Living in the 80’s

For those of you who were not around then the title of this blog is also a line from a song by the 80’s band Killing Joke.

I met a young woman this Feb 14th who was stunningly beautiful and wearing the coolest dress. It was a retro 30’s/40’s dress that reminded me of my favorite styles of the 80’s. I talked to her and her sister for a while and she requested I write a blog entry about the fashions of the 80’s. Funny I was very much a renegade and I have never been one to follow fashion ever. For most who know me up until a few years ago my adult life was very jeans and ts with the occasional dressing up.

In the early 80s while in high school I never dressed in what was fashionable or even cool, I dressed in what I liked and what was comfortable to me. The fact that it was kind of Punk or kind of Ska or even Rockabilly did not matter to me. It was what I was feeling that day.

One fun fashion thing I do remember about that time was my friends and I would go out dancing and we would always dress up for that. Again I dressed to my mood. Sometimes I was in flouncy full skirts which fell into the New Romantic category and sometimes in pencil skirts which were both Punk or Ska depending what you had on with it. I have a friend who I still see once a year now who I went dancing with quite a lot. He would show up to my house dressed in really cool 30/40s retro military fashions to find that I too had dressed in the same mode that evening. Other times he would dress in the 80s skinny ties and padded shoulder coats and find me dress to match. We never talked about what we were going to wear but were always in sync with each other for some reason.

As I grew older I got out of dressing up and just started dressing for my mood all the more. Which is funny because that became more and more Goth, which is a whole blog post of its self which I should some day write, maybe that will be next.

Now at work I would put on nice pants and a sweater sometimes even a skirt.

Okay back to the beautiful girl on Valentines day. I told her I would post stuff about fashion and all I am talking about is how I don’t know much about it because it was about my moods.

This is for you. Oh and this is from someone in LA at the time. NY, London, SF and anywhere else I am sure were different.

Punk in LA was mostly plaid bondage pants or jeans for both girls and guys, T-shirts leather jackets and jean jackets with the occasional skirt for girls. For a short time girls started wearing fishnets (ripped mostly) and full petticoats as skirts until Madonna came a long and made it mainstream. Bitch. Good examples is Beki from the band Vice Squad thought she was British and even better from LA Exene Cervenka from the band X.

Exene Cervenka         x

Then there was Ska.

History of Ska:

The 3rd wave of Ska music was from bands like Madness, The Specials, English Beat (known as the Beat at that time) and quite a few more. The fashion was very 60s Mod looking with an 80s hint thrown in. It is my understanding that the 60s mod look was a lot more colorful then the 80’s Ska look.

ska 1         ska 3      ska 2

Now for Rockabilly:

History of Rockabilly:

This style has hung on for years. The fashions have change very little and resemble a cross between the 40’s and 50’s pin-up girl look and the greaser girl look. I happen to love the pin up girl look myself.

rock 1          rock 2


This leads me to New Romantic and I find myself out of time today. I will write more on this and New Wave in the next post but I really wanted to get this posted.



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