Relive the ’80s with nostaglic fashions, fads and films

Remember the ’80s? It was sometimes totally grody to the max, but we also were doing the truffle shuffle, were getting physical and just wanted to have fun.

Luckily, we have an entertainment industry that is lousy with nostalgia, bringing back things we didn’t ask for, such as ripped-up nylons and the cartoon “ThunderCats,” along with fan favorites, such as “The Muppets,” which will be back on the big screen Nov. 23.

There are many other chances for you to experience that warm comforting feeling of watching “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” and “The Smurfs” on Saturday mornings. Here, we round up all those old things that are new again.


The looks made popular in the ’80s can now be found on hipsters everywhere. Kristin Wiig wore a Member’s Only jacket unironically in this summer’s “Bridesmaids.” And Urban Outfitters must use a DeLorean to go back to 1983 for the day-glo sneakers and leg warmers that are sold to teenagers by the case.

Many of those looks we are happy to leave behind, but there are a couple of popular accessories that make reliving the ’80s a good thing.

Ray Ban Wayfarer sunglasses are perennially cool. You can find cheap rip-offs just about anywhere, but the real deal will cost you anywhere from $70 to $200.

Cassette tapes

USA Today reported recently that as of mid-August, music-related cassette album sales are up 46 percent from last year at 22,000 units sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Last year, cassette sales were at about 15,000.

According to the Washington Post, well-known independent bands such as Animal Collective, Deerhoof and the Mountain Goats have all put out cassettes this year. Besides the retro-cool feel, fans may be buying the cassettes as a way to prove their loyalty to the band.

“Just having that physical copy ... shows more support as opposed to buying an MP3 and putting it on your iPod,” Total Babes singer/guitarist Chris Brown told USA Today.

Boom boxes

Once you have your cassette tape of a hip indie band (or you’ve dug out your old “Like a Virgin” cassingle), what do you do with it? Boom boxes still can be found – old versions on eBay, and new versions, such as the Sony Xplod CD Radio Cassette Recorder, on Amazon for $93.35.

If you’re just in the market for something with the style of a boom box, check out the Altec Lansing inMotion MIX iMT800 Portable Digital Boom Box for iPhone and iPod. At $350, it will cost you a bit more than the one you had next to your bunk bed, but you can use it with your current music collection rather than scrounging through the boxes for old mix tapes.


“Footloose”: The film remake of the 1984 Kevin Bacon flick, released in mid-October and still showing in Wichita at the Warren Theatre east and west locations, stars Kenny Wormald as Ren McCormack, the big-city kid fighting against the backwoods thinking that made it illegal to bust a move. Julianne Hough (“Dancing With the Stars”) is the hot preacher’s daughter, Ariel Moore, and Dennis Quaid takes on the role of the preacher dad originated by John Lithgow.

“Red Dawn”: The original came out in 1984 and played on our Cold War fears of a World War III. In the updated version, which has a March 22, release date, the kids look to save their town from an invasion of North Korean soldiers. It stars Chris Hemsworth in the Patrick Swayze role of Jed, Josh Hutcherson taking over for C. Thomas Howell as Robert, Isabel Lucas as Erica, whom Lea Thompson played originally, and Adrianne Palicki in the Jennifer Grey role of Toni.

“Dirty Dancing”: Speaking of Swayze and Grey, in August, Lionsgate announced it would be remaking the beloved “Dirty Dancing.”

Other remakes and sequels: Keanu Reeves has reportedly said there is work on a third “excellent” movie in the tale of Bill and Ted, and Gore Verbinski is signed up to remake the 1985 murder mystery “Clue.” Also, a reboot of “ThunderCats” began in July on The Cartoon Network, and Nickelodeon is working on a new animated “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” series, using the voices of Sean Astin and Jason Biggs.