The older I get, the more my clothes look the same. While everyone knows fashion moves in cycles, it's not easy to predict which styles will be fads and which staples. Denim is always in - but every season invariably introduces novelty. Coloured, rhinestoned, embroidered, studded, tassled and stressed denim might look ultra-fashionable one season only to seem horribly dated 90 days later. So this season, when the fickle fashion goddess prescribed horizontal stripes, plastic accessories and off-the-shoulder tops, I gave up shopping altogether. The 80s are back, for the third time, and I'm resisting this revival.
Sure, clothing is a form of self-expression. But really, we should feel oppressed to be informed, for example, that yellow is a difficult colour. More to the point, 80s fashion is ugly. Contrary to common belief, looking stylish is not synonymous with looking good.
I was in grade school during the original 80s. While my older sister spent hours crimping her hair and outlining her eyes in electric-blue liner, I was busy escaping her attempts to do my hair. She eventually turned to her Barbie.
When that went terribly wrong, guess who inherited the Barbie? Yes, everything operates in cycles.
The 80s heralded acid-wash denim, which went out before it came in (except in Quebec, where it continues to enjoy popularity along with Labatt's 50 and the mullet).
And lest you forget, 80s style included such regrettable items as the bubble skirt, the banana clip, the jelly shoe, the shoulder pad and the upturned collar.
The second coming took hold during the mid-90s. While the fashion world remained largely immune to the scourge of John Hughes nostalgia, clubs across the city exhumed the rotting corpse that is the retro 80s night.
Yuppies who'd never gone to clubs before suddenly came out of their self-imposed exile in the suburbs to pay homage at the dance monolith of the time, the Whiskey Saigon. They Shouted. They Pushed It. And then they drove home drunk.
The third coming was inaugurated in Montreal. Its anthem was Tiga's now legendary electro remix of Corey Hart's I Wear My Sunglasses At Night. Mirroring the overnight success of Corey Hart himself, the 80s became all the rage in Montreal. They loved it. Loved it.
Overnight, techno parties became obsolete. Driving beats had been replaced by the dissonant click, clang, beep and occasional silences of early Euro electro. It was esoteric, avant-garde and entirely undanceable.
But no matter - stylish Montrealers embraced the fad wholesale.
And like a flock of lemmings, Toronto followed.
Garish plastic accessories are now this season's toast - jelly bracelets, bangles, gaudy earrings - the perfect accoutrements to complement that hair à la Duran Duran, one side feathered back, the other side feathered down.
Fishnet has become the fabric de jour, so adaptable not only for stockings but for shirts and gloves, too. No mistake, the look of the season is Big, Loud and Cheap.
Judge Judy once quipped, "Beauty fades, dumb is forever." While some would have you believe it's the height of fashion, the 80s aesthetic has been the butt of jokes for decades, and there's no reason to believe it won't be again. Some trends come back because they're classics. Others are resurrected like multi-volume B-movie slasher flicks.
As for me, I'm hanging onto my wallet and waiting out the 90 days. I know from experience that turquoise off-the-shoulder sweaters won't be back for another 15 years.