I was diligently browsing the racks of the local coalition a few weeks ago, when a flash of stripes and Albert Einstein-level bright colors stopped me in my tracks. The perpetrator happened to be the most eighties-tastic oversized blazer I had ever seen. And the cost? All of fifty cents. I thought I had hit the jackpot and rushed home to try on and style my latest find. As I slipped into those ridiculous shoulder pads, a cloud of mixed feelings as strong as the old-lady perfume smell emerging from the fabric itself settled over me.

Thing is, that blazer knew how to make an impression. The colors were funky and popped nicely. The fit was slouchy enough to look perfectly nonchalant and the gigantic shoulders made me feel like a badass. So where was the hesitation coming from? After a few days of pondering and re-trying on The Blazer, a conclusion finally slapped me in the face.

It was practically a costume. The colors, though spunky, were garish. The size of the shoulder pads just a little too exaggerated.The kind of item I would shake my head in wonder at but probably not relate to. I felt like an extra in some cheesy, albeit stylish, eighties sitcom. It’s not that I’m against kooky pieces; I adore them. But style has to come from a genuine place. Somebody else, perhaps a lounge singer in Panama, might feel a true soul connection with this blazer. And that’s fantastic. It’s just not something I personally identify with.

So why, you ask, did I still post photos of this infamous blazer? Because it’s a great piece. While it won’t become an everyday wardrobe staple, I see nothing wrong with a little dress-up every once in a while. The print looks killer against the assortment of wacky plants in the background. I went ham with some equally 80’s-centric clip on earrings and a pair of vintage Ferragamo pumps. Hell, it just ain’t livin’ if you can’t laugh at yourself once in a while. After this shoot, mission accomplished.

Time to brag about the prices. All pieces shown are thrifted.

Clip-on earrings: 50 cents

Blazer: 50 cents

Slip dress: Velvet. 50 cents

Shoes: Ferragamo. $4.00

*Photo credit: Laura L Gingerich. Find more of her wonderful work at http://www.lauralynn.smugmug.com