1988: The Year We Were All Sporting Tightie Whities

Talk about pasty white.

This photo of my sister and I was taken sometime in 1988. Judging from my Pac-Man polka-dotted skirt suit and Deanna’s ever-so-fashionable drop-waisted mid-thigh bow dress, I’m guessing this was Easter Sunday. We are both sporting horrendous chalky-colored opaque tights and thinking to ourselves, “Damn! We look good! Let’s go to church!”

Apparently this “whitie tighties” trend became popular somewhere in the mid-to-late 1980s. My online research failed to pinpoint the actual originator of the trend, but I’m pretty sure this look – worn flawlessly by Princess Diana – could have started it all. The photo on the right is from a 1986 Harper’s Bazaar spread, when the equally offensive “prairie” look was in full effect. In 1988, the movie Heathers came out and white-out legs were everywhere.



Recently, I found this photo of my best friend Missy and me in high school at a state drama competition. There I am, showing off my tightie whities along with some epic eighties hair. The look must have worked, because we ended up winning the drama competition. And I’m proud to say that to this day, Missy is still my BFF. She’s stuck by me through many years of bad fashion choices.

James Dean is wondering what’s up with those white tights. And that hair.

Obviously, we all grew out of this trend, thank god. I don’t think I’ve worn a pair of pantyhose since I moved to New York in 2000. Growing up in the south, wearing a dress or skirt without pantyhose was a high-level offense in the same category as not sending out a proper thank-you card. It would drive my poor Mom insane to see my bare legs and she would constantly state that it was not “proper” for a southern lady to go without pantyhose.

I will admit, however, that as a New Yorker, I do wear black opaque tights religiously during the fall and winter months. They’re one of those fashion items I tend to buy in bulk. (I really should own stock in Spanx. I cannot tell you how many pairs of their tight-end tights I own.)

All fashion trends tend to recycle themselves, and I’m certain that white tights will resurface. But when they do, I won’t be participating. Been there. Done that.

Check out my 80s Trends Board on Pinterest to see more photos of the white tights trend.


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1985: That Time I Had This Hair (and This Nose)

This was my 1985 high school yearbook photo. I was in the process of growing out my Princess Diana haircut and my hair was absolutely fried thanks to a regular routine of bleaching, blow-drying, and using a curling iron.

I cannot believe how much time and effort I spent every morning creating this horrific look. What I wouldn’t give to get that time back. Hey, while we’re at it, I want those eyebrows back too!

What I don’t want back is my old nose. Or my old teeth.

At least I was starting to learn to use makeup properly. Although a bit heavy, I do like the colors I’m wearing. Especially the lipstick.  I also like the red sweater and the twist-a-bead necklace. Remember those?

Of all the fashion decades, the 80s was my least favorite. I’ve yet to find a photo of myself from that decade that doesn’t cause me to recoil in horror. I honestly think the best thing about the 1980s was the music. And the fact that my parents were paying for everything. Including the copious amounts of Aqua Net required to cement this lovely look.

Sorry Mom & Dad. (Really, really sorry ozone layer!)


Check out my Pinterest 80’s Board to see where I got some of my inspiration back in the day.


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1987: The Year I Gave Tammy Faye Baker a Run for Her Money

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This photo of my sister and me was taken at The University of Alabama’s 1987 Homecoming Game.

Growing up in the South, college football was a big deal. Although I was never really that interested in college football, I did like the tradition of dressing up to go to homecoming. And I REALLY liked going to college frat parties with my sister when I was seriously underaged. (Sorry, Mom.)

But come on. Unless you’re the entertainment, who dresses like this for a football game? Today, if I were to go to a Jets or Giants game, I’d probably wear a pair of jeans, boots and a sweater.  Certainly not a red sweater dress with a sequin bow and crystal earrings.

And damn that blue eyeshadow. I got into the habit of wearing blue eyeshadow in the 80’s because I was a majorette in the marching band and we had to wear it for football games and other performances. It was part of our overall look. You know. Very southern “beauty pageant.” Very “Tammy-Faye.”

Why I decided to wear this look in the light of day to an afternoon football game is beyond me. But with my red dress, pasty white skin, and electric blue eyeshadow, I have to say I looked pretty damn patriotic.

Roll Tide.


More blue eyeshadow fabulousness from the 80’s:

96770b9b5262fd0c6d653bfa415184a7 Madonna January 1, 1984 312e7ed4f0ee4246a6fa0432e016fe67


Check out my Pinterest 80’s Board to see where I got some of my inspiration back in the day.

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1989: The Year I Was a Maniac, Maniac on the Floor


No, your eyes are not deceiving you. Those are indeed sequin leg warmers I’m wearing in this photo. They match the sequin cummerbund belt and the sequin arm bands. How about those lovely white jazz shoes? And we won’t even talk about the hair. (My bad hair history will be a recurring theme in the Flashback Friday series.)

This was one of my college danceline costumes. The dancers were called “The Southern Belles” and we performed at college basketball games. Yep, I was sort of like an L.A. Laker girl. And by L.A., I mean Lower Alabama.

To be honest, this look wasn’t totally my fault. It was a costume obviously. I didn’t pick it out. There was an even worse costume the year before. It was a red unitard. Seriously.  Here’s the photo.

As horrible as these sequined numbers are, I must fess up to the fact that I did indeed own several pairs of leg warmers in the 80’s. Unfortunately, (or perhaps, very fortunately for me), I couldn’t find any other photos of me wearing said leg warmers.

I blame this whole trend on Jennifer Beals and the Flashdance movie. Sure, they looked great on her, with her freakishly-long dancer legs. And while I may have been a dancer at the time, I never had dancer legs. I had the same short stubby little legs I have today. And wearing a band of bunched up fabric around my ankles just made them look even shorter and stubbier. What the hell was I thinking? I was a maniac to ever wear those things. (See what I did there?)

Check out my Pinterest 80’s Board to see where I got some of my inspiration back in the day.


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1991: Black Brows and Bushy Bangs


This photo was taken in 1991. I was attending the University of Alabama at Birmingham where I majored in theatre and where my bangs won an award for most dramatic performance.

To get this look, I would put an extraordinary amount of mousse in my hair, then blow-dry with a round brush, and then tease. And tease. And tease. Then swoop. Then spray the living hell out of it.

My hair was so incredibly damaged back then. Look how dry and thin the ends are. One of the reasons I wear my hair short now is because I tortured it so much back in the 80’s and 90’s. With the bleaching and teasing, and OMG – I even had a perm.

When I try to grow my hair out now, the ends start splitting and thinning and I’m reminded of photos like this, which causes me to say “Oh hell no!” and chop it all off.

Okay, so aside from the really bad hair happening in this picture, let’s talk about how much makeup I was wearing. Entirely way too much blush and lip gloss. And how ’bout those black eyebrows? Yes, a fair-skinned, bleached blonde girl like myself definitely needs black eyebrows. Ugh.

Speaking of eyebrows, the only thing I love about this photo now is how thick my brows were at the time. This was shortly before the “micro-thin” brow trend came around, which of course, I participated in. My eyebrows have never been the same since.

And finally, I used to be so incredibly self-conscious about that big chicken-pox scar on my forehead. But thanks to the wonders of microdermabrasion and chemical peels, that sucker is a thing of the past. Just like those incredibly awful bangs.


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