Welcome to the second installment of the “I remember” series, in which I reminisce about things that were shitty a long time ago and would still be shitty if they were around today. Join me as I take a journey through time and “fashion,” recalling
all some a fun-size portion of the fads and trends we’ve left behind — and for good reason (they fugly.)
I remember hair accessories such as the claw clip:
The banana clip:
And the ubiquitous scrunchie:
(Side note: The above picture of the red scrunchie reminded me of the movie Heathers so I did a little Wikipedia browsing in a “Where Are They Now?”-style attempt at pop culture research. And what I discovered was DID YOU GUYS KNOW THAT THE MAIN HEATHER DIED? THE BITCHY ONE? LIKE 13 YEARS AGO OF BRAIN CANCER? Mind = blown.)
I remember the United Colors of Benetton, an upscale Italian clothing company whose advertisements were designed to shock us –– OMG A GUY WHO KIND OF MAYBE LOOKS LIKE A PRIEST FROM BEHIND IS KISSING AN UNCHARACTERISTICALLY BEAUTIFUL NUN IN A COMPLETELY CHASTE AND NOT EVEN THAT SEXY WAY! — as were their prices.
Pretty much no one gives a shit about Benetton now, but when I was a freshman in high school, I coveted nothing more than this hideous Benetton rugby shirt:
Look at that thing. What an ugly, boxy, unflattering piece of shit. In retrospect, I can only characterize my desire to own a shirt like that as “dumb,” particularly given the fact that I had no idea what a rugby shirt, or indeed rugby itself, even was. But back then all I needed to know was OH MY GOD ALL THE POPULAR GIRLS HAVE THEM AND MOM I NEEEEEEED ONE.
Alas, my parents were not keen on the idea of spending a fortune on what was essentially an unattractive and ill-fitting man’s shirt for their 13-year-old daughter. So I had to Wait. And whether or not you want to admit it, many of you know The Wait of which I speak — The “Wait Until It Comes to TJ Maxx” Wait.
The Wait was the bane of my high school existence.
So. As with every other article of brand-name clothing I managed to squeeze out of my mother over the course of my adolescence, I had to endure The Wait for the coveted Benetton rugby shirt. Unfortunately, by the time it actually came to TJ Maxx – and believe me, back then, only the ugliest and most inappropriately-sized brand-name rejects ever did – the trend had already become passé.
The shirt was ugly. It was too large. It was out of fashion. It would not fool the popular girls into thinking I was one of them. I made my mom buy it for me anyway. And wore it like three times before throwing it on the floor of my closet and bitching that “nobody wears these anymore, Mom. Duh.”
I remember the iconic ESPRIT black canvas tote. The below picture is not the best, but there were surprisingly few online images of this bag considering that EVERY SINGLE GIRL AT MY HIGH SCHOOL *AND* COLLEGE HAD ONE. I’m also pretty sure that back in the day, 99.9% of sororities even modeled their tote bags after it. (Not that I was ever in a sorority, mind you. Do I look like I’m made of bucks? I had to wait till the Benetton rugby shirt came to TJ Maxx, for God’s sake.)
I wish I’d kept my ESPRIT tote. That thing was useful as fuck, and it actually looked pretty cute, not that you can tell from this picture:
I remember pegged jeans. I realize this is sort of a low-hanging fruit, so I’m just going to say this about them: at the end of every school day, one of the first things I did when I got home was unroll those shits because THEY CUT OFF THE CIRCULATION TO MY FUCKING FEET.
Seriously, the things we do in the name of fashion:
While we’re on the topic of jeans, I remember Palmetto’s. I hope I’m not the only one, because the whole concept of Palmetto’s was awesome, hilarious, and totally misguided. You see, there was one reason and one reason alone to wear Palmetto’s-brand jeans. See if you can figure it out.
Cheapy Palmetto’s-brand ass patch:
Expensive-y Guess Jeans-brand ass patch:
Remember how I used the word “misguided” just now? That’s because there was a major and obvious flaw in
any every plan to substitute Palmetto’s jeans for Guess ones, and that was this: if someone looked close enough at your ass, the jig was up. And I’m pretty sure that in junior high and high school there was a copious amount of close-up lookin’ at asses going on.
The solution? Rip off the patch and leave just the triangle-shaped shadow behind. BECAUSE THAT WOULD FOOL EVERYONE. Except it didn’t fool *anyone*. Why? Well, I think this graphic says it all:
Lastly, I remember ridiculous footwear such as the slouch sock (best worn layered for extra foot sweat and a complete inability to put on your shoe):
The jelly shoe:
[EDIT: A conversation that I had with My Girl T after this post was published led me to remember how cut to HELL my feet always were after wearing jelly shoes. Those things tore my shit UP. And yet, I loved them. And had about a billion pairs. They were way uglier than the ones pictured above, though.]
And don’t forget the Eastland boat shoe (WITH CURLED LACES. GOD HELP YOU IF YOU DIDN’T CURL THE LACES):
Sooo… obviously there are way more hideous 1980’s and 1990’s fashion trends than this, but I am running out of patience with finding and fixing up the graphics. (I’m also probably going to get cease-and-desist orders on 75% of them.) So I’m gonna bring this post to an unceremonious close, because that’s the kind of blog this is – the kind where the blog author complains about having to research and/or create new material.
WHATEVER. *does W with thumbs and index fingers*
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