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Thursday, 4 August 2016

British Fashion Trends in the Early 1980s

Girl in the 1980s with permed hair and denim mini skirt 
By Diaper (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Permed Hair, Bruised Finger Tips and Go Faster Stripes

For this post, I'm going to take an amusing look back at the British fashion fads of the first half of the 80s, using original fashion related photos wherever possible, The first picture demonstrates that permed hair and mini skirts were highly popular. Leather, denim and shiny lycra were often the material of choice.


Woman kneeling on a Washing Machine in the 1980s

Here is a woman in a very shiny dress kneeling on a washing machine. Thankfully, there wasn't actually a craze for climbing onto washing machines in the 80s - this is merely an advert. You will notice another permed hair style, and that many kitchen appliances in the early 1980s featured those awful membrane touch pads which became useless after a couple of year's usage. I remember that our first microwave also has a membrane touch pad. It was a ghastly brown colour but was built very solidly, However, the touch pad caused many a bruised finger tip!


Atari 400 Home Computer
By Evan-Amos - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17758254


The Atari 400 was released in 1979, and was aimed at gamers. The membrane keyboard was actually a health and safety decision so that kids couldn't pop off the keys and swallow them.


Loose Fitting Batwing Sleeve Shirt

Oversized, loose fitting shirts, sweatshirts and jumpers were everywhere, and were often worn with big belts around the waist. Over-sized T-shirts with block letter slogans (initially designed by Katharine Hamnett) became particularly popular between 1983 and 1985.

1981 Knitting Magazine Stitch By Stitch

This knitting and sewing magazine is from 1981.

Lacoste Shirts Alligator Logo

This advert from 1982 features Lacoste shirts and shorts (with the alligator logo). Notice the guy with a yellow pullover tied around his neck - this was another trend that was popular with guys. The jumper didn't have to be yellow, but I do remember that the trend seemed to be popular with posh/wealthy men who enjoyed wearing camp, pastel colours.

Motor Magazine Nov 1981 Ford Escort XR3i

Furry Dice and Go Faster Stripes

Ah, yes! Go faster stripes were popular with boy racers, with the Ford Escort XR3 (shown above), XR3i and Fiesta XR2 often being the vehicle of choice. They had to be white, and the trend seemed to continue well into the decade. I remember a guy at work who took the white theme to the extreme. He owned a highly modified Fiesta XR2 which even had a white, leather steering wheel!

Oversized, furry dice (often with a leopard print theme) hung from your rear view mirror were another essential accessory, as were tinted windscreen sunstrips/banners/visors which included the names of driver and his front passenger - just about everyone was called Dave and Tracey. This is no word of a lie, the aforementioned guy who had the white fiesta was actually called Dave and also had blonde highlights in his hair. I just wish I'd have taken a photo of him, as he was the perfect 80s boy racer stereotype. The only letdown was that he wasn't from Essex, but from the Cotswolds, which is kind of bizarre.


Using a Telephone Box

Okay, this wasn't really a fashion trend but a necessity. If you broke down in the 1980s then you would have to find the nearest phonebox and call either the AA or RAC.

1984 Morris Ital AA Van

If you broke down in the early 80s, then the chances are that a repair man in a Morris Ital van would turn up - providing that didn't break down, as well!

Digital Watches

Just about everyone wore an LCD digital watch in the early 80s, and the more functions they had the better - I remember that many of them featured musical melody alarms. My parents bought me a Casio calculator watch which had a built-in space invaders game. In fact, it had so many functions that it took your about half an hour to try and find out what the actual time was. Gold digital watches were considered classy and the Databank watch became popular with YUPPIES.

Casio GS-12 Foot Ball Watch

In 1984, Casio released this GS-12 Foot Ball Watch, 

Further reading;

80s Cars at Simplyeighties.com

80s Fashion at Simplyeighties.com


Saturday, 23 July 2016

Quick and Easy 1980s Tutu Costume Sets for Women

For this post, I am going to do just what the title suggests and show you the quickest and easiest way to create a fun 80s costume using tutu sets. These are widely available at low prices and usually include a tutu skirt (obviously!), leg warmers and fishnet gloves. Some sets also include other accessories such as a beaded necklace. They're more widely available in the UK, although there are now one or two appearing in the U.S. as suppliers are finally realising how popular they are,


The advantages of buying a tutu set

Obviously, the more accessories included with the tutu the more you will have to pay, but they're a great way of creating a quick and easy 80s look. All you need to add is a baggy T-shirt or sweatshirt, preferably worn off one shoulder. By buying a tutu kit (rather than a complete costume), you can make your look more individualistic by adding the T-shirt/top of your own choice. Most sets also come in a range of colours, too, (usually pink, green, orange, blue and yellow), which means you can choose something to suit you. The elasticated waist on the tutu skirt makes them easy to wear (one size fits most) and the sets are also ideal for charity fun runs and hen nights (bachelorette parties in the U.S.).

