As a child, I was a fashion leader.   Well, maybe I thought I was a leader but looking back I was more of a kick ass follower.  I grew up straight smack in the middle of the 80’s and I could rock the fads with the best of them.  

Just to name a few…

I waited months for a Cabbage Patch Doll.  In those days you did not get to choose what you got.  You just waited and waited and like I tell my kids now, “You get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit”.

Garbage Pail Kids.  Gross but we all had them against the wishes of our parents.  Smelly Kelley and her friends may have been my first act of real rebellion.

I had Unicorn Gel Stickers on my Trapper Keepers and a sticker collection that was incredible.

I wore Guess Jeans that never fit my always curvy little body.  They either had a zipper on the leg or were fashionably pegged.

I loved my jellies so much I can’t wait to buy them for my own girls.  Yes, they are at Gap Kids.

I rocked a Swatch watch and one awesome Christmas I got a Swatch phone…to go with a phone line in my room.  I know, it was like, awesome.

Legwarmers, well I loved them.  And my gorgeous mom was an aerobics teacher so they were never in short supply.

I thought Gem was truly truly truly outrageous.

I think I learned to roller skate at the same time I learned to ride a bike.  Roller rinks were just so wicked cool.

The list goes on, fads came and went.  I grew up.  Now I have a daughter who is just now starting to beg for the latest and greatest trinket. 

She loves charm bracelets, and I told her she hasn’t seen anything yet.  I had the greatest charm necklace in the world.  I loved it.  It was one of the first fads I embraced.  I thought my necklace was gorgeous.  Actually, I still do. 

I am in 2nd grade here.  That’s my little brother Graham.  He rocked the bowl cut don’t you think?  But the necklace – incredible isn’t it?

Charmed I'm Sure

Fads may seem silly, but actually, looking back they are part of the fabric of my childhood.  I have a million wonderful memories of my youth that have nothing to do with the latest and greatest, but I find that those fads are a staccato in my timeline.  They make my memories more clear.  I can focus on what I was wearing and see it in photos.  Many recollections begin with laughter about the particular fad I was embracing. 

So, I am cool with letting my kids indulge in some fads.  I did not grow up to be dependent on what other people are doing or lose my own identity in my plastic charms.   I thought I would rage against being a follower in all things, but now I actually have kids.  And well, some of these fads are totally rad.

What did you rock in your youth?  Do you let your kids follow the fads?

Join the discussion 23 Comments

  • liz says:

    Oooooooooh, I had 100% forgotten about those necklaces until now! YES! They had big clips on them and were all sorts of random things like a tennis racket, rollerskate, etc.!
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  • Jessica says:

    This is GREAT, brings back so many memories. I had a bike with a banana seat with a unicorn and rainbow on it. I think I did every single thing you did and my brother even had a bowl cut.
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    • Vivi says:

      Swatch Watch (check)
      Legwarmers (check)
      Cabbage Patch – the year they came out I was a JUNIOR in high school and my grandmother insisted I have one for Christmas! (check)
      Rollar Rink – Friday and Saturday Nights – waiting on the dude in his Members Only Jacket and Comb in his back pocket to ask me to skate to Toby Beau’s Angel Baby. 🙂
      Guess Jeans (check) – if the denim didn’t carry the white triangle – I wasn’t wearing it. 🙂
      How about Ocean Pacific (OP) bathing suits?

    • Brittany says:

      Gotta love the bowl cuts on boys. I couldn;t even do it on Miles he was born with the hair of a frat boy. Hmmm, maybe I will post on that.

      And Unicorns…awesome all the way on everything.

  • I was a Swatch girl. So much so, I wore them until I was 20 and only because I lost my last working Swatch. The 80’s rocked by the way.
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  • tracy says:

    Timely subject as a good friend’s 3rd grader just asked to get one of those hair feathers that are all of the rage. At first I was appalled but then stepped back and realized it was “just a fad” and what harm could it do except for her to look back as an adult and roll her eyes at her funny fashion choices growing up. Love this post!!!!
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  • Kimberly says:

    Wow this brought back some great memories 🙂 I loved my white keds that I decorated with puffy paint. Oh and mood rings!
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  • Kmama says:

    I had a ton of those charms!! Ahh, the memories. Your gel stickers on your trapper keeper reminded me of those blue/green stickers that had some sort of liquid in them that moved when you pressed on them. Do you remember that?? And friendship bracelets and safety pins with different colored beads on them that you wore on your shoe laces!

