She’s Got The Look: Best of the Worst of Your 80’s Style

As we were putting together this week’s LOOK issue, our thoughts floated back to the time of Guess jeans, Benetton sweaters, Zinc Pink lipstick and Aussie Sprunch spray. Oh, 1980’s. You were so special! No other era in fashion elicits “what were we thinking??” gasps in quite the same way. So, we asked you, our beloved TueNight readers, to send in your favorite photos of yourselves in all of your 80’s glory, and boy, did you deliver! Here are a few of our favorites:

(Photo courtesy of Lisa Lilley)
(Photo courtesy of Laura Lilley)

New Year’s Eve 1987. There’s so much wrong with this photo I don’t even know where to start. I am on the far left, in a Benetton sweater that was 10 sizes too big for me. I remember it being $85 and that was 85 percent of the money I had for the whole month at college. That was a leather mini skirt underneath. I do remember wearing ballet flats, as we were going out in the Cleveland flats. I’m not sure why we all dressed in such big clothes when we were such tiny people. The hair…Aussie Sprunch spray. All of the hair below the top layer was dyed jet black but I wanted to be able to hide it at work. Erin, the gal to my left, was a hair model. — Laura Lilley

(Photo courtesy of Lucia Burns)
(Photo courtesy of Lucia Burns)

I went to an alternative school and we didn’t have a prom. So I wanted to go to one. So I conned a friend into getting me into hers.  What I love about this photo is the sea-foam party dress and the tie-dyed shirt and pink tie of my date. I don’t really hate anything about the photo but I can embarrass myself by saying that I don’t remember the name of the boy in it and I abandoned him for the dance floor for most of the evening. — Lucia Burns

(Photo courtesy of Jaci Israel)
(Photo courtesy of Jaci Israel)

I totally own and stand behind this epic 80’s me. I’m pretty sure that was some version of a no nukes t- shirt…underneath a Marithé Francois Girbaud jacket.
— Jaci Israel

Wendy Scherer_cropped
(Photo courtesy of Wendy Scherer)

1988 – I think. My first wedding. The shoulders! The makeup! You can’t see that the hem of the dress is a big bubble, but it’s true. I hate this because I didn’t want a big wedding. I didn’t like any wedding dresses. It wasn’t me. But here I am in all my glory with a scratchy neckline and an overdone hairpiece. — Wendy Scherer

(Photo courtesy of Karen Gerwin)
(Photo courtesy of Karen Gerwin)

Okay, so this is a photo of my sister Kate and me in the fall of 1987. I’m on the left in that lovely royal blue Benetton sweater (what you can’t see are the matching royal blue corduroys) and ridiculously oversized leather jacket. My sister is also wearing a matching Ton Sur Ton get-up. When I posted this photo on Facebook, my cousin commented, “How the hell did you ever get your hair to do that??” because if you see my hair now, it is kinda straight and flat. Back then, the aforementioned Aussie Sprunch Spray and perm went a loooong way. My sister had it a little easier back then, what with her naturally curly hair. For her, “the era of big hair was fantastic for a girl who had, well, big hair! Some awapuhi scented Paul Mitchell mousse, and a coating of Aqua Net on the way out the door, were all I needed to start the day. — Karen Gerwin

(Photo courtesy Judy McGuire)
(Photo courtesy Judy McGuire)

I wasn’t a pretty kid and it stressed me out for a long time, so finding punk rock was a huge relief in so many ways. I could not only come to terms with not being traditionally beautiful, I could embrace my weirdness and have fun with my hair, pierce my ear a dozen times, pierce my nose, wear cool clothes that nobody else in my little part of New Jersey was wearing. For the first time, I actually felt a little pretty. I know a lot of people look back on their teens and early 20s and shudder at their style, but I’m happy I had two mohawks, christmas hair, and a giant mohawk that dwarfed even Wattie from the Exploited’s.

Punk rock wasn’t just about fashion for me by a long shot, but since that’s what the issue’s about, that’s what I’m talking about. It also cracked open my sheltered little world to art, politics, and incredible music. I can still smell that Aqua Net Extra Super Hold — Judy McGuire
(Photo courtesy of Margit Detweiler)
(Photo courtesy of Margit Detweiler)

Me (left) and Lady T (aka Teresa Misagal, photographer extraordinaire who has graced these pages). 1984. All I have to say is  Cable knit sweater, atop collars-up polo, atop black turtleneck, festooned with a pooka shell necklace. So. Many. Layers. And Teresa’s perfect Farrah wings.

Have a look to share? Share on Instagram with #My80sLook — we await you in your permed and sprayed glory.

Tell Us in the Comments

What do you think?

One Response

  1. Jenny

    The reason people are upset about GIRLS not being diverse, is because its setting is in one OF THE MOST DIVERSE CITIES IN THE WORLD! It1782&#;s not Girls Wisconsin or Girls Utah.Lena Dunham did a solid job with this show and has a lot to be proud of, but the egregious racial exclusions strike many as strangely false. It keeps Girls from being what it could have been: a cultural zeitgeist. Instead, it’s just a pretty decent show starring a bunch of plain young actresses cashing in on their privilege. Golf-clap.


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