Back to School, 80s Style!

Whether you're a high school senior, a college super senior, or a senior citizen who graduated long, long ago... the month of September still conjures up a "back to school" nostalgia... the textbooks, the lockers, the cafeteria food, and of course, the school clothes.  Some of our favorite back to school styles are (clearly) from 80s high school movies.  Let's take a trip down memory lane, shall we?

Footloose (1984)


When a hip kid from Chicago moves to a small rural town, we are treated to the best of 80s rural and urban high school trends combined.  Favorite style moments include: Cowboy boots and Wranglers paired with a Walkman, Ariel's "Dance Your Ass Off" t-shirt reveal, and an unforgettable prom dance scene complete with maroon tuxedos, pastel ruffles, and lots and lots of feathered hair. 

The Breakfast Club (1985)

The Breakfast Club treated us to a smorgasbord of style archetypes, from Princess to Basket Case to Athlete to Brain to Criminal.  Is it just us, or did you notice that each character continues losing layers of clothing (coats, gloves, scarves, etc.) as they also broke down the social barriers and emotional walls that stood between them?  

Our least favorite moment, however, was Allison's (Ally Sheedy)  makeover.  We love the angsty Allison... get down with your goth self, girl!

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

Who knew a sweater vest could look so....cool?  Ferris Bueller's Day Off shows us exactly what to wear when trying to escape from high school.  Our faves include uptight Cameron's tucked-in Caduceus tee (paired with the especially uptight combination of a belt AND suspenders), and his wardrobe change to the more casual, untucked, free-wheeling Red Wings jersey as the film progresses.

Also...nothing says 80s quite like Sloane's big-shouldered, cropped, fringed leather jacket.

Fame (1980)

Some high schools dial down the reading, writing, and arithmetic... and dial up the ballet, band practice, and dancing on cars!  Set in a performing arts high school in NYC, Fame features the greatest hits of 80s dance and workout gear: shorts over sweatpants, legwarmers, and leotards, leotards, leotards!

Heathers (1988)

It takes a special kind of clique to wear color co-ordinated, double-breasted blazers to high school.  That's the Heathers for you (plus Veronica)!  Each Heather wore a signature color scheme throughout the film: bold red for group leader Heather Chandler, green for jealous Heather Duke, yellow for Heather McNamara, and greys/blues/black for Veronica...always a bit of an outsider. 

And who could forget the red scrunchie... signifying the power vacuum left by Heather Chandler's demise.  Never before has a scrunchie played such a dramatic, supporting role!  

Well, there you have it!  Congratulations, Class of '88!  We think you have a real bright future ahead of you! 


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