A big comb sticking out of your back pocket is one of the great cultural icons of Generation X. Transport yourself back to the early 1980s and the local roller rink, and you’d surely witness a sea of feathered hair and lots of colorful Ace and Goody combs.
As an artifact of the early 1980s, pictures of colorful plastic combs fill nostalgia boards on Pinterest; however, it’s hard to come by an actual picture of a young Gen-Xer sporting the trend. I was amazed to find the images below of Gen-Xers on a playground in 1981. The girl in the middle has a comb sticking out of the pocket of her 1980s Calvin Klein jeans.
Know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing.
Raise your hand if you wore Calvin Klein jeans in the 1980s! My mom bought me a pair and I was so proud of them. They cost about $40, which was a lot of money in 1981. Also, does anyone remember the controversial Brooke Shields ads featuring the memorable line, “Know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing.” Ah, Brooke. She is still gorgeous.
Designer jeans were trendy in the early 1980s. They were so popular that knockoffs were a problem. Around 1982, I discovered some fake Calvin Kleins at the J. Brannam store in Oklahoma City. The rivets on the pockets were not stamped with the designer’s name. They also had red or green topstitching that was low quality.
I loved J. Brannam, by the way. I loved going there with my sisters. It was an off-price chain owned by Woolco. It was a great store where you could buy great designer clothes for a fraction of the price.
Vintage Calvin Klein Makeup
Another thing I remember is ordering a Calvin Klein makeup special with a coupon I cut out of some teen magazine. For $1, you could get three stackable trays of Calvin Klein makeup, including trays of earth-tone eyeshadows, lip glosses, and blushes. The only catch was you had to sign up for a makeup membership, which you could cancel anytime. My mom and I ordered the $1 special for everyone in our family. She figured out some way to get multiple sets for us, too. I think if you let six months pass, you could join again or something like that. My mom was always open to a great deal! I miss her so much. I miss you, Mom.
Anyway, the lid to the plastic trays had letters cut into it that read “Calvin Klein.” All my junior high friends were very impressed when I showed up at church camp with designer makeup. That was also the best makeup, too. I’m still looking for that shade of lipgloss.
I hope you enjoy these beautiful images of young Gen-Xers. Did you ever wear a big comb in your back pocket?
Creative Commons license applies. Photographer: Unknown.