The 80s Valley Girl

HThe 1980s brought upon a new style, language, and just a way of life: the Valley Girl.

The term ‘Valley Girl’ originated in the 1970s, but was at its peak in the 1980s and it referred to a socio-economic class of middle and upper-class white women living in the San Fernando Valley, California. Over time, the traits and behaviors of Valley Girls represented a bunch of spoiled, ditzy girls most interested in shopping, appearance, and social status. They even had their own dialect, referred to as Valleyspeak. (Ex. Like, as if!)

Want to speak like a Valley Girl?! Click here for some tips on learning the lingo.

In 1981 came the release of a hit single by Frank Zappa entitled “Valley Girl,” on which Moon Zappa, Frank’s 14-year-old daughter, delivered a monologue of meaningless phrases in Valleyspeak behind the music. This song made some phrases famous, like “grody to the max”. Some of the terms used by Moon were not actually Valley phrases, but were surfer terms instead (ex. “tubular” and “gnarly”). But because of the song’s popularity, some of these surfer phrases actually entered the speech of real Valley teens.

Here’s the song:

The 1995 film, Clueless, also featured a Valley Girl in the form of the main character, Cher (Alicia Silverstone)


Cher uses the words “like,” “as if,” “whatever” and “duh” a good amount throughout the film. She also refers to attractive men and women as “bettys” and “baldwins.”

Here, we get a glimpse of some of her Valleyspeak:

Valspeak is also heard quite a lot in Bill and Ted’s Excellent AdventureBill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, and Wayne’s World.

There was also the movie, Valley Girl, which starred Nicholas Cage. It’s about Julie, a girl from the valley, who crosses, paths with a boy named Randy, a punk from the city. Their two worlds collide and love is found.

Now, clothing designers are even showcasing apparel following the Valley Girl trend…

by popular designer Wildfox

by popular designer Wildfox

Popular retailer NastyGal even did an entire Lookbook following the Valley Girl trend:

Screen shot 2014-06-07 at 11.46.21 PM

See the entire collection here!

Oh and…

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Jellies: Making a Comeback?

The 80s were an era of great shoe fashion and it was then that women were lining up to buy the newest craze: Jellies.

Jelly Shoes

All the celebrities were wearing them and they appealed to many different age groups when they peaked. They are made from a material called jelly rubber, and came in a wide variety of colors and patterns, some even with sparkles. Although the term ‘jelly rubber’ sounds like it would be comfy, I can attest to the fact that the shoes are anything but. They often contributed to a great deal of blisters, and when the weather was hot these shoes became a slip ‘n slide for your feet.

Jellies, for the most part, tend to have flat soles, but chunky heels have since also been made available. Girls have decorated them with stickers, flowers, and other motifs to make them a little more personal. Glitter was most popular in the 80s, but some designers put objects in the jelly such as little plastic fish and other geometric shapes.


Glitter, glitter, and more glitter

Not only are these shoes fashionable, but they are also practical. For example, if you ever want to indulge in some casual wading around in a river or stream, these shoes are perfect. They will protect your feet from little rocks while draining out water, and when you’re on land your feet will be dry in no time.

So, are they making a comeback? Some of these celebrities have recently been caught sporting this old 80s fad around.

First, we have Azealia Banks:


Kylie Jenner:

And lastly, Anne Hathaway:
These stars are all about their Jellies, but are you?
Many retail stores today are selling these shoes, but they are not as easy to come by as they were in the 80s.
However, retail outlet ASOS has a version of the clear gladiator-looking Jellies here, but if glitter’s more your thing, you can buy the same pair covered in glitter from the trendy website, TopShop, here.
You’re welcome.

Polo Ralph Lauren


As Madonna said, eighties culture was most certainly a “material world” and status was all about having money. Owning fast cars and lavish homes was a necessity, and dressing sharply was equally important. Clothing by Ralph Lauren was another status symbol that had immediate visual association with money and classic style. During the 1980s, Polo opened its flagship store in New York City, became famous for their “power suits” for men and women, and launched the first full housewares collection from a clothing designer, Ralph Lauren Home.

My favorite 1980s collection from Polo Ralph Lauren is the Safari collection for women, launched in 1984. I’d like to tell you it’s because the crisp and clean white clothing is so gorgeously contrasted with the dusty African desert, but the real reason is because they use a baby lion cub and other wild animals in most of the shots. The ad, quoted “could have come straight out of an English royal’s photo album”. The first photo is a perfect example of the power suit women wore to feel powerful in the workplace.

This gorgeous building is called The Gertrude Rhinelander Waldo House. Built on the fashionable Madison Avenue on the corner of East 72nd Street, the house was designed by Kimball & Thompson and finished in 1898, however was never lived in. The house was commissioned by “the eccentric heiress” Gertrude Waldo, but she preferred to live in another building just across the street. The mason was eventually divided into retail spaces, and “it slowly fell into disrepair for almost a century”.

Ralph Lauren purchased the building lease in 1983 and started a massive overhaul of the building to create his Polo Ralph Lauren NYC flagship store.

“When Ralph Lauren took over the reconstruction of the Rhinelander as a flagship store, less than five percent of the building’s original interior remained. The entire building was designed to re-create the classic opulence of the original mansion. This involved extensive research into what few original plans and physical evidence could be found, and creatively piecing them together.”

The costs of the renovations are estimated at around $14–15 million.

Walking into the mansion is like walking straight into a RL ad. Well, maybe not one from the Safari Collection.

Check out Vogue’s Full history on Polo and RL.


Fashion 101: The Cosby Sweater

The ever-so-suave Bill Cosby and The Cosby Show brought attention to an fashion trend that gained its popularity in the late 80s and early 90s: The Cosby Sweater. It was notorious for its array of asymmetrical patterns and abstract color schemes.

Still not ringing a bell? Maybe these photos will help…



The Cosby Show, which ran on NBC from 1984-1992, depicts an upper-class African-African family living in Brooklyn and trying to deal with all the issues life throws at their family. Right from the start, Bill Cosby’s character, Cliff Huxtable, started wearing these outrageously colorful and innovative sweaters, and thus the “Cosby Sweater” was born. These sweaters worn by Cosby personified his character, making him appear as a friendly family man often caught up in his childlike actions and mannerisms.

But how did these sweaters get their start? In this video, the creator and Dutch fashion designer Koos van den Akker, goes into detail about his inspiration and creation of these infamous Cosby Sweaters here.

Not only did these sweaters add to the mise-en-scene on the Cosby Show, but many of them actually pertained to what was actually happening in each specific episode.

For example, this sweater was designed for an episode in which Cliff Huxtable runs track and field in a rematch with an old nemesis.


And then there was that time when two jade-colored tigers that licked each other on a bed of hot lava..

Yeah, that one never happened. But anyway, as for this fashion trend, the Cosby Sweater also sparked creation of many other artistic ventures, such as band names. The song below is called “Huxtable Hustle” in light of the Cosby Show’s characters, and it surprisingly isn’t the worst thing I’ve ever heard.

Now, many of these Cosby Sweater-inspired creations are sold all over the world, and many sport this fashion, especially at “ugly sweater”-themed gatherings. They are for sale on the website Etsy, just to name one place. You can buy them here!

You’re welcome.