Fashion in the 80s was all dramatic, from the hair and makeup, clothing, and shoes. Everything was supposed to be eye-catching, glamorous, and bold. But that is just how the people from the 80s exudes self-confidence and shows personality.
Read on and find out what else we can learn about fashion in the 80s.
Why Did They Wear Shoulder Pads?
They wore shoulder pads in the eighties for different reasons. One is to look professional since it is the easiest way to get the look than getting a blazer to complement the entire appearance. Usually, shoulder pads were made to be bigger and can be detached or attached to the blouse, shirt, or any tops during that era. Many women want thicker pads as it doubly enhances the shape of their shoulders.
It is also one way for women to have that broad-shouldered look than shoulders that droops.
Why Did They Wear Bold Pieces of Jewelry?
It was also an in-thing during those days. Silver chains and gold chains that are overly large and noticeable. Some people also have it personalized with their initials using big letters. Making these pieces of jewelry heavy to those who wear it.
Known personalities have started the trend then, it must be a successful fashion trend that soon enough, upcoming rappers and singers pick up the style.
Why Did They Wear Neon?
There is just no way for you to not wear neon during the 80s. There are distinct styles from clothing to accessories. Neon orange, pink, green was everywhere. Women would wear a neon shirt, pants, shoes, and skirt. Would pair it with neon bags even neon-colored nails. There were just too many ways the neon color was used then.
In the department stores, you will see the mannequins wearing neon dresses and there was just no escaping the trend.
Did they Lace It Up?
It was the iconic Madonna who started the Lace Trend in the 80s; it is just how Madonna dresses. She gained notoriety for sexy dressing in those days. But that’s why she is still an unforgettable figure today- well, for all of us who witness her popularity back then.
Mickey Mouse logo is a trademark and was considered popular in the 80s. Shirts with a big Mickey Mouse design was the thing then. That when it appeared it was only after a while the Mickey Mouse logo was on everything, from sweatshirts, long tees even as a design for denim jackets. There was no age limit to Mickey Mouse fashion then, old and young alike were able to use it.
Well, geeky sunglasses aren’t just for geeks during those days. It was a popular fashion for some women. It was usual for them to be seen wearing one. It is not usual to see someone wearing this type of sunglasses today because of the emergence of contact lenses.
In the 80s, there was this popular singer named MC Hammer, and they always saw him wearing loose pants with drop-crotch style or what we call as harem pants. He popularized the fashion that the looser you wear it, the more fashionable you are.
They wore polka pattern in the 80s. It was so popular that you can see shirts, blouses, and skirts printed in polka dots. Sometimes it was worn with a red plain skirt with a polka dot shirt or blouse or vice versa. White-colored pants paired with a red blouse with black polka dot were usually seen during those days. There were many colors of polka dots to choose from and you won’t tire of wearing each of it every day.
The vinyl coat was a familiar trend that the popular supermodels originally wore back in the 80s. Cindy Crawford made the fashion statement when she wore one during a tv interview in the 80s.
It is making a comeback nowadays, but in the 80s it was part of the ensemble. Many people then are into wearing belt bags with jeans, even with their dresses. It is for convenience besides fashion for others.
It is mostly an advantage for tourists in the 80s and joggers or cyclists who are just busy to hold their purses or things. Even those who were shopping have used one for ease.
Having a belt bag just makes their lives convenient in those days.
THE BIGGER THE BETTER
Blouses with buttons, and mind you – not just the usual-sized buttons, but big buttons, and some were not of the same color with their shirt or their dress. The aim is to use it to design clothes and not just to button them. You will see it attached to the front of long skirts, dresses or shirts.
Gold buttons or silver buttons were the most popular. But there are also different colors such as beige, white, black, or even red among others.
It is also popularized by the iconic Madonna when she used a big bow to wrap around her hair and soon after, everyone was on her heels following the trend. It wasn’t too girlie during those days to wear enormous bows to enhance your waist.
