Decades of style crimes
The 1980s: The Decade That Style Forgot. At least that was the claim being made by an article in one of the many unread newspaper supplements that litter my living room at the weekend. I’ve spent the last few years being told that it was the 1970s that was the decade that style forgot and now it seems those who pronounce on such matters have changed their mind. Thankfully, I’m at an age where these things don’t bother me quite as much as they did when I was younger and more impressionable. It’s hard to keep up with this revisionist history of sartorial trends but whatever sins against fashion might have been perpetrated in the 1980s, were they really as awful as some of those that defined the 1970s? I realise all these things are relative but even now I cringe with embarrassment at the recollection of a pair of flared trousers that I had. You could have rigged my high-waisted trousers up to a mast and rigging and had a good chance of circumnavigating the globe with a fair wind. I’d always been led to believe that the 1980s represented some kind of stylistic antidote to the crimes against taste that went largely unchecked 1970s. (Platform shoes anyone?) But no, it seems the 1980s was not, after all, a period when people rediscovered a sense of style that had somehow deserted them the previous decade. I suppose there’s something in it. The New Romantic movement must shoulder some of the blame for having us believe that frilly collars and a tartan blanket tossed casually over your shoulders was a good look. And how on earth did we get duped into thinking that shoulder-padded jackets with rolled up sleeves and espadrilles was a credible fashion statement? Still, if you’re as perplexed as I am, don’t worry. It won’t be long before someone dictates that actually, it was the 1990s that was the decade that style forgot. And they might have a point. Wasn’t the rapper MC Hammer an iconic figure back then? I rest my case.