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80s Red & Black

Oh, hey! Yeah, just nipping out to the shed to get some wood in my vintage dress, high-heeled boots, jewelry, and a biggie.

I think I speak for us all when I say that this is in fact, not an accurate representation of that newest of fashion genres, "2020 apocalyptic lockdown chic." I'm also happy to report that after several months in the US, two international flights, and a fair bit of driving from Wisconsin to Florida, I appear thus far to have come out the other side in one piece. Here but for the grace. But I want to be very clear about the fact that this is not luck. I am an advanced practice nurse, a religious mask-wearer and hand washer, an embracer of social isolaton as a lifestyle choice, and I suppose having actual training in the proper donning and doffing of PPE doesn't hurt either. Because, science.

What's really going on here is that I was going through my unlisted stock for the vintage shop, trying to fish-out all the 80s pieces since I've put the entire decade on sale for the month of November, and out popped this dress. I instantly remembered how I was immediately struck by the black and red print when I found it. You just don't see black and red as a popular color story these days, but in the 80s? It was everywhere. This is the second black and red 80's piece I've put in the shop today. This was the first one.

I KNOW, RIGHT!? This blouse tickles me. It's so 80s. It's like 80s Annie Oakley hooked up with one of the Chippendales dudes and had a kid and that kid was a blouse. But I digress. Let's go back to talking about this 80s dress.

First off, I feel like I need to just get out in front of it.

YES. There are shoulder pads in this dress. But they're not overwhelming. Sure, you can take out the shoulder pads in 80's garments, but if they're not massive linebacker pads, I kind of like to leave them. I think design details like shoulder pads and wonky bat sleeves and Michael Jackson shoulder pleats often prevent people from really seeing these 80s pieces for what they could be in 2020. A lot of them have zero hanger appeal, it's true. But seriously, try them on once in a while if you get a chance. They actually make more sense on the body than they do on the hanger.

This dress is definitely one of those 80's secretary dresses (instant images of that movie Working Girl where all the women are walking through Manhattan in dresses like this and bright white sneakers, their real shoes in their handbags). This dress was definitely meant for someone much smaller than me, as evidenced by the matching fabric belt that is several sizes too small for me. This dress was probably meant to fit much blousier than it does on me, as was the norm in the 80s. But if you overlook that potential 80s design hangup, what you're left with is a really lovely vintage dress with a surprising number of styling possibilities, shoulder pads and all.

So in conclusion, wear your dang mask, wash your hands, and when you can, try on that weird-looking 80s piece that made you pause for a moment.


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