13 Pop Culture Fads from the Fifties, Sixties, Seventies & Eighties

I just got a really cool authentic Lava Lamp as a housewarming present. It fits into my retro-contemporary decor like a glove and is happily bubbling away as I write this. It reminds me of so much of the popular "junk" that briefly passed through the last 50 years of my life and I am absolutely tickled with this gift. It sits right next to my Bobble Head Beatle Dolls that I won from KRLA when I was 13!

So, today my Thursday Thirteen subject is Fads. I've been around for over half a century and I've seen a lot of things come and go - some quicker than others. Fashion is just one big fad but it cycles, platform shoes were popular in the forties and came back in the seventies, so I've limited my fashion choices to things that were a one time phenomenon - at least as far as I'm aware!

Let's face it, many things that were fads and nostalgia can cycle back into our hemisphere, especially these days where Retro Rules and the things of our childhood are just kitchy enough to be cool again! God, I wish I hadn't thrown half these things in the trash decades ago!
  1. Coonskin caps
  2. Hula Hoops
  3. Slinky
  4. Troll Dolls
  5. Bell Bottoms
  6. Love Beads
  7. Lava Lamp
  8. Disco Balls
  9. Fondue Pots
  10. Pet Rocks
  11. Mood Rings
  12. Pop Rocks
  13. Leg Warmers
There were a few others that almost made the list but they still hang on to life with a death grip, like Tie Die and Smiley Faces. I have to admit I'm still quite fond of tie dye myself, probably because of all the pretty colors - you know me and colors! Smiley Faces got a new lease on life thanks to the internet and all those emoticons that pepper chat and e-mails now - though I still have a nasty urge to draw mustaches on every silly, moon shaped yellow face that glares at me.

I also participated in some local and regional fads growing up like fringed leather jackets, fake hair pieces called "switches", white lipstick, Ouija boards, tennis shoe roller skates (say hello to my broken butt!) and a few others. And I suspect that quite a few things that are all the rage now will be looked on as fads in the future - like Tiki Decor!

Feel free to add some fads that you remember and check out this fun site that lists fads by the decades - Crazyfads.com
LOOKING FOR THE SATURDAY SOAPBOX? Check the latest Saturday Posting!

Unless otherwise noted, all images and art on this site are © PopArtDiva.com 2002 - 2009. All Rights Reserved.

Get my Retro Inspired Pop Culture Art on Cool Stuff like Cups, Tees, Cards, Aprons and more at the POP ART DIVA BOUTIQUE!


  1. We aren't retro-contemporary at all, but have almost everything on your list. Including the lava lamp. My ds is on his third.

  2. Yes to all of them except coonskin hat. Let's not forget stirrup pants LOL Fun list. Happy T13!

  3. Love those troll dolls! And leg warmers are being sold in Macy's now :-)

  4. I love lava lamps. We only bought on the other day. Thanks for stopping by my TT. Happy Thursday!

  5. You caused some great memories there.

  6. My 13 not yet faded fad memories:

    1. Gathered dirndl skirts
    2. Mousketeer ears
    3. Madras plaid
    4. Brown penny loafers
    5. Trolls
    6. Pop-It beads
    7. Charm bracelets (dangly kind with charms that commemorate meaningful occasions or events)
    8. Circle pins
    9. Hot pants
    10. Granny dresses
    11. Micro-mini skirts
    12. Huge hoop earrings, the bigger the better
    13. Ironed hair and/or hair set on orange juice cans

    However, my all time favorite one? The Peace sign back! I see it everywhere, and it makes my heart sing. Peace on Earth is a sentiment not just for Christmas, the '60s and '70s, but forever. Whether the circular symbol or two-fingered salute, I love this goodwill icon and gesture.

  7. I don't remember the coonskin caps either. But I do remember BIG HAIR and carrying Aqua Net ( the Pink/Grey can worked the best) in my purse. I also wore leggings (which are back) and dressed like Madonna. Love tie-dye and Peace signs. Have some shirts and jewelry. They will never go out of style:)


  8. Pop Art, thought I "auto" pop back in to share the link with your readers on another great topic of cultural fads: Vintage Cars: Seen the USA in Our Kaiser-Fray

  9. :-o Mood rings were a ... fad?!? ...sniff... But I LOVE my mood ring.... :'(

  10. Alice - Honestly I hated Lava Lamps back in the day but now I love this one. Go figure, huh?

    Adelle - Oh, stirrup pants! I forgot all about them and I loved them because your pants stayed tucked into your ski boots!

    Janet - Oh no, leg warmers are back? God, I though I'd seen the end of them when Flashdance hit the 25 year mark last year.

    Rikki - Everything 60s and 70s seems to be popping up again, including macrame and melted bottles as art (art, oh puhleeze). I guess maybe I might be cool again too? Hehehehe.

    anthony - glad you enjoyed the post.

    Joyce - Oh, you brought back some great memories I'd forgotten! The Pop-It beads - dear God, I loved those for the interactivity, lol - they were pretty cheezy though. And Madras and circle pins, yup! I still have a charm bracelet that has charms from everywhere we visited when I was younger - in fact I had so many charms I had to get a second bracelet for them so I actually have two!

    Yeah, all those fashion things too - although I didn't mention them because fashion seems to always swing back on itself and my list was mostly things that only came once - or so I thought! Now I gather Lava Lamps are back so I guess other things might pop up too - I just mentioned macrame is back.

    BTW - I did mention troll dolls - I had two of the goofy things. I think I still do have them packed away somewhere, lol.


    Lissa - Oh, yeah! I remember carrying around little mini cans of Aqua Net too!

    Guys, I love this because you're reminding me of stuff I'd forgotten about - how cool are blogs???

  11. I was born in the 60's but I've resisted fads my whole life. When I was a junior high kid, everyone wore blue North Star sneakers with white stripes. Well, they were the last things I wanted to wear. I've always been like that, with no sign of changing anytime soon.

    Love your decade collages!

  12. I couldn't get past #1. Started have Davy Crocket flashbacks.

  13. I happily fell victim to the hula hoop and bell bottom fads, but not the rest!

  14. Julia - Good for you resisting the pressure to be like everyone else! I tried very hard to fit in because I knew deep inside I was a lot different from most of my friends - it's that Normal Challenged Artist thing, lol - so I naturally wanted to be normal! Now I know better and I embrace my abnormal with relish!

    And thanks for liking my decades pieces - they're part of my Pop Culture Art series.

    Ann - you cracked me up with the "Davy Crockett Flashbacks"!

    Nicholas - what? no Troll Dolls or Leg Warmers??? How about PF Flyers for you?

  15. We just bought a fondue pot at the All-Clad sale last December. I know it's their seconds sale, but are the pots THAT old???

    Janet seeing legwarmers at Macy's scares me... I'm not sure why...

  16. Susan - they are actually reproducing some of the ones like I had in the 70s - mine was orange with white decorating doodles on it. I saw a brand new one identical to it at a store, sheesh - see NEVER throw anything away, lol.

  17. Great list. Remember most of them, loved pop rocks.

  18. An Eerie Tapestry - Hehehe - Pop Rocks always scared the dickens out of me - I guess I thought if I kept my mouth shut my face would blow up or something, lol - but I'm trying to figure out how to use them in a martini recipe for TheMartiniDiva.com now!


I would love to hear your comments on my art and posts and welcome your honest opinions and thoughts! HOWEVER, please remember this is my "house" and I don't like impolite, mean or rowdy guests - spam and/or comments that include swear words, promote hate or are just negative to be negative will be immediately sent to the trash bin!

You Might Also Like

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...