Monday, August 10, 2009

Back to School Fashion: Be afraid. Be very afraid.

According to pretty much every fashion magazine and website in the world, the hot fashion trend for the fall is 80's style. Which is both cool and frightening at the same time. Cool because the 80's are a decade of awesome. Frightening because some of the stuff we wore in the 80's was bad. So bad. Many heinous crimes against style were committed during that decade. We know. We have the photo albums to prove it. Well, at least I do. I'm a couple years older than Stacey so I'm not sure about her.
(Stacey: Oh hells yeah, I do. My elementary school years were filled with giant bangs full of Aquanet and lime green leggings. *shudder*)

Actually now that I think about it 2 years isn't that much so I'm willing to bet that somewhere in her deep dark past is a pic of her sporting a side ponytail or a scrunchie or possibly even (horror!) a BANANA CLIP. There has to be something. I don't know anybody who emerged unscathed.

(Stacey: I rocked the side ponytail. Hell, sometimes I still rock the side ponytail. Does that mean I'm fashion forward or terrifying behind? I guess it definitely means I was scathed. Big time scathed.)

Devious thought: Should I call up Stacey's mother and try to trick her into sending me a super-embarassing photo?

(Stacey: Um, you could try, devious thinker, but you'd have to wait for snail mail. My mother is not versed in the ways of scanner and email. Thank god.)

But because the 80's weren't a particularly fashion friendly decade, we, as your older and wiser counterparts, feel it is our duty to help you navigate through the treacherous waters of this potentially disaster-making trend.

First up: Acid wash denim

JL: To borrow a popular phrase from the 80's, Just say no to this look. If I have to explain why then I'm afraid you need to enroll in Remedial Fashion 101. Exceptions to this rule are if you happen to be a) a rodeo queen; b) a supermodel; or c) a time-traveler like in that Nicholas Sparks' book they just made into a movie (but only if you're time traveling back to 1984).

SJ: Actually, the acid washed denim is something I can see working on some people, as long as the acid washedness is limited to either top or bottom and not allowed to spread across the entire frame like some jean bleaching virus. What I find really terrifying about the featured photo is the shoulder pads. GOD, I hated shoulder pads. I even hated them then. I used to cut them out of my clothes and my mom would get so pissed. But even as an eight year old, I knew I didn't want line backer shoulders. I mean, call me crazy but....yeah...I wasn't crazy, I was right! Right!! Before my time right!!! (This makes up for the side ponytail action, doesn't it?)

The knotted tee shirt

JL: One of the few 80's looks that's still acceptable--even cute--today. Feel free to rock this look all you want, particularly if you have some cool tees.

[WARNING: Muffin top + this look=DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT. I'm serious. And no, I don't care how cute your belly button ring is, or how much your new tat is begging to see the light of day. You can only wear this if you have a relatively flat stomach.]

SJ: Yes, I like this look. I also like to knot the tee in the back. As for muffin tops, my muffin top brings all the boys to the yard so I don't know what you're talking about. I think it's the baby stretch marks decorating the muffin top that really get them keyed up :).

Converse sneakers

JL: Another Kristen Stewart pic!! I'm starting to think this 80's thing is all her fault. Personally, I think she looks totally adorable, but you have to have that kind of "rocker chic" vibe going on to pull off Converse and a dress. So if you're a rocker chic, go for it. For everybody else, Converse and jeans/shorts/capris. They're timeless. Like pearls.

Okay, so maybe not exactly like pearls. Peace signs, maybe?

SJ: Timeless like jeans themselves. And white tee shirts. And diamond stud earrings. (I also think we should blame Kristen Stewart for this trend. I believe this is all her fault. I think we should make her cut her bangs and wear them fluffy and sprayed with the 'net for a week as penance.)

"Hammer pants"

JL: OMG. These should be illegal. In every state. Even MC Hammer couldn't get away with wearing these pants now. IF YOU WEAR THESE PANTS WE DON'T KNOW YOU. You're dead to us.

SJ: *Snarf!* Oh man, these are funny. I had a pair of these. I wore them to jazz class. I thought I was really, really cool. I am so ashamed. I'm dead to myself as of right now.

The Scrunchie

JL: Is this the part where I confess that I still own, like, 100 scrunchies? But no neon ones. And I don't wear them in public. Just at night, after I wash my hair. They're handy. I don't think I'm qualified to comment on scrunchies. I'm too biased.

SJ: I never really got into the scrunchie--they never seemed to hold up the full weight of my hair because I had a LOT of hair in the 80's--but my stepdaughter enjoyed coordinating her outfits with scrunchies that I bought her at Gymboree. I thought it was cute. I'm kind of sad now that she's too old to search for the perfect daisy-patterned scrunchie to match her dress.

80's hair: It burns us!

JL: I think I went to high school with the girl on the right. I can't even make fun of these chicks because I'm too busy hyperventilating with laughter over the next picture-

JL: Is this seriously for real? And if so, how many cans of Aqua Net do you think it took to achieve that kind of height? Although they look more like White Rain kind of people to me.

SJ: Muah!! Ha! Hehehehe!! Oh my god, that's wonderful. Priceless. I think I love them, in a weird sort of "we took matching to where the sidewalk ends and insanity begins" type of way.

JL: This kind of hair is like the MC Hammer pants--DON'T DO IT. Not only will your hair suffer, you'll be a walking fire hazard. Just think if somebody lit a match too close to these people. Poof! It would make nice zombie hair, though.

SJ: Awesome zombie hair. The undead love big hair. It's a fact.

Crimping. Another 80's hair obsession

JL: This is what a crimping iron looks like. And now, for more embarassing confessions . . . I still own one. A crimping iron. It's neon blue and green.

SJ: No, Julie. Please...say it isn't so.

JL: Wait. I gets worse. I not only still own one, I use it. Regularly.

SJ: No!!!! (*notion that Julie is most perfect, elegant southern woman ever comes crashing to the ground in a ball of white-rain fueled flames*)

JL: Mostly on my daughter, but sometimes on myself too. Now you all know my shame. Although honestly, I think crimping, when used judiciously, can look really cute. For instance:

JL: See? Portia de Rossi's crimped ponytail looks cute. I'm not totally crazy. Right? Right??

SJ: Right, Julie...right, of course. (*pets Julie soothingly*--it's the only thing a friend can do in this kind of situation.)

Queen of the 80's: Madonna

JL: I remember when I got the "Like a Virgin" tape. One of my friends asked me if I knew what a "virgin" was and I answered [very condescendingly] "Duh, it's Jesus' mother." I was a very sheltered child.

SJ: Aw, that's cute. I had no idea what it was either, but I remember my dad being horrified when I started singing it on my swingset instead of the "Rainbow Bright" songs.

Queen of today: Miley

JL: You can update the Madonna 80's look by doing something like what Miley is wearing here. Although unless you study pole dancing or your school has a very lenient (i.e. nonexistent) dress code, you're probably not going to get away with the skintight leather (or is it sequined?) mini skirt.

SJ: That's more of Miley's leg than I want to see. Though I do like the wife beater action. I think one should choose one or the other, however. Show skin on top, or on bottom. Both just screams "I'm trying too hard". Cover it up a little, leave a little mystery.

JL: Finally, check out my new favorite tee shirt that I just saw online at Charlotte Russe. Which has nothing to do with 80's fashion, but happens to be in keeping with my mood of late.
SJ: Oh, I love that! I want it! This is my mood shirt of late. "Real Bear Hugs Are Often Fatal". Remember that, people. It's not all fun and games out here with the bears.

Until next time, keep it drop dead fabulous,

Julie and Stacey

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