1980’s fashion was big, it was bright, and it was loud! If you were around in the 1980’s then you might have worn some very large tops, perhaps some huge earrings (even if you’re a man), and had larger than life hair, and chances are you would have felt good about it too.
Why 80’s Style Was So Cool
When we look back at 1980’s fashion, it’s clear to see that when it came to 80’s style it was all about making a statement. Whether that was wearing the biggest pair of shoulder pads you could find, rocking a huge oversized slogan t-shirt, or perhaps something bright neon to get noticed. This is what 80’s fashion was, and it was a decade that still influences how we dress even decades later.
With a huge emphasis on aggressive clothes and iconic accessories, the 80’s is a decade that’s not likely to be forgotten in the fashion industry. With TV shows such as Dynasty making such an impact on what people wore in the 1980s, it was no wonder the clothes, the make-up, and the hair styles became so popular.
Making A Statement
If you wanted to make a statement through your clothing in the 1980’s you had a lot of choices. Clothes were large, bright and expensive, but they also looked like nothing you had ever seen before.
Fashion in the 1980s was all about making a statement, and you often made that statement with neon clothes which let the world knew that you were hip and trendy. Something neon green or bright orange made you stand out in a crowd, and being bold was something 80s fashion was all about.
In fact if you weren’t fond of the bright colors and gaudy designs of 80s fashion, you probably fell on the other end of the spectrum with the subtle “I’m better than you” preppy look that was also quite popular during the 1980s.
It’s All About The Accessories
There were also must-have 80s accessories that were key to being en vogue. Huge shoulder pads let people know you were serious, they told them you meant business, and it wasn’t uncommon for people to wear two pairs of shoulder pads at any one time.
80’s Fashion Trend: Shoulder Pads
Another 80s fashion must have accessory for the ladies were large and often gaudy earrings. Wearing huge earrings meant you had status and you wanted to be noticed. Some were so large they were nicknamed ‘Door knockers’ and would be so big they were shoulder length.
80’s Fashion Trend: Big Earrings
Another popular 1980s fashion accessory were fingerless gloves. These gloves became increasingly popular thanks to the large number of pop and punk stars who were seen to be wearing them in fashion shoots. Music icons like Michael Jackson and Madonna were just the tip of the iceberg when it came to celebrities that rocked them during the 1980s, so it’s not surprising that they became trendy amongst the youth as a must have 80s fashion accessory.
80’s Fashion Trend: Fingerless Gloves
And of course your 80s fashion outfit wouldn’t be complete without a cool set of sunglasses. When it came to 80s style, there was nothing more iconic than a fresh set of Ray-Ban Sunglasses (either Wayfarers or Aviators) that were all the rage. Celebrities like Tom Cruise wore them in legendary 1980s movies like “Risky Business” and “Top Gun” and they would instantly become an 80s fashion classic.
More Men’s 80s Fashion Trends
It wasn’t just tops and accessories that made 1980s fashion so popular, that era of fashion went all the way down from your head to your toes.
Parachute pants were big, they were baggy and they were what you had to wear if you wanted to dance and move easily. They came in many different colors and even had fake zippers and pockets that added something special to the outfit.
80’s Fashion Trend: Parachute Pants
Zubaz pants was also a thing due to their popularity amongst the fitness and pro-athlete community. The 1980s was the heyday of big muscle movie stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, and people were starting to take notice of bodybuilding and the fashion that came along with that lifestyle.
Another popular 80s fashion trend were the hugely popular Members Only Jackets. If you had one of these, people knew you were serious when it came to your clothing. It gave the wearer status as the jackets were far from cheap.
80’s Fashion Trend: Members Only Jackets
More Women’s 80s Fashion Trends
And lets not forget every hip woman’s 1980’s fashion go-to leg warmers that despite looking odd today, was quite common to see anywhere from the gym or at the mall.
Don’t Forget The Epic 1980’s Hairstyles!
Just as iconic as the clothing were the hairstyles of the 1980s. Big hair was all the rage among women, and it wasn’t uncommon for women to sport puffed-up hair styles that were almost as wide as their shoulders. Women spent millions of dollars on hair products of the 1980s like Aqua Net and Mousse to create larger than life hairstyles that could withstand hurricane force winds!
Men also had tons of mullet variations to choose from as well, and rock icons like Jon Bon Jovi also made “Big Hair” a thing. It was clear the 1980’s was a decade where ‘The bigger the better’ was king, and it was easy for men and women everywhere to follow these fashions and feel good about themselves.
Men Also Rocked Big Hair In The 1980s
However no discussion of 1980s hairstyles would be complete without mentioning the Jheri Curl and all it’s glistening glory. This hairstyle was popular in the black community, and was rocked by prominent black celebrities like Michael Jackson and also featured in hit 80s movies like “Coming To America” where Eric LaSalle’s character sported the style for millions to see.
So Is 80’s Fashion Coming Back?
From time to time we all spot 80’s clothing in a high street clothing store, or on a catwalk model, but while this style of clothing is not as big as it once was, it is making somewhat of a comeback.
Because we now love all-things retro, more and more people are finding an appreciation for 80’s fashion, which means those huge earrings, big tops, leg warmers, Members Only Jackets and shoulder pads could find their way into your wardrobe once more.
Also more and more people are beginning to throw 80’s theme parties and events, and 80’s fashion is always popular during the Halloween season. So if it’s 80’s fashion tips you’re after, please check out the rest of this site for more in depth information on 80’s style as well as the rich culture that was in our opinion the greatest decade of the 20th century.