The 80s fashion scene emphasized both glamour and luxury. The second half of the 80s exhibited intense dress choices heavily influenced by punk culture. The first half of the 80s was milder. Also, fitness-wear made an emphatic presence in the fashion concept.
The 80s costumes focused more on women’s personality and aspirations. It was a time when women equaled women in every sphere of life. The clothes reflected this. It reflected a strong, independent and creative women.
- Blazer with shoulder pads
This one is unique to the 80s fashion scene. It questioned the male dominance in society. The blazers could be solid leather or bold floral prints or denim or knitted fabric. Belted blazers accentuate the slim silhouette.
- Leopard prints
This was adopted for the skirts, tops, scarves and footwear. It gave a timeless charm to the fashion scene. Designers became more creative with this pattern and fabrics used ranged from vinyl, nylon and silk.
- Oversized T-shirts
The 80s saw a religious allegiance to oversized T-shirts, be it street-wear or workout-wear. This with full or cropped-jeans went well.
- Florals cum neon shades
Bright colors were preferred. It was a trip down the neon rainbow. Bold and catchy floral patterns were added. The neon color craze was extended to accessories, gloves and sunglasses.
- Pleated trousers
Pleated pants and jeans was a male equivalent in the female world, where pleats still hold the charm of feminity. High-waist trousers when teamed with the pirate shirt was elegance exemplified.
- Printed blouse
Oversized tops were extended to bright blouses. Matched with denim or mild-colored trousers was comfort combined with creativity.
- Striped pants and ankle boots
Vinyl, silk or any stretchable material with bright colors and creative designs were used. Fetish for ankle-length boots started from here.
- ‘Member’ jackets
A sense of belonging or membership was fostered by wearing jackets and T-shirts with logos given only to chosen ‘members’ of the group. When worn with denim, it completed the look. Sometimes colorful bandanas were thrown in too.
- Polka dot dress
During the 80s polka dot dresses were retro fashion. But when worn with a heavy metal belt gave the required makeover for a cuter form of punk fashion.
- Denim jacket
This was a staple item in every fashionistas wardrobe. It went well with everything from a clingy silk gown to tight Spandex pants to the floral top and a mini skirt. This is an evergreen classic piece.
- Vintage long skirts
Every party-animal did possess a long skirt of vibrant color and design. It goes well with plain or sequined halter neck tops. This with a leather or denim jacket was thrown in for the bargain.
Ruffles were seen in both dresses and tops. And that softened the look when worn with denim jeans or mini-skirts. High-waisted skirts with ruffle tops were preferred too.
The jumpsuits did trickle down from the 70s to the 80s and were seen during the early 80s. Sequined ones were the trend when it comes to parties.
As a generation, the 80s is where fitness started being an important part of one’s life. Fashion styles marketed on this. Leotards, Stirrups, leg-warmers, bike shorts and sweatbands came into prominence. Neon-colored, flashy, oversized T-shirts with sports shorts were common.
- Little black dress
The Little Black Dress is a constant for ages. It was paired with blazers, jackets or coats with shoulder pads. Peplums, embellishments and buttons added glam to the LBD.
- High-waisted pants and jeans
Tina Turner popularised this kind of style. The shirt tucked in fully either with high-waisted pants and jeans were seen. A thin belt upped the cool chic charm.
- Bright Makeup
The star of the 80s makeup was intense and bold eye shadows used. Be it a punk style or the chic style, eye shadow stood out. Neon makeup was a rage. Excessive blush was the norm.
- High Hairstyle
Full-volume hair was style with excessive amounts of hairsprays. Voluminous ultra-layered bangs were the chic classy style. Permed hair was the baseline of fashion.
Big chunky plastic earrings, funky sunglasses and big buttons on clothing were the signature style of the 80s. Lacy gloves and colorful creative scrunchies for the quintessential pony-tails were popular.
- Punk/Hip-hop fashion
Leather jackets, long hair, worn-out jeans, sneakers and cut-off denim jackets were the craze. To complete the look, metal embellishments were used. Full-volume hair and intense eye-make enhanced the edgy look. Parachute pants were popular for the hip-hop fashion scene.
The 70s disco fashion seeped into the 80s in the form of straight-leg pants, baggy jeans with pleats, ballet flats and wedges, canvas sneakers, chiffon dance skirts and metallic gym shorts.
The 80s was an age of glamourous excesses. Bright colors, catchy designs and unique statement styles defined that generation. It was the start of an era where women started setting standards in everything and fashion was just a reflection of it.