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1980s Rainbow Sweatshirt + Vests with Rainbow Pins

1980s Rainbow Shirt and Vests

I’m in the process of haggling with a collector over a 35mm slide I want to purchase. It features a rare product used by Gen-Xers born between 1966-1974 and I want to add it to add to my collection of vernacular pictures of Generation X.  The seller wants $9.99 for it and I only want to pay $3. 😝 In the meantime, I accidentally bought this photo for $1. It features two sisters in their 1980s rainbow shirts. The studio portrait was in my online cart and I was ready to buy it until I realized the collector was going to charge me $5 for shipping. I forgot to remove it before buying something else. Anyway, I hope you guys love it since it actually cost me $6, not $1. 🤣

Don’t you know these girls just loved their matching shirts? They were extra lucky because they had matching vests with rainbow pins, too. lol. The photo was taken in 1983, so I’m guessing these girls were born sometime between 1974 and 1977.

When I posted this picture on Facebook it received so many awesome comments. Several Gen-Xers shared pictures of themselves in the same or similar sweatshirts.  One reader posted a picture of herself at the age of 10 wearing a rainbow shirt and standing next to Ricky Schroeder!  Click here to join the conversation.

Also, two people commented that buying pictures of strangers was a little weird. lol. I assured them that I was not the only person on the planet collecting old photographs, snapshots, arcade pictures, etc. As I mentioned in my last newsletter, this is also called vernacular photography. I guess it is a little weird but how else am I going to will Generation X out of oblivion?

1980s Rainbow Yearbook

The rainbow trend in clothing hit its prime in 1981 as documented on page 8 of the Wicomico High School yearbook (Salisbury, Maryland). It was such a dominant motif in fashion and accessories for girls and teens that the Tom Tom yearbook staff used a rainbow theme in the school’s 1981-82 yearbook. The only rainbow fashion I remember having was a pair of rainbow heart shoelaces. What about you? Did you or anyone you know sport a rainbow sweatshirt in the early 1980s?

1980s rainbow shoelaces and purses with wooden handles

1980s rainbow shirts and fashions featured in 1982 yearbook

The 1980s rainbow wrapped in a sigh. With kind regards to the Candy Man.



Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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  1. Brett

    There’s also a young women’s organization called Order of Rainbow for Girls that uses the symbol a lot.

    • Jennifer

      I saw their headquarters in McAlester! I had never heard of it. I took some pictures of their building. It was really lovely. I’ve always meant to look them up and do some research.


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