Clothes of the Eighties, IOU Clothing
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Sex: Female
Type of clothing: Clothing Line
When it was popular: Late 80's-Early 90's
Description: IOU clothing was so funny! First of all, the sweat-shirts always had a pair of jeans displayed together that would match the lettering in them perfectly. I remember having a blue IOU shirt with red letters and a nice red pair of IOU jeans to go along with it. The jeans were usually that really soft combed-cotton.

The funniest thing about this clothing was that when it hit bottom, it hit hard. Anyone wearing IOU clothing after it was "out" was the laughing-stock of the school. Very dramatic fashion moment!

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User Stories and Comments

The following are comments left about IOU Clothing from site visitors such as yourself. They are not spell checked or reviewed for accuracy.

kristie - August 07, 2007 - Report this comment
does anyone know where I can find a few iou shirts? e bay was not succsessful...
Erin - August 15, 2007 - Report this comment
In the early 90s I was in middle school. I loved to save my money but one day I broke down and spent $30 on an IOU sweatshirt. I immediately regretted spending so much on something so frivolous, so I made my mom drive me back to the mall and tearfully tried to return it. They would only issue a store credit so I kept the sweatshirt. It was good quality, but before I knew it IOU was "out" and I couldn't wear it anymore. I learned a valuable lesson about not caring so much about brand names with that sweatshirt!
Dave - August 31, 2007 - Report this comment
I love my IOU shirts even after all these years. I still have a purple T shirt and a couple IOU muscle shirts. They are showing signs of wear and am looking to buy some more. If anyone knows where I can get them, please post the web site.
Angie - October 06, 2007 - Report this comment
IOU and BUM Equipment! i still have a few of these sweatshirts that my mom had kept for all these years
Ray Nash - April 11, 2008 - Report this comment
IOU was the best when I was in high school 87-90 you could get them at Merry-Go-Round and DJ's 2 for $45.00
Johnny K - April 28, 2008 - Report this comment
No, the best was pairing the cardigan style IOU/signature style mock turtleneck with the Z Caricci's/lots of of belt loops or side flap style topped off with a pair of either Zodiac's or Georgio Brutini's slip on shoes with the buckle. Of course, tight-rolled at the bottom. Just the shape of the how the clothing fit on people made them look like walking mannequins. This was an age of true style!!!
david s - July 26, 2008 - Report this comment
Wow....I used to have ALOT of the IOU, BUM, Cavaricci, USED clothing... I worked at one of the stores that sold them, and got HUGE discounts! It was cool for a while, then it did go out of style quickly... and I quickly got rid of all it!! Even though it was quite a bit of $$ I had spent on them!!
Jess - August 27, 2008 - Report this comment
OH MAN! I remember all the cool kids in middle school wore IOU sweatshirts. So I went an bought one in 1992 maybe? But they always had the year on it so you could only wear it for 1 year! I remember it was so expensive (like, $45?) that I tried to wear it all the time but once 1992 was over, i couldn't wear it again!
lori G. - August 28, 2008 - Report this comment
ed h - December 19, 2008 - Report this comment
oh the days, i could go on forever......
tonybirch - April 19, 2009 - Report this comment
I had a few of these. To this Day I still hide my 80's IOU sportin' pics from my friends. There are some styles that should just never come back and this is one of em. I still think their cool and i still like em but I just keep it to myself. Lol.
dwight - March 26, 2010 - Report this comment
i was a manager at two of these stores...what a blast in the "past". i would do it all over again it it presented itself. IOU was never a bad thing. FYI I.O.U. stands/stood for innovative ,original, and unique lol. man it was fun.
James Rotunda - April 17, 2010 - Report this comment
I'm looking to buy vintage, dated, & out-of style men's clothing from the 1980's & early 1990's. I.O.U., Cross Colours, & more! Contact me At
Ray Michael - July 09, 2010 - Report this comment
I'm SO glad that people remember these. I grew up in Chicago and they were the thing to wear. IOU's and Z Cavaricci. Down here in Texas nobody remembers I.O.U.'s.
Kristin - September 23, 2010 - Report this comment
I am in desperate need of an IOU sweatshirt for Halloween. I turn 30 on Halloween and want to relive my younger days. =) I had so many when I was younger, man I regret giving those away. And shaming my mother into giving hers away about 10 years ago. If anyone has a lead or a sweatshirt I can buy, please email me at
ange.O - February 02, 2011 - Report this comment
I so regret getting rid of them gave them to my mom when they went out of style....hmmmm????? i wonder if she still has them.... had one in every color, i wonder what she ever did with them....wish i would of kept them ... boy were they warm!!! Also it would of been a good keep sake for old time memories!!!
Sarah - March 29, 2011 - Report this comment
I I got my I on I got my I O U That was the song i remember from the commercials. I lived in IOU clothing when it was popular but,as already stated,the style died quick. I've yet to see IOU on Ebay.
