Some fashions aren’t meant to come back

Even though I was born in 1982, I consider myself an ’80s child. I know that those who were actually teens during the ’80s will scoff at my assertion, but for as young as I was, I loved, loved, loved the ’80s.

I dressed up like Madonna and sang her songs — complete with a lace dress and gloves I scored as a flower girl in a wedding. I crushed on hair bands, especially Jon Bon Jovi. I watched music videos on MTV for hours (long before the drama of “Teen Mom” took over the “Real World”). I loved “Charles in Charge,” “Who’s the Boss,” “Coach” and “Mr. Belvedere.” I crimped my hair (and my doll’s). I begged my mom to let me get a perm to make my natural curl even curlier — and frizzier. (What was I thinking?!) I took more “Just Say No” pledges than I could count as First Lady Nancy Reagan took up the war on drugs.

Yes, I embraced the ’80s — neon-striped bike shorts and all.

But I also left the ’80s behind, save for my awesome ’80s music collection. Apparently, fashion did not.

I hadn’t been shopping in a large mall for more than a year. Having a new baby kind of puts a damper on big shopping trips — and spending money on anything but diapers and other baby needs.

But the yearly mecca my mom, sister, sister-in-law and I take to shop till we drop finally rolled around and I was excited to get in some serious shopping time.

We descended on the mall to find the latest fashionable offerings.

After stops at the usual classics like Younkers, my sister and I branched out to go to some of the younger-skewing stores. These are the ones where we usually score the best deals on more fashion-forward merchandise.

One of our favorites to shop at on this yearly trip is Charlotte Russe. Usually, we can spend several hours in this one store, trying on everything from shirts to shoes to jewelry.

Not this year.

My sister and I walked into the store and were immediately disappointed.

I’ll admit, I’m a pretty conservative dresser, but my sister is very on-trend. She’s the size of a toothpick and can wear anything, so she’s not afraid to try something new. But even she couldn’t justify the things we were seeing. And there wasn’t a single thing she would consider.
Instead of trying things on, our stop at Charlotte Russe became a contest of one-upping each other with each find more tawdry and ridiculous than the next.

There were big, bulky sweaters that hang in the most unflattering ways. They’d give even the skinniest person a bad case of muffin top.

The tapered-leg jeans in garishly bright floral prints looked over-the-top and cartoonish.

The colors that were spliced together were awful. I mean, tan and neon green? In the same sweater?!

And the worst offender seems to be making its way back: the too-tiny navel-revealing shirt. They’re calling them crop sweaters. I’m calling them a crime that needs to be reported to the fashion police.

We had a good laugh as we pulled each garish item off the racks and shook our heads.

We hoped maybe this was an isolated incident, but as we made our way through many of the stores, we were having a hard time embracing the new fads.

I’m sure you’ve heard of ugly sweater parties. That usually meant going through someone’s closet and finding the ugliest, most over-the-top color block sweater you could find.

But no more. Now you can buy them brand new. Ugly sweaters are not a novelty anymore, because it’s the new trend — all in the name of great(?) fashion. So does that mean that we’ll soon be invited to “tasteful sweater parties”?

There are some things that should be left in the ’80s — over-processed hair, Reagonomics and most definitely, ridiculous, gaudy fashion.

I think maybe, they should recycle ’80s pop instead of the clothing.

Deann Stumpe

In her weekly column that runs Mondays in the Hastings Tribune, Deann Stumpe gabs about relationships, movies and TV, and life with a baby. She is the Tribune’s special sections editor.

Copyright © 2015