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Old 11-03-2019, 01:52 AM
Mesquite-oh is offline
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Are school age boys wearing the same fashions after 40 years?


Today when I dropped off my middle school age kiddo, he was wearing a blue Nike shirt with a yellow swoosh, some kind of blue denim jeans, checkered Vans shoes, and a navy hoodie. In 1982, when my father dropped me off at my middle school, I was wearing a Nike shirt, Levi blue jeans, checkered Vans, and a light blue hoodie.

Other than half of the kids wearing track pants, it appeared that the boys were wearing the exact same clothes made by the same exact brands that I wore about 40 years ago (we had track pants back then, but we didn't wear them to class). Nike and Adidas T-shirts and shoes (some shoes do look more modern), with a fair amount of Converse Chucks seem as common today as they were back then.

I always thought that younger people's fashions are always changing, but in this case, they did not seem to have changed so much over 4 decades. Am I wrong?
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Old 11-03-2019, 05:38 AM
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I have pictures of me 40 years ago and nope, there are no knee socks or weird browns, off reds, and puke yellows in common circulation today. The hair is another huge difference.

The looks now are more hipster retro and inspired by old designs rather than being direct copies.

I went to an 80's themed prom recently and it took some work and soul searching for me and my fiancee to even approach the look reasonably well. I even had to run out and find an emergency can of original Aquanet. I would have had a really hard time finding leg warmers and lots of other things. Mullets for guys and girls are unfortunately rare on the ground these days even though I rocked mine.
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Old 11-03-2019, 06:47 AM
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They sure as hell aren't wearing the same things as when I graduated in 1963. We had very strict rules and got sent home if they were broken. No jeans. No shorts. No t-shirts. No sneakers. No white socks. No hair over the collar or the ears. And the girls were not allowed to wear pants, or skirts above the knee. One of the assistant principles used to stop girls in the hallway and make them kneel. If their skirt didn't touch the floor they got sent home. I once got sent home for not wearing a belt, even though my pants didn't have belt loops.

And yeah, this was a public school.

OP: How low are the kids wearing their pants?
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Old 11-03-2019, 07:19 AM
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I think you have a few things working together to make it look like clothing hasn't changed much.

1) You are looking at boys, and their styles don't change as much as girls.
2) You're looking at middle school kids , and their styles don't change as much as those over 14
3) You have picked one of the particular outfits that hasn't changed in 40 years or more. I can show you pictures from the 70s with people wearing jeans and T shirts and Chucks or similar sneakers and hoodies. People wore them then and people wear them now. But I don't see people walking around with short basketball shorts and knee high tube socks with colored stripes these days. I saw tracksuits in the 80s and tracksuits now - but there was only a short time in think the 90s where velour tracksuits were a thing.
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Old 11-03-2019, 08:04 AM
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I find it amusing each summer when the back-to-school ads come out and they show kids in Jimi Hendrix t-shirts and the like. 40 years? More like 50.

But I think such "standards" are merely common and not universal. Fads come and go. (One that keeps coming and going is denim. Not just jeans but jackets as well. They seem to be more popular in ads every 3 years or so.)

So while some kids will have some clothes that look pretty much the same as decades ago, not all kids will have all vintage-style clothing.

There does seem to be a significant pre-60s/post-60s dividing line however. Those dorky striped boys shirts from the 50s never seem to come back.

In terms of shoes, the Nike revolution in the late 70s changed significantly what was considered acceptable school footwear and nothing has come along since to replace that style long term.

Last edited by ftg; 11-03-2019 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 11-03-2019, 08:15 AM
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5th season of Brady Bunch, the 4 oldest kids had some groovy threads, man. Far out!
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Old 11-03-2019, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doreen View Post
I think you have a few things working together to make it look like clothing hasn't changed much.

1) You are looking at boys, and their styles don't change as much as girls.
2) You're looking at middle school kids , and their styles don't change as much as those over 14
3) You have picked one of the particular outfits that hasn't changed in 40 years or more. I can show you pictures from the 70s with people wearing jeans and T shirts and Chucks or similar sneakers and hoodies. People wore them then and people wear them now. But I don't see people walking around with short basketball shorts and knee high tube socks with colored stripes these days. I saw tracksuits in the 80s and tracksuits now - but there was only a short time in think the 90s where velour tracksuits were a thing.
I agree with these points, and the comment about basketball shorts with long tube socks provoked flashbacks. For a while their was a trend with cargo pants, and a lot more variation with shorts (like the nylon soccer shorts fad of the early 90s), but just wearing a pair of jeans would never have been out of style.
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Old 11-03-2019, 08:31 AM
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When I was in highschool and college I dressed retro 60s. Against the grain. I thought i was some kinda cool. I cringe when I look at photos of that time.
There's no explaing fashion when it comes to teens.
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Old 11-03-2019, 05:03 PM
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My thought is casual is close to the same until you get back to say the 60s where even casual "school clothes" meant button-up shirts and more dressy pants.

