Walking into a clothing store with our young adult, the mannequins seemed to be channeling the mid-1980s. Fingering a sleeve edge, I recalled the movie “Pretty in Pink,” which aired during my high school years. Looking around, it was pretty obvious someone had raided the closet of my youth.
Paper-bag shorts, tube tops and breezy cotton shirts abounded. Looking over at my gal, she snorted. I pointed to some high-waisted shorts as she gave thumbs down. She directed me to the placard. I read the description and laughed.
“Mom shorts! How sweet they opted to honor mothers by naming shorts after us,” I sarcastically hooted. Mr. Harris held up a pair of netted sandals. I cooed as I recalled my absolute favorite Huarache sandals back in the 1980s. I wore those things until the soles separated, glued them and wore them some more. Then Mr. Harris noticed the iconic lips of the Rolling Stones Rock band on tank tops.
“Aren’t those guys pushing 80?” he wondered. Astounding how the younger generation is honoring their elders through fashion. Most of these bands were the music of our own parents, stolen by us in our teen years.
Moving onto jeans, there were pants with hems opened and pressed flat to extend the leg.
“This,” I gestured to my daughter, “was how we did our jeans because they were hand-me-downs. Tall gals like me didn’t want to get teased about wearing high water pants.” Mr. Harris recalled doing the same, but as the oldest it was typically his jeans being passed on once he outgrew them. Bursting with laughter, I moved onto a rack filled with baggy pullover tops.
I hadn’t seen those since my high school era. Immediately I was reminded of the guy who used to sit behind me in algebra. He was — how do I say it — very mellow from herbaceous materials we seem to be reading about in the news nowadays. Kimonos in all fabrics hung over platform sandals. Holding up a flowered and layered skirt, I queried Mr. Harris.
“Looks nice,” he murmured. “Seriously?” I laughed. “No, it’s hideous. Looks like grandma’s curtains,” he snarked. Finding some palm tree printed fabric made into baggy, drawstring-waisted pants, he laughed. “Now it’s the whole dang living room.”
The mom jeans had the same high waist as the shorts, but the entire front of both thighs were ripped completely out. I don’t know about you, but my mom never wore anything like that.
But wait, dad jeans are out there too. Not in the store, but online. High-waisted with a relaxed fit, the associate explained edgier items like this are only available by order. Laughing, we heard how he and another employee bought them to wear one day with their shirts tucked in.
“We thought they were pretty cool, but I guess they think they might not sell well in the stores.” He seemed to think they’d do well. I’ve heard it mentioned that if you wore it the first time around, it’s best to pass on it when it cycles back in fashion. Tube tops are definitely out as are paper bag pants, but I might snap up a pair of those sandals one of these days.