Throwback: The most unusual and expensive gifts of the 1980 holiday season

Posted at 2:20 PM, Dec 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-23 14:20:19-05

INDIANAPOLIS — For many, holiday shopping looks a little different this year. Browsing in-stores has given way to browsing online. But in 1980, the in-store shopping experience was everything.

Former WRTV consumer reporter Barbara Boyd went in search of the most unusual and expensive gifts 1980 had to offer. Boyd’s first stop was at a fashion boutique called Collection 94.

Up first was a two-piece suede tuxedo suit trimmed in lizard, yes lizard. It came in various colors including camel, wine, black, and a luscious shade of mauve. Boyd noted the pencil-slim pants hugged the legs tightly while the jacket flowed freely. For a little more than $575, it was the perfect outfit for sashaying to all of your holiday parties.

Another outfit for sale at Collection 94 was a puffy coat from Norma Kamali.

The oversized down wraparound coat came in several bright colors including a purple and red combo. It also came with a matching muff for just $285.

A $300 envelope purse made of suede snakeskin and leather was the perfect gift for the fashionista in your life.

For folks in search of gifts for the home, there was the John Simmons shop at Keystone at the Crossing.

The store featured sculptures and elegant table settings including a table fiberglass unicorn centerpiece for $500. If you didn’t want to use your unicorn as a centerpiece, you could place it outdoors by the pool or patio.

Boyd reported unicorns were popular because more mythology was being studied in schools at the time.

If mythology wasn’t your thing, perhaps you would be interested in a $200 solid brass wine cooler in the shape of a shell? It also could double as a flower vase!

The children in your life could easily be entertained with caterpillar and cat sleeping bags for $75 each or a wide array of solar-powered toys.

The John Simmons shop also had gadgets for the kitchen including a pasta maker and onion goggles, which one would presume offered the same protection as regular goggles.