20+ Iconic 80s Fashion Trends List
The 1980s was a decade of bold fashion choices and cultural influences in the United States. In the 80s, people expressed their individuality and style through clothing, and the decade's trends reflected this self-expression. From shoulder pads and leg warmers to acid wash jeans and scrunchies, 80s fashion was all about making a statement and standing out.
In this article, we'll look at some of the most iconic fashion trends of the 80s in America, specifically focusing on famous outfits and how they continue to influence fashion today. Whether you were a fan of the preppy look, rocker chic, or glamourous evening wear, the 80s had something for everyone.
So let's take a trip down memory lane and see what made 80s fashion in America so memorable!
Sure! Here are 20 iconic fashion trends from the 1980s:
Shoulder pads were a thing.
Unlike today, shoulder pads were not just worn by NFL players; they were a significant component in the blazers popular among women in workplaces. In the '80s, shoulder pads were a standard issue on almost every blazer sold. Hence, it was uncommon to find a business suit without them. The contrast to the present day is stark. A professional look is only complete with a jacket, but those shoulder pads aren't necessary.
Women added these shoulder pads to tops, dresses, and blazers to create a robust and broad-shouldered silhouette. Designers like Christian Lacroix and Jean Paul Gaultier popularized the exaggerated shoulder look. People often paired it with a slim waist for a balanced, hourglass figure.
You may find leg warmers in various styles, but they all serve the same primary function: keeping your calves cozy. From a purely technical standpoint, they aid athletes by preventing cramping, especially dancers. They are often used by athletes subjected to adverse weather conditions while participating in outdoor sports and activities such as soccer, dance, ice hockey, cycling, etc.
People in the 80s wore these over leggings, tights, or bare legs to add a pop of color and keep the legs warm. Leg warmers became popular in the 80s thanks to the influence of dance and aerobics culture. Individuals in the 80s often wore them with leotards, tights, and sneakers.
Acid wash jeans
Acid-wash jeans are a perfect example of a product of luck rather than deliberate design. Rifle Jeans, an Italian label, stumbled across this trend after a mishap with jeans, bleach, and a pumice stone with almost no water. Due to its ease of replication, this 1980s fashion accessory may be owned by a broad audience. Acid wash jeans were popular for men and women in the 80s and were often paired with a simple t-shirt or sweater.
These came in various hues and designs and were used to pull back hair. Scrunchies were a fashionable and helpful technique to keep hair out of the face, and People in the 80s often wore them with laid-back, athletic looks.
Fashion enthusiasts in the 80s used these one-piece garments in various looks, including athletic, glamorous, and practical. Jumpsuits were a flexible addition to any wardrobe since they could be worn up or down.
These short skirts, which people could wear with tights or leggings, were a mainstay of 1980s fashion. Depending on the occasion, Ladies often wore little skirts with boots, sneakers, or high heels.
These garments are intended to be worn low on the hips to accentuate the stomach. Many crop tops were available, ranging from basic and classic to dazzling and fashionable. They were a popular option for both casual and formal attire.
Society and culture are constantly evolving. As must the fashion business and those who meet consumer wants. Whether you refer to it as Lycra or spandex, this fabric has a long and varied history of adaptation. People in the 80s used this stretchy fabric in various clothing items, including leggings, bike shorts, and bodysuits. Spandex was famous for its comfortable, form-fitting qualities and was often worn for athletic or dance activities.
Just like in every fashion era, people yearn to make an impression. In the '80s, people most effectively achieved this via eye-catching hues. All those who followed the current trends wore fluorescent clothing in a wide range of fluorescent hues. At least being a bright yellow jacket was now impossible to overlook.
Bright, neon shades were a staple of 80s fashion and could be found on everything from tops and dresses to accessories. People often paired neon colors with black or neutral tones to create a high-contrast look.
Madonna bra corset
One of Madonna's most famous outfits from the 80s was the cone bra corset, which she wore during her 1990 Blond Ambition Tour. The cone bra corset, designed by Jean Paul Gaultier, was made from black satin and featured conical cups that elongated the bust. Madonna paired the cone bra corset with a tutu-style skirt, fishnet tights, and gloves, creating a provocative and unforgettable look.