When you put on a long dress and pair it with a big bow to serve as a belt, it complements the getup. A big bow was used to design your plain dress. It was just used everywhere back then. From bags to shoes, to items of clothing and hair accessory.
Mostly seen in metallic pants, jackets, bags, and shoes. It was shiny, trendy, and eye-catching all at the same time. Metallic pants were usually paired with a simple top to complement the look.
BAGGY CROPPED TROUSERS
It was more of a high waist with a loose-fitting design of jeans or any pants, sometimes also called Highwater pants.
Wide and thick belts with big and elaborate buckles were more than popular in those days. It was worn by women going to the office, worn by those going to parties, those going to the mall, and want to have a cool get up. Some use it on their waist or the hips. It is used to loose-fitting dresses or long shirts.
It was popularized by Bruce Springsteen and Olivia Newton-John back in the day. Both an iconic figure of the 80s and they have paved the way for terry cloth headbands. It was not just used for hair accessory while exercising and during sports to tame hair, but it has developed into a fashion ornament.
It’s not enough for gold jewelry in those days. It just doesn’t cut it for others. There are far more popular than gold pieces of jewelry and they are large fashion jewelry accessories. A dangling earring, a long necklace, and many bracelets on the wrist were the distinctive look some people go for during those days.
The more bracelets they wear, the more fashionable they are. They use it in five, eight, twelve, or more. The sound it makes when worn on your wrist is the key to being fashionable then. The necklace should be long, and they can wear three necklaces all at the same time. While the longer the earrings, the more beautiful it’s supposed to be.
Women who are working or going to a meeting, party, or even a big gathering where they will need to mingle with guests and such mostly wore this style of dressing. This hints of fashion with a touch of seriousness to the people who wear it.
HIGH UP JEANS
Tight-fitting and high-waisted are the jeans to wear in the 80s. Men usually go for this look as well during those days. It gives them a manly look and somewhat gives a sense of machismo to those who wear it. The iconic personality who used to wear it was Freddie Mercury. Tight-fitting jeans with a white sleeveless shirt.
NOT WITHOUT A TOTE BAG
It was the in-thing as well in those days. Not just used for teenagers, but all women alike. It is just comfortable to use and fashionable with all the big colorful designs available in the market. Women bring it with them to the mall, even to the office because of its casual style that can go with any style of clothing.
Tracksuits also got popularized in the 80s. Not just as workout wear but became a fashion statement. Different patterns to choose from as well as different colors were available for their selections. Neon colors were also available. Cool kids who started the fashion statement was a popular singing group and one rapper.
If you are wearing one in those days, you are one of the fashionable people.
COCA-COLA IS IN
Who doesn’t love Coca-Cola? It is a go-to-drink for some who want to add some perk to their day. Back in the 80s, they added it as a fashion statement. It was just everywhere from shirts, sweatshirts, bags, caps, etc. It was so popular then that even if you are not drinking soda, you may still wear clothes with said logo.
Everything that was worn in those days just has to have logos and not just your simple, small ones but logos that are big and eye-catching. Logos from the famous brand can be found everywhere. Tommy, Polo by Ralph, Guess, etc. among others are the popular logos you can find on shirts, caps, bags, shoes, and so forth.
It was like a status symbol as well in those days. If you can buy the original branded shirt, then you are one of the in-crowds.
Women in the 80s just got to have a dress with ruffles. Even if you are just a simple person back then, it is still a must for you to get one. They were fashionable when worn and will attain the look of the power women that makes the wearer stand out in the crowd.
Most of the younger generations during their prom dance would wear ruffled dresses. It was eye-catching and usually had to do beautifully.
Usually, it was paired with high heels, lots of accessories, and the right hairstyle.
We can also find shirts that are puffed and ruffled back then. It looks so feminine and some women or girls can get away with wearing it all the time.
Women can wear tiny or miniskirts in those days. They just pair it with tights or sometimes use jeans under it.
The tighter it is and the shorter the size, the better. There were some colored miniskirts and acid-wash design.
