All Women's Talk

8 Fashions I Wore That Make Me Cringe ...

By Alison

Older readers will identify with me only to well when I say this: sometimes when I remember the outfits I used to wear, I wonder ‘What WAS I thinking??!’ Younger readers need not be smug though, as however fashionable you think you are now, the same thing will surely happen to you. It’s inevitable. Here are some of the ‘fashions’ I wore (at least, some of them were ‘in’ at the time) that make me cringe now I’m older and wiser …

1 Legwarmers Image source:

Dear God, the Eighties could be cruel. The decade was responsible for some of the most appalling fashion crimes. At least those of us who were embarasssed at wearing them first time round can laugh that today’s youngsters think they’re being innovative in wearing them now, and don’t realise it’s all been done before.

2 Poodle Perm

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Aren’t women perverse? If we have curly hair, we straighten it. If it’s already straight, we wish it was curly. I’ve long since embraced my straight hair, but back in the mists of time I resorted to the hair hell that is The Perm. Any photos of me from this time are under lock and key (I merely keep them to remind myself to appreciate what nature gave me).

3 Oversized

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Another aspect of my appearance that I’ve now accepted is the fact that I’m very much on the slim side. Back in my teens and early 20s, however, it was quite a different matter, and I attempted to make myself look more substantial by wearing baggy clothes that were much too big for me. I must have looked like I was auditioning for a role as a Charlie Chaplin impersonator.

4 Mannish

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Sigh. Greta Garbo or Katherine Hepburn I am not. So why did I think I could pull off the masculine look like they did? Shopping from the men’s section at local thrift stores just made me look like I had raided my dad’s wardrobe. Clearly I had not grasped the concept of female fashion with a masculine influence.

5 Makeup

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For some reason, it took me a very long time to work out how to apply makeup. I must have looked a complete mess. Nor did I have a clue which colours suited me. You name the makeup sin, I committed it. Heavy black eyeliner, obvious lipliner, blue eyeshadow with blue eyes …

6 Shoulder Pads

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Another Eighties horror, shoulder pads were in everything from jackets to t-shirts to nightwear (okay, I’m exaggerating about the last one. But they were ubiquitous. Eventually I wised up to how strange they looked, and started cutting them out of clothes.

7 Faded Jeans

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Now, there’s nothng wrong with a pair of jeans that have faded because you love them so much that they’ve been worn and washed hundreds of times. But stonewashed denim was truly a fashion travesty. What was even worse was when people wore faded jeans and a matching denim jacket. Check out any Eighties film and shudder.

8 Fringed Jacket

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Eek. I truly thought I looked amazingly cool when I wore my fringed suede jacket (from the market). Instead, I undoubtedly looked as though I’d been savaged by a bear. Kids, this is a warning. Don’t do fringing.

Right, now I’m sure I’m far from alone in the fashion sin stakes. So now it’s your turn to confess and lighten the burden that you have carried for so long. What hideous horrors did you proudly wear in the past?

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