Proof That Skinny Isn’t Always A Good Thing

Yesterday I mentioned a “long and pointless” dream about my friend Elise that I shared via email with a couple of my college friends. Without going into all the details, I’ll just point out that Elise, in my dream, was dressed in some for-real 80’s finery, all the way down to a spiffy pair of red Connie flats. Oh yes ma’am she was.

My friend Melanie immediately responded to my email and said, “You do know that the 80’s ARE BACK. This might not have been a dream but a premonition of things to come. If we are supposed to do skinny jeans and leggings (which I’m not happy about) then why not cuffed walking shorts and red flats. I bet I could find some red plastic earrings to match.”

I thought long and hard about Melanie’s email. Then I pondered Big Mama’s post that she wrote a few weeks ago about this very issue. And my conclusion?

We have a problem, y’all.

I feel that I can speak with a certain degree of authority on this topic because I am a child of the 80’s. I watched the premiere of “Thriller” on MTV, I saw every movie that Molly Ringwald ever made, and I used so much Paul Mitchell Freeze N Shine on my bangs in 1988 that a specific portion of the ozone layer boasts a plaque bearing my name. In addition, I memorized the entire sountrack of “St. Elmo’s Fire,” I recorded every single episode of “Moonlighting,” and I arrived at college wearing a pair of acid washed jeans.

Oh yes I did.

So I feel pretty qualified to say that this whole resurgence of 80’s fashion? It makes no sense at all. Because DID NOBODY NOTICE HOW UGLY THE CLOTHES WERE THE FIRST TIME AROUND?

I mean, I know we thought we were all cute and girls-just-wanna-have-fun-ish at the time, what with our leggings under our short skirts and our oversized v-neck sweaters from The Limited (oh, ‘fess up. you know you wore one with your neon stirrup pants back in 1989. you know you did). But in retrospect? We were all guilty parties in what can only be described as a fashion tragedy.

And wearing skinny jeans was a first degree offense.

Because while I can see the humor in lots of my 80’s antics, I just can’t, under any circumstances, find the humor (or value) in a pair of skinny jeans. They’re the most hateful of all the 80’s trends, in my opinion. The only thing worse is acid washed skinny jeans, which as far as I’m concerned is proof that the devil is real and at work and intent on stealing our joy.

(WHICH REMINDS ME. Some of my male college buddies who regularly read this blog-o-mine under the cover of secret SO used to tightroll their jeans. Out of respect for the offenders’ wives and children, as well as for the sake of their careers within your various and sundry Corridors of Power, I will not disclose their identities. But they know who they are.)

So I am resolved: I will cling to the boot cut jean with everything in me. I will stand firm against the possibility of denim hugging my admittedly substantial calves and then TAPERING DOWN toward my ankles. I will rebuke anything that even remotely resembles “tightrolling.”

And in conclusion, I’m not wearing red Connie flats and you can’t make me.

Because if the 80’s are in, I guess I’ll have to be out. I just can’t walk down the acid washed road again.

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  1. Yeah!! I get to be first comment!! Stacey and Clinton say skinny jeans aren’t good on anybody, even skinny people. Boot cut jeans are just more flattering on ALL body types. As are jeans that fall a little below the waist–as opposed to “Mom” jeans. Sorry if I offended anyone, but really…try the lower waisted jeans. They’ll make you look better. I promise. Trust me.

  2. Boomama, we can be “unfashionable” together. I’m dreading this return of the 80’s fashion!!

  3. But I saw Stacey wearing skinny jeans on Oprah and I felt betrayed. BETRAYED, I tell you.

    And did you ever see the “Mom Jeans” commercial on SNL? It’s here:

    Cracks me up.

  4. i saw that oprah with stacey wearing the skinny jeans…and i have to admit, they actually looked ok on her. oh…but maybe that’s because she is SKINNY!
    and oh please you people who set the fashion trends…please don’t make us tight roll our jeans again and roll our t-shirt sleeves up and wear neon stripes and jelly shoes and members only jackets and parachute pants….PLEASE, NO!!

  5. OH, the Members Only jackets. The parachute pants. I’d blocked those from my memory. Surely to goodness those two things don’t EVER have to resurface. Surely?

  6. It is evil at work, plain evil at work. Why must we be revisited by these sins of our past? I will stand strong with you in the land of bootcut and just say no.

