Are there really places stuck in a fashion time warp? (and an experiment)

That flip hairstyle is making its way back now! :eek:

Heidi Klum, taken Dec. 9th 2005:

She’s not the only one I’ve seen.

Hairstyles might be a bit behind (fluffy hair was still big then) but those clothes are 1984 all the way. Check out the skinny tie, man. That’s all 80s. Nobody in the 1970s wore little ties like that; he got that idea off MTV.

Yeah, plaid shirt, solid color narrow square tie… that’s a black Alex P Keaton. Mid 80’s right from Hollywood.

The comparison was totally rigged. One rigidly posed group where all aspects of hair and dress were easily seen vs 3 active shots of ill defined clumsps of people. Plus for all we know the Buffalo picture was of the chess club or something.

Actually, this was the chess club.

Let’s up the sample size.

More 1984 Buffalo:

More 1984 LA:

I can’t help but notice that the Buffalo shots, even the photography looks older. The shots are all black and white, and they don’t even look as good as the B&W shots of the LA class.

I also cannot help but notice that the LA high school apparently has no minority students. That’s kind of weird, huh?

Well, I called the first one. The second I guessed 1986, but I may have been hanging out with a somewhat more sophisticated crowd (At that time in Rochester, ironically enough).

I think that fashions have a much smaller “lag time” these days. It’s not so much the knowledge of these fashions. I could pick up the New York Times Magazine (metro edition! never mind) as it was a certain reticence to embrace them and possibly be caught up in a fad that was already on the downswing. This would be a product of a certain attitude toward the ways of the big city and the apparently incomprehensible logic they follow.

These days I’d say provicial kids identify more with other kids in their marketing demographic, and less with kids in their geographic area.

This is an intriguing thread, and a subject I’ve thought about quite a bit.

I grew up in podunk, Utah before cable TV got there. A few rich kids in HS had satellite and MTV (which had just started.) It was truly a tight Wrangler Jeans and Farrah Fawcett hair-do town: I’d say with the exception of a few of us dorks who, inspired by MTV, decided to go “New Wave” we were five-eight years behind the fashion curve. I remember as a kid that I looked different than my more metropolitan cousins who lived in Salt Lake City ( :smiley: .)

However, when I go back to Utah now it seems that most of the kids and people my age look more or less like their counterparts in Los Angeles and New York City (I’m talking normal peep looks – not “Sex in the City” haute couture.) There are exceptions, and the exceptions revolve around a regional propensity for big hair and mulletts for both sexes and a certain cowboy ethos of dressing.

My theory for the creeping homogenization of the U.S. is wide availability of cable TV and the 'net. I teach college in a rural area of the northeast and for the most part an observer wouldn’t be able to distinguish my students from a mainstream kid in San Francisco. Many of my students have piercings, tattoos, Ryan Seacrest hair, etc.

I found Oklahoma city to be a decade behind in fashion and everything else.
It was hell the year I spent there. And they drove like it was the 50’s and you would honest to god see hand signals and people on the interstate going 50 in the fast lane.

But for all that they bragged they were 10 years ahead of Tulsa, and a century ahead of Ada.

Whoa! Los Angeles is way ahead on fashion then, because many places wore those styles of clothes in the early 90s. The hair came into fashion in about 91, and was established in 92. (By that I mean I remember reading articles in the Doctor’s office magazines about how long straight hair without hairspray was “in” around that time.)

Wow, I had no idea how behind we were, because those LA pictures are totally what we were wearing in the 90’s. The early 90’s, anyway.

And those Buffalo chess guys are definately the snazziest dressers.

Doesn’t Buffalo get fashion from New York? Or does it have to make its way aaaalll the way from LA because New Yorkers only wear black?

Wow, I had no idea how behind we were, because those LA pictures are totally what we were wearing in the 90’s. The early 90’s, anyway.

And those Buffalo chess guys are definately the snazziest dressers.

Doesn’t Buffalo get fashion from New York? Or does it have to make its way aaaalll the way from LA because New Yorkers only wear black?

As an Upstate New Yorker I might be able to help.

Big hair (for whatever reason) is still pretty popular with a certain percentage of our population. While it might take a little more digging you could find similar hairstyles in high schools in the area today.

