The 80’s revisited…in my closet

My favorite decade was the 80s, meaning, my high school and college years were in the 80s, therefore, I love so many things about that time period. 

Yes, I still listen to the 80s station on Satellite Radio. 

Yes, I have Madonna, Prince, Journey, Terrence-Trent D’Arby, The Police, U2, Simple Minds, Bananarama, Bon Jovi, Mr. Mister, Boston, The Cars, AC/DC, and even Corey Hart, stations set on Pandora….

Don’t forget: Jefferson Starship, A-ha, Lionel Richie, Poison, Rick Astly, The Go-Gos, Phil Collins, Queen, ZZ Top, Tears for Fears, Michael Jackson, Peter Gabriel, Steve Winwood, Steve Miller Band, Sting, Richard Marx, Kool and the Gang, Cyndi Lauper, Twisted Sister, Level 42, R.E.M., Foreigner, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Loverboy, Robert Palmer, Culture Club, George Michael, Kenny Loggins, Billy Joel, Toto, Howard Jones, Depeche Mode, Sade, Pet Shop Boys, Bryan Adams, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Electric Light Orchestra, Fleetwood Mac, and Talking Heads…. Just to name a few.

And, oh, those movies…  Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, She’s Having a Baby,(okay, any John Hughes film), St. Elmo’s Fire, A Fish Called Wanda, E.T., Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Lost Boys, Lean on Me, The Princess Bride, TAPS, Stand By Me, Top Gun, Ruthless People, The Untouchables, Bull Durham, Howard the Duck, Airplane, Back to the Future, Natl Lampoon’s Vacation, Tootsie, Amadeus, Ladyhawke, Beverly Hills Cop(s), the first three Indiana Jones movies, An Officer and a Gentleman, Empire Strikes Back, Ordinary People, Return of the Jedi, The Big Chill, Ghostbusters, 9 1/2 Weeks, Born on the 4th of July, Mystic Pizza, A View to a Kill, Aliens, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure

I have very, very fond memories of the 80s.

But, there are some things that weren’t so fabulous about the 80s.

Like the hair….

Mercy, it was big.  At least, it was big on my head.  Marcy, my college room-mate had manageable, lovely, tame hair. 

I, on the other hand, had the towering inferno.

Then there were the clothes.

Not so hot, either.

This is just a sampling of a couple of outfits that were still hanging in my closet back home.  I threw out a lot of the clothing from the 80s, but I wanted to highlight a few of my very favorite items that were still in my closet.

I lived in that geometric shape-covered dress that was from, I think, United Colors of Benetton.  Remember that store?  Is it still around anywhere?  It’s certainly not in my college-town mall anymore. 

Oh, how hip I thought I was to be able to shop in a store like that.  So European for this small town country girl.

The dress was shapeless and sack-like.  All the no-no’s that Stacy and Clinton would bust me on if I were caught on an episode of, “What Not to Wear.”  What’s so sad about it is, back then, I had a figure to show off, and I didn’t!  Nowadays, I would like to live in that dress!! (Although, I’d add long, flowy sleeves.)

And, look at the item in the middle.

What in the world is that?

Well, it was basically a knockoff of an aviator’s jumpsuit.  Fortunately, at the time, I did not own a pair of Ray Ban aviator sunglasses.  Had I owned a pair, I really might have looked like Tom Cruise in Top Gun.  Instead, I’m sure I topped the jumpsuit off with a pair of funky colored plastic sunglasses and a huge Swatch watch to match.

I think the jumpsuit was from Banana Republic.  It’s been awhile since I’ve shopped there…

And, really?  The canary yellow cropped…thing?

Why?  What was I thinking?? I could have stopped traffic in that thing, but not in a good way.

Oh, then there were the dresses:

I can tell you exactly where I wore each of these frocks.

The first, the flapper thing?  I got that at some resale shop and wore it to a theatre banquet my freshman year at college.  The dress is not really from the 80s, but I wore it in the 80s, so I thought I’d show it to you.  I had a great time in that little frock. 

The cute little polka-dot smock?  Wore it to ThrillCam’s fraternity formal my junior year.  I loved that dress.  Still do.  One day, I’m going to wear it again.  And, when I do, I’ll post a picture, here.

Don’t hold your breath.  It might be awhile.

