Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Countdown to turning 40 -1980's popculture

My Countdown to 40 continues. If you haven't had a chance to read my other posts check out The Countdown to 40 begins, Countdown to turning 40 - The 1980's, and My Countdown to turning 40 - 1980's Fashion Faux-Pas for a trip down memory lane and some good laughs.

So to continue with the theme let's talk more about 1980's fashion. I have 2 words for you,
Shoulder Pads!

It was tough in the 1980’s to find a dress, jacket, top or sweater that didn’t have built in shoulder pads. If for some reason your outfit didn’t come with shoulder pads, no problem you could insert shoulder toppers on your own. 

I blame the television show Dynasty for introducing this awful look. Dynasty was a very popular prime time television show that profiled a rich and powerful family who "lived and sinned" in their 48-room Denver mansion. Most of the outfits these luxurious woman wore, included large shoulder pads or ruffled edges. 

Thankfully, the big, boxy silhouette went out of style and never really came back. Phew!

Tacky jewelry

Large dangly earrings were very popular in the 1980’s. Other popular jewelry ranged from, candy necklaces, slap bracelets, and large cross earrings inspired by Madonna. 

Slap bracelets were flexible stainless steel that was sealed within a fabric or plastic cover. The bracelet could be straightened out then slapped against your  forearm, causing the band to spring into a curve and wraps around your wrist, securing the bracelet to your wrist.

I remember slap bracelets being banned in my grade school classroom, because we would continued to slap the bracelet on our wrists (or unsuspecting friends as a prank) throughout the day.

Swatch Watch:

Swatch watches were a stylish watch that was trendy and affordable for teens. Most teens had at least two or three Swatch watches when growing up in the 80s. 

If you were really cool, you had a dozen or more and you wore two or three at the same time!! Now that I’m an adult, it makes me laugh at the thought of wearing 2 or 3 watches as a fashion statement.

The first collection of Swatch models was introduced in 1983. If you are lucky enough to still own one of the original Swatch Watches…you might be surprised to find out that original swatch watches are quite the collector’s item. Some collectors pay top dollar for those bad boys.


Like gag me with a spoon...totally grody to the max!

No idea what I'm talking about?? The term Valleyspeak is used to describe a way of talking that combined 1960s surfer slang, hippie lingo and street jargon. It originated in southern California's San Fernando Valley.

The term "Valley Girl" became popular with the release of a Frank Zappa’s 1982 hit called "Valley Girl", on which Frank's teenage daughter, delivered a monologue in "Valley speak" behind the music. This song popularized such phrases as:

  • Grody to the max
  • Gag me with a spoon
  • Barf-out
  • Grody,
  • Like – Oh my Gad
  • Like - totally
If you're looking for some good examples of Valley speak I recommend two classics. The first:

Valley Girl (the movie) starring Nicholas Cage. It was release in 1983 and is loosely based on Romeo and Juliet (very loosely). It's a really cute romantic comedy.

Square Pegs was an awesome show that starred Sarah Jessica Parker in 1982-83. I recently just started watching it again on Netflix. It’s still a great show!!

Tracey Nelson played a character named Jennifer DiNuccio. Her character was the typical Valley Girl. For you younger people Alicia Silverstone also does a great job of Valley speak in the movie Clueless as she plays Cher Horowitz with her famous line "AS IF!!!".

Hopefully this brought back some good memoreies for you. Stayed tuned as we will soon be venturing into the 1990's...What will that bring?

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