    BTW, thanks for the link. :)

  7. The thing is, I remember once watching a rerun of the Brady Bunch, oh, around ’88, snug in my black stirrup pants and bright yellow oversized sweater thinking, “I can’t BELIEVE people wore bell bottoms! They don’t look good on ANYONE!” And now I would totally fight you if you tried to take my bootcuts, which really are just bellbottoms after all, with slightly smaller bells. Do we have an explanation for this mass delusion?

  8. Oh, the flopping on the bed, desperately trying to get the zipper up on my jordache jeans. I will NOT go there again! And, I’m ashamed to admit that I was a professional jeans tight roller.

    All I want to know is am I going to have to make my bangs (which I don’t really have) stand straight up 5 inches?

  9. Oh wait…you didn’t say anything yet about stirrup pants with pumps; long shirts with drop-waist belts; black lace gloves in the tradition of Madonna and multiple piercings in the day when that meant two holes in the ear. Bold!

    I’m with you — I’m not going back, no way, no how.

  10. *nodding my head through this discussion*

    Don’t forget the hair! Lopsided/asymetrical “do”s – I’m surprised my neck muscles aren’t larger on one side from walking around with my head tilted to one side to keep “the do” in place (like it was going anywhere with all the hairspray!!)

    Oh – my prom date in 11th grade tight rolled his tuxedo!!!

  11. My clog Eastlands aren’t goingn to look good with “skinny jeans” I can tell you. And I just bought two pair to replace the pair I just wore for two years.

    Well, when somebody else gets tired of their new fasion and donates to Goodwill…I may give in and try it to say “I’m so hip and in style” just once, on a rainy day.

    Until then…enjoy my whatever I got from goodwill last to do the same. For $2, I can smile and look quite the trend…whatever it happens to be, every once in a while…laugh at me and tell me I look like a dork if you want, it’s all part of the fun of style. :-)

    But, oh, my loafer Eastlands. I cannot defer. There is no better shoe of class, make or model.

  12. Preach it sister! My Jessica McClintock homecoming outfit in 1991 was drapery material! Don’t forget the hiking boots with socks OVER the leggings. That was a great look.

  13. The predominant style at the local Sears last week was the long V-neck tunic sweater (with the 3-inch stripes falling MOST unattractively horizontally) and leggings. The Connie flats are next… I commented to my husband as I left the store that the 80s boasted styles that did not need to return…

    BTW..I think I just cleaned the 80s out of my closet…I guess some people at the Salvation Army will have some rather stylish clothes…

  14. Remember the Sam & Libby’s with the cute little bows on them that came in 101 colors? I’ve been seeing them in the stores lately, and my 8 year old is dying for a pair. Talk about sins of the mothers being revisited on their children…

  15. Oh, I’m cracking up. I haven’t laughed this hard since the first time I watched The Wedding Singer.

    I love your writer’s voice. I still remember when I wrote about wearing my sunglasses with only one lense and you commented, “Lookin’ good. Yes ma’am.”

    I went straight to Bloglines and subscribed.

  16. I thought the same thing when bell bottoms, hip huggers, and what I lovingly refer to as “ugly plaid” came back in from the 70’s. The answer is, no, we evidently as a society learn nothing from past fashion mistakes. The huge-striped sweaters and leggings already in stores are giving me hives and causing me to consider shopping at my nearest old-lady store for sweater sets with huge applique’s on them!

  17. Oh, thank you for linking that SNL skit! It is hilarious!!! I knew about it but couldn’t remember when it aired or how in the world one would go about finding it. That just started my day off with a good laugh!

  18. Does this mean I shouldn’t have ordered that blue eye shadow and hair crimper? Are you telling me that really wasn’t cool?


    I also seem to remember lots and lots of keds in every color imaginable with two (different colors) socks…

  19. “Hi, my name is AuntieB. And I used to be a professional tight-roller.” Step #1-Admit that there’s a problem.

    Well…yes, there’s a problem! Do we REALLY need to revisit this fashion disaster? No, I didn’t think so.

    I’ve seen these things in the stores, too. Disgraceful! Hubs and I were at Wally World the other night and I saw them. A WHOLE RACK CRAMMED FULL!!! AND IN THE WOMAN’S SECTION – OF ALL PLACES!!!!!!

