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Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016

Bad fads just a part of life

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Well, winter has officially arrived in Southeast Missouri, complete with ice and frigid temperatures. But from the looks of things, teen girls have been expecting this weather for quite some time.

It seems like everywhere I go I see girls wearing some sort of boots that go up halfway to their knees or in rare cases, all the way to their knees. Of course, then they tuck their pants into their boots so ev­eryone can see that snow is on the way.

I asked one girl what the deal with the boots was and she curled up her lips, squinted her eyes and looked at me like I was some clueless idiot who didn't know anything. I get that look a lot, but at least I'm not tucking my jeans into a pair of what look like snow boots when it is 50 degrees outside.

I'm guessing the boots are the new fad for young people. Trust me, I can relate. I lived in the era of bad fads, also known as "the '80s." I'm sure girls today laugh at the way girls dressed back in the '80s, the same way the girls of the 2020s will laugh at the boots girls are wearing now. It is all a vicious cycle.

Think back to the '80s for a moment. How could girls have thought leg warmers looked cool? Girls wore the footless socks on the outside of their pants much like the boots of today with one exception. The leg warmers had to be a bright, neon color so people could see them from miles away. And it wasn't just one color either. Girls would wear leg warmers of different colors and then have the same color "scrunchies" in their hair to make a sideways pony tail.

A lot of times girls were lacy, fingerless gloves to accessorize their silly looking leg warmers. I believe Madonna, back in her "Material Girl" days was to blame for this fashion faux pas. But sure enough, girls would wear the hideous looking gloves and leg warmers thinking their outfit was cool. I wonder if they still think that today?

Neon was apparently the thing in the '80s because I can remember girls wearing the ripped, acid wash jeans with holes in them. Underneath, the girls wore neon spandex, in case they passed an aerobics studio on the way home from school.

Of course, girls also wore shoulder pads in the '80s as well. I guess football started getting really popular and girls thought if they wore shoulder pads men might notice them more. Pair the shoulder-padded sweaters with the big hair that took a whole can of hair spray so it could be teased into that perfect fishbowl look, and you can bet guys noticed them. How could they not?

Unfortunately, guys aren't immune to the stupidity of fashion fads. There were these tight, shiny pants made of synthetic material known as parachute pants and of course, I thought they were cool. I think break dancers started wearing the pants because they held up better than jeans but most of us who wore them were not break dancers. While there were guys doing back spins and head spins, most of us were lying on our backs looking like we were having a seizure. But we sure did look like break dancers.

The pants were great actually. If you got caught out in the rain, you could take them off and make a tent out of them. Especially after M.C. Hammer came along and the pants went from tight to ridiculously baggy. I can say I never owned a pair of "Hammer pants" but you can bet many of you reading this did.

I guess every fashion decade has something to be ashamed of. Something tells me the silly looking boots of today will make the list years from now. But I think I can safely say that nobody has more fashion skeletons in their closet than those of us who grew up in the '80s. Somebody should have hit us in the head and said "Hello, McFly!" (For those of you who didn't grow up in the '80s, that is a reference to "Back to Future" and a popular saying in the day.)

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David Jenkins
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