I watched Dirty Dancing over the weekend, which is never not a good idea. (Quick aside: Jeff has never seen it. Can you believe it? I had to explain the whole plot, which ended up sounding way less awesome than the actual movie: "So this Jewish feminist, Baby, goes on vacation in 1963 to a cheesy resort where there's segregation--but not between blacks and whites, between the dirty-dancing goyem waitstaff and the stuck-up clientele. Anyway, this dance instructor gets a back-alley abortion and Baby has to get her dad--who was on Law & Order for a really long time but then died and sometimes is in those organ donor subway ads--to help, because he's a doctor. Then he's mad. But then she has sex with Patrick Swayze and they profess their star-crossed love by performing ballroom dance in front of a small crowd of rich Jews in the Catskills.")
But I digress.
One thing that struck me was how, every time I watch it, I want to reach into the TV screen and rip Jennifer Grey's clothes right off of her body. Specifically, the sweet jean shorts and tank top she is wearing during my personal favorite scene, the Forbidden Bridge Dance Montage:
Ugh, look at that. I could vomit from pure envy. Yes, I realize that the shirt is tucked in, and that a waist belt is involved. I'm also pretty sure she's wearing white Keds. I don't care. I want to BE her, right down to her Tatum O'Neal perm and old nose.
That visceral reaction inspired me to expand my list of 80's movies outfits I would totally cut a bitch to get my hands on...
#2: Adventures in Tablecloth-Inspired Eveningwear
If I had to choose the one celluloid scene that best encapsulates my deepest soul, it would be the opening from Adventures in Babysitting, when Elisabeth Shue dances around her bedroom to "And Then He Kissed Me" by the Crystals. Perhaps it is by the transitive property that I thereby covet this odd, long-sleeved velvet-slash-gingham party dress that she dons for her hot date with Bradley Whitford. What can I say? The way she shimmies into it while lip-syncing and making love to the camera is basically the most impressive multi-tasking I have ever seen.
#3: The Gravity-Defying Slushie Frat Party Boob Shelf
This photo doesn't really do justice to the amazing ensemble that Winona Ryder wears to the frat party in Heathers. Herve Leger wishes he could make a bandage dress as flattering and curve-hugging as this pencil skirt/overalls combo, and I add points for the off-the-shoulder sweater with the cleavage brooch. Christian Slater's face says it all. Lick it up, baby. Lick. It. Up.
#4: Sweet Sixteen And Always Been Pissed
I think we can all agree that Samantha Baker just doesn't give a fuck. But it's exactly this effortless ennui--and her ability to layer and accessorize--that wins me over. (We shall not mention the disheveled best friend with the unfortunate hair clip who looks like she's 45 and should be working Hollywood Boulevard with Julia Roberts and Laura San Giacomo.)
#5: The Hungry Like A Wolf
Natty Gann was my jam! It was like Mallory from Family Ties became a newsie. Plus, she had John Cusack. And a wolf! And a sweet tomboy wardrobe! I mean, it wasn't sweet, really, because she was a homeless runaway, but still.
#6, 7, and 8: Chicago Chic
I was going to go with Sloane Peterson (if I'd had access to a fringed leather jacket and pleated stone-washed shorts in the late 1980s... well, it would have been extremely unfortunate, but oh, how I prayed for them), but then I saw this photo and realized that I covet all three of these looks. Maybe Ferris' most of all--that vest! Le sigh! Cameron has a kind of Arnie Grape vibe going on, but secretly it was him I had the biggest crush on.
#9: Ione Have Eyes For You
If I had been allowed to design my wedding dress at age 12, this is exactly what it would have looked like. Listen, Diane Court: You stand up straight. Admit you're special.
#10 The I'm Gonna Be 40... Someday!
Wearing suit jackets makes me look like Peter Dinklage dressed as an airline stewardess, but that doesn't stop me from desperately wanting to wear houndstooth and felt bowlers. I know everyone loves Annie Hall when it comes to filmic representations of 80's menswear, but I prefer the quirkier Sally oeuvre. I guess what I'm saying is, I would like to partake of her pecan pie.
Jeff just made me think of at least 5 more examples, so consider this list TO BE CONTINUED...