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Popped Collars and Bolo Ties

May 16, 2012

Dynomite! is an ongoing segment where I publish submitted photos from the ’70s, ’80s or ’90s of readers demonstrating their fashion A-game.   All accepted entries published on my blog will later compete in a Dynomite! All Stars competition like this one here.

So you might have gathered by the title of this post that I have something very special in store for you today.

Today it’s my pleasure to share with you my newest Dynomite! contender, Lenore from Lenore’s Thoughts Exactly (go visit her blog here but then come back, or at least write to let me know you arrived safely).

I love this photo.  It makes me feel fun.  It makes me feel fun in a Sweet Valley High fabricated adolescence in the midst of dramatic teen love triangles type of way.

Everyone is having fun with their tapered jeans, sticky bangs and tripped-out hormones.  And even though someone got her class ring stuck in another someone’s Aqua Net Head (which often happened back then), it’s all good here in 1986.

Look at Lenore at far right.  Can’t you see she’s a trailblazer?  And I’m not just talking about the steam engines blazing across ol’ Train Track Mouth.  Look at her teal pants!  Look at her yellow socks!  Look at her popped collar!  Amid a sea of denim and pastel, Lenore is certainly no shrinking violet-tipped white carnation.  I wouldn’t expect anything less from the likes of Lenore.

Now compare that Lenore above with this one here.

Here Lenore is forcing a smile as she puts her best stripes forward.   And yet I’m certain she’s crying on the inside.  Is she sad because Wendy’s stopped serving New Coke?  Is she sad because her shimmer shadow doesn’t quite reach her eyebrows?

I’m disturbed by Fast Food Demon #1 who is ominously sitting watch behind Lenore.  Despite a lot of monkeying with this photo, I could not get this dark presence to appear as a human.

And then, why are there white Scooby Doo eyes above Fast Food Demon #1?

So many sad and strange things going on.  But you know what?   When the world bottoms out like it surely has here, I thank God for ol’ sturdy, dependable bolo tie to help us keep our wits about us.  Yes, my good friend bolo tie always restores a sense of order to the surrounding madness.

It was difficult for me to select which of Lenore’s photos to use.  Both were indeed Dynomite! material.  So I’m going to do something a little different this round.  I’m going to ask you to vote to help me decide — yes, cast your votes before this time next week.  The winner will advance to the final round competition.

(Did you hear that?  The winner advancing thing?  Just then I sounded so Ed McMahon on Star Search that my heart is now pounding with excitement.)

But, wait!   Before you vote, I want to see what you learned from our last Dynomite! edition.  Here I’ve called up The Band Uniform Rule to help you decide which Lenore is the most Dynomite!

(I regret to inform you that votes for the band uniform will not be accepted.)

67 Comments leave one →
  1. May 16, 2012 6:39 am

    For me, the bolo tie was the deciding factor. I’m a sucker for those. I also liked the Scooby Doo ghost eyes above the demon #1. Do you think demon #1 is the manager of the fast food restaurant? And he would have gotten away with it too if not for these meddling kids?

    • May 18, 2012 6:28 am

      Hey, I bet you’re right. I bet Fast Food Demon #1 is the one who’s behind the haunted french fry grease that always leaves your mouth tasting like sweat socks.

      Bolo ties just make me feel safe.

  2. May 16, 2012 6:42 am

    Sometimes I can’t handle the flashbacks. I think it was the green Kool-Aid, man. But Lenore has style, that’s for sure. I’m experiencing some major flashbacks of my sister spending hours on her hair in the morning and a fog of Aquanet permeating my developing lungs. Cough, cough.

    • May 16, 2012 8:33 am

      Maybe it was the fumes, but I can’t believe I forgot all about Aquanet. How is this even possible? Do you think it’s possible that this type of amnesia is a varient of PTSD?

      • May 16, 2012 3:05 pm

        I will never, not ever forget Aquanet and the blue can my sister had with the netting art around it. Though sometimes they must have been out because I’m sure she sometimes had pink. My entire family lost many brain cells during that era.

      • May 18, 2012 6:31 am

        I think there’s a condition called Aqua Net Lung.

      • May 18, 2012 6:33 am

        It may also be linked to the rise in dementia.

    • May 18, 2012 6:30 am

      Aqua Net was a fixture in our junior high locker rooms. By high school, Aqua Net was replaced by LA Looks. The spritz bottle replaced the aerosol can. It was never the same after that. Neither us nor the Ozone layer.

  3. May 16, 2012 7:42 am

    Oh, heavens. I need to send you a picture of me in my twist-a-beads.

    • May 16, 2012 3:07 pm

      My daughter now wears mine. And the big plastic charm necklace, do you remember those? I’d spend hours at Roses hunting for the perfect charm. I’m kind of glad my parents didn’t take a lot of pictures of me.

