The Complete Guide to 80s Fashion for Women
Are you intrigued by fashion trends of the 80s? Excess sums it up! Standing out in style could be the 80s’ fashion motto because stand out, they did.
Think vivid colors and oversized details from large earrings to high waists and big shoulder pads. These all contributed to the decade’s eye-catching trends. It was an era of material wealth with few limits, and fashion mirrored this.
Loud and Proud! 1980s Clothes Fashion
Hip Hop, Punk, and Workout fashion trended in the 80s. Hip hop music was accompanied by baggy pants, athletic detailing, and bold colors paired with striking patterns. The street-savvy look was completed with sneakers, accessories, and snap-back caps.
The 1980s also meant punk. This style was edgy and rebellious. It translated into the wearing of acid-washed, ripped jeans, chunky boots, cropped t-shirts, and studded leather jackets.
Actress and activist Jane Fonda opened the door to aerobic workout videos leading to fashionable workout wear. Leotards and leggings in bright colors and creative patterns joined bike shorts, leg warmers, and bodysuits in making gyms more colorful than ever before.
But glamour certainly was not missing. Ruffles, off-the-shoulder gowns, and plunging necklines were just as present as leather, animal prints, and shimmering metallic fabrics on fashion icons from actresses to artists to society women.
Industries also registered the change. The professional office look featured pastel, patterned, and audaciously colored pantsuits as women increased their presence inside the corridors of power.
Shoes in the 1980s
Sneakers were big! Adidas and Reeboks lead the way in hip hop style together with Converse All-Stars and Air Jordans. Doc Martens' work boots made a statement, especially with punk aficionados.
Pointy high heels were popular in patent leather and satin fabric, while plastic and glitter jellies were everywhere. Wedge heels, woven leather, lacy high heel open ankle boots, and chunky heels played leading roles.
For Ivy-league preppies, penny loafers remained the classic choice. White pumps also lived one of their most celebrated moments.
Jewelry and Accessories in the 1980s
Earrings were probably the most popular fashion statement of the decade. Long dangling designs, oversized hoops, and chandelier earrings softened large shoulder pad looks. Big chains were featured with hip hop balloon pants and body-fitting t-shirts.
The bigger, the better! Hair blowouts for lots of volume ruled the day. Just pick up a rerun from the TV series Dynasty to see just how big hair went. Hair texture was guaranteed with perms, and crimping wavy zig zags became popular for increased size.
The arrival of scrunchies added to the colorful daytime look, while banana and bow barrettes were in vogue for a more finished chic look for updos or bubble ponytails. Headband hairstyles became a typical workout hair accessory.
Curly bangs, side or high ponytails, and asymmetrical haircuts with interesting angles were a few of the hair fashion statements to emerge.
The 1980s Make-up: Color and More Color!
Limitless amounts of blush and eyeshadow in technicolor were the go-to looks. Remember Grace Jones' iconic neon eyeshadow, pop star Madonna’s bright red lips, or those full eyebrows on model-turned-actress Brooke Shields? Heavy eyeliner and mascara completed fashion maquillage, and eye make-up was heavy.
Fashion Designers of the 1980s
It’s a family affair! An important fashionista name from the 1980s is “Guess”. Brothers Maurice and Marciano Georges founded the clothing company in 1981. Brothers Paul and Armand joined them in managing the business end.
Initially, Donna Karan, joined by her husband Stephan Weiss, and Ann Klein created their first company. In 1985, Donna established her own clothing line DKNY, and what follows is fashion history.
Italian designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana founded what was to become a fashion powerhouse in 1985 named for the two.
One name that personifies 1980s fashion is Tommy Hilfiger. His fashion empire was founded in 1986 and still exists, demonstrating this fashion designer’s artistic and business talent. In the meantime, he has diversified. Now it is not only clothing, but shoes, perfume, eyeglasses, and so much more.
The Key Elements of 1980s Style
A few specific elements were key to the 80s fashion success. Keep these in mind if you are following the modern revival of 80s fashion trends.
To do the 80s, first off, think big shoulders. Shoulder pads were everywhere in jackets, blazers, sweaters, blouses, and coats.
Bright, bold colors like fuchsia, yellow, red, or cobalt were characteristic. Neon green, pinks, and any color that would stand out and grab attention were preferred. Metallic fabrics like gold and silver and sequins were trendy and desired.
Bold colors, patterns, and silhouettes made the 1980s, with the accent on “bold”!