Fashion flashbacks cause lack of all sense


I have a bone to pick with CNN.

The “Iraqi situation” they yammer on about endlessly, but when a real threat to my security, say Flashdance-style sweatshirts sneaking back in style comes along, nary an alarm is sounded.

The ‘new’ old. Everything old is new again.

Just as retro ’60s fashion begat swinging ’70s styles, it is said that upcoming trends in fashion are all about the 1980s.

Look, I’ve seen the ’80s, it isn’t pretty.

Torn sweatshirts, leg warmers, bangles and big hair. Much like the scene of any horrific accident, it is best to just keep moving, there’s nothing to see there.

It is said that what goes around, comes around, and that is never truer than in fashion. Tomorrow’s trend is simply yesterday’s style recycled.

Perhaps it’s a sign of maturity (or crankiness?) when one finally declares that she wants to disembark the fashion bandwagon?

More likely, it signals the day when one can remember the first time the “look” came around and the whole “been there, done that, have the unflattering photos to prove it” realization kicks in.

Honestly now, just one viewing of nearly any mid-’80s movie should dispel the myth that anyone really looks GOOD in leg warmers, do we really have to go there?

I’m concerned because, having lived through the ’80s the first time (and still haunted by an endless loop of the lyrics to Eye of the Tiger in my head to prove it), I have no desire to have a go at it again.

When it comes to bustiers as street wear and enough bangles up your arm to dislocate your shoulder, it is important to know when to say when.

Thus, due to the capricious nature of fashion dictated by 14 year olds, and the apparent amnesia of most major designers, my very ability to embrace my inner hipness is now at stake.

Fashion sense. Up to now it wasn’t too difficult, in a post-30 mommy sort of way, to maintain some semblance of fashion.

I’m no teenage mall queen, but I’m not quite down to my last housedress paired with bedroom slippers worn around town either. I’m hip to the recent resurgence of hip-huggers (and I have so much more hip to hug these days).

As well as shag hairstyles, macramé bags, and even those hippie-style peasant blouses that make almost any wearer look like a member of the Manson family.

I averted my eyes politely (although simultaneously snickered and shuddered) over tube tops.

Nonetheless, in the interest of all that is good in the world, I have to draw the line at anything that could have been worn by Madonna during her Like A Virgin phase and/or any cast member from Dynasty.

Yes ma’am, this means you. Put down the shoulder pads, back away from the stirrup pants, and nobody has to get hurt.

I suspect I can revisit the styles of the 1970s without inducing repressed memories because I was too young to be fully traumatized by the fashions my first time around (with the exception of those horrid, waist-length, pointy collars that make me look like I’m about to embark on a Partridge family bus tour in every school photo from grades two through six – thanks Mom!)

The ’80s, however, are a different story. Having cagily lost every bit of photographic evidence of my, ahem, ‘alleged’ big hair days, and having sent my mini-skirts, ankle socks and 3-inch heels to the deepest recesses of dark storage never to be seen again (Lord willing), I have no desire to be accosted anew by the sight of ankle boots or hobo handbags on the street.

There must be a statute of limitations on designer jeans and Miami Vice jackets?

Instead, we have not only ’80s fashions but other ’80s trends have come home to roost.

Hollywood actors as political leaders, ketchup as the only “vegetable” many Americans eat daily, and even Strawberry Shortcake has reared her precious little chemically enhanced strawberry-scented head once again.

If it is inevitable that the ’80s are “in,” I suggest it is only fitting that, in response, we embrace yet another popular ’80s trend.

Please, I beg of you, just say no.

(Kymberly Foster Seabolt has big hair to this day. She welcomes comments c/o or P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460.)


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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.