Did you really live in the ‘80s if you didn’t wear colors that caused major headaches? There was one benefit of the neon trend: you could see someone from a mile away. Everything was neon from windbreakers to makeup and accessories.
Shoulder pads were the way to look professional in the 1980s. Basically, you wanted to walk out of your house looking like a plane since the bigger they were, the better. As a woman, something about it made us feel more powerful. What’s up with that?
Girls had lace, and guys had leather, but you could bet that both were fingerless. The style popped up in the ‘80s, and you weren’t part of the cool-kid squad unless you owned a pair. It’s partially thanks to Madonna, who loved to wear her dainty lace gloves in music videos and around town.
All hail power suits. If you were a professional woman in the ‘80s, you wore a power suit. It made you feel confident, and people actually listened to you. Plus, you felt like the head boss in charge. Nothing wrong with a little confidence!
Jeans were around before, but acid-wash jeans? Nah, those popped up around the ‘80s and everyone owned at least one pair (plus an acid-wash jean jacket). Most of us tried to mimic it with bleach, but that DIY didn’t look like the ones you could get from Macy’s.
Your legs weren’t cold, but you wore legwarmers anyway. You can’t have a list of ‘80s trends without throwing legwarmers on the list. Every girl had at least one or two pairs, so they could mix and match accordingly.
Spandex wasn’t just for exercise anymore. Thanks to Olivia Newton-John’s aerobic exercises and rock stars, everyone had to wear Spandex. Naturally, that trend was also paired with stirrup leggings. Sorry–can’t hear you over how cool this looked.
The mullet and the perm were popular, sure, but you know what was even more popular? The freaking side pony-tail. Of course, the side pony-tail was nothing if you didn’t also have rooster bangs. The final touch was drenching your hair in hairspray to hold it all in place throughout the day.
You know the motto for the ‘80s: go bigger. Okay, maybe that wasn’t the official motto, but it was basically the mantra for the era. Girls absolutely loved oversized earrings that dangled so far that they touched their shoulders.
Anyone from the ‘80s can easily remember how dramatic the makeup was. Neon pinks, blues, greens – it didn’t matter. Women would use four to five colors on a normal workday. Who could say otherwise? They looked amazing, and we’re guessing its part of the reason dramatic eye looks came back recently.
Listen. Everyone wanted to hate on fanny packs in the early 2000s but was there another trend that was more convenient? You could put everything you needed in it. Not to mention, you didn’t have to carry it around like a dang purse.
The ‘90s wants to pretend like they invented jelly shoes, but jelly shoes came along before those kiddos were even a thought. The sandles were worn by every girl from the ‘80s (and even some women). You know what was even fancier? Glitter ones.
“Pretty” was defined by huge perms–giant, even! The bigger your perm was the better, and you had to use hairspray to get it to be the size of Texas. This wasn’t just for women, by the way. Oh, no…men also loved huge perms.
Thanks to the ‘80s, the following decade got to enjoy scrunchies. If you were going to put something in your hair, it had to be a scrunchie. Usually they were made with velvet, but younger girls walked around with sequins and sparkles. It was like a crown on our heads.
Bucket hats were the must-have accessory during the ‘80s. Sure, they were a mistake, but was it the design or the material? See, they weren’t made out of normal stuff. Most of them were made with velour and usually had floral patterns. Not to mention, the brims were huuuuge.
Tracksuits = comfy. They slowly wormed their way into the ‘80s thanks to school kids, but before long, adults wore them to the grocery store. Some brave souls even wore them to work.
Before there were leggings, there were stirrup pants. They were practically leggings, but they were actually designed to be pants (meaning they weren't see-through). They had everything a girl could want. Stretchy? Check. Comfy? Check. Won’t ride up? Uh–double check!
Bow-mania was a great time. Since hair was so big in the ‘80s, you couldn’t exactly pin a small bow in your hair and call it a day. Oh, no. You had to go with something huge that would really stand out–preferably neon.
Members Only Jackets
Members of what? It doesn’t matter. Everyone wanted or had a Members Only jacket because they were all the rage. Imitations were plentiful, but it was easy to spot the fakes. They were so popular, it even popped up in National Lampoon’s Vacation.
Sperry topsiders didn’t appear in the ‘80s. They were actually invented in the ‘30s. That being said, they surged in popularity during the ‘80s because everyone wanted to look like a prep. They were the perfect shoes to meet your friends on the weekend (maybe on a yacht). Don’t forget to throw a sweater around your shoulders!
Swatches were affordable, so you could buy more than one. Then, you could wear all of them on one arm because you were just that cool. Artists even did collabs with Swatch to get even better designs.
Tunics, sweaters, t-shirts–it didn’t matter. If you were going to wear a top, it had to be oversized. Then, we paired the huge shirts with stirrup pants or the mini-est of skirts. Finally, a belt wrapped around the waist gave it a little shape.
If you didn’t have a huge perm, you had crimped hair. It was treated a lot like a perm, too. Girls used to spray hairspray and tease to the heavens to make it as big as possible. No girl could resist trying crimped hair at least once.
Tracksuits were great, but that doesn’t mean sweats weren’t around. Everyone adored sweats, and Au Coton was one of the most popular. Do you remember the best part about cotton sweats? They were so freaking soft.
Boyfriend jeans have nothing on mom jeans. They were worn by moms in the ‘80s (duh), but it quickly became a fashion statement. The high waist was actually flattering because it made your hips and behind look bigger. Finally; all those aerobic exercises paid off!
This is another one that’s thanks to Madonna and rock stars. Everyone, men and women, wore headbands. Sometimes they were sweatbands, but women loved tying a bandana or another kind of cloth around their head to go with their big, big perm.
Chances are if you were in your 20s or 30s during the ‘80s, you wore a mini-skirt; not just any mini-skirt – the mini-est of minis. Pair that with an off-the-shoulder oversized sweatshirt, and you’re made in the shade.
Literally, no other decade was as loud as the ‘80s and that includes super-loud prints. Geometric prints from the ‘80s looked like artwork from a first-grade class. Polka dots weren’t even polka dots! They were little triangles. It was madness.
Name an animal, and there was a garment made with its print During the ‘80s, there was no-holds-barred about what you could wear (and what you could pair it with). Leopard, zebra, and snakeskin was the most popular and appeared on pants, jackets – you name it.
Thank you, Madonna, for spurring the lace movement of the ‘80s. At bare minimum, girls had lace fingerless gloves, but all-lace was pretty normal. Headbands, dresses, tops–everything lace, all the time.