Leg warmers, neon clothes and side swept perms – these are the key ingredients to surviving the 80s. And while perms aren’t coming back into fashion any time soon, two out of three isn’t so bad in the rising comeback of the 80s.
As a borderline 90s baby (I hail from the year of 97) my knowledge of the 80s is admittedly limited to the episodes of the Cosby show that still air and my dreams of joining the cast of 13 Going on 30. But from what I do know, the 80s represent an era of thriving culture that speaks to every fiber of my being. From Run D.M.C and Michael Jackson, The Indiana Jones movies and 21 Jumpstreet; it is truly a mystery as to why the 80s died down in the first place.
Sure those mullet wielding boys and permed teens eventually got married and settled down in their cute suburban homes, but there is no excuse for their reckless abandonment of one of history’s most important cultural times.
That is why now I can only thank the gods of Pop Culture (and no I don’t mean Beyoncé) for reviving the lost age of layered neon clothes. While our generation has taken a different take on the 80s, we’ve managed to bring back a few key components in this revolutionary throwback.
This era’s obsession with individuality and uniqueness more than accounts for dramatized fashion evident in the world today. Whether it be Lady Gaga or Katy Perry, artists seem to have no problem in rocking the obnoxiously neon palettes and shoulder pads that plagued the past.
In addition, acid wash seems to have returned along with the cringe worthy memories that are probably flooding our parents’ minds. But the teens of our age have thrust a modern twist upon the idea, creating acid wash jeans and high-waisted shorts.
High waisted shorts in itself could be yet another tribute to the 80s, begging the question of originality or an homage to Steve Urkel’s ridiculously high waistline.
To continue the 80s fashion revolution, “harem pants” have come so into style that they’ve made appearances in mainstream chain stores such as Forever 21. While the name isn’t immediately recognizable, the harem style clearly mimics the baggy pants style of the one and only MC Hammer. The famed U Can’t Touch This singer hasn’t had a hit since his booming career in the late 80s to early 90s, yet his legacy still lives on in the form of huge pants.
Even boomboxes and Converse are still around since their accessorial debuts in the 80s. But, of course, this return wouldn’t be a true comeback if it were only fashion. The 80s media continues to thrive in our pop culture through the styles of music and film.
Artists these days are continuously drawing inspiration from the unique sound of the 80s as seen in the music of Daft Punk, Muse, and Teagan and Sara. As far as films go, the last decade’s reboot of the Smurfs are a testament for the longing return of 80s cartoons.
Maybe my interpretations of these signs of the 80s are just my futile attempt at preserving the glorious age, but the evidence is undeniable in hindsight. The real question isn’t whether the 80s have come back, it’s why haven’t they come sooner?