FASHIONABLE ANIMAL PRINTS
It was not much regulated during those days and most women wore clothes with animal prints and have worn it proudly. They also have bags and shoes to go with the clothes they wear. Some prints were of zebra, giraffe, cheetah, leopard, snake, and even alligator print.
And it is not just women who wore it in the days, but men were also in on the trend.
Today, you will be ridiculed if you wore something like it. It is no longer popular nowadays.
DARK RAYBANS OR DARK SUNGLASSES
Ray-ban was the in-thing then. Tom Cruise popularized it during those days with his more popular films. Everyone was inspired to have a pair back then.
POWER JACKETS/MILITARY STYLE
Jackets that have military-style accessories were also popularized in those days. A leather jacket with chains of silver was also in demand then.
What would fashion be without Madonna? She started many trends in the 80s from her hair, clothes, makeup to her shoes.
When you say dress up like Madonna, you would mostly wear a leather jacket with a lace undershirt, you would also wear heeled shoes, a ruffle skirt that may be black or white or beige.
Dressing up like Madonna also means you have to put on bright makeup and smoky eyes and thick eyebrows. There should be long, layered necklaces, and other blings to complete the look. Let us not forget the big hair with big black bows.
CINDY LAUPER STYLE
Dressing up as Cindy. When you say to dress up as Cindy Lauper only means you have to dress up boldly. Cindy always wears clothes that are a standout in color and style. Her hair is of a unique color, teased and filled with aerosol hair spray.
She always has a colorful dress on with big belts, or chains used as a belt. She mostly has unique styles of bracelets, and dangling earrings and shoes were also colorful. Her styles are mostly unconventional ones.
In the 80s there was a popular tv drama. It was there that another fashion emerges. It was there where big hairstyles started. Padded shoulders and the wearing of bold patterns were her fashion statement. Her makeup was also something that was copied. Her power suits were also something to be admired and thus were also followed by women working in the office during that time.
BOY GEORGE GET UP
He was known for wearing makeup in those days. Not just the usual makeup but a colorful one. He also has a well-lined eyebrow and thick blush on. He was a fancy dresser with a hairstyle of his own.
It wasn’t followed much though in those days as it is still something of a no-no for men to wear full makeup.
PEARLS ARE IN
Pearl necklace also emerges as one of the fashion statements in the 80s. Most of the women who use pearl earrings, necklaces, and bracelets were mostly office workers, mothers, and some girls who were attending their prom.
It wasn’t just discovered today that see-through clothes were fashionable to wear. It was in the 80s when sheer dresses started rolling out. It was originally worn by Kim Basinger, and she has worn it with such class.
It also made its reappearance in 2019 but also disappeared quickly.
It was in the 80s that fitness attire started getting noticed. There were leg warmers, leotards, and different sports clothing that was making its name in that era. But it wasn’t just used in the gym but they used it for fashion and became part of everyday get up for many people young and old alike.
THE FLASHDANCE HYPE
The fashion statement comprises big sweatshirts over a tank top and was worn off one shoulder where the other shoulder is exposed. Sweatshirts were of different colors.
WOMAN HAS THE POWER
Women were also used to wearing a tailored suit with padded shoulders, most especially when they are applying for a job. Mostly worn with a miniskirt or skirt extending to the knee and paired with a blouse and some fancy fashion jewelry and high-heeled shoes to complete the look.
Sequins just reflect lights when used as a decorative for your clothes or gowns. It is also a must-have in your wardrobe during those days. They mostly use sequins in sweaters, designs in shirts, used for hair accessories, and gowns. You can see it worn by most women, both young and adult.
It was very popular in those days and made by Ralph Lauren, Guess, and Gap among others. They usually use it with a shirt or a short dress and partnered with a denim jacket, others would like to pair it with jeans, or a plain shirt.
It is a must, to have one during the 80s, and everyone has one or two denim jackets in their closet.
It wasn’t a recent discovery but an 80s thing. Jelly shoes have been around for decades because of its comfortability. It was also inexpensive, and everyone can easily afford to buy one of those.
