Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


November 5, 2012

Tidbits: It's 1985 all over again

CROSSVILLE — I've just identified where I can make a significant dent in my budget — my clothing costs.

A recent trip to the store made me wonder if I had stumbled into a phone booth or a flying Delorian and dialed up the 1980s, with the return of shoulder pads, skinny jeans in a rainbow of colors and sequins to the fashion scene. You'll also find oversized sweaters matched with leggings beyond the neutral shades of recent years, and even leg warmers are back. Thanks to the "Dallas" revival this past summer, power shoulders are back in force with the new (old) trends.

Fashion, like many other things, tends to cycle through trends. I recall my parents looking in horror at the return of their 1960s-style bellbottoms many years ago. They didn't understand why anyone would want to revive that trend. And the '80s fashion revival makes sense when you look at all the remakes, reboots and reshoots of '80s movies and TV shows. Did you know there's a remake of the TV series "Beauty and the Beast" on the air this fall? We've already had the Footloose, A-Team and 21 Jump Street remakes. And, of course, "Dallas" took cable by storm this summer, bringing the Ewing family back to the top of television.

My main issue with much of '80s styling is that it's not exactly flattering. Take the skinny jean, for example. It's really hard to wear this style without drawing attention to the hip and thigh area that many women would prefer to camouflage. Usually, these styles are high waisted (um, no) and then taper from the hip down to the ankle. The boot-cut jean was a godsend. It provided visual balance, evening out a heavier top and balancing those girlish, curvy figures. I actually own a pair of skinny jeans. They aren't true skinny jeans as they're cut with a little room to them, and I can pull off the look with a sweater and some tall boots — the only good thing to be recycled from the '80s.

Of course, the long sweaters and leggings can provide body camouflage, but then you feel like you're walking around in a tent with no shape whatsoever.

Shoulder pads can help narrow shoulders appear wider and make a waist and hips appear more narrow by comparison, but don't get too carried away. We all remember the women of "Dynasty," and they sometimes looked like they were ready to take the field with professional football players.

Then there's the razzle dazzle of sequins. How many of you still have a Bedazzler? Turns out that tool for adorning your clothing and accessories with sparkly baubles never went away. I need to check with my mom. She's probably got ours tucked away in the basement somewhere.

When dealing with sequins and sparkles, though, remember less really is more. You don't want to look like you're auditioning for a remake of just about any 1980s country music video.

Mini skirts got shorter and shorter, to the point even Madonna would blush. Well, OK. She wouldn't, but her mother would. Then there were the earrings that were huge and heavy. I can't even stand to wear small stud earrings because they are bothersome. Don't expect to see me sporting big hoops anytime in the near future.

And then there were leg warmers because, I guess, people had cold legs. But that was sometimes paired with fingerless gloves. Were their hands not cold, too? I don't understand the point of fingerless gloves.

As those of us who lived through the '80s once before cringe, you know the kids will be clamoring to get their hands on these updated styles and berating you for not keeping some of these fashion monstrosities so they could have something authentically vintage. Don't worry. One day they'll look back, as we all have, and shake their heads that they ever thought a jelly shoe was cool.

Until then, grin and bear it as best you can. But I'm drawing a line in the sand. I will not, ever, return to the mile-high bangs. Other than that, I suppose I can muddle through and hang on until the next trend wave hits.

• • •

Heather Mullinix is assistant editor of the Crossville Chronicle. Her column is published on Tuesdays. She may be reached at

Text Only
  • LION AND THE LAMB: Four ways to demonstrate opposition

    Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan mention in their book, “The Last Week,” that Roman-occupied Palestine during the first century was under the control of Pontius Pilate who lived in the coastal city of Caesarea. Each year at the beginning of the Passover observance when Jews celebrated their liberation from Egypt, Pilate feared that they might be getting ideas about revolting from Rome, so he would come with additional soldiers on horses to beef up the Roman garrison in Jerusalem. 

    April 15, 2014

  • WE THE PEOPLE: Is it (new) party time?

    The Democratic and Republican parties are toast, according to Joe Trippi. The Republican Party is coming apart at its Tea Party seam. Democratic candidates struggle to celebrate President Obama’s health care successes, while responding to criticism of his failed promises, e.g., government transparency.

    April 15, 2014

  • TIDBITS: I found it at the library

    I have such fond memories of going to my local library as a child, searching through shelf after shelf and finding a book that would make me a Little Princess in World War II England, or bring me along as Nancy Drew solved the Secret in the Old Attic.

    April 14, 2014

  • STUMPTALK: The reason words have meaning

    If words did not have accepted meanings we would not be able to communicate effectively and civilized society would not exist.

    April 14, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Do we really believe in democracy?

    The recent Supreme Court decision, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, is in a long line of debates about power in a democracy. Should power be in the hands of all the citizens or should it be in hands of those who have greater wealth and social position?

    April 8, 2014

  • We the People: Public education or business opportunity?

    A month ago, we followed the money trail left by a ‘think tank’ to the major sources funding an attack on our traditional, locally controlled public schools. We saw that a handful of billionaires provide major support to many organizations lobbying for change.

    April 8, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Just another government lie?

    There is a vault located in Fort Knox, Kentucky. It was built in 1936 and encased in 16 cubic feet of granite and 4200 feet of cement. The door is made of 20-inch thick material that is immune to drills, torches and explosives.

    April 7, 2014

  • GARY'S WORLD: The chance to speak your mind

    Are you tired of hearing people complain about the way things are run in Cumberland County? Or, do you like the way the county government is run and operated in our beautiful county?
    Are you happy with the way things are, or would you like some change?

    April 3, 2014

  • LION AND THE LAMB: Digging beneath the headlines

    Our media have been focusing on two important events that have taken place overseas during the last several weeks.

    April 1, 2014

  • WE THE PEOPLE: SNAP, health and work

    A recent letter from Representative Diane Black to me states that she voted for the farm bill (with $8 million in Food Stamp (SNAP) benefit cuts) because she, like me, is a supporter of food stamp benefits for Tennessee families who qualify. That’s a lot of families, as most recipients are families with children and the elderly. Now, recall that there was already a major cut to the food stamp program back in the fall. But for some Republicans, that was not enough.

    April 1, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice