HALLIE EPHRON: Recently I put the call out on Facebook: Imagine it's 1985 and you are arriving at LAX. Your 30-something-year-old sister is meeting you at the gate (remember when you could meet people at the gate?) What is she wearing?
I got so many great answers. Sweatshirt with a torn neck. Leggings. Parachute jump suit -- I had one in turquoise. And, how could I have forgotten, shoulder pads. (I have a collection of them just in case they come back.)
Was it an amazing decade or what? At one extreme we had Jennifer Beals in "Flash Dance," and at the other Joan Collins in Dynasty. AND we had hair. Serious Farrah Fawcett hair. Mullets! Rat tails!
Line your Smurfs up there on the kitchen counter and dish: What are your 80s memories. Was there ever a decade to match it in terms of ridiculous styles?
LUCY BURDETTE: Shoulder pads, that's what I remember. Layers and layers of them so you ended up looking like you might take off at any moment. That was the decade I moved from graduate school to working world, so I went from overalls to shoulder pads. Here's the only dress I seem to have kept--Christmas party attire:).
JAN BROGAN: And we had a lot of perms. I already have wavy hair that curls pretty easily, but no, I had to blast it with chemicals to make sure it was curly, large and a little bit frizzy. And it smelled bad, at least for the first couple of days. I remember wearing a lot of purple. I had purple overalls and actually wore them. Also, big long tops with tights and those leg sweater things that are making a comeback today.
Since I was a business reporter at the time, I also wore a lot of business suits. I actually have a couple that were so beautiful that I've kept them preserved, but I also had some ones with boxy shoulder pads and one with a long slit on the side that I can't believe I actually wore to a job interview.
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Oh, I have to tell you--I literally just asked myself--when were the 80's? And then I burst out laughing. But I was well into my TV career at that point, and I was all about POWER SUITS. (Is that when power suits were?) I'm sure my shoulders were aeronautic (do I mean pneumatic?) and I loved the shoulder pads, because they made your waist look small. I had some gorgeous suits--one of which I wore last year to CrimeBake as a COSTUME to be Harriet Vane. Which shows you.
As for hair. I went to a stylist in Washington DC once and he said--"there's this fabulous new style you should try--called a Farrah Fawcett." Sadly, readers, I did, and it took my hair YEARS to recover. But wasn't that the 70's? In the 80's, my hair was HUGE and PUFFY.
This photo is me at the 1988 Democratic convention. I love that jacket! Note the massive shoulders. Chunky earrings. Runner's watch. And like I said, puffy hair.
RHYS BOWEN: Was there ever a decade to match it in terms of ridiculous styles? Well, there were the sixties when I had a Vidal Sassoon geometric haircut and Mary Quant clothes with skirts so short that they almost showed everything and white shiny boots. There were the seventies when I had a tie died khaftan. So I think the eighties were pretty modest for me.
But I do remember the shoulder pads. AND I had a fabulous jump suit that I wore on a plane to England. When I went to the bathroom I found that I couldn't get the top down because the bathroom was too narrow. Lots of swearing, knocking on the walls and contortions while really needing to pee badly. Never again!
DEBORAH CROMBIE: Oh, Hallie, how funny! I had the jumpsuit, too, only it was purple with a black pattern. I LOVED it, wore it everywhere, including on the plane, where, like Rhys, I couldn't get if off in the bathroom.
And yes, jackets with huge shoulder pads. I have very square shoulders anyway (would have been well suited for off the shoulder gowns of some previous period) so looked like a tiny linebacker. My daughter and I had matching Laura Ashley dresses, one of my favorite memories of that decade (although probably not hers...)
But the worst--perms. God-awful smelly perms that turned my hair a weird color. And then you were stuck, because they looked so horrible growing out that you'd have to have it done again. Under no circumstances am I posting a photo of the absolutely dowdiest phase of my life...
And again, the guys had it better. Think William Petersen in Manhunter or To Live and Die in LA. Or Miami Vice, which still looks gorgeous. The women looked horrible, the guys looked great. I'm telling ya, it's a conspiracy.
ROSEMARY HARRIS: Wasn't Farrah 70's? I seem to remember baggy pants that tapered at the ankle. Very flattering. I bought three pairs at Reminiscence in the West Village.(Bruce claims he fell in love with me because of the black and yellow CHECKERED pair. I also had them in pink and black and can only think that this was my "clown" period.)
I wore - until it was filthy because no dry cleaner would touch it - a pink suede jacket. Think Desperately Seeking Susan. In my own defense I will say I never wore the ponytail on the side of the head or fingerless gloves.
HALLIE: So, fashion-forward Reds, what were you wearing in the 80s and do you hope any of it will come back?