1980s Fashion: Trends and Icons

Guy with a mullet sporting punk fashion, resting on the beach.

The 1980s were a decade of bold fashion statements and daring experimentation. From punk rock to power dressing, the fashion trends of the 80s were as diverse as they were iconic. In this article, we’ll take a trip down memory lane and explore some of the most prominent 80s fashion trends and the icons who made them famous.

First up: punk fashion. This movement originated in the UK in the late 70s but gained popularity in the US in the early 80s. It was all about rebellion and anti-establishment, and the fashion that went with it was no exception. Think ripped jeans, studded leather jackets, and black eyeliner. The most famous punk icon of the 80s was undoubtedly Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols, with his unforgettable bleached hair and DIY style.

Next, we have the era of power dressing. This was all about women asserting themselves in the workplace and dressing for success. Think shoulder pads, tailored suits, and bold accessories. Joan Collins as Alexis Carrington on the TV show Dynasty epitomized this trend, with her oversized shoulder pads and opulent jewelry.

But it wasn’t just women who were making fashion statements in the 80s. Men were also experimenting with new styles, particularly in music. The New Romantic movement was all about flamboyant fashion and androgyny. Bands like Duran Duran and Culture Club led the charge with their daring hairstyles, bright makeup, and colorful clothing.

Woman wearing retro athletic wear.

Another iconic fashion trend of the 80s was athletic wear. This was the era of Jane Fonda’s workout videos and Jane Fonda leggings. Everyone was embracing the athletic aesthetic, from streetwear to high fashion.

The most famous athlete-turned-fashion icon of the 80s was probably Michael Jordan, with his signature Air Jordan sneakers and iconic commercials.

Finally, we have the rise of streetwear. This was all about self-expression and individuality, with a focus on comfort and practicality. Brands like Adidas, Nike, and Supreme became popular, and the hip-hop community played a huge role in shaping this trend. Rappers like Run-DMC embraced the look with their iconic tracksuits and Adidas sneakers.

The 1980s were a decade of bold fashion choices and fearless experimentation. From punk to power dressing, New Romantic to streetwear, the 80s were a time when self-expression was at its peak. Whether you lived through the decade or you’re experiencing it for the first time, there’s no denying the impact that 80s fashion had on the world of style.

What the 80s was missing in fashion.

We still hadn’t been thinking about sustainability yet in the 80s.

Three young men wearing 80's inspired streetwear.

But looking back, we can see how much waste and excess was generated by the fashion industry during that time. As we move forward into the future, it’s important that we keep sustainability in mind and strive to create a more responsible and ethical fashion industry.

The 80s may have been about pushing boundaries and taking risks, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do that while also being mindful of our impact on the planet. Let’s take inspiration from the 80s fashion icons and use their fearlessness to drive positive change in the world of fashion.

What happened toward the end of the 1980s when it comes to fashion?

As we delve deeper into the world of 80s fashion, it’s important to note that it wasn’t just about the clothes themselves – it was about how they were worn and the confidence that came with them. Fashion was a way of expressing oneself and standing out from the crowd, whether it was through bold colors, outlandish accessories, or a unique hairstyle.

One of the most iconic hairstyles of the 80s was the mullet. This look, characterized by short hair on top and long hair in the back, was made famous by celebrities like Billy Ray Cyrus and David Bowie. It was the ultimate symbol of rebellion and nonconformity, and it became synonymous with the rock and roll lifestyle.

Another trend that emerged in the 80s was the use of neon colors. From bright pink to electric blue, neon hues were everywhere in fashion. They were used in everything from clothing to accessories to makeup, and they quickly became a staple of 80s style. Even today, neon remains popular in the world of fashion, providing a fun and eye-catching way to make a statement.

The 80s were also a time of experimentation when it came to accessories. Chunky jewelry, oversized earrings, and statement necklaces were all the rage.

A bustling street with people walking about circa 1980s.

Belts were worn high on the waist, creating a cinched-in silhouette, and hats were seen as a way to express personality and flair. The more eccentric the accessory, the better.

In conclusion, the 80s were a decade of fearless fashion experimentation, where self-expression was key. From punk to power dressing, New Romantic to streetwear, the fashion trends of the 80s are an influential part of fashion’s colorful history. More importantly, 1980s fashion still influences style today. As we continue to push boundaries and express ourselves through fashion, let’s remember to do it in a way that’s sustainable, ethical, and responsible.