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Fast Food Fashions of the Eighties
July 18, 2009 1:47 PM   Subscribe

Fast food fashions of the Eighties.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey (53 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
How bizarre. I thought this would be a gallery of the uniforms that various fry-jockeys had to wear in the 80's, but no. It's clothing that anyone could purchase...and wear voluntarily...to pimp the McDonald's logo... /brain assplodes
posted by contessa at 2:00 PM on July 18, 2009


If you could find a box of these shirts, it would be worth its weight in gold at the local vintage clothing store.
posted by bjork24 at 2:06 PM on July 18, 2009


You just know there are some hipsters salivating over this right now.
posted by Katemonkey at 2:18 PM on July 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


I remember there a brief period in the '80s when Coca-Cola branded clothing was tres chic. I think it was September through roughly October 15th of 1986. Kids wore these baggy sweatshirts with the Coca Cola logo on the front. Presumably somebody at McDonalds though they could cash in on that too.
posted by chrchr at 2:27 PM on July 18, 2009


I'm not a hipster, but I want one of those purple sweaters with a Grimace on it.
posted by kimdog at 2:28 PM on July 18, 2009 [6 favorites]


Scary!
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:29 PM on July 18, 2009


I thought it was Coca Cola shirts, with the logo in Mandarin/Russian/etc?
posted by Brocktoon at 2:29 PM on July 18, 2009


Largest available size was X-Large? FAIL!
posted by iviken at 2:30 PM on July 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


I remember seeing those "Coca-Cola clothes" on display in a fine department store during this same period. They were red and white and had the brand logo accross the front and back of casual wear men's and women's clothes, and they were expensive. Nobody bought them and after a few weeks they were gone. IIRC, New Coke debuted not too long afterwards, disastrously.

I never saw anyone wearing these McDonald's clothes, either; maybe the phenomenon was due to wishful thinking on the part of corporate execs?

On a side note, my parents tolerated us watching Saturday morning cartoons with their wall-to-wall commercials for mcdonalds, GI Joe action sets, and fun-looking breakfast cereals made of pure sugar but we knew better than to even bother asking for any of that stuff, and we were not poor.
posted by longsleeves at 2:30 PM on July 18, 2009


Prêt-à-Porker
posted by gman at 2:35 PM on July 18, 2009 [7 favorites]


It's my fault entirely, but I can only see these clothes worn in the most depressing situations. On the homeless, the schizophrenic, the developmentally delayed. The children's shirts torn and stained brown, in an evidence bag. Never mind me, I'm just going to go along to hell here.
posted by Countess Elena at 2:37 PM on July 18, 2009 [12 favorites]


In TN in the 80's those Coke shirts were HUGE. For a long time. HUGE. Everyone in my middle school wore them.
posted by josher71 at 2:39 PM on July 18, 2009


Surprisingly, none feature the original Ronald McDonald.
posted by acro at 2:48 PM on July 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have an M&M's hat that I got for free from work, and I wear it a good bit. People will occasionally say to me, "Gee mister, you must really like M&M's a lot!" and my friends will occasionally say, "Are you still wearing that old M&M's hat?" You know what's really ironic? I -really- like M&M's, a lot. Especially peanut butter ones.
posted by FireballForever at 2:51 PM on July 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


*encases Joe Camel baseball cap in Lucite, waits for bids*
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:54 PM on July 18, 2009


Surprisingly, none feature the original Ronald McDonald.

That's Willard Scott in the makeup there. He originated the character.
posted by longsleeves at 3:03 PM on July 18, 2009


It's my fault entirely, but I can only see these clothes worn in the most depressing situations.
Me too. Some third world country where they receive boatloads of clothes that even Goodwill can't sell. Right now a guy on a bicycle carrying 6 chickens in a cage on his back is wearing a McD golf shirt. A young man with no job, no prospects, no shoes is wearing the preppie V neck sweater. A mother of 5 cooking dinner outside her make-shift shanty of cardboard and tin is sporting the supercrew baseball shirt. Who in hell thought a real preppie, golfer, or baseball pitcher was ever going to wear these things? Now they will live on in all their polyester glory as clothing guaranteed to startle the tourists.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:13 PM on July 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


