Vintage Style #30: 1980 Cosmo

This is a scan from a July 1980 Cosmopolitan magazine. [click here to see extra large detail scan]  Leave it to Cosmo to have the girls in wide open shirts for a piece about hair.... not that I'm complaining.

Say what you will about the eighties - they definitely were creative with the hair.  So much of the seventies was spent with the straight-sleek look predominating - really not much in the way of style.  Sure, you had your wedge and shag, but it wasn't till the end of the decade that things really took off (thank you Farrah).

Click image to view large size - click here to view big ass size. If you have a dial-up internet connection, this will take four months to load.

Click here for the super big image

Things got creative with sunglasses as well.  I can't say I'm a fan of any of these, but they get points for trying.  I personally don't wear sunglasses because, without fail, I will sit on them and crush them within the first week of owning them.  It's an affliction I cannot overcome.

Click here for big ol' version of scan

This issue also contained a brilliantly photographed article on legs.  This was music to my ears.... er, eyes.  Music to my eyes.... Whatever. You know what I mean.

...and, finally, this.  An article on nightwear.  


Final Note: On an incredibly trivial matter, I'd like to say a quick word about grammar. (Most of you should stop reading now and move onto another post).  I fully realize that I often use the apostrophe where it shouldn't go when talking about dates.  Here's the official rule:

Correct: 1970s
Incorrect: 1970's

Correct: '80s
Incorrect" 80's

"1970s" is not a contraction (as in "don't") or a possessive (as in Gilligan's) - it is plural and should not have an apostrophe.  However, it is a common mistake here on Retrospace.  I must admit that I haven't given two shits about it; however, I'm sure there are grammar gorillas out there that are driven crazy by this.  So, I hereby pledge to try to write it the correct way.

In my own defense I will say that the incorrect way is probably MORE common than the right way - so much so that the correct way almost doesn't look right. 

There. I got that off my chest.  Now on to things that aren't excruciatingly tedious.


  1. thanks for uploading gilligan! So this is how my mom looked like...

  2. AnonymousJuly 03, 2012

    Pancakes, anybody...?

  3. Miss "Kicky Switch" and Miss "Sporty Specs" didn't get the memo because all the other models (well, except most of the nightwear gals) are sporting Zoolander's goofy "blue steel" face.

    I was 20 when this issue of Cosmo came out, so I guess this is "my generation", but I hated this look. I think women imagined they looked sultry, but to me it was hard, mean, and predatory. Two years later, when Duran Duran came out with their song & video "Hungry Like the Wolf", I wasn't sure if they were capitalizing on this style or lampooning it (I hoped the latter).

    But then, I was 9 in '67, the "summer of love". I knew something big was going on and couldn't wait till I was old enough to be a part of it - to go to San Francisco with a flower in my hair. But I was too young to understand how quickly things change and hit adulthood smack dab in the middle of the (ugh!) disco years.

    1. I actually think these 80s styles are "rad"...hee hee. The neon color theme was already starting to come on strong. Love the sunglasses, too.

  4. 1980 was a strange fashion year: Not one thing or another. Flouncy '70s hair coupled with shiny spandex (but not much clue on how to use it). The British comedy show "Look Around You" captured that fashion no-man's land of 1980 perfectly.

  5. Ah, the days before Photoshop, when it was all airbrushing and heavy-handed use of a rouge brush. :)

  6. Heh, thanks for deciding to use the correct format, e.g. '70s. People tend to apostrophize things that have no business being apostrophized, such as pluralizing an acronym, e.g. ATM's.

    Cosmo. My Mom bought those once in a while, and I'd dig them out of the trash to take to my hideout. Some of those photos were a jackpot for a 10-year old boy.

  7. Yeah, I can remember some of these pictures hanging out underneath my bed for special occasions.