80s Tutu Sets in the United States

(scroll down for UK section)

As mentioned, there aren't many (if any) sets available for adults at many U.S. costume stores, but I managed to find a couple at Amazon and a wide variety at ebay.
View all tutu sets at Amazon.com

ebay have, by far, the biggest choice of brand new, buy it now 80s tutu sets for adults in the U.S. It is pointless displaying individual items from ebay, as products are added and deleted on a regular basis, but the link below will show you everything available.

View all tutu sets at ebay

80s Tutu Sets in the UK

As you can see, Amazon's British store features a wide variety of products. However, don't be envious if you're from the U.S., as you will find many of these sets at ebay using the link above.

ebay UK also has a great choice of products at very competitive prices, and they often come in two size ranges - standard and plus size.

Neon Tutu Skirt Leg Warmers Fishnet Gloves Necklace BeadsREDSTAR FANCY DRESS® Neon Tutu Skirt Leg Warmers Fishnet Gloves Necklace Beads and Neon Wrist Beads (8-12 UK,Ladies NEON TUTU SKIRT LEGWARMERS GLOVES 5 piece set (UK 8-14, PINK)Ladies NEON TUTU SKIRT LEGWARMERS GLOVES 5 piece set (UK 8-14, PINK)Neon Five Layer Ruffle Diamante Tutu Skirt SetNeon 5 Layer Ruffle Diamante Princess Tutu Skirt Set Pink Green Honey B's® ONE SIZEA-Express® Neon Tutu Skirt Legwarmer Gummies Beads Hen Fancy Dress Party Costumes SetA-Express® Neon Tutu Skirt Legwarmer Gummies Beads Hen Fancy Dress Party Costumes SetNeon Green Tutu Skirt Leg Warmers Short Fishnet Gloves Necklace Beads REDSTAR FANCY DRESS® Neon Tutu Skirt Leg Warmers Short Fishnet Gloves Necklace Beads and 2x FREE Neon WristFour Peice Adult Womens 8-14 Neon Blue Turquoise Tutu SeFour Peice Adult Womens 8-14 Neon Blue Turquoise Tutu Set Tutu Legwarmers Fishnet Gloves Beads 80s Fancy DressFour Piece Adult Neon Green Tutu Set Tutu Legwarmers Fishnet Gloves Beads 80s Fancy Dress CostumeFour Piece Adult Neon Green Tutu Set Tutu Legwarmers Fishnet Gloves Beads 80s Fancy Dress CostumeFour Peice Adult Neon Orange Tutu Set 8-14 Tutu Legwarmers Fishnet Gloves Beads 80s Fancy Dress Costume (RBFour Peice Adult Neon Orange Tutu Set 8-14 Tutu Legwarmers Fishnet Gloves Beads 80s Fancy Dress Costume (RBNeon Purple Tutu Legwarmers Fishnet Gloves Beads 80s Fancy Dress Costume (RB FashionsFour Peice Adult Tutu Set Neon Purple Tutu Legwarmers Fishnet Gloves Beads 80s Fancy Dress Costume (RB FashionsFour Piece Adult Womens 8-14 Multi Colour Rainbow Tutu Set Tutu Legwarmers Fishnet Gloves Beads 80s Fancy DressFour Piece Adult Womens 8-14 Multi Colour Rainbow Tutu Set Tutu Legwarmers Fishnet Gloves Beads 80s Fancy DressFour Piece Neon Yellow Adult Costume SetFour Peice Neon Yellow Adult Womens 8-14 Tutu Set Tutu Legwarmers Fishnet Gloves Beads 80s Fancy Dress CostumeNeon Pink Tutu, Gloves, Sweatbands, Headband, Leg Warmers, BanglesNeon Pink Tutu, Gloves, Sweatbands, Headband, Leg Warmers, Bangles1980's Neon Five Piece's Adult Fancy Dress Tutu Set Tutu,Sun Visor ,Fishnet Gloves,Legwarmers,Beads Hen and Stag(RB Fashions Clothing)1980's Neon Five Piece's Adult Fancy Dress Tutu Set Tutu,Sun Visor ,Fishnet Gloves,Legwarmers,Beads Hen and StagBlack 3 Layer Tutu Set, Leg Warmer & Fishnet Gloves Size 8 To 16Just 4 Fun Leisurewear Black 3 Layer Tutu Set, Leg Warmer & Fishnet Gloves Size 8 To 16Gothic Black White Tartan Tutu Skirt Legwarmers Gloves & Headband Set (One Size UK 10 - 14)Gothic Black White Tartan Tutu Skirt Legwarmers Gloves & Headband Set (One Size UK 10 - 14)Adult Complete Set - Tutu,Gloves,Legwarmers,Necklace,Bangles,Headband & Wristbands (Purple)Adult 16-24 Complete Set - Tutu,Gloves,Legwarmers,Necklace,Bangles,Headband & Wristbands (Purple)Four Peice Adult Womens 8-14 Black Tutu set Tutu Legwarmers Fishnet Gloves Beads 80s Fancy Dress Costume (RBFour Peice Adult Womens 8-14 Black Tutu set Tutu Legwarmers Fishnet Gloves Beads 80s Fancy Dress Costume (RBA-Express® Neon UV Legwarmer Gloves Beads Gummies For Tutu Hen Fancy Dress Party CostumesA-Express® Neon UV Legwarmer Gloves Beads Gummies For Tutu Hen Fancy Dress Party CostumesStriped Leg Warmers with Neon Green Skirt and AccessoriesA-Express® Neon Tutu Skirt Legwarmer Fishnet Gloves Hen Fancy Dress Party Costumes Set

