What did you look like in the ’80s?

I know that not all of you can remember the 1980s….

Fleur Fisher recently posted The Dream Academy’s 1985 music video for “Life in a Northern Town”. This was one of my favorites in high school and it brought back a flood of memories. The song always made me melancholy–but that good kind of teen angst melancholy that was fun to wallow around in from time to time. Regardless of what the words of the song actually mean to convey, for me it was about getting out of a small town where I wasn’t exactly popular and getting to a big city. And I was crazy for anything English yet couldn’t imagine actually getting to England one day.

I wouldn’t want to relive those years, but sometimes I do wish I could go back and change a few things knowing what I know now. But I guess that would change the present, and I have no desire to do that.

So grab your leg warmers and enjoy a good laugh at my expense.

1984 (15 years old)
My last crush on a girl was the girl in the pink dress.
The girl serving the punch was my best pal.



This was one of he photo proofs for my senior picture.
This picture was taken less four hours after a late night in Minneapolis
with my first boyfriend – and a college boy at that.

Last day of high school.

My hair grew for about another 8 months before I got it cut off.
And yes, those are Girbaud jeans.

Much to my surprise, just four years after The Dream Academy song
I managed a trip to the UK. Here I am on a train from B’ham to Glasgow.

22 thoughts on “What did you look like in the ’80s?

  1. Melissa September 10, 2011 / 6:54 pm

    That's exactly the mood that “Life in a Northern Town” evoked. Absolutely. (Well, that, and I always felt compelled to put on a coat whenever I heard that one. It always made me feel cold, even if it was 100 degrees out.)


  2. cowtools September 10, 2011 / 7:09 pm

    Too bad I never scanned the shot of my poodle perm, or I could join in.


  3. Lu @ Regular Rumination September 10, 2011 / 7:18 pm

    Now that I think about it (and googled the release date of The Little Mermaid), that's definitely 1990.


  4. Vintage Reading September 10, 2011 / 9:05 pm

    Aw you are very cute! I had dyed black hair,all my clothes and make- up were black and I listened to Echo and the Bunnymen and The Cure.


  5. rhapsodyinbooks September 10, 2011 / 9:18 pm

    What fun pictures! And yes, this post definitely could have been called My Life As Told in Hair!


  6. Desperate Reader September 11, 2011 / 5:42 am

    I particularly like the first one where you look like Matt Damon in the Ripley film.


  7. Darlene September 11, 2011 / 7:42 am

    Super photos! My husband was walking by and thought the top one was from the sixties. Love the suit!

    In the eighties it was Depeche Mode, New Order, PIL and The Cure..and blush applied over a piece of paper to get a razor sharp line. I'm laughing just thinking about it now!


  8. litlove September 11, 2011 / 3:54 pm

    Oh oh that last one you look so like someone and it's on the tip of my tongue… sort of halfway between Morton Harket (is that how you spell his name? The singer from A-ha) and a bit Matt Damon. You were (and I presume still are) a very good-looking lad. I think I'll leave my photos in the drawer…


  9. AnswerGirl September 11, 2011 / 5:33 pm

    You and I had very similar haircuts in 1986.


  10. StuckInABook September 11, 2011 / 7:19 pm

    Well, I was born in 1985, so I spent the next five years being blonde and cute and looking very like another blonde, cute boy of the same age. It all went downhill from there. (I also had shoulder-length hair as high school finished, btw)


  11. Meg September 12, 2011 / 5:10 pm

    Have to agree that I'm diggin' the long hair! Your '80s photos are awesome and very priceless. I have similar shots… only mine are from the '90s and early '00s! I didn't think we had a huge style trend going on back then, but how wrong I was.


  12. Ruthiella September 12, 2011 / 8:27 pm

    The lady in the pink dress in the first photo does look more 60's than 80's. But Princess Di on the right gives the decade away.

    Love your haircut in 1986. Seriously, that is the only picture that is really “dated”.


  13. LifetimeReader September 13, 2011 / 9:34 am

    No surprise that you were so handsome as a youngster, given your current good looks.

    With that long hair, you could have given Fabio a run for his money in that butter commercial.


  14. bookchatter.net September 13, 2011 / 10:06 am

    I just scanned some photos out of my senior yearbook for a friend on Facebook. It sure brought back memories.

    I graduated in '86, so we are very close in age. I was (and am) a huge 80's music lover. My Spotify and iTunes accounts are dominated by 80's tunes. I listened to a lot of Depeche Mode, Tears for Fears, Pet Shop Boys.. angst ridden stuff.

    I love Life in a Northern Town.So many memories.


  15. Thomas at My Porch September 14, 2011 / 2:31 pm

    Melissa: Some one-hit wonders deserve praise rather than derision for not coming up with anything else worth listening to. What a service The Dream Academy did.

    Cowtools: I want to see the poodle perm.

    Lu: We had the same swim suit! (Just kidding)

    Margaret: Now days I don't know quite what to do with it.

    Vintage: I had friends like you. I quite liked Echo, but less so The Cure.

    Rhapsody: It does tell a story doesn't it?

    Hayley: Many thanks on that Damon reference. I must admit I was particularly happy with that haircut at the time.

    Darlene: I didn't know that blush technique. I can totally see it inn my mind.

    Mystica: Thanks.

    Litlove: I could never decide if I thought A-ha was cute or not. Jury is still out for me. But speaking of one-hit wonders, “Take on Me” was brilliant and so was the video.

    Ellen: Very funny.

    JoAnn: Thanks.

    Simon: sigh

    Meg: It is amazing how looks become dated without us really knowing it.

    Ruthiella: The pink dress was a sweater dress, I do remember that.

    Lifetime: Fabio! That hurts. :)

    Bookchatter: Not all of my 80s favorites have fared well over the years. But some do stand out as pretty wonderful.


  16. Daniel-Halifax September 14, 2011 / 3:18 pm

    These are great! I can almost hear the angst of the Smiths in the background. I too was born in the mid-Eighties but there's a pretty good shot of me (circa '89) in head to toe red posing on a yellow shag carpet that I should send over.


  17. sarahsbooks September 17, 2011 / 9:38 am

    1987-1992. Smiths, New Order, Depeche Mode. Shaved head. Black clothes and big black boots. Lots of eyeliner. High maintenance, I could only sustain the look for about five years before I became all natural again. I still love New Order, though. And I miss going out dancing.

    Love your pictures.


  18. Relish October 1, 2011 / 4:33 pm

    Oooo hee hee. This gave me a good giggle. I am LOVING 1988 in particular…like totally rad…man…;-D


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