A to Z Challenge – Day 4


D is for DESIGN – 80s/90s

(Theme – reminiscing about things from my past)

I’ve been using my “Nostalgia” board from Pinterest to spark ideas and this one was clear: the design from my first 20 years (80s and 90s) is so imprinted on my brain. And I think it is partly because today, I don’t even know how to define what the style is. (Can you tell me?)

I love that retro/hyperwave style that persisted throughout the 80s but this one too dominates my memories.

It reminds me of all the fads of my childhood too: Hypercolor clothes, Swatch watches, Skidz, Neon colors, chunky socks, jelly bracelets. There was a certain quality to all those: bright, loud, busy. The 80s screamed that. But there’s the old meme that says “You grew up in the 80s?” and shows a modular colorful room with square furniture. Then the next pic says, “No, I grew up in the 80s” and shows an avocado green Barca-lounger in front of a 13 inch tv in a room with green shag carpet and brown panel walls. YEAH, I WAS THERE. My room had the brown walls and I hated them so much.

Now the 90s, they were a special kind of fashion. I love that they started off like this, the last vestiges of 80s:

But they ended like this:

And yes, I rocked that style hard. I wore big floaty pants and skater shirts, flannel, and I had two different chain wallets. I dyed my hair blue and had multiple ear piercings. I really embraced the look. There was a time in my life that while I would not say I regretted it; I wish I had been on the other end of the popularity/fashion spectrum. While most girls I knew wore short shorts and baggy t-shirts, there was the “Alicia Silverstone from Clueless” look that I wish I could have pulled off. But let’s be honest: I wasn’t that person anyway. First, I wasn’t thin enough to make that look good and half of the 95-00 fashion trend was the floaty pants with a crop top. Ain’t nobody want to see my flabby stomach.

90s interior design was pretty interesting too. It’s like the 80s finally got its shit together and refined some of its outrageousness. They smoothed the edges of the pink wallpaper and fake ferns and wicker and it became a more tame tableau. I’m imagining this kind of 90s living room versus the 80s below it.

These days, what is the fashion? My sons wear shorter shorts than most boys wore in the early 2000s, though that was the pop punk time of Dickies so long they looked like jeans but weren’t. My boys wear almost exclusively tech shirts – either Magellan or Columbia. Maybe that is a regional thing. If they only wanted to wear a regular shirt you know damn well it’d be Salt Life. I sometimes try to assess my college students and try to figure out a name for their style but it simply eludes me. Nothing will ever rival the insanity of the fashion from the 80s and 90s.

2 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge – Day 4

  1. When I think of the 80’s . . .I think of big hair! I had wonderful “BIG” hair. I could pouf it out like crazy. I can’t remember if this was in the 80’s or 90’s but we young mamas (my kids were born in 86) wore blouses/dresses with BIG collars and the dresses were longer and we wore white keds with little socks with them. I watch several British HGTV shows and a new season is out and I’ve been amazed – the young female host is wearing my clothes from the 80’s and one of the architects had on pleated dress pants like my husband wore. Are those fashions coming back? Looking at old pictures . . .they weren’t very attractive.

    1. Yes! I should have mentioned big hair. I had friends in elementary school who were into making their bangs really big and poofed up with lots of Aquanet. LOL.

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