As far as fashion goes, no
decade is quite as no-no-notorious as the 80s. After all, in
what other decade could you get away with wearing skin-tight
pants one day and baggy “MC Hammer” pants the next? During what
other time period could you wear leg warmers, a sweater and a
miniskirt all at the same time (and in electric neon colors)?
Take a walk down memory lane. Here are the top 10 80s fashion
fads we used to love.
In all of these fads, color was
the order of the day. The drab
khakis, white and black of the
90s do not apply. Big color and color mixed in unusual ways
(say, bright yellow with red) were considered totally tubular –
to the max.
Let us here from you. Do
you agree with our top 10? Did we miss your favorite 80s
fashion trend? Tell us on
pads may very well be the worst of the top 10 80s fashion fads. In fact,
our online polls on this site indicate that you agree with that
assessment, with an overwhelming majority of our site visitors rating
shoulder pads as the worst of the fashions of the 1980s. Why on
earth did we want to make our shoulders look bigger? I can’t quite
remember. Maybe it had something to do with woman's lib and the
assertion of power that women were beginning to have in the work place? Rank speculation. Whatever the reason, we wore shoulder pads often and
we did so with pride. The second picture below is a beautiful
example of shoulder pads in action. Between her totally bitchin'
feathered hair and the awesome oversized jacket with shoulder pads to
the heavens, this 80s babe had it going on.
The shorter the better ... women and girls loved miniskirts. Denim was the
most popular, but miniskirts were made in a number of other materials
including knit and leather. These were often paired with leggings.
This particular look has made a big comeback recently. The only
people who weren’t wearing miniskirts in the 80s were men (ok, well some
did) and elderly women.
Another of one of the top 10 80s fashion fads that didn’t make a lot of
sense was that of
Maybe we all had really cold legs because of the miniskirts we wore or
maybe we just thought they looked cute. Whatever our reasoning was at
the time, at least one or two pairs of leg warmers could be found in
every girl’s dresser.
You know how cute Christmas ornaments look on a tree? During the 80s we
thought the same would apply to our ears. Huge earrings from various
costume jewelry collections were all the rage and if your earrings
didn’t touch your shoulder, they weren’t big enough.
Fingerless gloves were another odd 80s fashion fad, and it seems to be
coming back into style. From romance enthusiasts to punk-rock fans,
fingerless gloves were popular with quite a variety of 80s genres.
The fingerless gloves are forever interconnected with Madonna's look in
the mid-80s in her boy toy phase. Click here to learn more about
the Madonna look.
Oh yes… and then there were
pants. They started off skin tight and ended up baggier than a
potato sack. Parachute pants may very well be the one piece of clothing
that can sum up the ridiculousness of the top 10 80s fashion fads.
Members Only Jackets
Who didn’t want a
Members Only jacket in the 80s? If you didn’t have one, you were
instantly labeled a dork and you could forget about getting in with the
“in” crowd. Members Only jackets were all the rage, and imitations were
A one-size-fits-all clothing store featuring knit skirts, shirts, belts
and leggings in coordinating colors. The clothes were sold in UNITS
boutiques located in malls throughout the United States. You could buy
six different pieces of UNITS clothing and create an entire wardrobe
from them. It goes without saying that UNITS did not make it out of the
The stirrup pants version of this particular fad had to be the worst.
Presumably the idea of fashion and being in fashion is to look as good
as possible. These pants made NO ONE look good. They created a
triangle-leg effect that made even the thinnest person look big. While
many of these 1980s fashions are making their way back on the scene and
into our stores, the stretch pants/stirrup pants trend needs to stay
tucked safely back in the 80s.
Last, but not least, we have the 80s fashion fad of
tops. Big sweaters, sweatshirts and t-shirts were totally hot and
wearing them over a miniskirt or a pair of leggings made them even
hotter. These tops were most often belted with big and gaudy, low slung
belts with the top bloused over the belt.