Michael Galinsky

Life | 80s

10 Totally Rad Pictures Of Malls In The 80s That'll Give You Serious Flashbacks

Michael Galinsky

Nothing was more important to your young adult life than a trip to the mall. Sure, your parents wanted you to focus on your school work, but let's be honest here, that wasn't going to happen.

Going to the mall was where you got all the latest gossip, the scoop on the latest music, and of course all of your fashion ideas.

Going to the mall either after class, or on the weekend, was pretty much a requirement if you wanted to keep up in school. But it's hard to remember exactly how it used to look. Luckily for you, photographer Michael Galinsky was there to help you remember.

He took a series of photos in 1989 of life in the malls across the country, and no matter where he was, there's one thing for sure: it feels like home.

Take a look at these mall photos, and see just how much you recognize from your own youth.

The hair, the leggings, the belts

It's so incredible to see that perfect 80s hairstyle complete with patterned spandex and a wide belt worn without actually holding anything up. I know for a fact that I had many friends who tried to rock that same look.

How to look cool without getting over heated

The mullet, the mustache and the acid wash jeans are pretty good on their own, but you add those chains, that jacket and the look of pure concentration and you have a real gem.

A wall of TVs watching you while you watched it

I can't quite recognize what this kid is watching, but they look captivated. The mom jeans are pretty epic too, I bet she'd be happy to know her entire outfit is now back in style.

The checkered wall is giving me flashbacks

These outfits are absolutely amazing. That dress almost looks like a suit jacket and I am here for it. A drop waist is not something that many people can pull off but you know what, I think she's totally killing it. If only that baby understood how cool those women were...

Get a game in (or ten) before heading out

I don't know how much money these arcade games made off of us, but I have a feeling it was an awful lot. They were the absolute best and unlike games today, you needed to really get good at playing for a long time at once because there weren't save points so if you wanted your money's worth you had to get good fast.

The 'hang'

Because what else do you do when you're a young teen but sit at the center of the mall and hang out. There's something particularly comforting knowing that in any decade, in every city, there is a group of teens in a mall hanging out and doing nothing.


That brick just screams 80s doesn't it? The brown colors were all carried forward from the 70s, but obviously they aren't going to update the malls every year. Instead these little time capsule buildings existed to help us transition into a new era. This mall has such an impressive fountain though, look at that thing!

Crop tops are for everyone

Buying art supplies at the mall is a given, but doing so while wearing this tie dyed acid wash pair of jeans with this Mickey Mouse crop top is pretty iconic. Look at those two people starring, they know they've seen a star.

I spy with my little eye a perm

If you wanted to survive the 80s, you needed to rock the most important hairstyle. A perm was the style you got when you wanted your hair to look mostly like a poodle.

Yes, perms have been making a comeback, but they don't have that same electrocuted look that they used to have.

Christmas isn't Christmas without a visit to the mall

The mall seemed to change into a winter wonderland every year and we were so happy about it. Even though we were technically too old to go sit on Santa's lap, it was still nice to  be around all the festive people. That was, until it got too close and everyone started getting a little bit too angry about their shopping deadlines.

Who else has a real urge to go shopping?

Source - The New Republic