memories of the ’80s – jelly shoes

For those stylish young women of the ’80s, one of the key items to own: jelly shoes.

These PVC flexible shoes became all the rage, especially with the teen and 20 something set for its bright colours, summer style and affordable price – perfect for the young fashionable thing who wanted to increase her wardrobe options.

Although the shoes had been around since the 1950s, in the early 1980s, an American businessman travelled to Brazil and saw many women wearing stylish affordable shoes made by Grendene.

Buying the US distribution rights, jelly shoes started to slowly appear in stores in the southeast US, but hit the fashion pages like wildfire when they debuted on the shelves of Bloomingdale’s in New York City in 1983.

But some fashionistas believe the shoes were from France, a creation made because of the shortage of leather.

The most popular style of these squishy shoes was the fisherman sandal – a t-strap with round toe. Available in a wide range of colours, the shoes were available in numerous styles from flat heeled sandals to ankle boots.

For girls of the ’80s, who could buy these shoes anywhere from a drugstore to a department store, the jelly shoe was the de rigeur style addition to their colourful wardrobe.

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About Waheeda Harris

A pop culture junkie with a penchant for exploring our planet.
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