Monday, June 27, 2011

Ten 80's Movies Outfits I Covet Beyond All Reason

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...


  1. The Sally look was my fave; the Samantha Baker look was accomplished (albeit very badly.) And Cameron was my secret crush, too. And possibly the Ghost of Things To Come Charlie Sheen character...

  2. Great list! I kind of want to steal this idea.. (and by 'steal' I mean give you full credit for the idea and link back to this post)

  3. For me, #1 is the dress that Jennifer Connolly wore at the very beginning of Labyrinth. So what if it screamed Ren Faire? WANT!

  4. Genius! I also coveted Baby's outfit from the bridge.

  5. Oh, boy, do I hear ya. Elisabeth Shue's hair was also an object of beauty. It was so effortlessly messy and perfect.

    I'd like to add Ariel's prom dress from Footloose and the white outfit Katie comes down the stairs in for her big reveal in She's Out of Control. Oh! And Janie's final dance-off outfit from Girls Just Want to Have Fun!

  6. Anonymous10:38 AM

    Adventures in Babysitting FOREVER. Please include what she wore for the remainder of the film in part II

  7. I felt validated as a human being when I saw Jennifer Grey's bridge outfit on this list. My cousins and I worshipped that movie and I longed to be as svelte and saucy as that little whore Baby. Okay, so she wasn't really a whore but it's more fun when I call her that. I've never felt the same about her since the nose job.

    And Elisabeth Shue in that dress? Also perfection.

    Sally. Oh sweet Sally with her perfect blonde curls and un-Juvedermed or collagen-ed lips or whatever the hell Meg Ryan has done to her mouth. Also perfect.

    I don't remember what anyone wore in Girls Just Want to Have Fun, but I do remember the day after watching it asking my mom to French braid my hair and wearing white 'heels' that were too small to school the next day, so clearly impact was made.

  8. partake in pecan pie!!!

  9. Personally, I'm all for Wynnona Ryder's clothes from Heathers....and Beetlejuice lol

  10. I, too, watched Dirty Dancing over the weekend. And they had DELETED scenes! OMG! DELETED SCENES!

  11. LOVE this list! Every fall I try to pull off the tweed newsboy cap, ala Natty Gan, and every time, I pull it off before I make it out the door!

  12. LOVE this list! Every fall I try to wear a tweed newsboy cap, ala Natty Gan, and I rip it off before I get out the door!

  13. I confess to being dressed in "Dirty Dancing" attire for a good majority of the eighties...seriously, that movie never gets old! ;0D

  14. Great list! My husband has forbidden me to watch Dirty Dancing with him home...possibly because afterwards I try to make him dance with me and reenact scenes...

  15. Awesome picks, especially the gingham skirted dress, although I gravitate toward menswear myself. And I have still never seen "Dirty Dancing."

  16. have you seen the When Harry Met Sally commentary? That whole pecan pie thing was improved and you can see meg ryan look at the director, as if to ask Should we keep going? priceless. I too love her menswear look. Great list.

  17. 4 words: Can't Buy Me Love.

  18. I can't believe sue ellen crandall didn't make the list! tried to post a picture but i was is one of my favorites...

    big ups to SALLY!!!

  19. My sister texted me last night. She's introducing my nephews to 80's movies and couldn't remember if there was nudity in The Lost Boys. Then she tells me that she's always wanted Star's skirt. And then I was all "You need to read this blog..."

  20. This is hilarious & dead-on. Thank you for being awesome.


  21. This is a great list, but you forgot:
    Sue Ellen in Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead. (even though it came out in 1991)I love that movie.
    David Bowie...period. I secretly want to sport his hairdo.
    Helen Slater in The Legend of Billie Jean. I had a bathing suit that resembled her wetsuit-like zip-up top. And I rocked the fingerless gloves.
    Some Kind of Wonderful-- God I love that movie. Not only does the butch chick get the guy in the end, but she grows up to be Mary Stuart Masterson for crying out loud! Hello! Fried Green Tomatoes! Where strangely enough, she plays a tomboy, yet again.
    Louise Miller in Teen Witch! "I wanna be the most popular girl!"
    I loved all of Molly Ringwald's movies. Her outfits were always the shiznit to me!

  22. this post was the greatest thing of my life.

    i consider it a late-29th bday present.

    and f you cus i hate birthdays and i hate when people recognize them.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...