Homefashion35 Fashion Trends from the 1980s That You Completely Forgot

35 Fashion Trends from the 1980s That You Completely Forgot

The ’80s changed fashion forever, with wild hair and bold neon colours. We still can see traces of the influence. High-waisted jeans have become incredibly popular. Guess what? That trend began in the 1980s.

Are you curious to find out more about the fashion trends of that decade? Continue reading to discover 35 fashion trends from the 1980s that you completely forgot about.

1. Leg Warmers

Back in the 1980s, leg warmers were a staple item for women. You could be sure to find many leg warmers, no matter if you were going to a dance class or just to work out at the gym. Fashionistas could choose between a neutral or bright neon colour. There were many colours available if they kept up with current trends.

2. Vans

We are willing to wager that you have owned at least one pair of Vans in your lifetime. Vans were very popular in the 1980s and could be worn by anyone who had a casual sense of style. Forty years later, Vans are just as fashionable, if perhaps more. These are great to have on hand for running out of the door.

3. High-Waisted Jeans

Low-rise jeans are something you will absolutely hate if you’re like us. We are sure that we would have thrived during the 1980s, when high-waisted pants were all the rage. High-waisted jeans are back in fashion. It’s amazing how fashion changes. You should have at least one pair if you are a girl.

4. Bodysuits

It was the bodysuit that every it-girl wore back in the 1980s. These bodysuits were extremely popular and well-deserved. These were most commonly used in dance and aerobic classes but could also be worn with everyday clothes. Another style that made it to 2020 is this!

5. Spandex

Spanx gained popularity in the 1980s, whether you have your own pair or your mom’s. It is lightweight and can be stretched to a great extent, so anyone can wear it. Spandex was a breakthrough material for fashionistas, rock stars, and everyone else.

6. Black Leather

Although we are certain that black leather will always be in style, we did see a significant rise in popularity in the 1980s. You can think of Madonna and Motley crue as stars who loved the trend, and many believe that they are partly responsible for it’s success. Black leather was everywhere in the 1980s. There were leather jackets, skirts, and shorts.

7. Fanny Packs

In the 1980s, modern fanny packs became mainstream. The fanny pack was loved by all ages, including children and men. This was the most common colour seen back then as neon was very popular. Fanny packs were out of fashion for a while, but they have come back.

8. Graphic Tees

Back in the 1980s, graphic tees were big. There was no limit to what shirt you could wear, whether it was a Coca-Cola shirt, or a Mickey Mouse shirt. These t-shirts were more fun than boring white t-shirts, so it’s not surprising that everyone loved them. Graphic tees remain a staple in many people’s closets today — for both men as women.

9. Scrunchies

We are starting to believe that 2020 will be the year the ’80s make a comeback. Scrunchies were a big thing in the 1980s. Scrunchies were a great way to twirl your hair thanks to Jane Fonda’s workout videos and increased studio classes. Scrunchies are making a comeback and will be around for a long while.

10. Acid-Washed Denim

Back in the 1980s, acid-washed jeans were hugely popular. It didn’t matter if your jeans were acid-washed, or if you wore a jacket back then, it was completely acceptable. We didn’t like this style, so we are hoping it doesn’t return to fashion anytime soon.

11. Lace

Madonna was a major reason lace became so popular in the 1980s. Madonna was well-known for wearing lace every day. This inspired many others to follow her lead and embrace the trend. Although lace is a fashion trend that hasn’t really gone away, it’s not as fashionable as it was in the 1980s.

12. Shoulder pads

If you think about shoulder pads, your thoughts might be directed towards football players or sports-related people. But shoulder pads were fashionable back in the 1980s. Shoulder pads were popular among women in blouses, blazers, and dresses. The more the better! This trend was very popular in the 1980s and into the 1990s.

13. Mini Skirts

Although mini skirts were popular in the ’90s, they gained popularity in the 1980s. This style was loved by women and girls of all ages. It was a very popular trend in the ’90s, whether it was worn with tights or with leggings or fishnets.

14. Sequins

We aren’t sure we will ever tire of anything that shines or sparkles so it’s no surprise we love sequins! In the 1980s, sequins were a must-have for every girl who loved punk rock or even girly girl. Sequins were an essential accessory back in the ’80s, whether they wore a jacket with sequins like the one shown above or one that was more rocker.

15. Ripped Knees

Do you have a family member who always asks you how much it costs to get your jeans cut? The joke originated in the 1980s, when this trend was first popularised. You were probably not with the times if your jeans had a rip at the knee.

16. Members Only Jacket

You probably don’t know what a Members Only jacket looks like if you are young. If you are a fan of fashion history, however, we can bet that you know what a Members Only jacket is. The iconic jacket was a major reason why the Members Only brand exploded in popularity in the 1980s. They are still loved by many people today!

