Flashback to the 80s: A Fun Dive into Iconic Fashion Trends

If you’ve ever wondered about the fashion choices of the 80s, you’re in for a treat. In this blog post, we’ll take a fun and relaxed look at the fashion trends that defined the 80s. We’ll explore everything from the iconic looks seen in music videos to the everyday wear that became a part of popular culture. 

And if you find yourself needing to write a detailed analysis or paper on this topic, remember you can always get an excellent assignment done by paper writing service WritePaper to help you out. Let’s dive into the neon-colored, big-haired world of 80s fashion!


Neon Colors and Bold Patterns

Bright and Bold

One of the most distinctive features of 80s fashion was the use of neon colors. Bright pinks, electric blues, and vivid greens dominated wardrobes. These eye-catching hues were often paired with equally bold patterns, creating looks that were impossible to ignore. Whether it was a neon windbreaker or a pair of vibrant leggings, these colors embodied the energetic spirit of the decade.

Patterns Galore

Alongside neon colors, bold patterns were a hallmark of 80s fashion. Geometric shapes, animal prints, and abstract designs were all the rage. These patterns often clashed in a delightful way, reflecting the decade’s embrace of maximalism. Mixing and matching different prints and textures was not just acceptable; it was encouraged.

Accessories with Attitude

No 80s outfit was complete without the right accessories. Chunky jewelry, oversized belts, and statement sunglasses were essential. These accessories were often just as bright and bold as the clothing, adding an extra layer of flair to any outfit. Think giant hoop earrings, layered necklaces, and colorful bangles stacked high!


Iconic Fashion Pieces

The Power Suit

The 80s were a time of empowerment, especially for women entering the corporate world. The power suit became a symbol of this new era. Characterized by its sharp lines, shoulder pads, and bold colors, the power suit was all about making a statement. Women’s suits often featured oversized blazers and high-waisted trousers, exuding confidence and authority.

Leg Warmers and Workout Gear

Inspired by the aerobics craze, leg warmers became a must-have accessory. Often worn over leggings, these cozy accessories were popularized by movies like “Flashdance” and TV workout programs. Alongside leg warmers, spandex workout gear in neon colors became a staple, reflecting the decade’s obsession with fitness and health.

Denim on Denim

Denim was everywhere in the 80s. Double denim, also known as the “Canadian tuxedo,” became a popular look. Denim jackets, jeans, and even denim skirts were often worn together, creating a rugged yet stylish appearance. Acid-washed and ripped denim added an edgy touch to this classic fabric.

Pop Culture Influences

Music Videos and Pop Stars

The launch of MTV in 1981 had a profound impact on fashion. Music videos brought the latest trends directly into homes, making pop stars like Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Prince fashion icons. Madonna’s eclectic and daring style, featuring lace gloves, corsets, and layered necklaces, inspired countless fans. Michael Jackson’s red leather jacket from the “Thriller” video became an iconic piece, while Prince’s flamboyant outfits set new standards for stage wear.

Movie Magic

Movies also played a significant role in shaping 80s fashion. Films like “The Breakfast Club,” “Back to the Future,” and “Pretty in Pink” showcased the diverse styles of the decade. From Molly Ringwald’s preppy chic to Marty McFly’s futuristic sneakers, these movies influenced how people dressed and expressed themselves.


TV Shows

Television shows like “Dynasty” and “Miami Vice” brought high fashion to the small screen. “Dynasty” was known for its glamorous outfits, featuring extravagant gowns and luxurious fabrics. “Miami Vice,” on the other hand, popularized pastel-colored suits and casual chic looks, making fashion accessible and aspirational.

Everyday 80s Style

Casual Cool

Casual fashion in the 80s was all about comfort and style. Baggy sweatshirts, often adorned with logos or bold graphics, were a popular choice. High-waisted jeans, both in denim and other fabrics, were paired with crop tops or oversized shirts. Sneakers, especially brands like Nike and Reebok, completed the laid-back look.

Preppy Aesthetic

The preppy look was another dominant style, characterized by clean lines and classic pieces. Polo shirts, khakis, and loafers were staples of this trend. Brands like Ralph Lauren and Lacoste became synonymous with the preppy aesthetic, which was all about looking polished and put-together.

Punk and Rocker Vibes

For those who preferred an edgier look, punk fashion was the way to go. This style featured leather jackets, band t-shirts, and lots of studs and spikes. Hair was often dyed in vibrant colors and styled into mohawks or teased into big, wild shapes. Punk fashion was about rebellion and making a bold statement.

Fashion That Stands the Test of Time

Timeless Trends

While some 80s trends may seem over-the-top today, many have stood the test of time. The power suit, for instance, has evolved but remains a symbol of confidence and professionalism. Denim continues to be a wardrobe staple and bold patterns are regularly seen on runways.

Modern Revivals

Fashion is cyclical, and many 80s trends have made comebacks in recent years. Neon colors, once thought to be a thing of the past, have reappeared in modern collections. High-waisted jeans and crop tops have also returned, proving that the 80s influence is still alive and well.

DIY Fashion

The 80s were also a time of DIY fashion, with people customizing their clothes to reflect their personal style. From cutting and distressing jeans to adding patches and pins, DIY fashion was a way to stand out. This trend has also seen a revival, with people upcycling and personalizing their clothes to create unique looks.

Final Thoughts

As we look back on the vibrant and eclectic styles of the 80s, it’s clear that this decade left a lasting legacy in the world of fashion. So, embrace the spirit of the 80s, experiment with bold looks, and, most importantly, have fun with your style!

The world of fashion is all about expressing yourself, and there’s no better way to do that than by taking a cue from one of the most colorful decades in history.

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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