It’s a Craze-y world!

For CCThis post is by Nancy Jardine

I’m off to a party this Saturday night (25th October) but no, it’s not a Halloween one. I will, however, be dressing up since it’s a themed 1980s party for my niece who has turned the magical age of 30.

When told of the party theme, I had to have a major think of what I could do about dressing up in context. The 1980s doesn’t seem all that long ago to me and yet it’s a bit of a blur. What had I done that was memorable, but also means I can’t remember much about the 80s?

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

I’m not a big fan of up-to-date music so dressing up as Madonna was ruled out –my shape, I’m sad to say, is all wrong for this costume, you know my legs being too short and all that (phew! insert a *smiley face* here) … and if someone asked me to sing one of her songs, I’d be snookered because I may have listened to music but I didn’t ‘absorb’ the words!

My daughters were born in 1979 and 1981, in Holland, so that was a huge part of the reason the decade of the 80s was a blur.

Do I remember much of TV shows? Not really- apart from those for young kids. We watched ‘Sesamstraat’, the Dutch version of Sesame Street during 1980 and 1981, and then the American version when we returned to Scotland in 1892. Was a character from that a possibility for dressing up? Maybe – but Big Bird sounded way to difficult to make a costume for.

big bird amazon

During the second half of the decade, the TV programmes tended to be of the varieties for older kids – the action types like She-Ra and Wonder Woman. They’d make brilliant costume ideas but… my excuses are similar to those for Madonna.

I read a LOT to my kids when they were at pre-school stages. The Very Hungry Caterpillar? Could I use that as a theme for the 80s? Maybe, but I wasn’t sure if any caterpillar costume that I made was something most people would recognise. We had lots of Books n’ Tapes but again I’m too lazy (and have no time) t0 make a costume from scratch for one of these characters.

books n tapes 3 Dscn4878How did I spend my leisure time, I asked myself, and would that give me an iconic idea for the 80s? My husband travelled a lot worldwide for his work and was often away for weeks at a time. That meant it was me home with the kids, so rightly or wrongly, I personally didn’t do much that wasn’t close to home of an evening. Tupperware, Cosmetics and Jewellery parties were a ‘Craze’ but they don’t provide much for dressing up ideas. I don’t fancy going with a tupperware bowl on my head and a few more at strategic places!! Nope! (though I do still have the bowls and some jewellery)

I did a lot of sewing of clothes, some knitting and lots of tapestry sewing.  Again, not everybody did that and not a ‘fancy dress’ concept. Any other spare time for myself was devoted to reading, and reading, and more reading of novels  pure escapism stuff. But no ideas there, I’m afraid.

Almost in despair of finding something really representative of the 1980s, I turned to the internet to see what ‘ready made’ costumes were available. Fabulous inexpensive  ‘She-Ra’, ‘Wonder Woman’ or ‘Super Girl’ costumes but I’d rejected those!

Cabbage Patch doll? I thought they were horrible. I still think they’re horrible. But what about other iconic toys? My Little Pony? I loved buying those, and all the extras for them, for my kids and we still have some well worn ponies in storage down in our cellar –  but I’m not growing two new legs for one party night’s costume.

However- When I saw this costume, I knew it was perfect for me!

Rubik Rubik Cubes were mega popular in Scotland.  On seeing the outfit, I remembered the amount of hours I spent doing various kinds of games during the 1980s. Some were shared with my family and others were of the solitary nature – The Rubik Cube only one of these.

We played Mastermind, Brain Trainer, Stratego, Risk, Trivial Pursuit, Backgammon, Monopoly, Solitaire, Spirograph…and loads more.

Here’s a list of some of those I remember playing… Did  you play any of these?

Of course, since my hubby worked as a computer consultant in the oil and gas industry, we also had the earliest PC computers during the 1980s. He installed some great games for the kids which now would seem incredibly simple to kids today.  I would need a whole separate blog post to describe what my husband acquired for us to play and the computers we had to play on.

So,  I’m going to the party as a Rubik Cube.

What games or puzzles do you remember from the 1980s?


And an even better question- what would you dress up as to go to the party?

I’m going to have a lovely weekend. My best wishes to you, too, for a nice break.

ps- Since I have to drive 150 miles to get to the party I’ve got to head off very soon. I’ll check in and respond to replies as soon as I can.



Nancy Jardine writes historical adventures and contemporary mysteries- some more romantic than others.

