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A Love Letter to the Colorful 80s

I had the occasion to be in Glasgow last week, and as is standard operating procedure at this time of year, the weather was predictably dull and grey. As much as we all come to expect a grey sky at this time of year, this trip stood out in that it wasn't just the weather contributing to the ambiance of nondescript, gloomy ennui. Everywhere I looked, my follow humans were actively participating in the erasure of any speck of color or sartorial joy that might have accidentally leaked in to the collective field of view. I walked into M&S at one point and encountered multiple racks of black, polyester trousers. I mean, yes, everyone needs a good pair of "work pants", but come on. I could literally feel my life force draining just looking at it. And it went on like this all day. Every single person had on black, grey, navy....the "safe" colors that won't garner too much attention or stand out in a crowd. Looking down Glasgow's busy Sauciehall and Buchanan streets felt like looking at a chorus of Mao jacket-clad extras on the set of some oppressive revolutionary period piece.

That got me thinking; what has happened to us?

Or course, I'm speaking purely sartorially here. I understand fully what has happened to us; the global pandemic, the financial struggles, the shortages of goods (both perceived and real), the woeful political and ideological extremism, the acting-out...everyone is I get it. But our eschewing of color and whimsy is not just a product of this pandemic. This phemonenon has been building for a while - sartorially since the demise of the bigger is better "me era" 80s and the rise of the goth-clad 90s manic pixie grunge girl.

With that in mind, I wanted to remind us all of something that's the polar opposite of all this angst-fuelled, boring, serviceable dark clothing that seems to have taken over our collective sensibilities. Today I'm focusing on something that is in equal parts colorful, fun, wearable and ridiculous; the 1980s aesthetic. Because when things get tough, even though it may seem appropriate, I believe it's a mistake to abandon the fun and the whimsical. It is exactly at these times that we need it more. Photos are clickable should you want any more information on any of these colorful little fun nuggets. Now go forth and be brave, and for the love of all the Gods, leave those miserable black polyester trousers on the rack where they belong.

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