Lion of the Blogosphere

80s fashion in St. Elmo’s Fire, part 2


Emilio Estevez shows up for his big lunch date with the beautiful Andie MacDowell wearing a navy blue skinny knit tie. Alex P. Keaton liked to wear ties like that. When’s the last time I saw anyone wearing a tie like that in real life? It was a long time ago.

I don’t think that a 22-year-old today, even one who was socially awkward, would wear a sportscoat and tie to a lunch date.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 6, 2016 at 6:36 pm

Posted in Movies

18 Responses

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  1. Sport coats, ties, suits. All very good things. We’re poorer for having made them far more scarce. Men’s hats need to return also.

    Andrew E.

    January 6, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    • Hats definitely do not need to return. Hats cause my forehead to break out.


      January 6, 2016 at 8:15 pm

      • Hipsters have completely ruined hats. Nobody can name any hat in any non-prole situation that has not been embarrassingly hipsterized.

        howitzer daniel

        January 6, 2016 at 9:01 pm

      • I tip my fedora at you, sir.


        January 7, 2016 at 6:03 am

      • Hipsters have completely ruined hats. Nobody can name any hat in any non-prole situation that has not been embarrassingly hipsterized.

        Completely true. At a recent Christmas party, I wore a sport coat and tie for the first time in a while, and it looked good, and I agree that they should return. But in the mall over Christmas, I passed a hat store, and was sorely tempted to purchase a fine-looking hat, but just… couldn’t… because of the hipster taint.

        I’d like to see ladies’ gloves come back, too.


        January 7, 2016 at 9:33 am

  2. Wearing a suit without a tie is part of the sewer culture we have.


    January 6, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    • You meant to say someone is wearing a sports jacket, which is fine!


      January 6, 2016 at 10:00 pm

  3. I don’t think that a 22-year-old today, even one who was socially awkward, would wear a sportscoat and tie to a lunch date.

    However, it does prove sensible fashion can return after a too-long dark age of exile. 80s fashion is leagues superior than the 70s. In the latter decade everyone dressed as if they were the last, grimy, heroine addicted survivors of nuclear war.

    The Undiscovered Jew

    January 6, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    • Do you not remember the preppy look? it was huge in the late 70’s.

      Curtis Seller

      January 6, 2016 at 11:11 pm

    • Do you not remember the preppy look? it was huge in the late 70’s.

      Wasn’t preppy 80s?

      Judging by movies, the people looked filthy in the 70s: dirty hair, awful clothing, spaced-out heroine eyes…

      The Undiscovered Jew

      January 6, 2016 at 11:41 pm

      • Heroine = the female hero

        Heroin = the nasty narcotic

        (Just sayin’ cause you got it wrong twice)


        January 7, 2016 at 9:57 am

      • It’s not polite to make fun of people’s typos. TUS is a smart guy who probably just made a mistake. I know I make a lot of typos, but I get to correct them because of have full editorial control.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        January 7, 2016 at 9:59 am

      • I said something because it wasn’t a typo. One time is a typo. Twice, isn’t.


        January 7, 2016 at 10:31 am

      • Nah, twice is still a typo.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        January 7, 2016 at 11:15 am

    • Wasn’t his date older than him? I suspect a younger man in that age range seeking to lure an older woman might seek to appear more mature and, as a consequence, wear a tie. Just as an older man seeking to attract a younger woman might dress in the fashion of a younger person. BTW – I remember when I gave my old knit tie to Goodwill. I held on to for far too long thinking I might be able to wear it again someday.


      January 7, 2016 at 12:01 am

  4. O/T – Lion, have you ever noticed that the media interviews conducted on homeless individuals who refused to go to the shelters in NYC are mostly White, where Cuomo insists they should stay in them especially during the cold weather? It must be that they hate being around black miscreants, many of whom are mentally ill to say the least.


    January 6, 2016 at 11:40 pm

  5. I think I had a knit tie but I never wore it because I always felt stupid when I put it on.


    January 7, 2016 at 9:58 am

  6. From reading your blog, I doubt you, Lion, go in for much dandyism, but an appreciation for ’80s men’s fashion recently hit a zenith. Fashion doesn’t completely revert to old forms, it just incorporates past influences and reworks them.

    Suits got skinny again. A lot of this was Tom Ford led and rather extreme, but it has filtered down and it is now much, much easier to find decently trim cut suits in department stores and the like.

    Shosuke Ishizu’s 1965 photo collection Take Ivy was put back into print in 2010 and a lot of other Americana reflected back through Japanese appreciation made its way into men’s fashion. Not purely ’80s but still tied to prep’s revival in the ’80s and again in the ’10s.

    Menswear blogs like How To Talk To Girls At Parties (Tumblr) were linking to prep outfitters like J. Press and L.L. Bean a few years back (but as is always the case in fashion, have since moved on).

    Contrary to your claim, knit ties were everywhere (J. Crew, etc.). Check out Brooklyn-based shop The Hillside’s website to see a selection of square ties made from various rustic materials like chambray and wool.

    Gant, once an ’80s department store staple, was relaunched as a premium brand.

    L.L. Bean’s signature boots are still on backorder, presently.

    Ralph Lauren’s Rugby line pulled from a lot of ’80s inspired looks in its final years before coming to an end in early 2013.

    Button-down oxfords have become commonplace in the wardrobes of men again.

    Specifically referencing the above entry, what percentage of men in the ’80s in the States would honestly wear a tie and jacket to a lunch date? You could easily get away with it in the right neighborhood of a large city today. Though the trend would be to pair a sport coat with clean, dark jeans presently. If you were a little more fashion forward, the cultured move would be to do so with a lighter denim while still managing to avoid prole faux-distressing (or worse, ornamental stitching).

    Basically, prep had a revival in high-end fashion half a decade ago and has now hit department stores in flyover, so there is a bit ’80s influence out there. But it has also been mixed with the informality of a business culture weary of Wall Street excess and influenced by Silicon Valley’s rigid anti-uniform uniform, and also thrown together with the whole heritage/Americana trend going on presently.

    I think it is a good time, sartorially, to be a 20- to 30-something man, relatively speaking. Always best to sit in that comfortable pocket behind high fashion but still comfortably in front of what the 20-something version of Joe the Plumber is sporting. There is presently a place for a good navy blazer and leather shoes, whether paired with denim or chinos. And a rediscovered appreciation for suiting and a bit more formality as a subtle reactionary counterculture choice.

    Regarding men’s hats of the non-baseball variety mention in the comments above, the problem is many that wear them incongruently pair articles of differing formality. If you have the stones to wear a fedora or derby confidently with a suit (and your suit is actually flattering), it will work. However, more often, these types of hats are used as a style crutch by a neckbeard wearing a tee shirt or ill-fitting suit with a dark, saturated dress shirt. Throwing a fedora on your head while dressing prole-like or otherwise slovenly from toes draws attention to sartorial shortcomings instead of obscuring them.


    January 8, 2016 at 2:41 am

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