The cone bra corset became one of Madonna's most iconic outfits and has been referenced and imitated by many other artists and fashion designers. It continues to be remembered as a standout moment in 1980s fashion. It remains a symbol of Madonna's daring and influential fashion style.
Micheal Jackson Sequin Military Jacket
One of Michael Jackson's most iconic outfits from the 1980s was the sequined military jacket he wore in the music video for his hit song "Beat It." The sequined military coat, which Michael Bush and Dennis Tompkins designed, became a symbol of Jackson's status as a style icon and was widely imitated by fans.
The sequined military jacket was made from a metallic silver fabric. It featured a variety of military-inspired details, including epaulets, buttons, and patch pockets. It was paired with black pants, a white shirt, and black loafers, creating a sleek and polished look.
Jackson's sequined military jacket became one of his most memorable fashion moments of the 80s and continues to be remembered as a symbol of his influence on popular culture. It remains a classic and timeless look that inspires fashion trends today.
See-Through Layer Outfits
The see-through layers outfit was a popular fashion trend in the 1980s, particularly among women in the entertainment industry. One celebrity known for her love of see-through layers was Kim Basinger.
The see-through layers typically consisted of a base layer, such as a leotard or bodysuit, paired with a sheer, flowing outer layer, such as a chiffon dress or robe. The layers were often adorned with sequins, beads, or other embellishments for added glamour.
Basinger was known for incorporating see-through layers into her red carpet and event looks in the 1980s, often pairing them with statement jewelry and high heels. The see-through layers outfit was a bold and daring choice that helped establish Basinger as the decade's style icon.
Denim jackets were a standard option for both men and women. People in the 80s often accessorized them with patches and pins. Denim jackets were a flexible accent to any ensemble since they could be dressed up or down.
Made from soft, comfy material, these casual dresses often feature a sporty or preppy appearance. You may style sweatshirt dresses casually and comfortably with boots or shoes.
These shoes featured a high top that extended beyond the ankle and were made famous by companies like Converse and Nike. High-top shoes were popular for casual and sportswear, often worn with leggings or jeans.
These blazers frequently included shoulder pads for a powerful, fitted appearance and had a loose, boxy shape. Oversized blazers were a standard option for both business and leisure wear since they could be dressed up or down.
Sassy celebrities like Debbie Harry loved sheer tights.
Tights, especially sheer ones, were a popular fashion trend in the 1980s, particularly among women who were known for their bold and sassy style. One celebrity who embraced this trend was Debbie Harry, the lead singer of the band Blondie.
Harry was known for her edgy and eclectic fashion sense and often incorporated tights into her stage, and streetwear looks. She particularly favored sheer tights, which added a touch of glamour and femininity to her outfits.
At least a few times in 1980s fashion, the style combines purpose. And this extends beyond making strong remarks and standing out in a large environment where those who go with the trend may be overlooked. The material and design of parachute pants aided those who wore them. Breakdancers, for example, adored wearing them. The loose fit yet shapely design enabled them to do big dances without fear of tripping on cloth. These fashion statements were so fashionable by 1984 and 1985 that supposedly, lads and parachute pants became synonymous.
A beaded bodysuit, as Loved by Cher.
Cher was known for her bold and eclectic fashion sense in the 1980s, and she often incorporated a variety of trends into her looks. One of Cher's most iconic outfits from the 80s was the sheer, beaded bodysuit she wore to the 1986 Academy Awards.
The bodysuit, designed by Bob Mackie, was made from a sheer, black fabric adorned with intricate beadwork and sequins. It was paired with a matching beaded chiffon skirt and black pumps, creating a glamorous and unforgettable look.
Cher's sheer, beaded bodysuit became one of her most iconic fashion moments of the 80s. It established her as a style icon of the decade. It remains a timeless and iconic look that inspires fashion trends today.