The ghosts of back-to-school seasons past: 1986

1985 1986 1988 1995

A caption in a 1986 feature on the increasing popularity of private schools tells us they were expensive and competitive even back then! What were the odds? And adjusted for inflation, $6,800 is a steal: that’s worth about $13,500 in today’s dollars, well below the price tag of a year at some of the nation’s most prestigious private schools.

There’s a time and a place for the shoulder pads, rolled cuffs and high-tops look, and apparently it was 1986. The season’s hottest accessory? Balloons. Lots and lots of balloons.

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