Key Fashion Trends from the 1980s

This article looks at popular fashion trends that emerged during the 1980s.

The 1980s heralded the arrival of many new fashion developments. Several of which have been revived in the last few seasons. This article looks at six of the most memorable fashion trends from the 1980s.

Six memorable fashion trends from the 1980s:

1. Power suits

The women’s equality movement changed the working world during the 1980s. More women entered the workforce, even after they were married and had children. This had an influence on women’s clothing, because women wanted to look just as professional as the opposite sex. They wore matching jackets and bottoms and the jackets featured shoulder pads to make their shoulders look bigger, and also had a somewhat menswear style cut.

2. Princess bridal gowns

The royal wedding between Prince Charles and Diana was a huge event during the 1980’s. Much in the same way as the wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton caused a media frenzy in 2011. After the 1981 wedding, many brides wanted to get married looking like Diana. Consequently bridal gowns during the 1980s often featured trains, puff sleeves, and lots of ornamentation. In some ways this feminine look was in opposition to many of the other womens wear trends of the 1980s.

3. Obvious Designer logos

During the 1980s many people liked to project an image of affluence and this carried over to how they dressed. Therefore clothing with standout designer logos became popular. Logo emblazoned polo shirts and jeans, were particularly popular. Even underwear became logo enhanced, for example Calvin Klein started to print his name on the waistband of his underwear and boxers. This iconic style is still much sort after today.

4. Big shoulders

As mentioned women’s suits featured shoulder pads, and wedding gowns often sported large puff sleeves. Big shoulders were popular in all aspects of men’s and women’s clothing during the 1980s. Large shoulder pads were added to virtually every jacket style. In addittion several other items of clothing like T's, blouses and jumpers also sported shoulder pads.

5. Spandex aerobics gear

Aerobics became a popular past time during the 1980s and this led to the popularity of spandex aerobics gear. Many women wore leotards over a pair of bike pants, including G-string leotard styles. Sometimes the look was accompanied by a pair of legwarmers. Some younger people even wore legwarmers as part of their casual attire.

6. Oversized T-shirts

Oversized T-shirts became popular during the 1980s due to dance movies like Fame and Flashdance. They were often worn off one shoulder and partnered with leggings.


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