Flashdance flashbacks are a 911 for fashion police

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Look, I don’t want to frighten anyone but it should be noted that the chills and thrills of Halloween have not, in fact, been put behind us.
Halloween is barely packed away and clearance sales on spooky finery are still running rampant (last chance to pick up that pumpkin costume for the cat for $1.99!)
Is that a costume? Yet what is most chilling is that I have an increasing number of moments where I see an otherwise attractive person out in the world in say, platform boots, a belted sweater and leg warmers and truly have to wonder if it’s a costume or not?
Seriously, are they on their way to a late breaking costume party, or is it just a Flashdance flashback gone horribly wrong?
It’s understandable if the wearer is still quite young. The bright colors and oversized attire of the 1980s are the kind of outfits that can easily confuse a person.
It is in those moments that you could understandably look at any young girl wearing them and smile in affectionate amusement, thinking, “oh how adorable! Somebody was allowed to dress herself today!”
Act your age. On the other hand, for anyone old enough to vote, it’s vitally important to take your own age into account. Isn’t it just painfully obvious that after a certain point wearing acid-washed mini-skirts and thigh-high leggings is just so totally inappropriate that people begin to wonder if you’ve sustained a head injury? Remember pity is not at all chic.
Look, I remember the ’80s. Honey, I own the ’80s. Yes, I had Madonna bracelets and acid washed denim miniskirts, thank you very much. Somewhere there exist photos of me wearing anklet socks with high-heeled pumps. I could show them to you, but then I’d have to kill you.
Nonetheless, I concede that some of the fashions from bygone eras are cute. Nonetheless, when you wear something as vintage-y as shoulder baring sweatshirts, miniskirts, leg warmers and big belted shirts, you have to be really careful to make sure that you don’t look like you just escaped from the set of Miami Vice.
Not to mention that you have to know when to say “when” to vintage styled fashions. A little “old school style” is an accessory, a lot is an affliction.
Fashion police. Certainly, as 1980s fashions seem poised to swallow us whole, we have to question if it isn’t time to deputize the fashion police?
Honestly, is overlooking the travesty of multi-layered lace camisoles worn in the dead of winter helping anyone, or are we merely compounding the problem by pretending that polo shirts with “popped” collars like those I styled in seventh grade do not exist?
No, I’m sorry, but I simply must take a stand. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: if it ever appeared in the wardrobe on Dynasty, you wore it to your high school junior prom or graduation, or, indeed, to any event at which a Duran Duran album featured prominently in the entertainment, you probably shouldn’t wear it now.
Frankie says. Of particular interest is a sudden and frightening resurgence in “Frankie says” T-shirts. For those of you not previously exposed (and thus immune) to this scourge, Frankie had a lot to say in the 1980s.
His venue of choice was oversized white T-shirts with huge black lettering. It was the generic equivalent of a style. Frankie would generally say something pithy such as “Frankie says Relax.”
Oh, Frankie. That’s good advice. And I’d like to relax – really, I would – but, see, I live in 2006 and it’s making me tense knowing that a pack of rabid fashion designers and teens too young to know better are running amuck without regard for human decency attempting to bring back “skinny leg” pants.
Boiling point. Honestly, I understand that trends are seasonal and you can’t, as they say, fight fashion. Nonetheless, isn’t reaching the point in our collective fashion consciousness where leggings under a belted sweater topped off with a man’s vest seem like it could be anything other than a costume scarier than anything Halloween could throw at us?
Me, I’m sticking to the $1.99 pumpkin costume I’m stealing from the cat.
(Kymberly Foster Seabolt would rather be a pumpkin than a cast member of Flashdance any day. She welcomes comments c/o lifeoutloud@comcast.net; http://userweb.epohi.com/~kseabolt; 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.

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