Now "dressed for a date or night out" clothes --- what you would wear to say a dance --- that I think does change. Sometimes styles may repeat but you can date some of those fashions a lot closer than daily wear.
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Old 11-03-2019, 07:54 PM
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One of my high school friends posted a picture of his son on his way to his 10th grade dance. He was wearing a blazer and dress pants. He posted a photo of himself from the same age, going to a similar dance, dressed like a member of Motley Crue.
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Old 11-03-2019, 07:57 PM
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I went to a Roman Catholic High School in the late 60s. If we paid 50 cents to Sister Marguerite Ann's mission fund we were allowed to wear casual clothes for the day. I came to school in cut off jeans, a tie dyed tee shirt and sandals. She sent me home. I guess her definition of "casual" was different from mine. I was given a detention for the temerity of asking for my fifty cents back.
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Old 11-03-2019, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by longhair75 View Post
I went to a Roman Catholic High School in the late 60s. If we paid 50 cents to Sister Marguerite Ann's mission fund we were allowed to wear casual clothes for the day. I came to school in cut off jeans, a tie dyed tee shirt and sandals. She sent me home. I guess her definition of "casual" was different from mine. I was given a detention for the temerity of asking for my fifty cents back.
Yeah, a friend of mine was thrown out of the "Think Summer" dance for having the nerve to wear sneakers to a school-sponsored dance.

And the dress code for boys in my high school, was slacks not jeans, button shirts not pullovers, and dress shoes not sneakers. The girls had it worse, they had to wear uniforms.
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Old 11-04-2019, 07:23 AM
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I'm reminded of another "fashion holdouts" group.

When the Seattle grunge music hit in the 90s, the fashion style that accompanied a lot of it became popular nationwide for a while. But to me it wasn't anything new. There were a lot of grad students I knew who had that "style" in the PNW back in the 70s.

I'm sure that there are quite a few grad students there that still wear flannel shirts, hiking shoes*, down** coats/vests, knit hats, etc. But again it's some people some of the time.

* I still have two pairs of Danner boots. Back then the gold standard and based on Amazon reviews still highly thought of.

** Or whatever is the current Wonder Material that is cheaper than down. But on the outside it looks the same.
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Old 11-04-2019, 08:07 AM
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40 years ago, I didn't wear fashions; I just wore clothes.

And I, personally, was never brand-conscious. (Still am not, except as a means to an end; but in my boyhood I was even less aware of things like what looked good or was in fashion). I couldn't tell you what brands/labels the other boys wore, or whether they cared, because I was a... nerd? dweeb? not very socially aware? just hadn't been taught to pay attention to that?

When did Nike start making shirts? I thought they made shoes.
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Old 11-04-2019, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
40 years ago, I didn't wear fashions; I just wore clothes.
And there's one answer to the OP. The outfit described is basically "generic middle schooler" dating back to the mid-70s, with the difference that before the mid-80s it would not have involved conspicuous branding.

Count your blessingts that burgundy polyester bell bottoms or fluorescent green windbreakers are not making a comeback. Yet.

Quote:
When did Nike start making shirts? I thought they made shoes.
The major sportswear companies (Nike, Adidas, Puma, etc) have complete head-to-toe lines. Nike even brands eyeglass frames at your optician's.

Last edited by JRDelirious; 11-04-2019 at 08:44 AM.
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Old 11-04-2019, 09:02 AM
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There's also a possibility you are missing: it may not be that things have stayed consistent, but that things from forty years ago have come back in style. I'd argue that fashion, while always changing, is also somewhat on a cycle.

I've noticed the cycle with the whole "open dress shirt with a t-shirt," with hair length and styles, with which brands are popular, and so on.
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Old 11-04-2019, 09:08 AM
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When did Nike start making shirts? I thought they made shoes.
I'm in my mid 30s, and they made shirts my entire life.
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Old 11-04-2019, 10:16 AM
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Suppose that each year from 1980 to 2019, on one day in May, the principals of 100 randomly selected middle schools, divide up the boys into groups as to what kind of shirt, pants, and shoe combination they are wearing.