    I thought I was going to pass out! Hubs almost had to carry me to the car right then. I almost couldn’t go buy groceries. It was traumatic. I thought I was going to have to go see the doctor for post-traumatic stress disorder.

    You get that when you wear clothing that is bigger than the “national average” of a size 14. (No offense to those who are. I used to be one back in the day.) So, I’ll be praying for deliverance from Satan and his tight-rolling demons (who bear a striking familiarity to the fashion designers).

    I’m out. (Did that really come out of my mouth?!) Oh Lord, HELP!!!!!!

  20. Y’all, I can’t remember when I’ve laughed so hard reading comments.

    They’re like little gems, every single one.

  21. Oh yes, boot cut jeans all the way!! I was looking at some of the magazines I got in the mail, and as I toss them in the trash I said “I dont think so, Not me, Not this time, I am wiser now!!”

  22. I’m pretty sure the 60’s and 70’s are back too. My girlfriends have rears that are a bit beyond ample and we put big floweredy capris on them. My mom used to wear them and call them pedal pushers so your pants didnt get caught in the bicycle spokes. We all need an extra closet just to store clothes from the last 3 decades so we can pull them back out and wear them. If we all wear them, do they look any less horrible? My three kid meme earlier this week, Sarah with the brownie sash, she had on LEG WARMERS. That was the 80’s, and “they’re back….”

  23. AUGH!!! Please don’t tell me the 80’s are back! I live in Korea (moving back to the States in 4 months) and I was SO looking forward to shopping for some new clothes…I REFUSE to do the 80’s again…I am a reformed tight roller and won’t go back! The 80’s stuff popped up here in Korea about 6 months ago and I just HAD to laugh! I thought, oh, if they only could have seen my old pictures they wouldn’t go there…but they did…and now we are going back! AUGH…you can’t make me do it! LOL!!

  24. I assume “Tight rolling” is what we referred to as “Pegging” or “Peglegged” jeans. (Rubber bands helped them stay pegged ALL day too!!)

  25. Boo ~

    I just got an email from my sister this week that had a list of 80’s things, and it was so funny! “Hammer Pants” had me laughing so hard!

    Celia & I were doing a little on-line shopping last night & she told me she wants bell bottoms. Seems we’re in the 70’s…but that means the 80’s are coming.

    BTW, I was more socially conscious than you…I secured my locks with Final Net (which was a pump, not an aerosol). And I not only had The Limited sweater…I WORKED THERE!

    And, what, pray tell, is TIGHTROLLING? I must have missed that phenomenon, or we called it something else.

  26. As I see the 6th grade girls parade through my classroom every day in things I saw other girls wear (I was not even stylish then, ’cause we didn’t have lots of money and this didn’t sell cute clothes at Wal-Mart yet) when I was in Jr. High and High School I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I am old.

  27. Oh the memories! I had a way-cool pair of skinny jeans that had a 3 inch zipper on the bottom back of each leg – so you could actually get them on and then zip them super-tight. And above those handy zippers was an oh-so-fashionable heart cut-out, inlaid with lace. On each calf. Oh, yes indeed.

    The lesson I take from your post is that I must get myself forthwith to the department store and stock up on bootcut jeans before they are nowhere to be found. ‘Cause skinny jeans – well, they’re just not happening again for me. I’ll stand with you in the realm of unfashionableness. It’s got to be better than the horrific sight of these 30-something legs in skinny jeans.

  28. I saw an actress the other day who was complaining that the skinny jeans looked not so great on her. And she was uber thin! This does not bode well for me AT ALL.

  29. Do you remember Ked’s tennis shoes that came in every color under the sun, even plaid. Those were my favorites! They were even worn with colored socks. So crazy!

  30. AMEN!!!

    And to the poster with the comment about Keds? The socks weren’t only colored, they were HUGE and pushed down all pretty!

  31. Long live the boot cut!! I too am a proud child of the 80s, but… If I still had the body now that I had in the 80s, maybe. (Yes, I’m just that goofy. I would draw the line at jelly shoes – I hated those things then, I hate them now. Excuse me, “strongly dislike”.) But the body I have now? Forget about it!
    Let’s not ruin perfectly good memories. Leave ’em at that…sweet memories. :)

  32. Lea Margaret says:

    I really preferred my Laura Ashley dresses and my Norman/Rebecca Thomas pleated skirts (starched so that they would stand up by themselves). And of course the “themed” sweaters with the shoulder pads.

