I'm Mary Katharine Ham. I talk about politics, but I like other things, too. I try not to be a blowhard.

17 Rad Outfits from Classic '80s Movies You'd Totally Wear Tomorrow. Don't Lie.

License To Drive

A young, disgruntled Heather Graham enters a typical '80s high-school party fed up with her older suitor's condescension and ready to be ogled by some Coreys of her own age, whom she will rope into her transparent plot device, I mean, the machinations of young love.

A young, disgruntled Heather Graham enters a typical '80s high-school party fed up with her older, Italian suitor's condescension and ready to be ogled by some Coreys of her own age, whom she will rope into her transparent plot device, I mean, the machinations of young love.

In this spandex, black-and-white, polka dot number, you too will be attracting the admiring gazes of multiple teen idols, but only if properly accessorized. Not only does sweet Mercedes (you see what they did there?) wear a polka dot bangle, but her meticulously embiggened hair sports a charming, chunky clip of black and white oversized buttons (not pictured). Take that, Paolo. License to drive me crazy!

The top, the jacket! She must be an agrarian, 'cause she got crops, y'all! The booties speak for themselves.


You could not ask to look sharper than this while your Formica countertop is channeling the occult, could you? I barely noticed the foreshadowing in the foreground because Sigourney is rockin' this comfy yet chic belted career dress and lilac striped scarf that transitions seamlessly from day to night hauntings with just a change of heels!

Sigourney is always what's hot, though she might have guessed there was a catch to this rental when the realtor showed her this comically large Manhattan kitchen.

Obvi. Created by legendary costume designer Theoni V. Aldredge, who won an Oscar for the Redford/Farrow "Great Gatsby," this tangerine and gold lame gown is the perfect look for those nights when you're possessed by a demon in front of a new love interest and want to look sexy but also need the freedom to levitate, bark, and writhe as needed.

Can we get another angle on that? Perfect. I love the way it falls. Zuulicious!

National Lampoon's Vacation

Ellen and Audrey Griswold , the cutest accessories to kidnapping and false imprisonment evah. White slacks and breezy button-up? Would wear. Rainbow striped blouse and pink shorts? So there.

Can't Buy Me Love

Yes, the iconic "Can't Buy Me Love" outfit is the doomed white suede, shoulder-padded suit with practical fringe bikini top, but if I know my audience, you're into deeper cuts. The establishing shot of this entire movie features these boots. You're welcome. Suck it, Cindy Mancini.

All of this. If you lament that there are fewer occasions for public leotard wearing now than in the '80s, I empathize. But it's not the times that are to blame. It is us. Occasions for public leotard wearing don't just make themselves, ladies.

"Ohai, guys. It's me, Shindy. No, Cindy. Cindy Manshini. MANCINI. I've had a lertle bit to drink. This suit is actually not that cool, but good ol' Shindy wants to take a moment to tell all of youuuuu you can't keep HER down! Did I wear my mom's white, suede suit to a high-school party and ruin it, precipitating my fake, disturbingly transactional relationship with Ronald Lawnmower? Yes, and I bet you didn't think I could pull off that sentence, but I diiiiiid. But is any of that gonna keep me from wearing anotherrrr white suit to anotherrrr high-school party? Nosirreee! Because when I drunkenly denounce erryone in a 3rd Act blow-up, I likes to look fab. Hiccup."

Formal wear. I would wear the hell out of that dress.

Major League

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Rene, you are looking how I feel about your wardrobe in this movie. I suppose you are meant to be the classy, somewhat demure foil to our ball club of charming misfits. They can't have you prancing around in the sartorial equivalent of Wild Thing's fade, but this is the only thing that even came close to making this list. Yawn. The movie's villain, on the other hand:

Gurl. Say I were stuck between '80s Wesley Snipes and Charlie Sheen in a locker room, scheming to rip Cleveland's sports spirit out of its chest and move it to Miami. If I were an eerily prescient, super-hot metaphor for LeBron James, I'd definitely want to be wearing this. Looks good coming and going.


Again, let's dispense with the icons and move on. Obviously, we all should be wearing this, and probably have been since we took safety scissors to our Winnie the Pooh sweatshirts in 1st grade. And, we've already been over the need for more leotard activism.

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This is the outfit everyone remembers, but does anyone remember what she was wearing before she alluringly disrobed in front of a rabbit-eared Zenith? You should.

The skirt is leather or leather-like, depending on a welder's salary circa 1984. The jacket:

Yep, I'd be smiling, too.

Down and Out in Beverly Hills

The Divine Ms. Jumpsuit, belted with platinum-dipped wings taken from the god Mercury himself.

The Breakfast Club

Solid, Molly. By the way, in perusing the '80s canon, I've discovered that Ally Sheedy is the Brat Pack icon most likely to be styled like Mrs. Doubtfire meets Delta Burke. "St. Elmo's Fire," "The Breakfast Club," and even her star turn in "Short Circuit," all marred by an endless parade of caftans, bulky sweaters, and twee lace details. She deserved better.

I mean, really:

St. Elmo's Fire

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The director made a serious mistake in assuming we could pay attention to this dramatic break-up scene when Demi Moore is wearing that dress that is everything right behind them. It's a euphoric, pre-crash, coke habit in dress form.

EVERYTHING, I tell you.

And, one for the men

BEHOLD, everything Rob Lowe wore in "St. Elmo's Fire." That's all you need, guys.

And, that concludes this journey into the past. Dare to use these as your inspiration and go...back to the future. Crap, I forgot to do that movie. Leave your favorites and suggestions in the comments. Do I have comments? I think I do. Who knows? This blog is new. Anyway, holla!