I am willing to wager that the group that is wearing the Nike/Addidas cotton logo t-shirt in standard colors, blue denim jeans, and Nike/Addidas athletic shoes would be the biggest every year for the past 40 years (with Nike/Addidas track pants making a recent strong showing).

I am just amazed how long Nike and Addidas have remained "cool" and in fashion, without really having to change much over a 40 year span.
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Old 11-06-2019, 08:13 AM
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Another thing to take into account is that in this decade, a wide variety of styles are available and changing fashion trends tend to prevail less than they did in the past. A good example: nowadays it's no big problem to find jeans in various styles, with a higher or lower waist as one prefers. Think back just a decade to the New Tens and how difficult it could be at one point in time for women to find jeans, or pants in general, with anything but a low waist. While trends still exist, they tend to be subtler than in the past and it's probably more common and certainly easier for people to just have their own style than it was in the past. This is a factor to consider when noticing schoolchildren dressed in a way that reminds one of how they dressed 40 years ago; besides fashion being cyclical, some things have just managed to stick around to this day or be made available again; logically then, you will see someone wearing said trends sooner or later.
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Old 11-06-2019, 08:29 AM
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Surely the jeans in 1982 were acid washed with a waistline above the belly button, and the polos were about a full size larger.

I do agree with the OP that the overall components of modern clothing are often very similar to those from a few decades ago, but the devil is always in the details. I recently bought a vintage Member's Only jacket off ebay, thinking that a smart-looking windbreaker is never really out of style, right? Except in the 80s a smart-looking windbreaker used enough material for a standard WWII parachute. I swim in that thing, and consequently never wear it. Jackets in 2019 have all the same bits as they did in 1982 but the style is much more fitted.
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:29 AM
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The definition of a millennial sports caster:

"He's the 25 year old on TV who looks like his suit was left over from his grade 8 graduation".

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Old 11-06-2019, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longhair75 View Post
I went to a Roman Catholic High School in the late 60s. If we paid 50 cents to Sister Marguerite Ann's mission fund we were allowed to wear casual clothes for the day. I came to school in cut off jeans, a tie dyed tee shirt and sandals. She sent me home. I guess her definition of "casual" was different from mine. I was given a detention for the temerity of asking for my fifty cents back.
I snorted. I read, "...detention for the temerity of..." as,
"detention for eternity..."

Of course, it could have been that too.
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:30 PM
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When I was in middle school in the early '90s I think that Champion and Starter were much bigger brands for shirts and jackets. Nike certainly didn't have the monopoly on that part. Also a lot of surf/skate shirts like Billabong, Quicksilver, and Stussy. I think some of that stuff is now generic Target house brands, but back then you had to go to "cool" shops that were also the official Levi's place, depending on how far away and hip the big mall stores were. I lived in a mostly rural area near the beach so in addition to the generic "athletic wear" kid you had farmers, preps (mostly "Structure," Girbuad and such), soccer players, and surfer/skaters who all had a different look.

Also, at least for the time period I was a kid this whole official Nike and jeans uniform was mostly white guys (especially the Adidas/soccer style version). I played basketball and was into hip-hop but I mostly stuck to "white fashion." Many of my other friends were into the Karl Kani, FUBU, Boss jeans, etc. Another "urban" variation was the more colorful Levis and other denim "short sets" and black guys were more likely to have full "outfits" with matching shirts and pants and possibly vests and jackets. Fortunately this was before the JNCO era. "Track pants" were only worn by some gym teachers and like warm up pants for the basketball team. I thought that was a only a thing lower class UK kids wore based on my internet browsing.

In 1992 my version of this, depending on the weather, was something like a Champion t-shirt, Levi's Silvertab jeans, Nikes, and a Starter jacket. On another day I might wear Structure jeans with a button up plaid shirt and Fila sneakers. or some Timbs. Or maybe a long sleeve Billabong shirt. Summer meant denim shorts with 9-11" inseams or Champion basketball shorts. Nike took over more dominantly when the fad brands faded out or showed up in Walmart. My friends who were really into soccer would wear Adidas shirts and Sambas with Levi's 505 or 550.

Last edited by actualliberalnotoneofthose; 11-07-2019 at 10:34 PM.
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