The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    Questionable fashion returns

    I’ve often thought it would be fun to experience the cultures of past decades. More specifically, it would be fun to experience the fashions of past decades. I could have been demure and sophisticated in a classy taffeta cocktail dress in the ’50s, or organic chic in a psychedelic kaftan and leather headband in the ’60s.

    Horrible Fashion
    • Tunics
    • Leggings

    • Bicycle shorts

    • Jellies

    • Bubble skirts

    •Dangle earrings

    The one decade I consider myself lucky to have narrowly escaped was the ’80s. Although I was around for the first five years of it, I was too young to actually feel the influence of fashion or what I will refer to as the “’80s Style Kiss of Death.”
    Sure, I wore my laceless Keds and T-shirt clips (Remember? The little plastic circles you slipped the bunched hem of your T-shirt through?), but I was an impressionable child. It was cute or something. But ever since I’ve been old enough to realize the difference between good fashion and laughably terrible fashion, I’ve been thankful to have missed being a young adult in the ’80s, and into the early 1990s. The most concern I had with fashion then was the conundrum of whether to wear my stirrup pants on the inside or outside of my lacy socks.
    So you can imagine the utter horror I’ve been experiencing over the past few months as the ’80s have managed to slip back into everyday fashion. I assume its assimilation into current fashion was planned stealthily and strategically because I cannot imagine anyone willingly welcoming it back. But back it is, and one glance around a mall or even the MSU campus will show that girls have embraced the ’80s in all of its disgusting glory.
    The worst offense to fashion in recent years has to be the tunic and leggings look. For some reason not having anything to do with practicality, clothing designers decided they’d take their new lines of shirts and jazz them up by taking each shirt and adding another yard of fabric. As a result we have tank tops and sweaters reaching to the knees. No, it’s not a dress; it’s a tunic. And it’s meant to be worn with leggings.
    Don’t get me wrong. I have some fond memories of leggings. Anyone in central Alabama will remember the blizzard of 1993. Whenever I went outside to make a snowman I layered my warm clothes over my favorite leggings of the time, a pink pair with little bows at the ankles. I had another pair a few years earlier, a red pair covered in little white stars that I wore until I could literally see through the butt. This summer while shopping I spotted the exact same pair, in a department store. Cute for a five-year old but silly for a teenager.
    How has this happened? Perhaps I can make some concession to the preteen girls now who weren’t born until 1993, but what about the ones my age, the ones who should know better? Putting all of my faith in today’s girls, I’d like to assume designers have renamed and reintroduced these products so skillfully that the young consumers haven’t noticed they’re the same products.
    Skinny jeans are merely the tapered leg jeans of the 2000s, minus the acid wash. Those ever-so-popular vests attributed now to some androgynous pageboy look were just another tacky ’80s fad. Ballerina flats were a Flashdance look. The slouchy Peter Pan boots, dangle earrings, bolero jackets and corset belts were all ’80s fashions as well. And those wretched bubble skirts? Also ’80s.
    I thought I could force myself to just look the other way, because after all, fashion is a cyclic thing and soon enough the ’80s will once more have come and gone, but a fateful trip to the mall this summer made me realize I just cannot do that. I spotted on a mannequin a tank top tunic thing, miniskirt, and under the mini skirt, horror of horrors, a pair of bicycle shorts. That was the last straw. The moment I glimpsed the many patterns of the spandex bicycle shorts I had a flashback to my chubby preteen self crammed into a floral pair. I felt so stylish in those shorts, when now I realize I should have been feeling awkward, because I’m sure I looked it. There is simply no excuse for bicycle shorts.
    I would joke that there’s no way jellies could ever make a comeback, but I spotted them this summer at the mall as well. My mom never let me wear them, and now I see why. Whose idea was it to market to children a pair of shoes made of rubber jelly that did nothing but collect sweat in the summertime and rub blisters on their feet? And what’s more, whose idea was it to bring them back?
    I can only hope this all ends before it gets any worse. Otherwise, what can we expect? This winter we’ll see girls sporting sweaters with shoulder pads. Everyone in colorful, mismatched leg warmers and arm warmers. Glasses with giant plastic frames. Baseball-style concert shirts featuring ELO, Journey and Styx. Neon, geometric prints on everything. Scrunchies wrapped around the side ponytail of each and every girl!
    I know you don’t want that any more than I do. So please, let’s bring this lamentable fashion regression to a screeching halt before it crashes in an explosion of day-glo and pastel-colored spandex, cheap plastic and miles of unnecessary fabric. And maybe, if we’re lucky, the ’80s will go away and not come back for another 20 years, at least.

    Leave a Comment
    Donate to The Reflector

    Your donation will support the student journalists of Mississippi State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    More to Discover
    Donate to The Reflector

    Comments (0)

    All The Reflector Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Activate Search
    The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
    Questionable fashion returns