T-shirts are easy to wear and easy to pair with any other clothing. You can wear them with jeans, skirts or even shorts. In the 80s though, it was also a tool to make the voices of others be heard. There were prints on shirts with slogans. Thereafter, big companies started picking up on the trend and started using their logos on the shirts and it became a big hit back then.
There were printed logos of big companies or big bold letters attached to it or some used prints using pastel colors.
ACID WASH JEANS
Jeans were the in-thing in the 80s, but mostly jeans that are acid washed. It was popular then that even the denim jacket was also acid-washed to complement the acid-washed jeans.
Skin-tight leggings started back in the 80s. It was a necessity then to have one. It was easy to wear, easy to wash, and goes with any other clothing you have. Some women even pair it with a long shirt or loose sweatshirt and they are ready to go.
Distressed look. It is because of heavy metal bands that were so popular during those days that they gave rise to distressed jeans. Usually, their pants were ripped but have logos of popular clothing companies like Levi, Ralph Lauren, and Guess, etc.
Some call this fashion as the grunge look, as there were rips and slashes in their clothing to make it look fashionable.
Are also men’s wardrobe staples in the 80s. They used some slogans or logos or patterns on the men’s shirt. There were also muscle t-shirts that fit the user perfectly to show off his toned body.
If there were events in those days, you would frequently see men wearing polo shirts. We do not consider it informal wear during those days because there is a collar. Most of the popular clothing brands who specialized in polo shirts are Polo by Ralph Lauren, Adidas, Benetton, etc.
It is now called board shorts, and it is a Hawaii inspired prints. It was called Jams in the 80s and was worn for beachwear and a casual day out with friends.
The most used shoes in those days for men. It was so popular that when you are wearing one; they consider you one of the in-crowds or you have money to spend. Most men use their penny loafers without socks.
It was already a sign of affluence in those days. Today, wearing original Gucci means you also can shell out extra money. The Gucci sweatshirt became popular as the design was comfortable and it is easy to wear. They can pair it with any pants and will still look elegant when worn.
Because of Tom Cruise’s popularity after the Top Gun release, the jacket he has worn in the movie became such a hit. The bomber jacket hit it big from men of all ages. Men in military service used it, but after the movie, almost everyone wanted to get their hands on one.
COLOR IT UP
The colored shirt became a hit as well in that era. Men would spray paint their shirts using different colors, some would even add designs to go with the shirt. Spray paint was also a hit because of the demand for spray paint during those days.
The sharp and serious look. Men would also wear blazers and an office jacket with wide shoulders. Usually, they choose black colors to give the effect of authority. It was a staple to have in their wardrobe in the past, most especially for men in the business and office work.
Children can get away with wearing any color. They are lucky that colorful fashion was the in-thing in that era. Girls would usually wear layered socks, most especially socks that have lace edgings. They would often choose neon colored socks as it is more popular, after that they would wear it with shoes with heels and that is their fashion statement.
MESH IT UP LIKE MADONNA
Again, with the enormous influence of Madonna that encompasses any age. Layered shirts can be with or without ruffles or bodysuit was mostly the choice for kids during those days.
Children in those days can easily get away with wearing socks with lace, shirts with lace, pants with lace, etc. They can even wear dresses with lace, with accompanying gloves to match the outfit. As long as they can use it, children will wear them.
Girls often wear miniskirts and there was one they always wear which was called “skort” or skirt short. Mostly made of denim or any fabric that is of suitable materials.
As with the other adults, children also have their chance of wearing a denim jacket in those days. It is very popular for all ages. It is very versatile to use as well. Kids will have it worn with a bodysuit as well or any shirt, paired with their short skirt or miniskirts.
Boys, on the other hand, also had their chance of wearing a denim jacket. You are not an 80s kid if you haven’t worn one.
They made girls in those days to wear tights. It is paired with the miniskirt and plain shirt, or any shirt with ruffles to complete the look.
They made boys and girls wear neon clothing. It was very popular that if you are wearing one; you are the in-crowd. Kids were easier to dress up with colorful clothing whether it is neon or not.