Retro Alphabet: Part III

Retro Fashion Memories from A-Z
June 15, 2009
Fashion Memories

This alphabetical list reflects the retro fashion of the 80's/90's to come to memory when thinking of a particular letter. Some of these choices are obvious.........most should have a good laugh. Let's see what I remember..........

Acid Washed Jeans

"Levi's", "Lee", "Gitano".......they all rode the fad of the "acid washed" jean. I can still conjure up those really lame "Levi's 501" commercials where little white kids are skateboarding and dancing around to rap music. Wow, it's embarrassing as hell looking back.......but 1 out of every 5 people who read this had a pair. Don't deny it!

Billabong Jacket

This was the popular surf inspired item in the 80's....especially on the coast. These corduroy jackets came in a variety of pastel colors for girls and guys. I had one very similar to the above really went together well with my "Jams", "Vans" slip-on shoes and "painters hat" (with the back flaps).


"Converse" really put it all on the line in the 80's and it worked for the most part. From their line of 1988 "Batman/Joker" movie themed "All-Stars", to the dinosaur inspired "Conasaurs". Really cool stuff if you were a kid back then! I had a pair of low and high top "Conasaurs" that glowed in the dark! For a trip down memory lane I highly you to check out this link. Everything you ever and never saw is on here, including the ones with "comic book prints" and animal patterns. (

Denim Jacket

"Punks", "Rockers", "Cowboys", "Skaters" name it......a denim jacket was in their wardrobe. The truly inspired may have had it decorated with patches, pins, spikes, or graffiti. If you were a girl most likely it had gems or rhinestones on it.......probably inspired by "Debbie Gibson" or "Tiffany". The reason for that observation is because my wife has a picture as a kid at a "Debbie Gibson" concert in a "bedazzled" denim jacket. Yea, I married a winner. *rolls eyes*.


If you were cool, you had more than one. However, most guys just had one ear pierced.......prominently displaying a hoop or a dangling cross. I had both ears and my grandpa would always say, "What're you? A queer or a pirate?". I always said "pirate". Then ask in a pirate accent, "Arggh, gimme some rum you old salty dawg, before I run ya through with me blade!" He would just laugh. I never got any rum but he just kept calling me a queer anyhow. Old people rock! Arghhh! Love you Pop-Pop, R.I.P.


Even though I was at a school that was mainly white, the surf fashion was soon overtook by "Hip-Hop" fashion from 4th-8th grade. In the 90's I recall one of the biggest fads were the "Fila" shoes (FX 100) with the removable velcro strap. The cool thing was to let the strap hang off the back of the shoe. I don't know why this was just was. I had a pair of black and white ones until 6th grade when I went back to "Vans" and "Airwalk". Word to ya moms!

Guess Jeans

The ads for "Guess?" are the most memorable thing I recall about the brand. "Anna Nicole Smith" and a host of other models graced the pages of "Rolling Stone" magazine to advertise this popular denim. I never owned a pair. Do they even make guys jeans? I forget.

Huge Hair

Can't say I had ridiculous hair but this chick "Chrissy" who "baby-sat" me used to bring her NES games over for me to play. She had "Top Gun" and "Blades of Steel". Never cared for either title, but she used to sit in front of the bathroom mirror while I played and would tease and spray her hair until it was massive.

Iron-On Tees

I got an "Ewok" one out of the "Star Wars" cereal. It lasted one wash. The velvet picture never transferred as well as some others I had in the past.

Jnco Jams

Yes, "Jnco" jeans have been mentioned on this site numerous times but I couldn't pass this up. Yea, I could've talked about "Jams" but "Jnco" was way to obvious to avoid. The early 90's gave us baggy clothes, skateboards changed shape, and the wheels got super small. "Jnco" saw this trend and made there jeans super huge without having to sag. They grew in popularity until other brands saturated the market to the point where only "ravers" and "goth" kids wore them. There pants went from pretty big in the leg to ridiculously huge. This made "Jnco", in the eyes of it's original consumer, a joke.

