Archives For eighties

Barbie Girl

July 20, 2015 — 6 Comments

80s Barbie Dress // We So Thrifty

80s Barbie Dress // We So Thrifty

80s Barbie Dress // We So Thrifty

80s Barbie Dress // We So Thrifty

When I shared this dress straight from the thrift store change room on Instagram, I said it made me feel like I “walked out of the Barbie colouring book I had when I was eight.” I’m happy to report that, upon wearing this dress in the wild, that is still 100% true. In fact, I’m now beginning to suspect this dress has magical Take On Me properties, and when I wear it, the world itself becomes a Barbie colouring book.

I wore this dress to a birthday dinner out on the Hamilton waterfront. While the food was only OK, the atmosphere was incredible—the sun setting on the choppy water, the boats bobbing like birds off in the distance, the warm summer breeze that we all dream about for 9 months out of the year—just the best. After dinner, we took a stroll along the bay, and with each step, a new page of Barbie’s California Dream Colouring Book came to life. There was a roller rink, an ice cream shop, an assortment of adorable dogs, an old-timey trolley giving tours, and if that’s not enough, seniors and hipsters alike chillin’ on the hillside, taking in a free jazz performance (I’d also wager that AT LEAST one of the dudes on the water from the nearby Hamilton Yacht Club is named Ken).

barbiecoloringbook02And because the internet is a blessed-wonderful-nostalgia-giving machine, YOU TOO can relive the joy of a Barbie Colouring Book. Just click on that happy quartet of waspy teens to the left to make all your California dreams come true. (h/t to this blog for the scan!)

Since I can’t wear this dress every day, I think I’ll dust off the ol’ Laurentian pencil crayons and give this page a whirl. Just hoping I’ve still got the crazy skills on display in this photo:

L to R: Adele, Me, Robyn, and Laura, who is too cool to colour, and would rather play with an actual Barbie.

Dress: Salvation Army | $6
Shoes: Payless | $25
Sunglasses: The Edit | $15

Bossy Pants

February 14, 2013 — 14 Comments



Apparently, I was a bossy kid. My husband might tell you that I’m also a bossy grown-up, but it’s Valentine’s Day, so we won’t go there. At one point, my Dad even bestowed upon me the nickname “The Little Boss”. Personally, I would have preferred “The Little Princess,” so I could run away with The Little Prince, but I soon learned you can’t marry a cartoon. My sister Laura learned a similar lesson about computer game characters when she realized that Commander Keen would never be her boyfriend. Man, I loved that game…Where was I going with this again? Right! Bossy kid!

I was a bossy kid, and today, I’m feeling a little bossy once again. This bossiness comes from my dress, although this dress almost didn’t make it home. See, when I thrift, I’m usually a very decisive shopper. When the change room is about to bust open with 23 different garments, one must learn to say “yes” or “no” pretty quickly. Occasionally, though, I can’t make up my mind, and when I can’t make up my mind, I ask my Instagram followers to make it up for me. While I loved the way this 80s purple dress gathered in the front, and draped in the back, I wasn’t sure if it was 80s in the good way or bad. So, I posed the question to my fellow Instagrammers. The responses were mostly “80s good!” and one response in particular sealed the deal for me: “Very Judith Light.” Suddenly, the leafy opening credits of Who’s the Boss? passed before my eyes, and I thought “Oh what the heck, I’ll get the dress.”


For those of you who weren’t raised on TV, Judith Light portrayed Angela Bower in Who’s the Boss? For reasons I can’t explain, I’ve seen more than a few episodes of this show, even though the whole thing sort of creeped me out. I didn’t like Tony, I didn’t like Angela, and Mona just made me flat-out uncomfortable. Who’s the Boss? occupied this weird space in my childhood pop-cultural formation of TV shows I didn’t like, but watched anyway. My parents didn’t get home until 6, so I HAD to watch as much TV as possible before then.

Sure, we all loved Full House, Boy Meets World, Fresh Prince, and Saved by the Bell, and I’d still watch all of those shows in reruns, but those shows were the cream of the 90s child crop. On the other side of the pog, there were a whole host of lesser shows; shows like Who’s the Boss?, Sister Sister, Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper, and The Nanny. I’d bet more than a few Beanie Baby Trading Cards that many others in my generation also wasted precious hours of their youths on these lesser shows. We did not like these shows. We did not look forward to their presence on the screen, and yet, we can still recall particular episodes from all of them. What was in the mid-90s water that convinced all of North America to let Fran Drescher be a thing? I don’t know, I just don’t know.



But here we are. I’m in a dress that could very easily go “Full Angela,” if I blew out my hair and kept in the shoulder pads. Oddly enough, that’s the reason I bought it. So maybe this is my way of reclaiming all the hours I wasted on not caring about Tony and Angela’s chemistry. I may never get back that time, but at least I got myself a pretty sweet dress out of it. And that makes me a Boss.

…Now I just have to find a way to reclaim the hours spent on Teen Angel. Yikes.


P.S.: These pictures were taken on the one-year anniversary of meeting my best blogger friend (BBF?) Jentine. When I started blogging, I thought I’d have some fun, but I never thought I’d end up with a real-life friend that I intend to keep long after blogs die off and fashion is replaced by silver space suits. Yen, you love cheese and cats and thrifting as much (and maybe more) than I do. For all those reasons and more, I love you. Cheers to many more years of removing the cat hair off each others’ vintage blazers.