And, the last little strapless dress?  I never wore it.  Still has the tag on it.  I bought it to wear to either a bridal shower or my rehearsal dinner.  I, or my mother, must have felt it was inappropriate for such an occasion, being strapless and all.  Who knows? 

I was into bows, wasn’t I?  Maybe I loved them because I actually had a waist that I could highlight…  Can you imagine the size of the bow I’d have to have these days?  Oh my.

So, do you still have clothing items hanging in your closet that are over 20 years old?  

And, what is your all-time favorite 80s band or movie? 

Or, are you too young to even remember the 80s?

Walk down memory lane with me and leave a comment,




  1. Sarah c

    I LOVE your fashion taste! You had a serious eye for staying “on trend” for sure. Umm and if you would like to get rid of that flapper dress, I’ll totally take it. I’d love to dye it a hot color and wear it with some leather bootie heels! Just let me know…

  2. Beverly Merriman

    Elizabeth, Not only do Scott and I just love the 80’s and all the songs and movies you listed but so does our 16 year old daughter!!! We absolutely love to hear her blaring “867-5309, or Jessie’s Girl” or whatever else she has on her ipod. She has all the 80’s collection also. We are so proud 🙂 We love re-living it all over again with her.

  3. Sonya

    You are like a time capsule girl!!! I so remember the 80’s, but I think I’ve gotten rid of those items. My sister moved into my old bedroom after I left, then my brother (after he moved out, then moved back home), so nothing is left there (and what I did leave behind, my brother and sister took to the flea market! What the heck!?! They never went to the flea market!!). Of course I did move out in ’82 so, I’ll need to check my closet when I return to Houston and see if I kept anything for costumes!

  4. Sherri Rogers

    I still have all my old formals from high school. They, too, are covered in huge bows! Plus one of them was a “bubble” dress. Do you remember those?

    I used to love Journey, Paula Abdul, & Whitesnake. Then it was Metallica and Motley Crue. This was right before we entered the 90’s and I started my Nirvana & Pearl Jam stage. At the time, I thought Steel Magnolias was the best movie ever!

    I actually remember your polka-dot dress. I believe you were wearing it the first time I ever met you :):):)

  5. Brooke

    When I think 80s, I think of geometric shapes, neon and bows. I was a child but I was so into what my older was doing and actually memorized the lyrics to Welcome to the Jungle just to impress him and his friends. (I was small… like 6 or 7 small… which made it even more humorous.)
    I watched Breakfast Club last night. Bon Jovi is my FAVORITE (saw him in concert this summer) and I can rock out some Journey too. You can borrow my RayBan aviators any time you want but you have to return them because they’re my fave. I might have been a babe at the time but I love so many things about the 80s!

    • Elizabeth Simmons

      I told ThrillCam just the other day that I’d love to see Bon Jovi in concert…I bet it’s a good one!
      And, thanks for the loan of the sunglasses, but I actually have some now! Too bad I can’t fit my body into that skinny little outfit again… sigh.

      • Brooke

        He. Was. Awesome. I have never sang along, danced or screamed that much in my life. And I was far, far away. And it was August at Churchill Downs… I sweat through my shorts 2 hours before he even hit the stage but by golly did I EVER HAVE A BLAST!

  6. Heather Morris

    I have that cute little polka dot dress in my closet at my Dad’s house! I think it was a Terra Costa. I wore it to Paul’s senior prom in 1987 and I remember my Mom had to fib to my Dad about how much we spent on it. It was and still is my favorite of all my formal dresses. I don’t think I could get one leg zipped up in it now!

  7. Sarah R

    I have seen a short reburst in 80s new wave fashion here in Seattle (I grew up in TX). I just wanted to tell the girls to give me back my clothes they’d stolen from my closet (which is how I just found you blog). I loved that style in the 80s. I had a summer dress of canary yellow like yours which was one of my favorites. And my “I’m going to get back into it” fashion are my pink overalls… still hanging in the back of my closet. I want to be buried in them. So I guess I’d better get working on it, too!

    • Elizabeth Simmons

      Hi, Sarah! Thanks for stopping by! Isn’t that funny to see those fashions returning? Especially the BAD ones? (Although, I think your canary yellow dress sounds lovely!)
      Come back to visit again,

    • Elizabeth Simmons

      I promise I will keep the flapper dress. I keep thinking one day I’ll be skinny enough to wear it again…

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