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Saturday, 14 May 2016

80s Fair Isle Jumpers and Cardigans

1980s chunky knit fair isle sweater
An original 1980s Chunky Knit Fair Isle Sweater
If you remember being forced to wear a mock Fair Isle jumper that your gran had knitted for you as a child, then you're certainly not alone! My gran tended to knit "loose" and my pullovers always used to be way too big for me. "Don't worry, child, you'll soon grow into it" was a phrase that was frequently used. By the time I had finally grown into it, the sweater was no longer fit for purpose!

Fair Isle is actually an island which is situated within the Shetland Islands in bonnie Scotland. Fair Isle knitting first became popular when the Prince of Wales wore a tank top in public during 1921. These days, the term is used to describe the patterning, and, I suspect, that most Fair Isle style clothing is now manufactured in the far east, and not the genuine article.

Zig zags, diamond shapes, star-like flower heads, lines and dots generally made-up the patterns we all grew up with, However, at Christmas time the patterns were given a rather unpleasant Nordic-style, festive makeover. Unbelievably, those ghastly Christmas jumpers with reindeer and snowmen (that you wouldn't be seen dead in during the 1980s) are actually trendy again, and the more ghastly the look, the more people seem to like them. It's all quite bizarre to me!

Fair Isle has been very fashionable again in recent years, and that gives me the perfect excuse to wear a cardigan - you can't beat a good, old-fashioned cardigan for comfort and practicality - and now I can be en vogue, too!



Fair Isle Jumpers
Matching Fair Isle Jumpers for him and her
Nordic Fair Isle Red Christmas Cardigan
Nordic style Fair Isle Christmas Cardigan

The Starsky Cardigan

One of the most infamous cardigans was the one worn by Paul Michael Glaser wore in the 70s cop show Starsky and Hutch. Finding an exact replica is likely to be an impossible task, but there are cream fair isle cardigans available that have a similar feel. Besides, can anyone really remember the exact patterning anyway?

Cream, Fair Isle Cardigan
Mens Cream Fair Isle Cardigan
Starsky wearing a cream cardigan
The original Starsky & Hutch
As you can see, the patterning on Starsky's cardigan is slightly lower down than featured on the cardigan above.

Starsky Cardigan Costume
Starsky Cardigan Costume
I found this cardigan at Amazon which is designed to be used as a costume, rather than to be worn as casual wear. At £60.99 (price is subject to change) it's certainly not cheap, but if you've always wanted to dress like Starsky, then now's your chance!

The cardigan is also available for £49.99 at Amazon's US store.

Paul Michael Glaser Cardigan at Amazon.com



Thursday, 12 May 2016

Create A Blues Brothers 80s Movie Costume

The Blues Brothers - John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd

The Blues Brothers film is very memorable for a number of reasons, and it had everything a decent 80s movie should have; Two well-known actors (John Belushi and Dan Akyroyd), mouth-watering chase sequences, amusing dialogue and infectious music with lots of appearances by big name singers including Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Ray Charles and John Lee Hooker, to name but a few.

For a movie or 80s-themed party, or maybe a stag/bachelor night, a Blues Brother's theme is a great idea, and it can also be a low-cost option if you dress-up wisely. The most essential part of the look is a Fedora/Trilby hat, black tie and Ray-ban wayfarer shades. Don't worry, though, as you don't need to spend a fortune on original items.



Blues Brothers Fedora and Wayfarer Glasses Kit
Blues Brothers Fedora and Wayfarers Costume Kit

The versatile costume kit above includes a fedora style hat and Wayfarer style shades and can be bought very cheaply at Amazon - this is cheap option for group dress-up. The kit can also be used to create a 2 Tone/Ska or gangster look, too. Kits can also be bought with a black tie.

Blues Brothers Costume Kits at Amazon US

Blue Brothers Costume Kits at Amazon UK

Total Blues Sunglasses and Hat Set
Total Blues Hat and Glasses Set
This hat and glasses set by TrendyFashion was only £3.99 at Amazon UK, although the price is subject to change, of course.

Buying separate items

A whole range of black Fedora/Trilby hats and replica Ray-Ban Wayfarers are available at very low prices on Amazon.

To complete your look you'll need a black suit, a white shirt and a black skinny tie. In the summer months you won't really need the jacket, and if you have some black jeans then you can wear these instead. However, if you really do want the complete look, hen you'll need a black suit.

Official Blues Brothers Suit Costume by Smiffys (UK Only)
The official Blues Brothers costume includes a jacket and trousers and features a Blue Brothers inscription on the chest of the jacket. The costume does not include the accessories, so you'll need to order the kit above to complete your look. With the suit and accessories together you'll have little change from £35, and you'll need two, of course.

A far better option is to actually buy a proper suit. If you're in the UK then Asda or Matalan is the place to go for a cheap suit. A search for black suits at Amazon came up with some excellent offers, with a couple of suits available for under £30, so it's worth checking out the offers. Of course, you can then use the suit for other occasions afterward.

Black Suits at Amazon.com

Black Suits at Amazon.co.uk

Black Skinny Tie for Blues Brothers Costume
Black Skinny Tie



You may also be interested in...

80s Fancy Dress Ideas for Men UK

80s Costume Ideas for Men US

Top 10 Most Popular 80s Fancy Dress Costumes for Men

80s Style Glasses and Sunglasses



Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Captain Caveman T-shirts

Retro Brown Captain Caveman Cartoon T-shirt

We all remember this prehistoric cartoon character and his battle cry don't we?

Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels was a memorable Hanna-Barbera cartoon that originally aired between 1977 and 1980. If I remember rightly, the first two series were shown as part of a Scooby-Doo compilation show and the third series had its own slot during 1980. Apparently, 40 episodes were created in total.

I remember my friends and I all being big fans of the cartoon and discussing them in the school playground, and it was often shown during the holidays, too. You can now rekindle any memories you have of the series by wearing a Captain Caveman T-shirt.

Not many would associate the cartoon with 80s fashion clothing, but these tees are ideal for a fun and quirky retro look and wearing to a 70s, 80s or cartoon-themed party or event.



Where can I buy Captain Caveman T-shirts?

Rebubble have a nice range of exclusive designs and they ship worldwide. What I like about the site is that each design is available for men and women and can be printed on a range of items including hoodies and sweatshirts.

View Captain Caveman T-shirts at Redbubble.com

Captain Caveman Tee Shirt and Keyring

In terms of value, this grey unisex tee with keyring is available for under £10 at Amazon UK. It's officially licensed and available for sizes Small to X-large.

See all Captain Caveman T-shirts at Amazon.co.uk

View all Captain Caveman T-shirts at Amazon.com

Captain Caveman "I'm Bringing Back Sexy" T-shirt

This official "I'm Bringin' Sexy Back" T-shirt is  available at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. It's a fun design and available in a range of sizes.

"I'm Bringing Sexy Back" Captain Caveman Tee for Men

This alternative design is available at redbubble

Captain Caveman Ringer T-shirt

This retro ringer T-shirt can be bought at the US Amazon store and there are three colour choices for the edging. Sadly, it's not available in the UK.

Of course, there were plenty of other old cartoons we all used to watch back in the day, and you can get an A-Z ideas at the 80s Cartoon T-shirt page at my website SimplyEighties.com.