The Polo shirts with an embroidered Ronald McDonald are the highlight of the bunch. So if I understand this correctly, these were marketed only to McDonald's employees? So basically, they expected their employees to effectively recycle their meager paychecks back into the gaping maw of Ronald in order to buy clothes which would then turn them into walking McDonald's advertisements? I mean, how much indignity did they expect them to endure before they became more hamburger than man?
posted by DecemberBoy at 3:14 PM on July 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I want everyone wearing anything with logos, names of bands, movies, cartoons, or Metafilter (including tennis shoes) to leave the room this moment.




hello??? anyone left?????
posted by HuronBob at 3:16 PM on July 18, 2009


I'm still here, HuronBob! I have a hard and fast rule about my clothes: No logos, ever. In fact, no writing ever. You would be surprised at how hard it is for me to buy a purse.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:24 PM on July 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Are blue shirts considered Metafilter logoed?
posted by FireballForever at 3:29 PM on July 18, 2009


Dude, HuronBob, you're assuming most of us are wearing any clothes at all. Who gets dressed to surf the 'net?
posted by LOLAttorney2009 at 3:29 PM on July 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


It is very hard to remove all the logos from the garbage I recycle to make my clothes, but I do my best to cover them with pieces of duct tape and black permanent marker.

Can I stay in the room?
posted by dirty lies at 4:11 PM on July 18, 2009


Metafilter: you're assuming most of us are wearing any clothes at all.
posted by dibblda at 4:12 PM on July 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ugh - I'm having a shameful flashback. I remember wearing my Coca-Cola green and white (?) rugby-style jersey in middle school. It was one of my prized possessions at the time. (Along with my Corona and Spuds McKenzie T-shirts, of course.)
posted by Kloryne at 4:30 PM on July 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


But what are "synthetic sugar sponges"?
posted by Listener at 4:38 PM on July 18, 2009


Lovely stuff, with all the hallmarks of mall chic circa 1984. Swatch, Frankie Says Relax, and the Coca-Cola clothing mentioned upthread. Didn't date very well, but it looks better than today's hood rat style - I see teens walking around with hoodies with ridiculous amounts of silkscreened crap and sideways ball caps, and one out of five stores at my local (dying) mall specialize in this look.
posted by porn in the woods at 4:43 PM on July 18, 2009


I was alive in the 80s and never saw a single one of these items of "clothing". (Except for the McBaby, or whatever it was/is, line of clothes. Apparently that one's fairly good for some things.)
posted by DU at 5:06 PM on July 18, 2009


I'm not sure if the large lifelounge advert appears on everyone's browser, but it features Samantha Fox, an extremely famous UK topless glamour model of the previous generation. That photo must be around 25 years old. Coincidence, given the article?

When the first Batman movie came out, I can't believe the number of my University friends [and the rest of Perth, for that matter] who paid good money to wear the tie in clothing. Plus it was a shit SHIT movie. Makes it even worse.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 5:31 PM on July 18, 2009


The lady in the middle of this advert. Is she a B-list / C-list actress? She looks awfully familiar.

http://www.lifelounge.com/resources/IMGDETAIL/macdonalds_fashion_catalog_detail.jpg
posted by uncanny hengeman at 5:36 PM on July 18, 2009


I'm in the '88 candidates, paisley'd out
In them Coca-Cola rugby's, two bitches, with a front in my mouth

posted by jcruelty at 5:48 PM on July 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


Ha! I had a short that said "who gives a f**k what Frankie says?"
posted by annsunny at 5:50 PM on July 18, 2009


Ooops, i meant shirt
posted by annsunny at 5:51 PM on July 18, 2009


Yes, I had a Coca Cola shirt. And it was one of my few trendy clothes items. At the time, I remember being torn between knowing it was stupid to pay a corporation to advertise for it, and also knowing that everyone at my school thought it was cool. In the end, it didn't matter, nothing could save me from my nerdiness. Thank goodness.
posted by emjaybee at 6:50 PM on July 18, 2009


On the far right, the McD logo set in grid. Even in the thick of the 80s, I remember wondering, "Why grids? Why do t-shirts always have grids?" I recall a t-shirt at Faneuil Hall, with "Boston" in the same sort of smeared script, over a grid, with the Faneuil Hall facade and a palm tree. Grids and palm tree were on so many t-shirts, even if it was to promote a colonial red-brick mall in the middle of Boston.
posted by bendybendy at 7:12 PM on July 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


So if I understand this correctly, these were marketed only to McDonald's employees?

I worked at McDonalds in 1986.