Nancy Jardine Award Finalist The People's Book Prize 2014

Find her work at  Amazon US author page

Her novels are all also available in print and ebook formats from:

Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Crooked Cat Bookstore and many other ebook outlets.

Celtic Fervour Series




20 thoughts on “It’s a Craze-y world!

  1. Let me see… if I was to go to a 1980s theme party, I’d go as a Commodore 64 computer. That was my first computer, and I played American Civil War tactical battle games, a Warsaw Pack vs. NATO war game, a baseball game, and a D&D style game called Myth and Magic. What’s funny is that as computers got more powerful and the games became 3D and richly detailed, I stopped playing to concentrate on novel writing.


    1. Hi Mike. Sounds like a plan about going as a computer. The first computer Alan bought was a QL but we can’t remember the names of the games my kids played- shoot ’em out kind of things. The best game I remember was much later though and I can’t remember what kind of PC we had at the time but my most favourite game was called ‘the Seventh Guest’. It took ages to work through the problems and move onto the next levels but it was a real challenge.


  2. My apologies, Wranglers and readers. I’m having to dash off now and it may be tomorrow before I can log in again but I will pop in asap after arriving home. I don’t see me managing to check in during a party and definitely not when driving 300 miles!


  3. The Rubik’s Cube is a fun idea for a costume, Nancy! I played with one of those a lot, but I never figured it out on my own. I also loved the spirograph. It’s hard to figure out clever, appropriate, and body-possible Halloween costumes, I think. If I were going to an ’80’s party, I would probably just resort to finding 80’s style clothes and get a wig with big bangs or something. Have fun at our party!


  4. Stevie Nicks 1985 “Rock a Little” album has a fantastic look and I would probably go as her. Like you, the 80’s were a blur of raising kids, working, cleaning, sewing and crafting. The music I played was pre-1940, so that is no help. My daughter loved her lite-brite set she got for Christmas the year our house burned. We had Christmas with my family (who, luckily stayed in a motel). When we were running out of the house, she somehow got away from me and ran back into the burning house to get her lite write from under the tree. It was very scary then but we laugh about it now. She also loved Barbies and many of the other toys on the site. My son was into cowboys and Indians, army men, and Hot Wheels. You had to be careful where you stepped in our house or you might hurt your foot! If I look back at my sewing patterns I’d probably get a better sense of fashion in the 80’s. I sewed almost everything we wore. I love your idea of going to the party as a Rubick’s Cube. We had one of those, too. Have fun at the party!


    1. Great reply, Linda- thank you. I’ll have to look up the ‘lite-brite’ set since that’s one I don’t know – not one that my daughters had. Barbies and Sindy dolls a-plenty!


  5. 1980’s I was busy starting a career. Guess even back then history had a hold on me. Not many memories, just work. But I loved that work and the kids I worked with in lock-up still hold a special place in my heart. If I had to dress up, still don’t know what it would be.

    Loved this post and your memories. Thanks. Doris


  6. Nancy, I suspensefully waited til the end to see what you’d be. We moved 1/2 dozen times in the 80’s so I’d have to go as a map of the USA. Love the Rubic’s cube idea. Let us know what the others do. Cher’ley.


  7. How fun, Nancy! I wouldn’t have thought of the Rubix cube. UMM, the 1980s should be a decade I remember well, but I was working, attending college, then settling into “life” so time went by in blur as you say. I’d say “Starksy and Hutch”, but they were more ’70s as was “Hawaii 5-0” so perhaps “Alf”, “McGuyver”, “The A-Team” …or better yet, “The Golden Girls”!! I’m glad you had a great time!!


    1. Hi Gayle. The Golden Girls…I should maybe have thought of that! 🙂 I think many of us were at that really busy getting on with life, work and little else in the ’80s.


  8. I think I would have resorted to wearing clothes from the 80’s. The 80’s for me are a bit of a mixed bag. I worked in a pharmacy back so work was an endless stream of sick people. But I had an adorable little girl at home who kept me pretty busy. There were bills to pay with little money which led to creative ways to do more with less. But as the decade progressed things improved. I met my hubby in the 80’s and life went in some very unexpected and fun directions.


    1. Little ones always keep you busy! I cherished my daughters growing up in the 80s and now I’m so pleased that my grandchildren are with me every day since I don’t miss their growth stages either.


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