  33. AMEN SISTER!! Not even for money would I walk down that road again.

  34. Hmmmm….I’m sure I still have a pair of leg warmers somewhere downstairs…..oh mercy let’s hope not!

    OK, so I’m with you on the 80’s fashion thing – no need to see any of that again. But I would definately vote for a resurgence of 80’s music.

    – Walkin on Sunshine
    – Jump
    – Born in the USA
    – and all those great Chicago love songs. Mmmmmm.


  35. I just got used to the whole low rise jeans thing and now they go and change trends on me. One thing is for sure, I ain’t got the body I had back in the 80’s for those pencil jeans!!!!

  36. This has thoroughly cracked me up. My sister (the one who is married to a certain kicker we know HaHa) has always told me that I am stuck in the 80’s. So needless to say this post has taken me down memory lane. Most of it fond. However, Paul Mitchell? I remember Rave full strength hairspray. I also remember getting ready before going out and always having to tight roll my jeans. Anyway, I am not stuck I just haven’t fully adapted completely to flat, scalp hugging hair yet. I don’t tease it anymore though. That is progress. LOL
    Thank you for giving me a good laugh this morning.

  37. I do not think I want to have to lay down on the bed to zip my jeans, then zip them at the ankle too (because they were too tight, they had to install zippers, snaps, or buttons at the ankles.)
    BUT, the good thing? Big hair. I love big hair. I just can’t have enough big hair.
    And who else wore more than one shirt at at time, under a sweater with the shirt hanging out at the bottom???
    Oh! AND COLLAR UP!!!

  38. Right On Boomama! That fashing should never ever ever ever come back! Bootcut jeans for ever!!!

  39. LOL, I just blogged about this same thing today, becuse my new hair stylist gave me 80’s bangs!!! I do’t want the bangs, and I definitely don’t want anything that tapers :) I’m on the bootleg bandwagon!

  40. As a child of the 70’s, I was horrified when bell bottoms, ponchos, wide belts, and funky prints came back. I swannee’d that I would not be a 70’s victim again. Oh, I quoted the “If you’ve worn it once, don’t wear it again” mantra.

    You 80’s children are gonna EAT YOUR WORDS! :)


  41. Boomama,

    No, they can’t make me! I refuse to wear skinny jeans, anything acid washed or anything neon! I was a fashion victim once and I refuse to do it again!

    On a more serious note (if that is possible, but probably not), as a mom of a 15 month old, I think I have the right to wear my relax fit jeans and boot cut jeans. I can always claim that fashion magazines are just not on my daughters reading list — yeah, that’s it!


  42. I was born in the 80’s but I do remember my Mom wearing that stuff. I don’t think I want to be walking that road again either. I will stand tall and proud next to you in my boot cut jeans! You go girl!!

  43. That’s funny. I always felt that way about bell bottoms. Now they call them boot cut jeans…

  44. Anonymous says:

    I loved reading these hilarious comments. Being a total eighties girl and loving it at the time, it is so funny to hear what the different bloggers remember wearing. I remember wearing my miniskirts with shirts tucked out-collar up, wide vinyl belts, flats, and a bandana(I had ever color) in my hair tied at the top. I also loved my striped Bongo jeans which were definitely skinny jeans. I probably cyuldn’t get them past my knees now.

  45. OK, I can’t believe I’m going public with this. I LOVED leggings and wore them well into my 40’s. Even I can’t believe that. My kids told me constantly how “young” I looked but you know they were lying through their teeth.

    And I wore my jeans so tight and tapered that I had to lay down on my bed to zip them up. Remember that? All those shallow breaths you took just so you could boa constrictor yourself?

    Aint no way I’m letting the 80’s back into my fashion sense. Actually I no longer even have any fashion sense. It’s Old Navy all the way and the baggier, the better.

  46. I must confess, I was guilty of “tightrolling” and thought it was cool.

    At the ripe old age of 38, I’ve thrown away the desire to keep up with changing fashion trends and have decided to stick with a look all my own. I go for comfort first and foremost. When I need to dress up, I go with a classic style that suits me.

    You won’t find me wearing leggings or acid wash jeans anymore!