*shudder*

I never saw a catalog for this kind of clothing. I'm thinking these things must have been marketed to managers.
posted by jayder at 7:14 PM on July 18, 2009


Oh god. Why do they all have their trousers pulled up halfway to their necks? WHYYYY? This is a horror that pains me deep within my soul.
posted by elizardbits at 7:35 PM on July 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


The greatest Walk of Shame I have ever done in my life was the time my car was broken down and I had no ride to my shit job at McDonald's and had to walk two miles across Lake Wales, Florida in my McDonald's uniform.

I can't even fathom the idea of people wearing their logo willingly, or paying money to do so.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:13 PM on July 18, 2009


jcruelty, as soon as I read your comment I knew it had to be a Ghostface quote...
posted by scose at 8:17 PM on July 18, 2009


I want everyone wearing anything with logos...

Is it even POSSIBLE to buy sneakers without a logo on them? Or jeans? It's not like I go out of my way to logo myself, but branding on clothing is ubiquitous, down to the button on my Levi's. I just don't have the time to till my own soil, plan my own organic cotton, spin my own yarn, weave my own cloth and sew my own clothing, which I think is the only option to be utterly corporate & logo-free, right down to the tags & buttons.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:23 PM on July 18, 2009


On the far right, the McD logo set in grid. Even in the thick of the 80s, I remember wondering, "Why grids? Why do t-shirts always have grids?"

Heh, I had almost forgotten about this critical bit of pre-PageMaker '80s design. Indeed, every tourist-y town had a sweatshirt with the grid and the town's name set in Mistral typeface (shudders).
posted by porn in the woods at 8:35 PM on July 18, 2009


(not to say PageMaker couldn't make a mean grid fill pattern (NOT ALDUS-IST))
posted by porn in the woods at 8:39 PM on July 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Well, my sneakers are logoless, my jeans have one of those little red tags on them, and my t-shirt is a logoless amusing one (giant bunny terrorizing a city of carrots), and, as soon as I have some cash to blow, I have a walnut burl skin picked out for my netbook (laptop already skinned with a stylized skull and crossbones poison warning) which should cover that logo (oh, and all the advertising stickers are peeled off all my computers. I even give my girlfriend a hard time every time I catch her playing Dairy Queen Tycoon...

Do I get to stay with the cool kids?
posted by Samizdata at 9:17 PM on July 18, 2009


Damn nesting errors. computers.), even.
posted by Samizdata at 9:17 PM on July 18, 2009


Was this stuff marketed to the general public or was it more along the lines of logoware for things like team building activities and prizes? The former would be a bit strange, and while there's a surprising diversity of styles for the latter, there are many, many businesses a la Corporate Express and others that survive on doing the latter, just a little more generically than in the examples in this catalogue. I have more that a few things with the logos of various past and present corporate masters slapped on them.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:03 PM on July 18, 2009


I first read this as "Fast Food of the Eighties" and was expecting to see Burger Chef and GW Jr.'s (I knew it was too much to expect Jim's Frontier Burger and Griff's). Sadly, my memories are still adrift, like the hot dog in GW Jr's Pig Boat.
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 12:19 AM on July 19, 2009


Prêt-à-Porker

What does Spiderman have to do with this?
posted by ActingTheGoat at 1:02 AM on July 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


For awhile when I was a kid birthday parties at McDonalds were pretty popular. I vaguely remember the t-shirts with Grimace and the Fry Guy on them being marketed to our parents when they picked us up. I also vaguely remember seeing kids at school with the shirts on and being jealous. McDonalds did a good job at brainwashing us little kids in the 80's.
posted by trishthedish at 9:06 AM on July 19, 2009


I was expecting to see actual food. You know, like a McDLT in all it's hot-side-hot cold-side-cold styrofoam-encased glory.

sigh.
posted by Wild_Eep at 9:09 AM on July 19, 2009


I have an M&M's hat that I got for free from work, and I wear it a good bit. [...] You know what's really ironic? I -really- like M&M's, a lot.

I think the definition of ironic just lapped itself.
posted by turaho at 10:20 AM on July 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Surprisingly, none feature the original Ronald McDonald.

can't sleep the clown will eat me RAPE MY FUCKING SOUL
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:50 PM on July 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


That grid motif was just one of the many horrors that Memphis Design gifted the 80s with.
posted by stagewhisper at 5:21 PM on July 19, 2009


You know, most of these are pretty horrible... But the Fry Guy shirts for the little kids? Downright awesome.
posted by Ms. Saint at 12:37 PM on July 20, 2009


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