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Like, Totally ’80s

The 1980s was the era of Michael Jackson and Madonna, of New Wave and Hair Metal, Dallas and Dynasty, Princess Diana and Supermodels. There were so many over-the-top influences on such a decade of excess. More is More. Greed may have been good, but neon made everything better.

The ’80s were very schizophrenic when it came to fashion.

Personally, Madonna was a huge influence on me. I will never forget where I was the first time I heard a Madonna song (Hey, some people remember where they were when John Lennon was shot; I remember my first Madonna album). My friend Ann and I were 13 years old and her mom took us over the bridge to San Francisco for the day. We walked into the Tower Records in Union Square and they were playing “Borderline.” I was hooked and bought the cassette tape immediately (In case anyone reading this is younger than 30, tapes preceded CDs). I adored everything Madonna. I wore leggings under miniskirts with T-shirts and a low-slung belt, stacks of rubber bracelets up my arms and tied a big lacy scarf thing on my head just like she did. Much to my parents’ dismay and disgust I wore crucifixes like regular necklaces (I went to Catholic school for 12 years, I had some issues to work out with the religion thing).

When I was in high school it didn’t matter if your hair was short or long, you wore it big. I had a permed bob and I teased my bangs up and shellacked the whole thing with a gallon of Aqua Net. Once in a while my mom would be cool and let my buy the 18-inch-long can of Sebastian hair spray. It was a bitch to carry in my backpack but it was like a status symbol to a lame-ass high schooler like me.

I wore a uniform to school but they allowed us to show our personalities and fashion sense (or senselessness) with accessories. I’d roll that uniform skirt up so it was as short as I could get it without getting suspended. Under our skirts we’d wear leggings or bicycle shorts. With that I’d wear Capezio jazz shoes, and I’d throw on some leg warmers if it was cold. Docksiders/Topsiders, Doc Martens and Reebok high-tops (with multiple pairs of scrunchie socks, natch) were totally rad, too.

This was the decade of neon clothing, Members Only jackets, satin bomber jackets, denim jackets with lots of pins, parachute pants, Izod shirts (collars up), Swatch Watches, jelly shoes, Ray-Ban Wayfarers and Guess Jeans—bonus points for acid wash. And if you were really cool? You pegged your jeans. (Don’t pretend you never did that.)

So what’s the point of me giving you a history of ’80s fashion?

I feel compelled to explain what was going on in the world to bring me to this prom dress. I thought I was the shit—my shoes, gloves, and the bow on my BANANA CLIP (yeah, baby, I worked that) were all color coordinated. My eyeshadow, eyeliner AND mascara matched my iridescent blue dress. And those bangs? They were a work of art! It took me a long time to sculpt the right amount of height and curl.

My date was kind of a tool, though (cute, but a few sandwiches short of a picnic if ya know what I mean) — I bought the tickets to the dance (theme? I think it was Don’t You Forget About Me), paid for dinner AND the limo.


I had more fun with my backup singers girlfriends that night.

Me and my backup singers

Bonus points for the matching background!

My explanation for this is that it was 1987.

The truth? I probably just had some shitty fashion sense.

This post was brought to you by Mary Anne at The Stilletto Mom and Jen at Blissfully Caffeinated. They thought it would be totally fun to get your prom on today. Check out their sites for more, like, totally rad prom fashion.


20 Responses

  1. Hells yeah, that is an awesome prom dress! From the iridescent blue, to the silver gloves, to the bow in the hair, to the dangling ribbons, it is classic. I LOVE it! Thanks for sharing and you’re linked!

  2. […] Mo at The Daily Snark Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Prom SpewagePromHow to Dress Dance and Date at Your Prom NightHow to Find a Last-Minute Prom Date […]

  3. I can just picture you straight out of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!, like SJP, only cuter! Rock that uniform! And you definitely rocked the banana clip! You’re linked!

  4. Seriously, the picture that was on Jen’s page just did zero justice to how SHINY that dress was. You also get points for combining a perm plus the cult wife front tease up on your bangs…the level of difficulty on that do is just huge!

    Thanks for posting Mo…linking you up right now! Have a great weekend!

  5. PS: Good Lord you are a tiny person…. 🙂

  6. Beautiful dress! I was expecting something slutty after your Madonna tribute. We do owe her a lot, you know. John Lennon, too.

  7. Hopping over from Stiletto Mom to see you in all your 80’s glory! Nicely done! LOL! I also went through 12 years of Catholic school and was a slave to Madonna…class of ’86 baby!

  8. Silver gloves, blue dress and it matched the background??!! Oh! You had so much more style than me! I love the hair as well!

  9. Your dress was beautiful and totally captured the 80’s spirit. It does look like you had some great backup singers.

  10. How can you EVEN say you don’t like Science Fiction when you wore an outfit like that?????

  11. You are so cute, I can’t EVEN stand it!

  12. That is SOME corsage! Are those vines growing out of it?

    I never did the big bangs – but I had a year or two of unfortunate fringe.

    Also I did the short uniform skirt thing too. It frightens me to think about how much leg we were showing as teenagers. Now that I see 16 year olds and think they look like they’re 12, I mean.

  13. Do you still have those gloves? Totally bitchin’. . . .

    • I wish. Every now and then I think about those, but I think my mom donated them to Goodwill with the dress. The dress that I would totally wear again.

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  15. Thanks for bringing back bad private school uniform moments. You were lucky. We weren’t allowed to wear leg warmers under our jumpers–no only sweatpants. No way to be fashionable there.

    • I would have totally killed to wear sweatpants. I would have even worn the ugly blue corduroy pants they introduced the year I graduated. In the Bay Area it was too cold to wear shirts year round. It was like a special kind of Catholic torture or something.

  16. Hell yeah – you rocked it! lol – you’re inspiring me to see if I can dig up some photos. But I promise… my bangs are even higher than yours.

    AquaNet!!! 😀

  17. Lol dont u just loooove the 80’s haha!! BTW u look cute!

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