LI looks from the ’50 to the ’90s via Vintage Newsday Instagram

Fashion forward, or fashion backward? You can be the judge as you peruse these Long Island looks, gathered from Newsday’s photo archives.

We read that the fashions of the 1990s through early 2000s are making a comeback among Gen-Zers, but is there a place for hospital-scrubs-on-the-dance-floor, a trend circa 1980? Will elementary-age schoolchildren ever wear lace-topped bobby socks again? We’ve already witnessed the return of the mullet and all manner of beards and sideburns. And men’s shorts — thankfully — aren’t the daring statement they were in the ’50s. One thing these photos show is that making a fashion statement sometimes requires taking a good, long look at the past.

And you can do that at the Vintage Newsday Instagram — you’ll know it by the circular photo Newsday’s first female photographer, Edna Murray, circa 1945. There you’ll find these photos and many more more — including celebrity fashion photos — all curated by Newsday’s librarians.

Credit: Newsday/Jim Nightingale

MULTIBASKING. Gertrude Melsom of Little Neck catches up on some of her reading while soaking up the rays as she floats in the pool at C.W. Post campus (now known as LIU Post) in Brookville in June 1960.

Credit: Newsday/Bob Luckey

BUNDLE OF STYLE. Ruby Lawrence and Betty Marquis from the Freeport Economic Opportunity Council make outreach rounds in the Bennington Park section of Freeport in 1968.

Credit: Newsday/Tom Maguire

DRAFTEE’S GOODBYE. Charles Hanigan, 25, of Lindenhurst kisses his wife, Judith, before boarding a bus with other Army draftees outside the Draft Board at the Legion Hall in Freeport on Nov. 1, 1966.

Credit: Newsday/Jim Peppler

STANDING OUT IN A CROWD. Holiday shopping kicks off on Black Friday in 1977 at Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream.

Credit: Newsday/Joe Dombroski

RIDING A TREND. Denise Beckley of Port Washington sports an “I Love LI” T-shirt in 1979.

Credit: Howard Edwards

THE OLD COLLEGE  TRY. Hofstra students polled area college students about the upcoming 1952 presidential election. Most of these students were not yet eligible to vote since voting age wouldn’t be lowered to 18 until 1971.

Credit: Newsday/Max Heine

POLKA PARTY. Pupils in Wainscott dance a polka in 1961 as their teacher, Edith Mansir, provides the music in May 1961. Mrs. Mansir taught at the one-room schoolhouse on Main Street in Wainscott for 28 years, until retiring in 1972. 

Credit: Newsday/Cliff DeBear

BOOKS AND BELL-BOTTOMS. Barbara Busam, a clerk typist at the Community Library in Shirley, wheels a cart full of books toward the new library headquarters in a storefront in William Floyd Plaza on the day it opened, June 1, 1977.

Credit: Newsday/Dick Morseman

ODDS-ON FAVORITE. At Roosevelt Raceway in Westbury in 1961, bettors check their odds for the upcoming harness racing, which ran at the track from 1940 until 1988.

Credit: Newsday/Naomi Lasdon

GETTING THE PARTY OFF THE GROUND. Marvin Sachs of Bellerose and Arlene Goldstein of Manhattan dance aboard a TWA 747 at Kennedy Airport in 1972. Maximus Club, a singles group, hosted the party and fashion show for its members in the cabin of the jet, which remained grounded at the airport. 

Credit: Newsday/Cliff DeBear

COOL RECEPTION. In 1954, most men wore long trousers even on the hottest days. Mark F. Ethridge pushed the envelope that summer, and he got a little pushback when he passed Margaret Provost on Main Street in Hempstead. 

Credit: Newsday/George Argeroplos

CHEERS TO US. Behind the bar, Mike “Eppy” Epstein, left, and Jay Linehan, co-owners of My Father’s Place in Roslyn, work the bar there in 1971. 

Credit: Newsday/Ike Eichorn

HIGH FLYING. Alicia Patterson, the founder, first publisher and first editor of Newsday, wishes her husband, Harry Guggenheim, goodbye as she boards a flight at Idlewild Airport (now Kennedy Airport) for a two-month, 15-country African tour, June 1, 1957. 

Credit: Newsday/Kathy Kmonicek

TASTY EATS. John Gatto and Maureen Dougherty of Farmingdale stock up on popcorn and soda at the concession stand of the Commack Cinemas in 1994.

Credit: Newsday/Jim Cavanagh

DIGGING THE DANCE. A 1961 “rolling prom” took Islip High School students from Islip to Montauk at 12 mph aboard a baggage car rigged for rock and roll.

Credit: Newsday/Ozier Muhammad

SCRUBS FOR DATE NIGHT. Remember this? Surgical scrubs became a fashion craze in 1980. Dr. Elliott Siegel and his wife, Debbie Siegel, of Massapequa, model specially dyed scrubs at Fearn’s disco in Roslyn that year.

FIND MORE at Vintage Newsday Instagram

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