Maybe it’s the upcoming premiere of Stranger Things‘ third season…doesn’t this summer feels like the perfect time to dive back into the ’80s?! It’s that giddy feeling of waiting for the season’s biggest blockbuster, and filling the time with your very favorite things while you count down the days. As a kid in the ’80s, I spent a ton of time playing with friends during the summer, watched a LOT of TV (and MTV), became a regular at the mall, hit the pool, and escaped into art, writing and music.
Speaking of escape, who else needs a break from adult life this summer? Why not use nostalgia to your advantage and plan a series of ’80s escapes?! Whether it’s watching a retro game show while drinking a tall glass of Nestea or enjoying your favorite ’80s summer movie while sipping a kamikaze, you don’t have to board a plan to get away this summer. But you maybe just might have to go to the mall. Grab your caboodle and keep reading. The ultimate ’80s summer is at your fingertips, especially if you do the following…
Head to the Mall
If you’re lucky enough to have an indoor mall near you (and there are still some ’80s features), now is the time to live it up! It’s hot outside, so take advantage of the great scenery in an air conditioned setting. Hint: large department stores are a great place to spot features such as ’80s display furniture. Unlike smaller mall retail spaces, many of these large “anchor stores” haven’t been entirely remodeled, so you can still see architectural details that channel the past.
If you haven’t checked out Dan Bell’s Dead Mall series, what are you waiting for?! You may even have a dead mall in your city, so grab a camera and capture some images before it’s repurposed or fully out of function. Check out Mirror80’s tours of Sunrise Mall (the Corpus Christi, TX mall from The Legend of Billie Jean) and Austin, TX’s former Highland Mall for more dead mall imagery that’s surprisingly lifelike!
Have a Cocktail
I love a good craft cocktail, but sometimes it’s an expensive pain to buy 8 ingredients that will recreate the magic of one drink at home. Cue the ’80s cocktail scene, where a certain (sugary) simplicity often reigned. I tried a few popular recipes from back in the day: the White Russian, the Kamikaze and the Tequila Sunrise. Three ingredients in each drink, folks! You could host a cocktail party on a budget with this trio of retro drinks. Get the recipes and find out which ones I liked best here.
Not drinking much these days? Try a tall glass of iced tea. Garnish with a lemon and a neon bendy straw, and resist the urge to take the Nestea Plunge.
Visit the Beach
If you can get to the beach with primary-colored accessories, more power to you! Seriously, there’s a list of ’80s beach movies that featured umbrellas and other summery gear in bright reds, blues, yellows and greens. The screen shots above and at the top of the post are from the 1985 movie Summer Rental.
And speaking of retro films set at the coast, watching ’80s beach flicks is another great way to experience the magic of the ocean this summer! Some of my favorites include Summer School, Weekend at Bernie’s, Cocktail, and Top Gun. Click on the links in this section for full Mirror80 posts featuring these movies!
Fill Your Caboodles
OK, so if you don’t have a Caboodles case, I’m really talking about enjoying an ’80s product or two this summer. Did you know that the following items (popular in the ’80s) are still sold today?
- Love’s Baby Soft
- Exclamation perfume by Coty
- Lip Licking Lip Balm
- Salon Selectives
- Sea Breeze
- L’Oreal Studio hair care products
- Revlon Nail Enamel
- banana clips
- flexible rollers
- Bonne Bell Lip Smackers in Dr. Pepper
Revel in them for little moments of nostalgia. And if you have a Caboodles organizer (this one from Urban Outfitters is only $8!), have fun filling it this summer.
Watch Some Good TV
Raise your hand if you spent the ’80s watching too much television! My hand is definitely raised. You can recapture the magic by taking a TV break and filling it with something like a retro game show (classics can be found on some local television stations and streaming services such as Amazon). And who wouldn’t love a blissful evening immersed in the Miami paradise of The Golden Girls?
If you’re excited about the surge of new TV series that channel ’80s style, now is the time to enjoy them to the fullest. Stranger Things Season 3 will be streaming on Netflix for your binge-watching pleasure on July 4th. It’s time to get excited! Remember Mirror80’s Stranger Things Viewing Party with a build-your-own Eggo waffle bar? Let’s just say it’s time to cook up another event! Stay tuned.
Get Your MTV Fix
Part of being a kid in the ’80s was lounging on a sofa while watching MTV. For me, it was a big part of being a kid in the ’80s! I love creating music video playlists, and you can view all 14 of them on the Mirror80 YouTube Channel. They’re on the shorter side (under 15 music videos each) because curating a cohesive theme is my top priority.
For this summer, I’d recommend the ’80s Summer Playlist, City Nights (all videos are set in part on ’80s streets at night!), as well as two brand-spanking new playlists that are extra festive: ’80s Dance Videos (at least 3 of them are choreographed by Paula Abdul) and Urgent Rock, which is exactly what you’d expect: urgent! Yes, Foreigner is on the list. Perfect for driving out to the lake on a sunny day.
Time to get watching!
Revel in ’80s Design
Last but not least, I encourage you to join the ’80s Design group on Facebook for a big dose of retro design goodness! There’s no better place to keep the conversation going all summer long (and beyond). From project ideas and retro experiences to design inspiration and fabulous ’80s finds, this is the place to celebrate the Decade of Decadence with people who truly appreciate this important era in design history.
Stay tuned for much more summer fun in the coming weeks. Until then, dive into the fun and check out Mirror80’s summer style board on Pinterest. Cheers to the ultimate ’80s summer, and thanks for reading!