Are you trying to compensate for something?

The current Reagan-induced eighties nostalgia has prompted Good Grief! to address a serious issue: people flipping their collars like it’s 1987.

It started innocently enough when Superwoman and I went to the god-awful-evil-super-mega-outlet mall and noticed flipped-collar guy being dragged around the Banana Republic factory store by his girlfriend. He was in his early twenties, a clean-cut preppy sort. We laughed him off as an fashion anomaly.

But like the cicadas, the collar creatures were soon turning up everywhere. Rittenhouse Square is crawling with them, they’re all over Walnut Street, and on Saturday night I counted a half dozen in a single Old City bar. Are these people turning up in other cities too? Indeed they are.

What’s worse than the young, twentysomething crowd flipping their collars, however, are the thiry-and-forty-somethings following their lead in a desperate struggle for hipness. Don’t you people remember how silly we looked the last time around? I do. Julie R, my best friend in junior high, had a father who worked for Izod. So we were, like, totally hooked up. We were getting Izod shirts in every color, flipping the collars, and hanging out at the mall.

Where are you, Julie R? Does your dad still work for Izod? How ’bout something in pink? I wear a medium!

PS For more information, read I.M. Adick, III’s editorial in the Georgetown Lampoon, and check out the t-shirt. An excerpt from “Wearing Your Collar Down is for Poor People:”

When my ancestors came over to this great country 400 years ago, they had a vision for a utopia, free from minorities, liberals, poor people, homosexuals, and immigrants. There are few today who share such lofty ideals, but we’re easy to find: Pastel polo shirts, loafers without socks, tucked-in shirts, but most importantly, collars up.

12 responses to “Are you trying to compensate for something?”

  1. DCA

    This is great news! In a couple of months, I’ll be able to wear my Members Only jacket in public again! And can parachute pants be far behind?

  2. Splurge

    Hey, I used to wear the Izod shirts with the flipped collar too! My hook-up wasn’t with the shirts though, it was the shoes: My dad’s company made the soles for the Adidas Stan Smith tennis shoes, so I had a virtually infinite (and free) supply of them. That was a good thing since back then, the style was to wear ’em with no socks (ew!) which dramatically shortened their life span. Those shoes were ‘the shoes’ at that time! Well, at least they were up here in Montreal. Was that a local thing, I wonder?

  3. Clair

    So does this mean I should start rolling up the pant legs on my jeans? What about leather ties? I am so confused.

  4. Scott

    I am going to break out all my ulta skinny ties and Kangaroos.

  5. Glenn

    I am going to get my baseball caps with the flaps on the back out of storage! I knew it was only a matter of time before people forgot how horrible 80’s fashion was.
    I wonder if I can still get a pair of Jox sneakers.. that was the supercheap 2 stripe rip-off of the Adidas that Splurge mentioned. Of couse, when I wore them they were ‘hype’ since I had the bright red ultrathick laces in them.
    I am going to go cruise the mall after work and see if any of the girls are sporting stirrup pants while wearing heels, not to mention linebacker shoulderpads under their XXL sweaters.

  6. Christine

    several months ago, I noticed the resurgence of Legwarmers.

    should have known that it was a preemptive sign of the something bad this way comes…very “Friday the 13th”-you-know-someone-is-going-to-die-soon sort of thing.

    whatcha gone do? suppose try to be an individual with some fashion sense. no more sheep…..

  7. Dana

    does NO ONE watch VH-1 and I love the 80’s?!?!? Good gracious that was 10 hours of hair and fasion hell that you would think would make people realize the error of our ways.
    if you think i am switching back to high waist, camel toe jordache’s you’ve got another think coming!

    Now, where’d i put my wide belt and leg warmers?? I can see anything with this side pony tail!

  8. Dave

    Reminds me of a line from that show Arrested Development: “Why are we dressing like it’s the 60’s? It’s 2004. We should be dressing like it’s the 80’s.”

  9. Becky

    It’s Dave the Lunabomber, who I *think* recently graduated (congratulations!) and is therefore different from all of us older people fondly remembering our 80s faux pas.

    If you’re reading Dave, I implore you–don’t make the same mistakes we made. Take Dana’s advice and carefully observe VH-1. Learn from our foolishness, and strive for a better fashion future.

  10. Dave

    OK, I’ll be honest. It’s already too late. A few months ago, before going out for the night, I asked a friend: “Look at this shirt collar. Better up or down?” She replied: “Oh, definitely put it up. Looks so much better like that.”

    And: Why, yes — I did just graduate. Thank you.

  11. Becky

    Oh, Dave. I weep for the future. Was it a pastel-colored shirt?

  12. Dave

    Thankfully not, and I’ve been upturned collar clean for 3 months now. It’s tough, but I take it one day at a time.