victor - April 16, 2011 - Report this comment
I'm a freshman in high school and my dad just found a bunch of IOU shirts and sweaters. me and my buddy wore a few of them already. We're bringing them back!!!!!!!!!
Gerald Surratt - June 02, 2012 - Report this comment
I worked for them for 10 years I was the first black male that ran a store in a white mall. I plus the store over 100.00.00 and made it a million dollar store. Then they fired me.It took only two years for the whole company to go out of business. Idid't go out of business I have my own salon today. Thaks for the trainning Merry GO Round. The guys at the top stole the money and sniff it up.
CAROLYN - June 07, 2012 - Report this comment
There is a nice looking Stonewashed black Jeans jacket on Ebay today.
Carolyn - June 07, 2012 - Report this comment
WOW........I never caired if other kids thought I was "In fashion ") or not! IF I liked it and it looked good on me I went out in it ! I Was an INDIVIDUAL.......never followed the crowd or cared if they though I was " Cool " or not and that in itself made me popular , even with the "in Kids" You want style........I.O.U. Jacket on Ebay now ! may not "Be in style at this time". sooo.....never mind !
johnboy - August 04, 2012 - Report this comment
I remember the tag in my IOU sweatshirt said, "for best results, machine wash warm, tumble dry. For not-so-good results, drag behind horse through mud puddles, drip sry on roof rack." ;)
Jerrid - December 20, 2012 - Report this comment
Im 37 and i remeber these cloths like it was yesterday. I would so sport some good I.O.U cloths right now. I mean c'mon seriously? I wear what (I) want because it's comfy. At what age does caring about what others opinions about what we wear even matter anymore? It mattered what was "in" or "out" maybe back in the 90's. Its 2012! Bring back Starter and Boss jeans. Remember Cross Colors lol When you're 37, jeans are jeans!
Oz - January 17, 2013 - Report this comment
We have one I.O.U. Sweatshirt available in a large in great condition. You can email for more information reference this post! We have not posted it to sell yet!
Muhammad jaber - January 08, 2014 - Report this comment
I still have my I.O.U leather jacket from the early 90's
Joe Feldkamp - January 26, 2014 - Report this comment
When my Mom started buying me IOU clothing in the late 80's, early 90's I think they we're the best made clothing around. 25 years later, I'm still wearing the Sweatshirts!!! If anyone knows of a store that still sells IOU clothing, would you please send a message to Joe @ Thank you...Joe F.
Beth - January 26, 2014 - Report this comment
I am in my 40's and recently found a couple of my IOU sweatshirts that I put away years ago. They r in perfect condition and fit perfectly. I am thrilled!
dee - April 14, 2014 - Report this comment
All across America, I- O -U!! I-I-I-I O-O-O-O U-O-O-O O-O-O All across America, I- O -U!! That's the jingle I remember!
MGRE® - August 08, 2014 - Report this comment
I∙O∙U was a private label line of clothes for MGRE Stores. IOU was an acronym for Innovative Original & Unique. The clothing line, died with Chapter∙13 of MGRE Stores in 1996 Circa. MGRE; Merry-Go-Round, DJ's & Attivô,and other stores MGRE bought out & added to the fold. NetWorks, Silvemans, etc... What killed MGRE was when the bought out Chest King out of pride (when from 1,000 stores to 1,500 stores over night) and the chocked trying to eat them. It was too big of a buyout, lot of money when into getting them up to date with Computer system (Registers & Credit card∙Check readers etc...) aka with IT of mid 1990's. Chest King still had pay-phones in there store ‼ (that is how analog Chest King was) Late 1990's was the death of a lot of Big Retailers. MGRE & Edison Brother Stores just to name a few.
Dave - March 19, 2015 - Report this comment
Funny that Dee said something about the jingle....I found a clear flexible 45 in my stuff and put it on my turntable. Never heard of because I was in the army and was not into what was "IN". I have the flexi if anyone is interested find me on facebook in Buffalo.
constance fishel - August 03, 2015 - Report this comment
I am not for sure if i should hang on to my purple IOU jacket or to sell it. The front has american classic emblem it also has the words fashion legendary concepts and the back has the same statement just very large letters,the size is XL very good condition. My e-mail address is as follows you
Billy Worth - May 26, 2016 - Report this comment
I will never forget I.O.U. clothing! I was an I.O.U. freak back in the day... I had the jeans, the sweatshirts even the rare and expensive long sleeve silk shirts. I even had a crazy expensive $300 black and white leather I.O.U. jacket that I wore everywhere. Friday and Saturday nights at the mall were the best!
Chris Balfer - May 03, 2017 - Report this comment
I had a beautiful red and black IOU jacket in high school. I paid a couple of hundred bucks for it. I loved that jacket and kept it for years. I would probably still have it today, but got married and divorced and ex-wife took it with her. I saw her again but she had lost the jacket . I wish I had it back.
Tony Steel - May 06, 2017 - Report this comment
Besides the clothing, who remembers the 45 rpm that came with the promotional introduction? I still have that to date. And it still plays! LOL..!!

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