80s Clothing fashion
No other fashion decade has fueled the same debate such as 1980’s clothing
fashion. It was the era of expression and finding an identity. With a strong
emphasis to shock, 1980’s clothes were defined by the bold and the outrageous.
Though many scratch their heads about why people dressed the way they did in the
80’s, one cannot deny that a lot of the trends we have today are reminiscent of this
ambiguous decade in fashion.
With big hair, make up and big accessories came big 80s clothing.
Here are 4 key trends in clothing that scream 80s clothing fashion:
Yes, those power suits constructed with wide and big padded shoulders were
seen in every woman’s closet. The trend was popularized by the famous TV show
during the 80’s called Dynasty, where its female cast were dressed in clothes that
emphasized the shoulders. The reason for the trend is unknown but it had
something to do with women in the workplace wanting to have a strong presence as
equals to their male co-workers. Whatever the reason, all suits and jackets had
In contrast to the trend of the 70’s where women wore tight fitting tops and big
bottoms, the 1980’s saw the opposite. During this decade, women were seen
wearing oversized clothes that covered the shapes of their bodies. Its early
beginnings were seen off the collections of Japanese designers such as Yohji
Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo who featured clothing that defied tradition
womenswear. They offered clothing that bore no relation to the shape of the
woman and those that hung loosely on the body. Mainstream fashion paired its own
oversized versions with leggings or miniskirts with belts that hung loosely on the
With the rising popularity of hip hop during this era, track suits, sweaters, and
sneakers became the things to wear on the street. These were often paired with
oversized accessories such as big gold chains and medallions. Brands like Reebok,
Nike, and Adidas were the most favorite brands among sportswear as streetwear
The popularity of aerobics in the early 80’s also paved way for leggings, leotards
and Lycra to be popular trends. Dancewear as streetwear was a key trend of the
80’s, also popularized by many Hollywood films and TV shows. Leg warmers were a
favorite accessory for many women, as almost every closet had at least a pair.
Off shoulders and cut outs were seen everywhere in the 1980’s. Black Lycra with
round cut outs were very popular, as well as off shoulder oversized sweaters as
popularized by the movie Flashdance. Asymmetrical hems of skirts and tops were a
fashion favorite for many women who wanted to be sexy and bold.
Other fashion trends that defined 1980’s fashion were neon colored clothes and
accessories and the androgynous look made famous by artists like Annie Lennox
and Grace Jones who had cropped hair and wearing loose men’s suits but with ultra
feminine details such as a corset for an inner shirt.
Despite being called one of the worst decades in fashion, many of the 80’s
clothing trends are having a revival today, bearing a true testament that it had,
indeed, made an impact in the way we dress.
Author Kristinsson Magz