      • May 16, 2012 3:13 pm

        I didn’t have a lot of beads but I was a fat kid so all the pictures look like I am being strangled by a boa constrictor.

      • May 18, 2012 6:32 am

        Yes! Those big plastic charm necklaces! I forgot about those. I remember a few of mine. A plastic frying pan with eggs inside. A baby pacifier. A tennis racket and ball. Oh, how I loved my charm necklace.

      • May 18, 2012 7:01 am

        I have never heard of a charm necklace. I can’t even imagine this, but I do not judge. Were they bulky and awkward or were these small charms like on braclets? And Frying pan? Around your neck?

      • May 18, 2012 10:08 pm

        No, not bulky at all. Like wearing a full-sized frying pan, only slightly smaller. ;) They were all plastic and, yes, worn around the neck. It was a very short-lived fad.

    • May 18, 2012 6:31 am

      Oh, please, please, please…would you?

  4. May 16, 2012 7:43 am

    Seriously, I was all that and a bag of chips. I haven’t a clue why modeling scouts did not stalk me. I dare someone to try and rock the brace-face or bolo-tie better than me. In fact, I double-dog dare them.

    • May 16, 2012 8:34 am

      I’m quite tempted now to send in my photos.

    • May 16, 2012 11:52 am

      Ooh, sorry, Lenore. But you didn’t say triple-dog-dare or I would’ve shown you my rainbow suspenders pic…

    • May 18, 2012 6:33 am

      You were amazing, Lenore! Really something special. I think you can tell by the comments here that we all agree. I also think Bolo Tie Lenore might win. Who knew?

  5. May 16, 2012 7:54 am

    OMG. It’s a dead tie right now (and speaking of ties, I voted for the bolo pic). NICELY DONE, Lenore!

    The Scooby Doo eyes in the background really are disturbing!

    • May 18, 2012 6:34 am

      The bolo tie just earns your trust instantly, does it not? Bolo Tie for President.

  6. Emily Liston permalink
    May 16, 2012 8:32 am

    I vote stripes & bolo tie.

    And I feel compelled to share my excitement at seeing a piece of a Tretorn sneaker in the top photo!! How I miss my dark red/blue plaid Tretorns.

    • May 18, 2012 6:35 am

      Okay, now I have my google search for the day.

      I predict bolo tie will win this.

  7. May 16, 2012 8:43 am

    Side note – I just did a radio show the other day about music from movies and TV. I used a comparison of The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” from Scorsese’s “Mean Streets” (oooh, look at me! I’m smart and credible!) with the theme from “Good Times” (Huh.).

    It made sense to me.

    • May 18, 2012 6:38 am

      Oooh, that is a good one. Look at the brain on Byro Man.

      My husband cannot sing the Good Times song in my presence anymore. This is a rule. It goes back to a time when he might’ve made me pee my pants when he got to the part “Easy Credit Rip-offs” (which he sang in the voice of Joe Cocker). Don’t judge me — after your wife has a baby, you’ll get it.

  8. May 16, 2012 9:34 am

    Oh my, how I dig the Dynomite! I have some contributions to your collection, if you’re interested. Did I miss the instructions? I’m a ’79 baby, so some great high-top fade with jams combos are on the table. Let me know…

    • May 18, 2012 6:40 am

      Oak, I’d love to have you submit something. What you do is just scan the photo(s) and email it to me — my email is listed on my Contact page. High-top fade? You will rock this competition, no doubt.

  9. May 16, 2012 9:42 am

    Lenore is so cute I can’t take it.

  10. May 16, 2012 9:50 am

    Oh my goodness- you slay me with this retro stuff. Hilarious!!

    • May 18, 2012 6:42 am

      Thanks. Yes, we all looked like this once. We shouldn’t hide it away from the world!

  11. May 16, 2012 11:04 am

    80s era Lenore is so awesome I can’t even stand it. Is that really a bolo tie, or is it her store ID pin and she’s on her lunch break from the Lerner’s store farther down the mall?

    • russelllindsey permalink
      May 17, 2012 9:56 am

      Lerner’s! LOVED that store. Their clothes actually fit me right. Said day when they became New York & Co.


      • May 18, 2012 6:43 am

        And shopping malls were never the same…

      • russelllindsey permalink
        May 18, 2012 7:04 am

        I avoid malls as much as possible now. This sounds stupid but my avoidance DID coincide of with the closing Lerners.



      • May 18, 2012 10:09 pm

        You ruined their business! I hope you feel bad about that.

    • May 18, 2012 6:43 am

      Yes, Lerner’s! Now that’s a blast from the past reference right there. That would be the coolest store ID pin I ever did see.

