Decades of style crimes

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page -

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.

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