Guest Post: What Were They Thinking – Who Inspired the Hottest Fashion Trends of the 80’s?

As far as fashion trends go, it is probably fair to say that no decade is quite as notoriously bad as the 80’s. Can you name any other period where you could get away with wearing skin tight pants one day followed by baggy “MC Hammer” style pants the next? Not forgetting of course that you could also have been wearing leg warmers, a sweater and a miniskirt all at the same time and probably in electric neon colors as well!

Color was the overriding theme throughout the 80’s and mixing up some of the brightest options together was somehow deemed acceptable, what were we all thinking? Here are some of the great fashion statements that were made during this decade and some of the famous people who wore them and for some reason seemed to inspire us to do the same.

Shoulder Pads

Synonymous with the 1980’s , shoulder pads were THE fashion statement for women who wanted to “Power Dress” and stand out from the crowd, despite the fact that looking back, they may have looked like an American footballer in a dress when you look at the size of the pads. Joan Collins in Dynasty and even Princess Diana wore their shoulder pads with pride and the look was complete with the big hairdo.

Leg Warmers

Was it really cold outside in the 1980’s, or was there some other reason why they were so popular? Jane Fonda is the main culprit for this fashion faux-pas as she wore them in her workout videos but Madonna and Cyndi Lauper do not escape from blame and neither do the entire cast of “Footloose”.

Fingerless Gloves

If you someone in the street today wearing fingerless gloves you might be tempted to offer them the change for a cup of coffee but in the 1980’s we all seemed to think that it was so cool and trendy, no doubt inspired by Madonna who wore them a lot in her boy toy phase, but the fashion victims were more wide ranging than that and even Mr T from the A-Team happily wore this fashion accessory.


Men Trying to Become Un-Dateable
Just in case the men out there were smugly thinking that they had escaped the attention, some of the fashion trends of the 80’s would virtually guarantee that you were virtually un-dateable if they were replicated today. Don Johnson looked cool in his white suit and shades in the popular TV show “Miami Vice” but should we really have emulated that look and completed the outfit with white shoes and white socks? Michael Jackson influenced the popularity of leather and bomber jackets but another look that many men thought looked attractive to the opposite sex was wearing Hawaiian shirts or just a T-Shirt underneath a designer jacket, how did any of us actually find a partner and get married?


Guest post contributed by Zoe Plescia on behalf of Damart UK. Zoe is a freelance fashion writer. Extensively involved in clothes design, her articles appear on various fashion blogs.