17. Ruffles

You probably picture a girl in a cute dress when you think about modern ruffles. Ruffles were a completely different style back in the 1980s. These ruffles were very popular with both women and men. The most popular ruffle blouses were those with a ruffle at the centre.

18. Wayfarers

Ray-Ban’s Wayfarer sunglasses have soared in popularity thanks to the film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The main character in the movie wore them, and it was quite the scene. These bad boys were a staple for fashion lovers everywhere. These glasses are still very popular today.

19. Animal Print

Although animal print has made a comeback in recent years, they were first fashionable back in the 1980s. It was usually leopard or cheetah prints that women wore back then. Animal print was big, whether it was a jacket or a dress, and was one of the most popular trends of the decade.

20. Statement Jewellery

The more chunky the jewellery, the better – at least that was the case back in the 1980s. Today, we are all more interested in delicate pieces. But the 1980s were quite the opposite. As you can see in the above picture, if you were wearing a big statement piece, it was a sign that you were on the current trend. Everyone was obsessed with gold chains.

21. Perms

If you claim that you have never wanted one, you are lying. Although it might seem harsh, this is how most people feel. Curly hair is for those with straight hair. In the 1980s, big hair was a popular style. If you have straight hair and flat hair, a perm is the best way to keep up with the current trend.

22. Tracksuits that match

If you see someone in a matching tracksuit you may think of soccer. In the 1980s, wearing a matching tracksuit was a fashion statement. They are still very common today, but they were much more popular in the 1980s.

23. Swatch Watches

Swatch watches were hugely popular in the 1980s, and they are still very much alive today! Although they’re not as popular today as they were in the 1980s, Swatch watches have made a name for themselves. Everyone was obsessed with Swatch in the 1980s. The most popular trend of the 1980s was the sale of collector’s items.

24. Vinyl Outerwear

Vinyl was not popular , buy vinyl records. Vinyl is a completely different fashion item. Vinyl is gaining popularity in this decade, although it was first popularised back in the 1980s. This look was reserved for punk rockers.

25. Big Sunnies

It was safe to say that larger was better in the 1980s. Sunglasses were the same. Sunnies that were too big were a huge hit back then. You could clearly see your eyebrows so they weren’t too big. If you were fashion-forward and a trendsetter, you probably had a lot of large sunglasses.

26. Leggings

You should not be surprised to learn that leggings were a popular trend in the 1980s. Leggings are back in fashion, and it’s all due to the decade. Leggings were fashionable in the 1980s, when dancing and exercise were big. They were comfortable , stylish, and practical. Only difference is that leggings in the 1980s were brighter and more multicoloured than what you see today.

27. Large Denim Jackets

Denim was everywhere in the 1980s, from high-waisted jeans and acid wash to casual wear. Oversized jackets were another trend in denim. Large jean jackets, which can be worn by both men and women, were a popular choice back in the 1980s. The larger the jacket, the better. They were also often worn with other layers.

28. Polka Dots

We’re willing to wager that you don’t immediately think of the 1980s when you think about polka dots. The majority of people started wearing the print in the ’80s. It was once reserved for celebrities and the like. But it caught on quickly when the 1980s arrived.

29. Mullets

Mullet hairstyles are known for their unofficial slogan, “Business in the front, party in the back”. This style was very popular in the 1980s. The style was popular among men, but it was also popular with a few women. Another trend that has made its way into modern times is this. However, it’s been updated with a new twist.

30. Boxy Blazers

Trends were everywhere in 1980s women’s fashion. Boxy blazers were a popular choice. Although the structured fit was clearly masculine, it was extremely fashionable back then. Another trend from the 1980s that you can see today is the structured fit.

31. Bucket Hats

Although bucket hats are making a comeback, they were first popularised in the 1980s. They were very easy to wear and are great for casual social events. Bucket hats are sure to be noticed, no matter if you’re heading to the beach, pool, or visiting a friend’s home.

32. Fishnets

Believe it or not, fishnets aren’t just for Broadway! They first made an appearance on the mass market in the 1980s. This style was reserved for punk rock fans and could be worn in many different ways. This trend was loved by women, whether it was worn under ripped jeans or in tights.

33. Bally Shoes

In the 1980s, Bally shoes were hugely popular due to the popularity of rappers. They were worn by everyone who was into hip-hop and rap, whether they were rocking them on album covers, rapping about them, or simply out for a night on the town.

34. Neon

Surprise! Neon was a huge trend in the 1980s! The most surprising trend on the entire list was neon. It was everywhere, in every form, whether it was a shirt, dress, or accessory. Brighter is better!

35. Side Ponytail

The side ponytail was another popular trend in the 1980s. This hairstyle was once reserved for children, but it was popular in the ’80s. You could wear your side pony with scrunchie if you wanted to be in the know about current trends.


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