The 80s Lady is Back!

It’s spring that means it’s time for me to deliver my seasonal fashion rant. (Just as a FYI I’m still not over the bell sleeve uprising of 2018.) But, this time instead of a rant I’m going to be taking a trip down memory lane because, be still my heart, some of my beloved treasures from yesteryear are making a comeback.

First and foremost is the return of the Steve Madden platform slides that were the staple of any female’s wardrobe in the late 90s to early 2000s. This slip on sandal was so popular back in the day that it was considered di rigueur mom wear. I remember sitting in the doctor’s office nine months pregnant and gazing at every single mom in the waiting room with her swollen feet not just shoved into those slides but oozing out of them.

Fast-forward a few years to toddler “mommy and me” gymnastic classes where you had to go barefoot. In the cubbies there were so many black Steve Madden slides it was like solving a single color Rubix’s cube to pick your shoes out of the line up.

Most, if not all, of the shoes were in various states of disrepair. They had survived pregnant feet and now were showing battle scars from the playground. These shoes were warriors.

I don’t exactly remember when they went out of fashion. I just think that women wore those Steve Madden slides until they disintegrated and when it was time to replace them the shoes had vanished into the retail ether.

Now these quintessential mom shoes have returned and the price has also been “refreshed.” I think back in the day my slides cost maybe $30 and now they are selling out on-line with a $70 price tag.

I’m conflicted about whether or not I’ll buy a pair. I’m afraid if I do I’ll try to hoist my 19 year-old on my hip, give her a juice box and try to buckle her into a car seat.


Another brand being resurrected for spring is Laura Ashley. If you can’t remember it think “Little House on the Prairie” meets a young Princess Diana circa early 1980s. The clothes were “floral forward” and the designers never met a cluster of cabbage roses they didn’t like. The dresses were high neck and flowing and seemed perfect for an afternoon tea on the country estate of Lord Fancy Pants.

But upon doing further research into the Laura Ashley relaunch I became dismayed. Urban Outfitters, the hipster hang for suburban teens that used to shop with Justice “J Bucks” is featuring Laura Ashley clothes that, sigh, are only a slight nod to the 80s.

I know something was different when I spied a Laura Ashley swimsuit. Granted it is a one piece but there’s some cleavage being shown that I would call decidedly off brand. It does have the floral toile motif but somehow it’s been, to use one of my grandmother’s favorite words, “tarted up.”

It’s a mild tarting but I’m a tad disappointed that they haven’t brought back the classic Laura Ashley. That said, I still had plans to introduce my daughter to the brand in hopes that will share with me that wonder of a cabbage rose printed floral.

I texted her a picture of the pink and while toile inspired swimsuits featuring swans, cherubs and an occasional cabbage rose and she responded with, “Are you okay? Because this is scaring me.”

I’ll admit I was saddened by her lack of enthusiasm but have hope that someday she will see the beauty in a cabbage rose infused lifestyle.