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.

Dear Snarky – My Mom Is Dressing Like a Teenager

Dear Snarky,

 I feel like my sister and I need to do an intervention about how our mother dresses. She is almost 60 and wears clothes that our way too young for her. It’s like she’s trying to be us. Skinny jeans, half boots, blouses that are off the shoulders – she’s wearing it. My sister and I joke that our mom dresses younger than we do.

 How do you think we should approach this topic with our mom? Should we offer to go shopping with her and help guide her choices or just sit her down and tell her the truth?

 Signed, My Mom Needs Help

 Dear Needs Help,

 Here’s my advice – shut up.

 Your mother is allowed to dress anyway she wants and if you don’t like it too bad. So, she’s strutting her stuff and looking fashionable. What would you like her to do wear loose-fitting garments and orthopedic shoes? Just because she doesn’t want to go into that dark hole of Chico’s roomy black separates with elastic waist bands (not that there’s anything wrong with that) is no reason for you to become the Fashion Police.

 And have you been into a store lately – it’s all skinny jeans and those goofy “cold shoulder” tops. If you want to get all up someone’s clothing choices than send a mass email to the designers.

Maybe, just maybe, your jealous because your mom is working a fierce style? I suggest you look in the mirror and ask yourself what’s lacking in your life that you’re so obsessed with your mother’s clothing choices. 


Dear Snarky – Fashion Victim

 Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 11.07.06 PMDear Snarky,

Last week, I went to a charity gala wearing an amazing formal gown and I was really looking forward to the evening. Big mistake. As I’m walking around the hotel ballroom I got accosted by a group of women (whom I  kind of know from my children’s school) because I’m wearing the same gown as the gala chairwoman (a big old B). These women then had the gall to accuse me of “copying” her. One of them even asked me to go home and change. I didn’t, of course, but my whole evening was ruined. The entire night they were gossiping about me and going out of their way to be just plain old mean. The tickets to this event were very pricey and I’m thinking of calling American Express and disputing the charge in an attempt to get a refund. Do you think this is wrong? These women really need to be taught a lesson.

Signed, Gowned and Dangerous

Dear Gowned,

Do not make that call to American Express. If you were upset by these women talking about you at the gala you have no idea what kind of tornado of trash talk you will kick up if you ask for refund. You will be the prime topic of conversation at the school drop off line, soccer field, PTA meeting etc. etc. Pretty much to infinity to beyond. AND more importantly you will be dissing the charity not these women and I’m sure you don’t want to do that.

Take solace in the fact that you must have looked AMAZING in your gown to incite such a flurry of hostility and if the chairperson had any class or a sense of humor she would have come over and asked for someone to take a picture of both of you in the same dress. Wearing similar outfit happens even in Hollywood where celebrities have pricey stylists. As for the alleged friend that suggested you go home and change –  she deserves your pity for being such a clueless idiot. My piece of advice is that you soothe your hurt feelings not with revenge but with some retail therapy. Trust me, it will be cheaper in the long run.

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