Get Going/ Culture and Art
Kristin Booker • May 31, 2010

Fashionable Movie List: My Favorite 80's Films for Wardrobe Inspiration

I can admit that when I get a free moment to breathe, I love to wrap up with a good stack of movies and a huge bowl of popcorn (olive oil, cracked black pepper and sea salt mixed with a touch of basil is awe-inspiring.) This Memorial Day weekend got me thinking about some of the films inspired my personal style from my formative years, the 1980’s. The following list is a catalog of some of my favorites and they’re in no particular order (but they’re fabulous):

Xanadu (1980) – A fabulous post-Grease Olivia Newton-John vehicle, this bombed at the box office but I’ll never forget begging my mother to get me an off-the-shoulder white dress, braided ribbon headband and ruched boot roller skates. I think I still have those skates somewhere. And I know all the words to all the songs. I stand by this.

Desperately Seeking Susan (1985) – I will never forget the moment my mother and her friend took my friend Patty and me to see this movie after picking us up from school. The minute Madonna appeared on screen, my entire life changed. I immediately became a thrift store addict from watching this movie and every crazy thing she wears is still perfection to this day. She wears men’s underwear with a garter belt and hose and it looks positively runway ready. I live for Madonna.

The Lost Boys (1987) – I got suckered into seeing this movie one night by people who knew that I hated horror movies. Little did they realize what a favor they did for me. I became completely obsessed with vampire movies after this and I immediately had to get a leather jacket, a flowing white dress, a wrist full of bohemian bangles and a boy who looked like Jason Patric. I mean, the guy IS a great accessory and he was so cute in this movie.

Sixteen Candles (1984), The Breakfast Club (1985) and Pretty in Pink (1986) – Who DIDN’T want to be Molly Ringwald as a teenager? I even tried to dye my hair red! From her sweetly-layered tee and sweatshirt from Sixteen Candles to the sweet bomber jacket and those impossibly chic tall leather boots she rocked in Breakfast Club, I still love everything she pretty much ever did. Although, I have to admit that Judd Nelson’s bad boy did inspire me to rock out a flannel and button-embellished denim jacket for years. Oh, and per PIP, I also designed and sewed my senior prom dress, which I still have. If you’re a Facebook friend, you can see a picture of it.

St. Elmo’s Fire (1985) – Another Brat Pack film. Let me make this clear: the character of Jules is one of my favorites of all time. I wanted every single item of clothing that Demi Moore wore in this movie and still do. This character might have been incredibly flawed, but she was one of the original fabulous fashionistas and I remain loyal to her fabulous wardrobe. Everyone else I know wanted Ally Sheedy’s prim and stylish wardrobe.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) – Checkered Vans and red bikinis were sold out everywhere and are still favorites to this day. I rest my case.

Less Than Zero (1987) – Jami Gertz was smoking in this movie and I want to point something out here: it takes a lot of edge for an 80’s California character to rock that much black and make it look good. The party with all the televisions is still one of my favorite cinematic moments and her ou
tfit at that party is still an inspiration. Added bonus: RDJ. Yum.

U2: Rattle and Hum – U2 has always had a cult following but the obsession with vests and pilgrim hats and ragged denim? Generation X owes most of that to this movie. Bono inspired both sexes with his looks and clothes.

Flashdance (1983) – The off-the-shoulder cut-up sweatshirt? Leg warmers? Hello! Plus, this is where most of us learned how to take off a bra without removing our shirts.

Krush Groove (1985) – Between the Adidas, cool hip hop and breakdancing gear and Sheila E’s Prince-inspired looks, this movie was/is chock full of marked fashion moments (and a very cute Blair Underwood). See also: Breakin’, Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo and Beat Street.

Valley Girl (1983) – Like, totally, fer sure! The birth of the Mall, the Mall Rat and the fashions? I still love watching this movie, as grody as it seems now. Also, please do enjoy the quite awkward but sweet debut of Nicholas Cage.

There are so many that you can’t name them all (and yes, I realize I left out Some Kind of Wonderful – didn’t have enough room), but feel free to add to the list. Did I leave anything out? Let me know!


4 Responses to Fashionable Movie List: My Favorite 80's Films for Wardrobe Inspiration

  1. lcf says:

    PERFECTION!!! Love this list!!

  2. Stephanie says:

    Love this list! The classic 80s films have also left their bold fashion sense in my heart. I was Flash Dance last Halloween and no one understood as well as you would!

  3. All Lacquered Up says:

    I love it though I would have have have to list Girls Just Want To Have Fun. It's one of my all-time faves along with the Linda Blair classic, Roller Boogie.

    btw, applause for your popcorn accoutrements though if you add parmesan cheese to the mix, it just may blow your mind.

  4. Susan says:

    Love movies & music from the ’80s!!!

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