Must-Have Gear for the 80s

Let’s say Marty McFly has just pulled up in his DeLorean and he’s taking you on leisurely drive through the 80s. If you want to hang with the cool kids you better grab your backpack and load up the appropriate 80s gear or at least know it when you see it. The 80s are a strange place and you’ll want to do your best to fit in. Here are five accessories you’ll want to bring along or find there.

Cordless Phone

If you need to make a phone call, the good news is that if you have a quarter in your pocket, there’s sure to be a payphone somewhere. You won’t find many cell phones in the 80s, however, at least not any smaller than a briefcase. If you need to move around while you have a chat, just about everyone has a cordless phone in their homes. Just don’t expect to wander too far with it. Also be careful not to drop the blocky beast on your foot or poke someone’s eye out with the gigantic antennae.

Jelly bracelets and Lace Gloves

Not sure what to wear? If you’re a girl you have it made. Everyone wanted to look like Madonna and Roseanna Arquette straight out of Desperately Seeking Susan. It wasn’t hard. You just had to layer your clothes, muss your bleached blonde hair and wear some mismatched jewelry. If you can’t pull the whole look together, that’s okay too. Just slip on a stack of jelly bracelets and a pair of lace gloves and you’ll fit right in.

Swatch watch

Even the biggest dweeb in school has a Swatch watch. The multi-colored, multi-styled plastic Swatch watches were a changeable accessory meant to match or clash with what you were wearing. In fact, the most radical kids wore three or four of them at once. You won’t fit into this decade if you don’t wear a Swatch!

Ray-Ban Wayfarers

Even if you’re wearing your sunglasses at night, you should be sure to sport your Wayfarers. In 1982 Ray-Bay signed a $50,000-a-year deal with Unique Product Placement of Burbank, California, to get stars wearing their shades. During the years of the deal Ray-Bans appeared in more than 60 movies and TV shows a year. This included the unforgettable image of Tom Cruise peeking over his Wayfarers in Risky Business and the totally rad cops of Miami Vice. Everyone wore Wayfarers.

Walkman and a Mixtape

Don’t leave home without your Walkman! You won’t find many affordable CDs in the 80s, let alone an iPod, but you wouldn’t want to get caught without your tunes. The Walkman is bulky enough to weigh down your skinny jeans, but at least you’ll have a soundtrack. In fact, better make a mixtape of all your favorite 80s tunes too.  You never know when you might meet someone special and want to show your affection with a mixtape.

Chances are the flux capacitor is broken and McFly won’t be showing up on your doorstep anytime soon. Don’t fret though! You can get your fill of the amazing decade on The 80s: The Decade that Made Us. This landmark new six-part miniseries takes viewers back in time to see how the ’80s created our modern world. Tune in the first episode Lift Off on Sunday April 14 at 8PM et/pt. Can’t wait that long? Check out the interactive 80s experience and get your 80s fix in the meantime and vote on your favorite gear.