well, except for these two things, neither of which I will ever be able to adequately explain the appeal of to my own kids.

The first is a collection of buttons, to be worn on the aforementioned Members Only jacket, all at the same time. I remember the cafeteria ladies always liking them for some odd reason. . .

And then there is the one surviving Swatch. Gone are the 4 I had with this one, all worn at the same time on the same arm, with little neon Swatch brand rubber bands twisted over them to "guard them." In the "RELAX" and "CHOOSE LIFE" giant lettered t-shirts days, the one I bought said "SWATCH" in bright neon letters made out of that bumpy rubber material commonly found on bath mats.

Who could have ever found this attractive? I ask you.


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