  12. May 16, 2012 11:20 am

    That is some serious 80s action there, Lenore. I would totally have wanted to be friends with you. We could have gone to John Hughes movies together and everything.

    • May 18, 2012 6:44 am

      If John Hughes were alive today, he would’ve slapped his own face to spite the fact that he never discovered Lenore.

  13. May 16, 2012 11:58 am

    Okay, this must the be pinnacle of blog contests, Lenore. You…versus…yourself?! How could Angie do that to us? I can’t possibly choose between those socks and the striped shirt with the attitude! You rocked them both equally. Ah! what to do…what to do…

    I gotta go with the tie in the end. I used to wear my older brother’s thin black tie loose around my neck with a white shirt (collars up, naturally) I think I was trying to channel Molly Ringwald. Those were the daaaays…!

    • May 16, 2012 3:22 pm

      I need to see if I can find that there bolo-tie. It was handmade, you know. No, not by me. I bought it when I worked in an Glass Gallery. It rocked, which is obvious, eh?

      People didn’t notice the braces when I wore the bolo-tie. It was my train-track diversion technique. Keeping my mouth closed worked, too.

      • May 18, 2012 6:46 am

        Handmade? Glass Gallery? Oh, you’re killing me! This bolo tie just gets better and better.

        I had braces not once but twice. Once as a seventh grader and once as a 25-year-old. I love them just that much.

      • May 18, 2012 7:35 am

        Yes, please tell us more about this Glass Factory, Lenore. Does it measure up to my Hankee Candle days?

      • May 18, 2012 7:45 am

        Of course it did. Even better with a name like Glass Factory.

      • May 18, 2012 7:46 am

        Darla – nothing measures up to your Hankee Candle Days. Then again, I could probably share many stories about my days/years with Vespermann Glass Gallery. Oh the stories….

      • May 18, 2012 7:47 am

        Shoot. I just realized, I should have submitted a picture of me wearing a dress with puffed sleeves. The dress was worn during a dinner with one of the glass artists. Dang. Missed that opportunity. It was a totally 80s thing, too.

      • May 18, 2012 10:07 pm

        Ah, Lenore! You blew it! You can’t resubmit now and that was obviously the outfit that would’ve won you the entire competition. Man, what a loss.

    • May 18, 2012 6:45 am

      It’s almost an ethical dilemma I’ve posed here. It really isn’t fair of me. Bolo ties should never compete against yellow socks. Never. I hope you can forgive me.

      • May 18, 2012 7:34 am

        Sigh. I’ll try.

        p.s. don’t feel like you have to reply to this reply. (thinking of Pegoleg’s post)

        p.p.s. Time for shameless self-promotion: I am writing a post titled: Mad Men Lite–a condensed version of the show. It’ll be my finest post yet.

      • May 18, 2012 7:44 am

        I’m replying because you said “a post titled: Mad Men Lite”. I think I love you.

      • May 18, 2012 12:47 pm

        After you read my Mad Men post, you will know that you love me. Be sure to light up a cig and knock back a scotch on the rocks before you read it…

  14. May 16, 2012 5:25 pm

    I voted bolo tie, but THEN I noticed the yellow socks! Dang! Remember back when we had socks hat perfectly matched our outfits? Or maybe that was just me…

    • May 18, 2012 6:46 am

      Yes, we were such better color-coordinators back then. We’ve really devolved as a society in that respect.

  15. mary permalink
    May 16, 2012 7:17 pm

    Love reading your blog, Angie. Just love it. Can’t believe bolo is beating the coordinating yellow socks AND popped yellow collar — going to have to hack my way in to vote more than once. And I am calling my mom to have her scan in some excellent photos to submit…

    • May 18, 2012 6:47 am

      Oh, Mary, I love when you stop by! I think Bolo Tie is going to win this, I’m sorry to say. Hey, you better get me some photos. I know you really rocked some ’80s looks.

  16. May 17, 2012 7:31 am

    SO GOOD. I have to look through my archives so I can be DYNOMITE!ED someday.

  17. May 17, 2012 12:38 pm

    I think the trifecta of hair, popped collar, and socks does it for me. Now my brain is reeling…should I submit a photo for the honor of being Dynomite!d, or save my tender ego and just laugh at others being Dynomite!d?

    Also, I read the Sweet Valley High sequel. And then I wrote a review. I’m not sure which should make me more ashamed.

    • May 18, 2012 6:49 am

      You must send me some photos! Go to my Contact page and my email is listed right there. I’ll put your name up in lights.

      Sweet Valley High book review — oh, that is really something special right there.

  18. May 17, 2012 11:09 pm

    It’s actually the knee huggin’ pose that does it for me…

    • May 18, 2012 6:50 am

      It’s almost a bit seductive. Or maybe the yellow socks are just confusing me.


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