The Summer of Spandex

It was the summer of 1988. I had just finished my first year of junior high school and was excited to go on a week-long retreat with the youth group from church. The cars were packed for our drive out to Cape Cod, but before we hit the road we posed for a group picture.

Why, oh why did we pose for that group picture?

Let’s get a better look at the idiot front and center, shall we?


The Hair – I believe this picture was taken on a Saturday, and judging from the way my hair is laying on my head, I’d say the last time I had washed my hair was in April. Not sure what the thought process was with the hair. It looks like a bad toupee. If only I had a Delorean or a Frozen Donkey Wheel, I would go back in time and deliver my 12-year old self some L’Oreal Hair Gel. Or at least a comb.

The Shirt – This was back when Puma was cool, before they became uncool, and then cool again. I kinda wish I still had this shirt. It would probably fit me like a vintage slim-T. Heck, I could even slap it into my V-Neck maker and let it brew in my closet for a couple weeks before wearing it out to a big event.

The Spandex ShortsI made these myself in 6th grade Home Economics Class. I was so proud of them that I wore them as soon as they came out of the wash for at least 2 days in a row before surrendering them to the hamper. Half black. Half Turqoise. All Awesome.

The Underwear – Ummm, there was no underwear. Thank God that Puma shirt was a little big on me.

The Socks – I’m pretty sure I’m not wearing any. After all, I don’t think no-shows were invented yet. I mean, look at everyone else’s socks. They’re wearing classic tube socks, some even had the colored stripes at the top.

So at this point I’m headed on a youth retreat wearing spandex, no underwear, and no socks. In defense of my parents, I was the oldest of 5 kids. My brother Jordan would have just turned 1 at the time, so they had better things to worry about.

The Sneakers – Those are some classic Converse High Tops I’m rocking. Pretty sure I saw an Amish kid wearing the same pair last week.

Random memory: I rememember when Nike started charging $60 for their high-end sneakers. We walked past Foot Locker in the mall and my mom saw the price and said, “There’s no way I’ll ever pay $60 for a pair of sneakers.” Funny thing is, last week I was browsing the clearance rack at Foot Locker and the cheapest pair of Nike’s on the shelf were $67.

The PoseThis is why they invented pockets. Because when you don’t have any place to put your hands, you end up doing the “I’m nursing a sore left thumb” pose. (Either that, or I’m just conscious about the fact that I’m not wearing underwear.)

That group photo has a lot of other gems in it. Maybe some of them even remind you of some classic late 80’s fashion. The sweatpants pulled up to right below the knee, the denim jackets, the “Pony” brand T-shirt that Jamie is wearing (second from right).

This picture bring back any fashion memories for you? Or would you rather just make fun of me and my spandex? Either way, the floor is yours.