    Now, I’m off to watch that “Mom jeans” commercial that you posted. :)

  47. Ohhhhhh my gosh!! That cracked me up. My kids think I done lost my mind. I can so remember the 80’s. I could make the big hair like nobody’s business. Tease, tease, spray, tease, tease, spray. I’m sure my name is up there on a big hole in the ozone layer too. LOL I could go on but I’ll save that for my own post so I don’t take too much room here. =)

  48. I was just telling my hubby about this the other day. I can’t believe it! it’s not cute!!!! What are they thinking?? I’m this is gonna be one of those in and out things that doesn’t last too long. I can’t do away with my boot-cut jeans for those hideous skinny tapered leg things!! NO ONE LOOKS GOOD IN THOSE!!!!

  49. OHMYGOSH, what a trip down memory lane. I so agree, those things were not that attractive the first time, and I am certainly not going to be caught dead in them this time around. Too old and a lot more pounds later (not to mention gray hair). Nope, been there, done that.

    Great post!

  50. I thought the same thing when the 70’s were so in about five years ago. I remember thinking most of the clothes I wore in 7th grade were just plain stupid…like those huge flaired pants!

    I was high school age at the start of the 80’s…in fact, it was all the Facts of Life shows I watched that started me blogging (in a roundabout way)…but that’s for a future post.

    I am rambling, but wanted to say that I agree…the 80’s weren’t all that great, style-wise. Either you were preppy or wore leggings with earrings down to your shoulders- oh, and big hair!
    Can’t we all learn from our mistakes? It doesn’t look that way!

  51. How much do I love Merritt that she mentioned Stacey and Clinton? So much:) Chris and I watch their show faithfully together. Right after we watch Prospecting America :)

  52. Oh Boo Mama you make me pee in my pants. You are too funny. I was just in the process of writing a post (which I linked to you as a funny alternative). Then ping, i get a coveted comment from you!

    I’m new to blogdom, and I’m not sure if people still read this far down in the comments. But if you do, I posed a question on my blog (and NO i’m not trying to get more hits) but it’s a sincere question about blogging: Would you visit friend’s blogs even if they don’t have anything profound to say? Just wondering what bloggers/readers think? I feel a little insecure about blogging myself.

  53. Oh yeah almost forgot, that posting of books thing is easy. If you really want to know, i’ll post it on that comments section. but baby just squirted in his diaper so let me go tend to him. I’m SLOWLY reading Jonathan Edwards, like 3 pages a day-it’s AWESOME but I’m sure i’ll eventually trade it off for goodbye moon or something. it’s long! ;-)

  54. I have red plastic earrings and I’m proud of them!

  55. I’m right there with ya, girl. If I see anyone bring back the poofy pants with the paint splatter in neon on them, I may have to run off screaming. I refuse to tear my jeans on purpose. And, I recently cut my hair and I could not wear it “Big” even if I tried now.Let the 80’s stay dead!

  56. LOL! Leggings, short skirts and v-neck sweaters were like MY FAVORITE! I also wore little boots over the leggings. Sometimes, I’d wear the v-neck backwards…Too cool. In my mind right now, it still actually looks kind of cool, but then again I’m a total dork.

    Skinny jeans, however are the bees knees. I mean, I love the way I look in them, especially cuffed! Not pinch-rolled (LOL I totally used to do that in junior high!) but just cuffed, with some mary janes…Very fifties style, actually.

  57. Also, I forgot to mention…I think skinny jeans actually look better on heavy women, huge-legged pants make a woman look bigger than she needs to look. However, I’m really weird.

  58. I didn’t read all 57 comments first, but I knew the 80s were back when I started seeing one button suit jackets with ruffled shoulder seams. I almost started crying.

  59. I forgot about the paint-splatered paints. Soph, do you remember Monty’s Lee (I think) “coming-and-going” jeans? So named by her dad because on the front side they were acid-washed grey and on the back denim – she looked different “coming and going.” I was so jealous!

  60. Um, I just don’t think i could do skinny jeans even if I wanted to. The 80’s making a comeback – how pitiful – just plain pitiful!

  61. Liz and Soph: where we grew up the girls didn’t tightroll their pants, did they? I thought that was just the boys. I remember my jeans having the zippered ankles as several other people mentioned. Help me remember about this. By the way, Liz, your front door was NOT unlocked today. Thanks anyway!

