Step back in time and relive the iconic fashion trends of the 80s. From bold colors to exaggerated silhouettes, the 80s brought us some unforgettable styles that continue to inspire and influence fashion today. In this article, we’ll take a trip down memory lane and explore the most memorable fashion trends of the decade.
1. Shoulder Pads
In the ’80s, shoulder pads were essential for fashionable wardrobe statements. From bold power suiting to everyday casual wear, they had enough diversity that almost anyone could incorporate them. But where do shoulder pads come from, and why is it such a lasting trend in fashion?
Shoulder pads have been in fashion since the late 1880s. It was initially used to exaggerate power dressing, adding height and broadening the shoulders to mimic the look of a powerful leader. By the ’80s, they became more diverse and permeated into almost every wardrobe. Shoulder pads were used to accentuate the popular styles of the time, such as sharp suits and floral-patterned sweaters. The word “power” became linked with shoulder pads as they were said to help women feel empowered and express their personalities. Even today, they’re a popular accessory and can be found in almost any designer collection. Shoulder pads will no doubt remain a mainstay in the fashion world for many years to come.
2. Loose-Fit Trousers and Spandex
In the 80s, loose-fit trousers and spandex impacted the fashion scene, making them must-haves for any wardrobe. While some styles have faded away, there are still many trendy trends involving these two clothing articles. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular 80s trends involving loose-fit trousers and spandex.
In the early 80s, women began wearing trousers with a more relaxed and loose fit. These bottoms looks were often paired with slouchy sweaters or fun tees, making an effortless and comfortable look perfect for a day out with friends. Conversely, men’s trousers stuck to traditional shapes and cuts like straight legs and cuffs. Both genders, however, found ways to make this style their own. Loose trousers could be cinched at the waist with a belt and floral patterns, bold stripes, and boxy checks all made appearances on the fashion scene.
In the later 80s, Spandex also crept into the wardrobes of men and women alike. For women, Spandex leggings were a must-have, with common styling pieces including oversized shirts or crop tops. Leggings also led to the invention of ‘bicycling shorts’ that extended beyond the thigh and made great layering pieces. On the men’s side, spandex was popularized by the US Olympic swim team, and through TV shows such as Baywatch and Spandex, bike shorts was soon found in many wardrobes.
Overall, loose-fit trousers and spandex were two of the biggest go-to articles of clothing for both men and women in the 80s. If you want to get a piece of the 80s nostalgia yourself, look for unique floral prints on loose trousers and spandex pieces with fun colors and patterns.
3. Bright Colors
Heading into the 80s, fashion was focused on boldness and individualism. Day-glo clothing revealed the personal style of those who wore them, and bright colors were especially popular during this era. From neon tees and jackets to brightly patterned windbreakers, the 80s were a rainbow of color. Let’s take a look back at the eye-catching hues that ruled the decade.
From the bright neon greens, yellows, and pinks of outdoor jackets to the vibrant purples, blues, and oranges of printed tees, the 80s were known for using bright, bold colors. Sweaters and blazers could be found in various colors, sized up large and slouchy for that signature 80s silhouette. Many liked to layer two different bright colors together, like pairing a neon green blazer with a bright pink t-shirt. Not to forget the other bright colors of the decade, like yellow, coral, and royal blue. Even if you were more conservative with your color choice, there was no shortage of loud and proud hues to choose from.
Leg warmers came in many fun shades like hot pink, orange, and yellow and could be found in fun geometric prints. Flashy flats were often shiny and came in red, silver, and bright pink. Add in some matching bright earrings, and you were sure to be the center of attention.
In 80s fashion, bright colors were a huge part of the decade. From head to toe, neon hues were a popular way to make a statement. From bright leg warmers to neon windbreakers, let the colors of the 80s brighten up your look!
4. Leg Warmers
In the 1980s, leg warmers were a signature fashion trend for both men and women. They came in various shapes, sizes, and colors and were essential to completing any stylish 80s outfit. Today, leg warmers look more like fun accessories than fashionable ones, but they have retained their popularity for various reasons.
Leg warmers provide warmth when the temperature gets cold and can be worn with almost any outfit. They come in various colors and styles, such as knee-highs, mid-calf lengths, ribbed, and lace. Leg warmers can also be made of wool, cotton, and acrylic fabrics. They are easy to style as they can be worn with shorts, jeans, skirts, or dresses and can be paired with other accessories like scarves, hats, and boots. Due to their flexibility and comfort, many consider leg warmers an essential fashion item.
5. Statement Jewelry
The 1980s was the decade of statement jewelry when over-the-top styles with a touch of glamour were popular with many of us! From chunky necklaces, dangly earrings, and glittering brooches to swanky watches and rings, statement jewelry ensured everyone noticed the wearer. Today, the trends of the 80s have had an immense influence on statement jewelry and we’re seeing new and nostalgic styles appear all the time.
Statement jewelry of the 80s was unique in that it was loud, colorful, and eye-catching. Layering lots of bright and bold jewelry was all the rage; the brighter, the better. Metallic chains, oversize beads, and bold stones made for a dazzling, sometimes icy, and sometimes glittery display. Pop culture was highly influential in the jewelry trends of the 80s, and it was common to sport jewelry with images of famous people or logos on them. Some of the most iconic pieces of the time were rhinestone brooches, chains draped with pendants, and bold charms. Big watches were also a major trend, with chunky styles and vintage designs becoming a hit with many. Choker necklaces also became popular with thin statement designs. Today, the statement jewelry of the 80s is making a comeback. People are embracing bold designs again and taking cues from the nostalgia of this era. Retro jewelry pieces mix with modern twists to create stunning and eye-catching looks. There’s never been a better time to start accessorizing with statement jewelry!
Here are some more iconic styles from the decade that were an unforgettable era for fashion lovers:
- Acid Wash Jeans: A Denim Trend That Defined the 80s
- Big Hair: Teasing and Hairspray Galore
- Leather Jackets: Adding a Cool Edge to Any Outfit
- Members Only Jackets: The Iconic 80s Outerwear
- Off-the-Shoulder Tops: Feminine and Flirty
- Fanny Packs: Convenient and Stylish
- High-waisted Jeans: Embracing a Flattering Silhouette
- Ray-Ban Wayfarer Sunglasses: Iconic Eyewear
- Jelly Shoes: Fun and Playful Footwear
- Athletic Wear as Fashion: The Rise of Sportswear
- Metallic Fashion: Shimmering and Eye-Catching
- Scrunchies: Functional Hair Accessories
- Parachute Pants: The Hip-Hop Influence
- Cropped Tops: Showing off the Midriff
- Bomber Jackets: Cool and Trendy Outerwear
- Bold Prints: Embracing Graphic Patterns
- Fishnet Stockings: Adding an Edgy Touch