All that remains is for you to add an 80s themed shirt, sweatshirt or tank top. Here are some useful links at my website simplyeighties.com;

Popular 80s T-shirts UK

80s T-shirt Ideas for Women U.S.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Manic Miner Retro Gamer Tee Shirts


Those of us above a certain age will remember spending many an hour back in the mid eighties tearing our hair out trying to complete the platforming classic Manic Miner. Some of us now have little hair left to tear out, of course, but the golden days of gaming will be forever etched in our memories.

Inspired by the Atari 800 game Miner 2049er, Manic Miner was initially released on the ZX Spectrum, before being ported to other popular platforms including the Commodore 64 and eventually the Amiga.

Although not quite as well known as major characters such as Mario or Pac-Man, Miner Willy quickly found a cult following, and these days the coolest retro gaming fans can be seen wearing T-shirts and drinking out of mugs to celebrate a vintage platform game that once won a Golden Joystick Award in the magazine Computer & Video Games.


I really miss gripping onto my joystick, and I've never really felt in full control of any game using other methods, particularly with driving games. Rotating an android device or touching arrows on the screen really doesn't float my boat.

Anyway, this article is supposed to be about Manic Miner T-shirts, so let's get down to business!

The first two T-shirts below are available at Amazon's UK store. If you're from other countries, then scroll down past these to find more tees.
The T-shirt shown in military green is also available in grey, black or white, and comes in five sizes to fit 32" to 54" chest. The black T-shirt can also be bought in an X-large size, and this will be displayed underneath at Amazon.

These particular shirts are not available at the U.S. store, but there is an alternative, thankfully.
The tee above is available in a whopping 15 colours for sizes ranging from X-small to XXX-large. It's also ethically sourced and uses sustainable manufacturing processes.

Manic Miner Black T-shirt for Women or Men
Manic Miner Shirt at Redbubble.com
I discovered two designs at Redbubble who ship worldwide. Every design on the site is available for both men and women in a range of colours, sizes and styles, and can be printed on tank tops, hoodies, V neck shirts etc.

I a found a couple of Manic Miner shirts on ebay UK which are brand new and can be bought using the "buy it now" option. You can use the generic link below to view all available designs in the UK, US, Canada and Australia. I can't guarantee that there will be anything available in your country, but it's worth a try, at least.

Manic Miner T-shirts at ebay

As you will appreciate, the subject matter is very niche and sources for T-shirts are pretty limited. However, I was pleased to have found a few designs, and if you want something quirky and retro to wear, then a Manic Miner shirt is a great solution.

You will find an A-Z of Retro Gaming T-shirts at my website SimplyEighties.com.

You can also play Manic Miner for free at my website if you're on a PC. The game is flash-based and, therefore, won't work on smartphones and tablets.