Oversized Shirts in the 80s – The Bigger the Better

Remember Flashdance? Ahhh, yes. Good memories of Jennifer Beals welding by day and dancing by night. Besides being a wildly popular movie and soundtrack of the 80s, the movie sparked a range of fashion styles we now associate with the 80s. Leg warmers, high heels with spandex and oversized sweatshirts just to name a few.

The Oversized Sweatshirt

On the cover of every cassette player was a picture of Jennifer’s character in an oversized sweatshirt. One sleeve hung off the shoulder. Girls, and guys to a lesser extent, copied this look for years. An oversized sweatshirt, with or without the sleeves, was worn over a bra, tank top or smaller shirt. The ensemble was then paired with spandex pants (leggings), really tight jeans or a mini skirt.

The oversized sweatshirts came with any print imaginable on them. Colleges even began adopting the new styles, and put their logo on the oversized duds. When the neon craze hit, sweatshirts were ready to adopt them too. Fluorescent colors were often times seen over a black pair of spandex or jeans.

oversized shirts of the 80sNot Just for Sweatshirts

The oversized shirts also moved into button down styles. If sweatshirts could be made big enough to fit over spandex, surely button down shirts could too! Shirts weren’t made for tucking in anymore and they got longer. And dressier, often elevated with some bodacious shoulder pads. Silky shirts could now go over leggings and be worn to church. It wasn’t unusual to see shirts hang down to the knees on a woman. Break it up with a low slung, wide belt and you were 80s to the max!

The oversized shirt rage was popular with young and old. It covered skinny figures as well as voluptuous ones all the same. They were comfortable to wear any time of the day to go anyplace you wanted. Oversized sweatshirts are still worn on occasion, but not with the gaudy prints or bright colors.

UPDATE: 02.20.09 – We at Like Totally 80s just re-viewed the really great video for Head Over Heels by the Go-Gos (prompted by Belinda’s upcoming appearance on Dancing with the Stars). She is sporting the all-time best 80s outfit in this video, including an over-sized-off-the-shoulder gray sweatshirt. Also, her 80s dance moves are perfect! Check it out > Go-Gos Head Over Heels

To create the perfect 80s Flashdance look, try the Oversized Sweatshirt by 80stees.com.

Author: Pia Sooney

Just a little obsessed with all things 80s, Pia still has her Swatch, her cassette tape collection, and her Converse Chucks. When not making friendship pins or listening to Depeche Mode, she runs a web design business.

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