Gravity was a lot more intense in the 1980’s, so extra precautions had to be taken to ensure that pants remained at waist level. Belts were often inadequate, so film characters would don suspenders, which offered promise in the war against sagging pants. In the 90’s, suspenders would be known as nerd attire, but if you said that to Gordon Gekko in his heyday, he would buy out your whole family and liquidate them.
Icons: Gordon Gekko (Wall Street), Dez (Desperately Seeking Susan)
In the 1980’s, bullies were a very real and dangerous threat to high school students, so the letter jacket served as a very helpful notification that, “Hey! This guy is a brain-dead asshole!” Nerds could steer clear and live to fight another day. I guess Ed Hardy and Affliction shirts serve the same purpose today, but what about when it’s cold out?
Icons: Ogre (Revenge of the Nerds), Andy Clark (The Breakfast Club)
As an adult in 2011, I’m constantly running around with warm arms and a cold torso, so the proliferation of vests in the 1980’s really speaks to me. I’m pretty sure that these garments simply served as a transferrable location on which characters could stick all their new wave pins, but I still want in. Nowadays, the only people that wear vests are valet guys and Christian rockers. I want to take them back.