Flashback Fashion: A Look at What the 80s Wore

Flashback Fashion: A Look at What the 80s Wore

The 1980s was a decade filled with bold styles, vibrant colors, and big hair. From neon spandex to oversized shoulder pads, this era in fashion was all about pushing the boundaries and making a statement. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and revisit some of the most iconic fashion trends of the 80s.


One of the most defining characteristics of 80s fashion was the use of neon colors. From fluorescent pink to electric blue, neon hues could be seen on everything from clothing to accessories. It was all about standing out and making a statement, and neon was the perfect way to do just that.

One popular trend was wearing neon spandex leggings paired with oversized t-shirts or sweatshirts. These bright and bold looks were a favorite among both men and women and were often accessorized with chunky jewelry and athletic sneakers.

Shoulder Pads

Another hallmark of 80s fashion was the prevalence of shoulder pads. Women’s blazers, jackets, and even dresses were designed with exaggerated shoulder pads to create a strong and bold silhouette. This trend was inspired by the power dressing movement and was a way for women to assert their authority in the workplace.

Shoulder pads were often paired with high-waisted trousers or skirts to further emphasize the shape of the body. This look was seen on celebrities like Madonna and Princess Diana and quickly became a must-have style for women in the 80s.

Denim on Denim

Denim was a staple fabric in 80s fashion and was often worn in the form of double denim outfits. This trend, also known as the “Canadian tuxedo,” involved pairing denim jeans with a denim jacket or shirt. While some fashion experts deemed this look a fashion faux pas, it was embraced by many as a laid-back and effortless style.

Denim on denim outfits were often accessorized with bold belts, statement jewelry, and oversized sunglasses. This look was popularized by celebrities like Brooke Shields and Bruce Springsteen and became a symbol of the casual cool vibe of the 80s.

Leg Warmers

Leg warmers were another trend that defined 80s fashion. Originally worn by dancers to keep their legs warm during rehearsals, leg warmers became a fashion statement when they were paired with leggings or mini skirts. These knit accessories were often brightly colored and adorned with patterns like stripes or polka dots.

Leg warmers were a favorite among women who embraced the aerobics craze of the 80s. They were often worn during workouts and then styled with casual outfits for a fun and playful look. This trend was epitomized by the iconic film “Flashdance,” in which the lead character famously wore leg warmers with a cut-off sweatshirt.

Big Hair

No discussion of 80s fashion would be complete without mentioning the era’s obsession with big hair. Women and men alike embraced voluminous hairstyles that were achieved through teasing, backcombing, and plenty of hairspray. From mullets to perms, big hair was a key component of the overall 80s aesthetic.

Popular hairstyles of the 80s included the “feathered” look, in which hair was blown out and styled to create soft layers, as well as the “mullet,” which featured short hair on the sides and back and long hair on top. These hairstyles were often accessorized with scrunchies, headbands, and large bows for an extra dose of flair.


While some of the fashion trends of the 80s may seem outdated or over-the-top by today’s standards, there’s no denying that this era was a time of bold experimentation and self-expression. From neon colors to shoulder pads, denim on denim to leg warmers, the fashion of the 80s was all about making a statement and standing out from the crowd.

Whether you love or loathe the styles of the 80s, there’s no denying that this decade left a lasting impact on the world of fashion. So next time you’re feeling nostalgic, why not take a cue from the 80s and embrace a little bit of neon, shoulder pads, or big hair? After all, sometimes a trip down memory lane is just what your wardrobe needs.

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