    I, um, MAY have tightrolled a pair or two back in the day. I remember I had some Gap jeans that seemed to me to be far too wide at the bottom, and I remember tightrolling to make them smaller at the ankles.

    And I have a VIVID memory of Monty’s “coming and going” jeans. I’m laughing just thinking about them…and Monty had ALL those v-necked sweaters from The Limited. I think she had every single color. She also had many, many colors of Connie flats.

    Liz, didn’t you have some red Sam & Libby flats? Am I making that up?

  62. Woohoooo, I am still laughing over this post. I just wanted you to know that I referenced your post on my site today…I haven’t a clue how to do a trackback so I just told you that I am doing it.
    I love your blog…you always make me laugh. And I like to laugh!

  63. LOL! I won’t do the skinny jeans, some other things I will do, but I’m with you on the skinny jeans!

  64. I did the 60’s and 70’s the first time round, and now it’s hitting the third time round here in the UK, I’m definately giving them a miss! :)

  65. Now that it’s a million comments later….I’ll be big and admit it on the interweb. Not only did I tight roll my jeans, I tight rolled my short shirt sleeves as well! Not to mention the fact that I owned at least one pair of PLEATED jeans!!!! What in the world was I thinking?!?!?
    Funny Post Boomama! :)

  66. LOL, Amen Sistah! And thanks for the laugh. :)

  67. I had red, navy, brown, and cream flats (you know…the basic colors that would go with any outfit) plus lavender Keds.

  68. Know what’s on VH1 right now? Footloose. And yes, I’m watching. I was in the 8th grade when that came out. The thing I noticed first over the fashion was the hair. And Sarah Jessica Parker. Little did she know what a phenom she would become in 20 or so years!!!

    Ok, just had to share.

  69. I usually don’t comment when there are this many comments already. But this post requires a comment. Ugh, ugh, ugh. I am SO WITH YOU. I just blogged about this very topic last week. I consider myself fairly up on fashion, but the skinny jean is just more than I can take. And as Merritt, the first commenter, pointed out, Stacy and Clinton are on our side. So there! Long live the low-waist/bootcut jean!

  70. Toni's friend Elise says:

    Oh, my. This takes me back to Benetton sweaters, Swatch watches and The Bangles. “Manic Monday”, anyone?

  71. I can’t do it, I can’t read every comment here. There’s like a bazillion. Just tell me what tight-rolling is. I need to know if I’m in fashion or not.

    No matter what though, I stand with you against the skinny jeans. Unless I lose like thirty pounds then you’re on your own.

  72. Amen! Preach it sista!

  73. Awww, tightrolling I got it now. We called it “pegging our pants” up in the Northeast!

    Gosh, was I an 80’s girl!! Should I confess…what the heck everyone else did. K, sit down…

    I was a parachute wearing, Michael Jackson shiny glove wearing (oh yes I did!), Jordache painted, monogrammed sweater wearing, spiral permed-five inch bang styling, leg warmers with florescent socks supporting FREAK!!

    The only difference is that we couldn’t afford Paul Mitchell so it was the HUGE .99 can of Aqua Net.




    AND, if anyone knows what the above acronyms are you are definitely a product of the 80’s! :)

  74. Okay, gotta add my two cents worth here. This is just hilarious and brings back so many memories! WHen the 80’s rolled around, I had just graced the doors of an ultra-conservative bible college, which combined strict dress standards with the bad fashion scene. Add to that the fact that we had to go out on innercity outreach (that’s a post in itself) in the middle of cold mid-West winters – hence you had the down coats, moon boots, legwarmers – anything went. Legwarmers with below-the-knee skirts? Colored scrunched bobby socks, tennis shoes, and long jean skirts or jumpers? And we all had a million purses, for purses must match the shoes, you know! Gimme a break!

    That said, today i love my jeans – whatever the style! I’m a bit partial to the straight leg but anything beats ankle length skirts and legwarmers! But I will never wear gauchos! NEVER!

  75. I KNOW!! It is insane!!! WE can only be excuse once for such poor taste – to recommit the same offenses would be unforgivable!

  76. these comments are hilarious! but I must stop reading them. I have a messy kitchen waiting and I haven’t visited any blogs all day!!!!


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