In the early 1980's, I was a very fashion conscious young teen. I had been struck with designer fever and just had to have the latest in apparel.
Brooke and Calvin were all the rage in the United States, but here in Windsor, it was Jordache Jeans. The jeans were worn extremely tight; often the use of a coat hanger hook would be used to do up the zipper. And of course, the back pocket design was an important factor. There were two other brands of designer jeans that were acceptable. These were Angel Wing and Fancy A**. I remember having one pair of Angel Wing jeans. The gold thread stitching on the back pockets was beautiful. I really wanted a pair of Fancy A** jeans, but my parents wouldn't allow it.
A pair of Jordache jeans cost $32.39 at Thrifty's in the mall. The other two brands were more expensive.
To compliment the look of your Jordache jeans, you had to wear a pair of runners (Canadian term for running shoes, sneakers, tennis shoes) called Nikes (rhymed with likes). Yep, that's what we called them. We didn't call them Nike-ees. There were white with a big red, blue or black check mark on them. We didn't know that that thing was called a swoosh back in those days. And you didn't tie them up. You either knotted the ends of the laces or tucked them into your runners 'cause this was how it was and you wanted to look cool.
In the winter, we wore boots, but not just any pair of boots. You had to have a pair of Cougars.
I remember when I was in Grade 8, how badly I wanted a pair of Cougars. You just weren't cool if you didn't have a pair. But they were quite dear. The problem was that the economy was in bad shape. My dad had been laid off and money was tight. My parents wouldn't buy me a pair. I was really upset about this (as any teenager would be). What I got instead was a pair of "knock-off" brand boots. I can't even remember what brand there were, but they sure weren't Cougars. It wasn't until I was in Grade 9 that I finally had enough money to buy a pair of those lovely boots. Cougars were made of a strange brownish-beige coloured leather with a vibrant red furry lining and striped laces. They were never worn laced up. They were worn with the tongue tied down and the laces criss-crossed around the back of the boot. This made it easy for getting your Cougars on and off quickly. This was the way that it was and it looked cool.
Now to compliment your tight-fitting Jordache jeans and cool Cougar boots, you had to wear a bomber jacket. I realize now that it just does not make any sense to wear a winter jacket that does not cover your derriere in the midst of a cold Canadian winter in January, but this is what we wore. And we really were cool, in more ways than one!
Copyright 2010 by Kathryn Lake.
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