I didn’t read FAMOUS MONSTERS in 1980. I was too busy studying the classified ads in SMASH HITS. There were adverts for clothes that were impossible to buy from STOLEN FROM IVOR in Bolton (even if my mum would have let me), because they seemed incredibly exotic. I really wanted some tartan bondage pants with a bum flap, even though I didn’t really know what they were.
In reality, I was actually wearing the stuff that they were promoting in FAMOUS MONSTERS. The magazines contains an array of adverts for iron on transfers which were all the rage at the time. They were ice cold against your chest when they were first put on. Surely they were part of some matriarchal conspiracy to make young boys wear a vest? They started off being hard like an armoured breast-plate, before eroding due to repeated washes and would crack, distress to a point when they looked what is now considered ‘retro’ but was once considered ‘scruffy’.
I particularly liked the attempt to make ‘Chewie’ appear like a sex symbol: “Chewie in all his hairy glory stands out in this full colour iron-on. Has golden hair, fangs, pug nose and black eyes!” GSOH.
However, the most bizarre clothing on offer is ‘The New Warrior’s Battle Jacket’. I have studied this advert for a while trying to work out whether or not is is for real or not. It’s offering a natty set of sci-fi outfits for the whole family with the extra fashion frisson of they are “from the disco to the limits of out of space”.
These ‘ruggedly structured light olive brown denim’ jackets came with ‘a special patch emblem, 2 insignia pins, care and handling information and four unique clasps’. I’m glad that they have included the care and handling information in the list of special features, as it may have been enough to convince my dad that it was a worth shelling out for the whole family. To be honest, I’d probably have better luck with the tartan bondage pants and bum flaps.