  • Paulette says:

    OH YES! Fads! Fabulous Fun and definitely must have things! Loved your trip down Fad Memory Lane!

    I had a swatch I’m sure of it.
    Was in grade school when Cabbage Patch Kids hit the scene, managed to get one. And a Pound Puppy.
    A Popple! (still have it 6yo adores it)
    Daddy let me buy 1 pair of Guess jeans we really couldn’t afford.
    Jr High saw slap bracelets and hyper color tee shirts. And lots of and lots of neon colored things.

    My kids are still kinda young to understand fads 100%. My 6yo is now wearing mismatched socks on purpose. I think I may have done the same back in the day but I’m pretty sure they didn’t sell them that way like they do now.

  • gigi says:

    “fads are a staccato in my timeline” – I love that sentence. So true.

    That picture is just darling 🙂
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  • That picture is priceless. Can’t decide whether the bowl cut or the necklace are better? Let’s call it a “radical” tie!

    I did want desperately to rock the fads. I think I succeeded on some occasions and others were dismal failures. I wanted to be cool but wasn’t quite there…

    Sadly, this trend continues (although I don’t care as much as I did when I was 12 🙂

    My kids do not seem very concerned with it all…shocking because they are almost 12 and 14 – the ages when I was MOST entrenched in fad-watching.

    I hope they don’t worry so much about the staccato (great description!) But I also hope they still find joy in the collective excitement that is THEIR generations trends.
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  • angela says:

    That is an awesome charm necklace. I loved mine, especially my whistle and phone charms LOL. I can relate to see much of your list. Leg warmers, trapper keepers, stickers, rollerskating, guess jeans (also girbaud jeans), jellies, gummy bracelets.

    My kids are little for trends but I will probably let them participate. It’s pretty fun looking back on them!
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  • Ashley says:

    What a memory-inducing post– I loved charms!! Also, reading the comments, the mood rings and decorated keds.. yes! I am feeling very nostalgic right now..
    Ashley recently posted… Pouring my heart out todayMy Profile

  • Oh my goodness – I had totally forgotten about all of the plastic charms. They went so well with the jelly bracelets. I loved Forenza and Outback Red… and just found out that Outback Red is back! For real? (I live under a rock.) One of my faves was wearing two pairs of socks to double up on color, scrunched down, with the Bass shoes with rolled laces.

    How many Swatch guards did you have with your watch? Did you switch them out? Colored bands to go around any braces?

    I know I’m going to let my daughter roll with some of these. She’s only 2 and already has grabbed onto those Fun Bandz/Silly Bandz/whatever the heck they are! (And I’m already the unaware mom.)
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  • April says:

    Silly bands are all the rage here at our house! 🙂 I was a total punky bruster junky! 🙂 LOL! I had the shoes and all.
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  • blueviolet says:

    I remember colored painter pants, topsiders, penny loafers, and now I’m done dating myself.
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  • Alissa says:

    Was your Swatch phone clear?

    I would never in a million years have remembered those plastic charm necklaces. Thank you so much for reminding me of them. 🙂

    It’s going to put a smile on my face all night.

  • I can’t believe you have a picture of you with the charm necklace! So great. The 80′ s were fabulous. We recently had an 80’s party for a friend’s surprise birthday party and we loved rocking all the styles. And the music was soooo good!

    I let my children participate in fads if they want. Right now the big thing for my 11 and 9 year old is the Phiten necklaces. They love them.

  • Bryna says:

    I loved those charm necklaces. Do you remember how they had huge hooks to attach them with a little hand? And how some of the charms had “pop in” letters so you could customize them?

    My little sister had the bowl cut. Poor thing…

    My fad that I loved that was not mentioned – Jams and Slap Bracelets!

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