Every decade has its good and bad fashion moments, and that includes the 1980s. Yet many people seem to only remember the worst of what I regard as one of the very best fashion decades, which is why I often find myself sticking up for the brilliance of ‘80s trends. So much of today’s incredible fashion can be traced back to the ‘80s.
Our forum recently asked me to pull together some fabulous ‘80s looks, and I obliged right away. I also had great fun putting together a pinboard of fabulous ‘80s fashion, which showcases actual photos that were taken back in the 1980s. There are many examples of ’80s elements that have been modernized in current looks. It’s this throwback to ‘80s style that makes me love 2014 fashion so very, very much.
Let’s take a peek:
- Oversized coat, rolled jeans, sneakers, shuffle socks and clutch.
- Harem pants and fashionable athletic sneakers for Sporty Luxe.
- The roomy layered blazer with big shirt.
- Rainbow hair and more rainbow hair.
- Triangular dresses with low backs and pointy flat lace-up booties. Lots of white.
- MJ, all buttoned up.
- Cropped tops with high-rise bottoms.
- Distressed boyfriend jeans with lace and slipper flats.
- Hard Edge is routed in punk style from the late ‘70s and early ‘80s.
- Soft fluid separates that are both feminine and masculine.
- Monk strap oxfords and angular draped blazers.
- Leggings, gigantic pullover, pointy toe booties and structured bag.
- Another leggings look with oversized topper.
- Baggy trousers with blousoned jackets.
- Laceless flat oxfords with baggy pants.
- The most famous red moto jacket of all time, with a Mini Michael.
- Elegantly roomy white suits with black sunnies.
- Graphic, colour blocked structure with ample movement and interesting hair.
- Annie Lennox.
- The partially tucked big white shirt with baggy short shorts.
- Aviator looks with attitude.
- The shirtdress with low-slung belt and sandals.
- The sweatshirt with sunnies.
- One of the most memorable sweatshirts of all time.
- Pajama-esque pattern mixing.
- Vibrant Hip Hop.
- Shredded jeans, big hair, stilettos, and a little Rock and Roll.
- Acid wash, oversized motos, skinnies and high-tops.
- Round shoulders, flat oxfords, rolled jeans and pastel suits.
- Soft moto jackets.
- Androgynous layers with a good amount of pretty.
- Stunning brights in structured drape with ankle booties and heeled oxfords.
- Purple Rain. Buttoned-up with studs and shoulder pads.
- Pointy toe flats.
- Pointy toes, rolled pants, high-rises, high-tops, leg warmers, shoulder pads and bright bangles.
- Boxy tuxedo shirt with slip-on sneakers.
- Another gorgeous soft suit.
- Round shouldered tartan.
- More round shoulders.
- Roomy angular drape.
- Sporty perforated mesh with luxe satin.
- Roomy sporty brights with bling.
- Glitzy bombers with bucket hats.
- And military fabness.
I could go on and on about how these ‘80s looks make my heart sing. Yes, there was also lots of less-than-fab frilly, twee and poufy styling. Shoulder pads, make-up, big hair and glitz were out of control. Sometimes we wore outfits so oversized, they wore us. And excessive neon and over the top colour combinations made our eyes hurt.
But to my mind, ‘80s silhouettes and juxtapositions were delightfully interesting, creative and detailed, and therefore worth a lot of praise. The era was as dressy as it was casual. There was ample colour and graphic black and white. Women’s trends were masculine, and men’s trends were feminine, which made for a marvelous melting pot of style.
Of course, my memories of ’80s fashion are shaped by my influences at the time — one giveaway being the prominence of the British band Duran Duran in my collage. If you were enjoying fashion during the ’80s, what in particular sticks out in your memory? And if you are seeing ’80s fashion after the fact, what are your impressions now?