Welcome to my Style Challenge, where I'm dressing in the style of each decade of the Twentieth century. Today is the turn of the Trashy 1980's, the decade that taste forgot.
To those who think the 1980's were fabulous must have been priviledged Yuppies or twinkles in their mummies' eyes because to a Midlands-dwelling girl in her formative years the decade was a Thatcher-dominated period of injustice and grinding poverty. Forget Club Tropicana and Gold, our anthems were Ghost Town and Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now.
In 1985 I collected my A Level certificates, left home and signed-on as Tory means-testing put paid to a university grant. I lived in the damp front room of a condemned Victorian terrace and scraped an existance from cash-in-hand bar work. With a disposable income of £14 a week fashion took a back seat as I rummaged for wearable clothes at jumble sales and charity shops. The once thriving industrial town I grew up in had an unemployment rate of one in seven and a worryingly high suicide rate. I was harrassed nightly by the local pimps to come and work for them in the burgeoning red light industry for which the town had became infamous. During the summer of 1985 the inner cities burned and the high streets with their corrigated windows resembled war zones.
Whilst the Yuppies knocked back bottled Mexican lager in City Centre wine bars we learnt how to make a 76p pint of mild last all night whilst organising marches against the Poll Tax, Apartheid and Nuclear Power and we all Rocked against Racism.
Anyway, enough of the ranting. In the Eighties anything went, gold with silver, mock-croc, shiny patent, fake fur and fake tans. Make-up was neon bright with painted on cat's eye eyeliner and lashings of bronzer. Hair was big, fluffy and backcombed, spiral permed or crimped. No self-repecting fashionable girl ever had straight, shiny hair. Lycra leggings and fingerless gloves were the must-have accessories. We wore our jackets huge, raiding charity shops for vintage gentlemen's evening jackets which we wore with the sleeves rolled up and pinned blingy brooches to the lapels. Style icons included the cast of Dynasty and Princess Diana but they left me cold, Madonna was my idol. I don't know how many times I saw Desperately Seeking Susan, our local cinema (long since demolished to make way for a crappy retail park) only charged £1 a film so it was a great way to keep warm.