Fashion in the 1980s


Jelly shoes or jellies are shoes made of PVC plastic. Jelly shoes come in a large variety of brands and colors and the material is frequently infused with glitter. Its name refers to the semi-transparent materials with a jelly-like sheen. The shoes became a fad in the mid 1980s, when a pair could frequently be purchased for less than one US dollar. Like many fashions do, jellies made a comeback in the late 1990s, and again in 2003, re-gaining popularity with new styles. 

The exact origins of the jelly shoes are unclear. A frequently offered explanation is that they were designed by a shoe maker in France after World War II, when there was a leather shortage in Europe. Another possibility is that the shoes were created somewhere in the late 1950s or early 1960s, when plastic became a commonplace material, and fashion designers began to experiment with it. The Brazil-based shoe company Grendene Shoes claims to have introduced the jelly shoes to the US market in 1982, though a New York Times article published on June 1, 1980 also mentions them. 

Source:  “Jelly Shoes.”  Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.  26 Mar. 2011.  Web.  20 Apr. 2011.