80’s fads they NEED to bring back

Posted on: 06/24/19 3:19 PM | by Jonathan McKee

(and a few that are better long gone)

I was in 4thgrade when I entered the 80’s.

Good times.

I have nostalgic memories of gliding along to Journey at the roller rink, or watching Family Ties and the Cosby Show (yeah… before “Cosby” was a bad word) on Thursday nights with the family!

Looking back, I can’t help but wonder where some of those fun fads have gone, like guys wearing no socks with a suit, or girls with bangs so high they added 6-inches to their height (okay, maybe I’m glad that one is gone).

Some fads were so good they still exist today—like the Ray-Ban Wayfarer, or we’ve adapted them—like the mix tape, now basically “the playlist.”

But some 80’s fads simply disappeared.


Here are some of the 80’s fads we never should have lost:

1. The Sweatband
Come on, man. If you run, work in the yard or do any outdoor activities, it’s undeniable these spongy little sweat absorbers were the best.

Sure, they looked ridiculous, but no running hat has ever been as effective as these little bad boys!

We need to bring back the sweatband!

Come on LeBron, you’ve worn one before, keep it up! Kawhi… somebody… if you wear it, young people will follow!

2.  Leg Warmers
My wife was born in 69. She knows the 80’s well. And she remembers when Flashdanceliterally changed fashion as we know it. (What other movie has had such an effect on fashion? The only thing close is maybe Jennifer Anniston’s hair cut in the 90’s “The Rachel.”) Those of us old enough remember when girls became officially “Flashdanced.” They wore oversized sweatshirts off the shoulder, tights… and leg warmers.

Why did we ever lose these warm fuzzy leg blankets!

My wife is always cold. She would totally rock leg warmers today. She would actually probably rock body warmers and neck warmers…and head warmers!

3. The half shirt
I am probably hot as much as my wife is cold. But I can’t wear a half-shirt today… because it would just be weird.

Girls rock half shirts all the time with their high waist jeans today, but not guys. The half shirt is dead.

It’s a shame. Think about it. Justin Bieber wouldn’t have to have looked like such a tool pulling up his shirt in his concert just to show off his abs. Taylor Lautner wouldn’t have to have taken his shirt off so often to woo Twilight fans. Half shirts would have done this effortlessly… and kept them cool at the same time.

Long live the half shirt!

4. The slow clap
Someone stands up and makes a compelling speech about how nerds are people too, or a guy publicly apologizes to the girl he loves because even though dating her was originally a bet, he truly honestly fell for her.

How is the crowd supposed to respond?

The slow clap!

One person starts slowly clapping and others can’t help but follow. Soon, thunderous applause!

Forget emojis. Eliminate comment sections in social media. We just need to bring back the slow clap!

5. The boom box
If there is one thing this generation is truly missing it’s good speakers. Young people love their mobile devices so much they have conceded and settled for mediocrity by listening to their music out of the tingy little speaker on their phone!

It’s a crime against music! Would you eat a Filet Mignon out of a Styrofoam to-go box with a plastic fork? Would you wear an Armani suit when you work out in the garden! Then why are you trying to listen to Coldplay out of a speaker that completely misses the low frequencies? It’s sinful.

In the 80’s we carried our music around proudly and blasted it loud enough until some old man had to come out of his house and yell, “Turn that music down!” (He’s the same guy that would yell, “Get off my lawn!”)

Note: have you noticed the recent surge in “portable blue tooth speaker” sales? It’s because young people are finally realizing what they’ve been missing! It’s merely the return of the 80’s boombox!

Sadly, not everything in the 80’s was genius. Some of the trends from the 80’s make you scratch your head and wonder.

Here are some of those items that are better long gone:

1. The Mullet
“Business in the front, party in the back.”


This haircut lasted about as long as a henchman in a Steven Seagal film (who all had mullets, by the way).

I hope no one ever posts pictures of me with a mullet (because they exist).

2. The full-on stone-wash outfit
Stone wash jeans were a forced attempt at the ‘worn’ look.

“Hey, look, my jacket is all old and worn… except it’s not.”

Didn’t really work.

A stone wash jacket might have even had its place. But Jeans and jacket in one outfit?

A travesty of fashion.

3. VHS
Everyone has their hobbies and pastimes. I’m a movie and music guy. And that has led me to become a sound snob. I’m not quite an “audiophile” (because those guys can’t even get a girlfriend), but I really like good quality sound and picture.

For example. If my kids whip out an old DVD and say, “Hey Dad, let’s watch The Wedding Singeron DVD.” I’ll whip out my phone and see if the movie is available in Blu-ray or 4K, one-click it on Amazon, and tell them, “Yes, let’s watch it when it arrives in two days.”

I don’t do 500 lines of resolution on a 4K TV! That’s about as fun as driving a Dodge Challenger in a 15-mile-an-hour zone.

VHS? It’s only 240 lines of resolution. When Laser disc came out, I was one of those nerds who bought a player so I could get my 500 lines while everyone else was watching 240.

RIP VHS. VHS is terrible.

4. M.C. Hammer Pants.
Have you seen someone actually wearing these pants?

This item needs no explanation.

Just no.

Can’t touch this. (Besides, “You think anybody wants a roundhouse kick to the face while I’m wearing these bad boys? Forget about it.”)

5. Shoulder Pads
I don’t know who first thought of these?

Lady Gaga?

Wait… she wasn’t even born. Perhaps it was the women of Dynasty who brought the trend to America (because it certainly wasn’t Margaret Thatcher). But it never should have. It was more “costume” than fashion.

Glad to see it go.

What about you?

What do you miss from the 80’s… what are you glad to see go?

More fun posts from Jonathan: 

Top 10 70’s Slang Words That We Need to Bring Back

Top 10 Reasons Why Growing Up in the 80’s Ruled!

Top 10 Air Travel Tips

Top 10 Things I Learned after 1 Week in an RV