Sunday, October 08, 2006

How Students Look Today Vs. The 80s

The first inkling I had that the 80s might be returning was last year, when I started seeing a number of boys wearing their hair long and combed (but not quite feathered) back. Some are sporting the Spicoli surfer look. It is my sincere hope that women's hair styles from the early/mid 80s remain in the fashion magazines of the time, as they truly were an abomination!

There's a certain group of people today who have been wearing mullets for some time. They are not the topic of this post.

Last night I had duty/guard/supervision at our school's Homecoming Dance. 80s observation: I saw more pink on the boys (shirts and/or ties) than I did on the girls! Remember wearing pink, guys? Of course you don't! We didn't call it pink back then. We called it salmon. But it was freakin' pink.

Still, no one at school dresses today as nicely as we did in the 80s. When I look in my yearbooks, I see students walking down the hall with their hair looking combed (and there was a lot of it to comb!) and wearing nice-looking clothing. I don't see athletic shorts, sweat pants, or ill-fitting clothes in the pages of my yearbooks. Granted, some of the styles are hideous by today's standards, but at least we looked nice in them at the time. No one would have been ashamed to take us anywhere dressed as we were. I can't imagine the same is true today.

Guarding the back door as I was at the dance last night, I watched how the students were dressed. For the most part, the boys looked nice. Yes, some undid their ties and opened their shirts and walked around looking like scrubs after awhile, but at least they showed up looking nice for the most part. Seriously.

The attire of the girls came in three categories:

The first was ultra-formal. I'm sorry, I just can't take it seriously when I see a 16-year-old in ultra-formal wear. They're kids, and they're only playing dress-up. It doesn't look real at all. And walking through the breezeway between the two gyms wearing a long gown and a wrap is kinda comical.

The second group was the ones who looked exceedingly nice. Their dresses (as opposed to the former group's gowns) were attractive, stylish, and appropriate. Kudos to them for knowing the right mix. Fortunately, this group was the majority.

The third group was dressed as skanks. I know that we had people watching for that at the door, and I assume that at least some students were turned away before they ever got in, but I can only imagine what they were wearing after seeing some of the lingerie that passed for clothing that was allowed inside. Parents, please. She's 16. She doesn't look hot, and you're not going to live vicariously through her. She looks like a skank, and you should be ashamed of yourselves not only for letting her leave her bedroom dressed like that, but also for thinking for even the slightest moment that she looks good or that you're the cool parents for having a daughter who could be compared to Paris Hilton in every possible way except money--and folks, money is Paris Hilton's only admirable quality.

I feel better. I think for this post you can call me Professor von Holier-Than-Thou, or maybe Judgie McJudge. But I had to get it out.


Anonymous said...

I think much of the music was better back in the 80's, as well.

Once upon a time I had to put in some hours supervising a back door at a dance put on by the high school where I used to teach. This was about ten years ago.

I was so bored I risked a cigar while guarding this door.

The music was coming through the door quite clearly, and I could swear they played the same techno-beat-crapola song for three hours straight.

Never has the generation gap been illustrated so clearly for me, and I was just over 30 at the time.

CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

Hey, Judgie, I agree with you: 16-year-olds have no business wearing skanky clothes. Heck, neither do 26-year-olds!

Polski3 said...

My school, (Jr. High) has a uniform requirement. I like uniforms. Elimates many clothing hassles.

As for modern student clothing, Is it me and my questionable memory, or are some girls dressing like the girls of the 70's ?

Darren said...

I was too young to know what girls were wearing in high school in the 70s, but were 60s mini-skirts an issue in the 70s? From what I see of the old yearbooks, girls may have worn short dresses but they were "nice" in the style of the day, even if they showed a bit of leg. I don't think people would look at girls dressed thusly and think "skank" in disgust like I did.

When I think of 70s, I think of bell-bottom jeans and flower-print blouses for women (and in some cases, for guys!). Were halter tops an issue then?

If you're not talking about skank, but about dress in general, I think the girls are dressing a little more like the late 70s/early 80s. Butt-hugger jeans, which both sexes wore at that time, are definitely back for girls. But I don't see any other similarities--the vests, the "frills", etc., that are what I remember.

Watch "That 70s Show" !!!

Nigel said...

You guys are no fun. I mean hey, I don't mind the skanky dresses.

..Just not at school. I wouldn't want my date walking around in a slinky little "dress" in front of my teachers—that would be a bit odd. Now, at a private party (birthday, graduation thingy..ect ect) then it's a whole different set of rules.

I know I make an effort to look badass at all these kind of pants, shoes,'s the only way to go. But the whole collar being flipped..that I just do not understand. It could be that I spit on rap/hip-hop (and mainstream culture as a whole) but come looks ridiculous!

Mr. Miller, like I said in 6th today, it isn't a referance to skank without a referance to Paris Hilton. It just isn't the same.

parentalcation said...

I graduated in 88 and totally miss the 80's.

I am happy to say that I never wore "salmon" but I did do the goth and 80's punk rock thing.

I remember when you were a nobody unless you had an alligator on your polo shirt.

I do not remember teenage girls dressing anything close to what teenagers wear today. I know for a fact that HS girls in the 80's never ever wore thongs.

Anonymous said...

In the '80's, thongs were something you wore on your feet in the summer time!

I graduated from high school in '87. I went through a Madonna phase (permed messy hair and leggings with some wierd things over the top), some of my friends went through a Duran Duran phase (short hair with a long bleached piece in the front) and many of my friends were into heavy metal (long hair, Bon Jovi t-shirts, tight torn jeans).

I was happy to see some of the '80's garb returning until I tried some of it on. I'm not the spring chicken I once was...........

rightwingprof said...

In the 70s, maxis, midis, and minis were all in fashion. There were plenty of girls running around in mini-skirts, though just as many in hip huggers. Thankfully, midis went out, because they made girls' legs look fat.

Sign me your friendly old geezer ...

Nigel said...

Bon Jovi was considered heavy metal back then?


csar leon deere said...

i agree with nigel. Bon Jovi is not metal its not even hard rock, my mom and dad listen to Bon Jovi my country friends listen to Bon Jovi. It is not Metal. Oh and by the way i listen to Bon Jovi