To be honest, I really don’t know. During college in the mid-to-late 1980s – a SUNY school not far from home – students from upstate definitely looked different than their downstate peers. Upstaters tended to be preppy, with some goths and punks thrown in for good measure. Downstate girls far more often than not had big hair, while it was less common on the upstate kids. You saw a lot of “guido wear” on downstate Italian kids – open silk shirts, Z. Cavaricci, short-sleeved sweatshirts over long-sleeved sweatshirts, and so on – while Champion sweatshirts formed the official uniform of the Jewish-American princess crowd.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems like a lot of the youth fashion that comes from NYC is more urban-oriented; something that Shaniqua is more likely to pick up on than Emma.

Hudson Valley, NY here, graduated 1985 and that Buffalo picture looks just like our crew as well. But now I am in New England and some folks still have that hair from 1985.

I picked 1990 or so for the second photo. Now that I look again, though, it should be obvious that the skinny dude dancing is doing his impression of Tom Cruise in Risky Business.

Speaking of Salt Lake City, Alex Shoumatoff in his book The Mountain of Names described a visit to the central Mormon genealogical institute. The secretaries were young women wearing Little House on the Prairie dresses.

This is not some whacked out violent authoritarian fringe cult in the hills. This is the center of official Mormon operations in the 1980s. Right there is your authentic Americana clothing time warp, a full hundred-year spread, beat that, OK, Colonial Willamsburg, a 230-year spread. Shoumatoff also noted how many yawns the LHotP gals had to stifle because they can’t drink coffee. :frowning:

I’d suggest the case with these photos could also be about demography and not geography. RickJay is onto something - that it’s quite possible the LA photos are from a wealthy (and predominately-white) school, where the kids have access to the latest fashions from expensive hairdressers, shops, etc. The Buffalo kids are more down-to-earth.

I figured that the first one was the early 80s. I’m not sure why I decided it couldn’t be the 70s, but there’s something there that says it can’t be (honestly, I think it triggers one of my early TV memories, though of what show I couldn’t say). At first I thought the second one was around 90, but the shirts aren’t “right” so it had to be the 80s too.

The added photo samples make me agree with the class difference. BoringMom, being a little more observant than I, easily pointed out many mid 80’s features in both sets of photos. The differences are not in overall style but in cost. So the location affects the fashion sense of the area not in distance from any fashion center, but in overall wealth and ability to buy nice clothes at the Galleria.

(That and the previously mentioned poor photo quality from the Buffalo yearbook vs the LA yearbook which makes the Buffalo photos look older.)

Where I grew up in Toronto in 1984 rich kids and poor kids were mixed together and all the richer kids looked like the LA photo and the poorer kids looked like the Buffalo photo.

I think the richer kids were actually less trendy. The big thing at the time was that traditional meant rich and trendy meant cheap. It was a new style at the time for teenagers to wear those sweatshirts with the neck cut out. It was the Flashdance thing. But it was not a refined style, it was somewhat slutty. As was cutting your hair in layers and using a curling iron. The LA photo, the kids have the young republican look. That look filtered down from actual rich kids very fast after 1984 but I do think it’s the fact that a white school in LA has genuine rich kids and Buffalo has wannabe rich kids.

My analysis:
In 1983/84 the Sheena Easton hair cut came in and it was a modification of the Farrah haircut where there were more layers over the ears. This would grow out into various stages of wings so it was always in between a mullet and a farah. Remember in 84/85 when Molly Ringwald became big the trendy girls cut their wings off and the back off to a modified bob. When the Breakfast Club came out Molly Ringwald wears an evolved Flashdance style of shirt. The other girl in that movie still has modified “wings” in her hair because she’s poorer. At the same time that year, Demi Moore in St. Elmo’s Fire is the look of the rich mid-80s girl who never cut any wings or trendy stuff into her hair because she is rich and precious. The girlfriend in Ferris Bueller also has that look. It’s the rich girl look. Regular girls figured this out and grew their modified bobs out to match that.

So basically the girls in the Buffalo photo followed the haircut arc from Sheena Easton to Ferris Bueller’s girlfriend. The girls in the LA photo already were Ferris Bueller’s girlfriend because they were the rich girls everyone was making movies about. Prior to that it was not the style to be a rich girl, it had been the style to be a tough girl like Sheena Easton or Pat Benetar or the Flashdance welder/stripper. Molly Ringwald was in style in 1984 because she justified the transition haircut that facilitated growing out layers.

So the paradox is that the LA girls were less trendy, but they were later immitated and the style of the late 80s was to be preppie and traditional and un-trendy. That’s what makes this example hard to figure out.