When we Were Young: A Look at 80's Fashion Trends

80s Fashion

Oh, the 80’s! With the release of a new entry in the Star Wars franchise and musical artists like AC/DC, Guns and Roses and KISS all touring or planning tours in the months ahead, clearly 1980’s pop culture is still relevant. However, the 80’s were also an important decade for fashion and jewelry trends too. So, what were the must-have fashion picks back in the days when “Video Killed the Radio Star?” Here are ten trends that spanned the decade—in no particular order.

  • Big Hair – The puffy bangs with Aquanet hairspray holding them up may be the go-to 80’s style, but there are other big hair styles that made it—um—big in 80’s too. Poofy perms were always hot, and even men got in on the act with permed mullets and the tall high-top fade cut. Big hair was a big deal.
  • Parachute Pants – Made of a nylon material, similar to what parachutes are made of, these pants were a huge hit in the early 80’s. Unlike many trends, these pants were as functional as they were fashionable, with numerous pockets sewn throughout the material.
  • Swatch Watches – Developed in 1983, the Swatch watch was a status symbol for teens (and adults). These fun watches were available in many styles and colors, so it was possible to wear one that was quite unlike the watch your friend had. Swatch watches may not be quite as popular today, but they are still produced and still have many loyal fans.
  • Leg Warmers – This dance studio staple became a fad after the popularity of movies like Fame and Flashdance. No longer worn only for dancing or workouts, women wore them with everything including jeans, tights, and leggings.
  • Preppy Look – The Lacoste “alligator shirt” was the ultimate symbol of this style, but the preppy look defined the yuppie movement. The sweater tied around the neck and brand name tennis attire were also very much part of this style.
  • Members Only Jackets – No one seemed to know what wearing a Members Only jacket made you a member of, but it was a status you needed to have! Members Only is another brand that still exists, but you certainly don’t see these iconic jackets with the same frequency that you did in the mid-1980’s.
  • Big Earrings – Whether they were long, dangling earrings with feathers or big, chunky hoops—bigger was better when it came to earrings in the 1980’s. This was true for women, of course, but some men even preferred the dangling styles. While these earrings may have been fashionable, looking good wasn’t worth the pain.
  • Neon Everything – Bright green, pink and electric blue were all the rage in the 1980’s. There were few articles of clothing that didn’t come in an eye-popping color. In fact, neon even made its way to makeup and hair too!
  • Acid Wash – Forget those nice medium blues or even the dark, unworn denim of the past. In the 1980’s it was all about acid wash.
  • Pegged Pants – Also known as a tight roll, pegging your pants was the “in” way to wear your Jordache jeans in the 1980’s. The idea was that your socks and the tops of your shoes showed. This style could be a bit uncomfortable if you were wearing tight jeans (as most were in the 80’s), but it was a must!

The 80’s were such a bright (so bright you gotta wear shades) crazy time for fashion that these are just a small sampling of the styles that became popular. So pull out your copy of Breakfast Club or find the Youtube video for Thriller and relive some of the best and worst in fashion—all found in one awesome decade.

Photo Credit: http://littlevioletribbon.blogspot.com/2012/11/80s-fashion.html