Keds Footwear

"Keds" were to girls what "Vans" were to guys. That is my best memory of the simple canvas shoe. They went well with tapered jeans that were pegged at the cuff. Oh shit, now were getting specific! Pinch, fold and roll girls!

LA Lights

"LA Gear" was similar to other brands like "Body Glove" back in the day, that made memorable stuff only to fade away. The "LA Lights" were the first shoe I remember that lit up when you walked. I was too old to get with that trend but the younger ones loved the shoe.

Members Only Jacket

I had a navy blue jacket. So yes, I was a member!

Big bright colors were the norm in the 80's and neon was leading the charge. Whether it was "Crockett" on "Miami Vice" wearing a neon pink shirt under his blazer or "Living Colour" rocking out in a neon yellow "Body Glove" wetsuit.....we wouldn't see the end until the early 90's mellowed us out in flannel.

Oakley Sunglasses

The multi-colored "Frogskins" were similar to the "Wayfarer" style "Rayban" had out in the 80's. Another popular "Oakley" style was the "Razor Blade". Made famous by athletes and "Camaro" driving rednecks with misdemeanor battery charges. My dad rocked his "Blades" way too long, until I forced him to upgrade to a different style. Shits embarrassing pop! On a side note, what was once deemed lame is now cool again mostly because it's ironic. The "Frogskin" style is now very popular. Probably best seen on a tight jeaned hipster in Brooklyn wearing a scarf in the summer. Douche!

Parachute Pants

Stop! Hammer time!


If pro surfer "Kelly Slater" was never on "Baywatch" we would have never seen "Quiksilver" become a million dollar surf brand. Thank you sir, for selling us on neon pink and polka dot shorts!

Rat Tails

Only white trash kids named "Jesse" (that listened to "Warrant") had a "rat tail". You know the kind....the type that breaks your "Micro Machines", never returns borrowed VHS tapes and steals the pegs off of your BMX bike. Don't worry, your redemption is knowing that kid now works at the local gas station, dips "skoal" and still sports the "rat tail"! His five kids must be so proud!


"Starter" was huge in "Hip-Hop" fashion with the hats and jackets in the 90's. I had a "Charlotte Hornets" "Starter" jacket and a "Washington Redskins" hat in 5th grade. I thought I was the coolest white kid by trying to copy black fashion trends. Fail! At least I wasn't wearing "Cross Colours".

Triple F.A.T. Goose

This big ass jacket was another fashion trend that was actually pretty helpful if you lived in a cold area.


I had "Batman" and "Captain America". Be jealous!

Vision Street Wear

This was my favorite brand growing up. This was one of the first skate brands that sold decks, clothing and shoes. Only now I think "Element" skateboards covers that same criteria with there "attempt" at "footwear". The down fall had to be over saturation while trying to be all things at once. By making all that product it lost its individuality by trying to be everything to every skater. The shoes were sick though! I still remember the "EMF" video for "Unbelievable"; there is a guy wearing a "Vision Street Wear" shirt.


I had a pair of brown ones. It is strange because all kinds of people like "Wallabees". You could see a surfer wearing a "baja" jacket and jeans wearing them. Or a rapper in a "bubble" jacket and cargo pants wearing them. Simplicity I guess?

XL Clothing

"Hip-Hop" culture ushered in this trend. Sagging pants, and over-sized clothing was not only in cities but white suburban neighborhoods. Pull your pants up "Trevor" this ain't "Harlem"!


This brand ripped off "Stussy"!! From the lettering of the logo to the themes of the shirts. This brand made crappy rasta shirts sorta like "Mossimo", (before selling out to "Target"), all the while promoting "good vibes" and "peace" to the white surfer kid with blonde dreadlocks. Gimme a break!


Epic pants need epic patterns! When one color wont do......"Zubaz" comes along with sports themed draw string pants! Fuck "Skidz"! "Zubaz" was a constant reminder to your conscience that the only thing to be embarrassed about is not having multiple pairs! I'd wear them out to "Olive Garden" if I had a pair! *meanwhile my wife cries in the fetal position at the thought of "Zubaz" in public*

This was fun! Hope it wasn't too painful to endure.

Thanks for reading the Retro Alphabet Trilogy!
Have a good summer!

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