The Era of the 1980s
You mention the 1980s and the fashion of the decade in front of a group of fashionistas, and you are bound to have a debate on your hand. No other decade has managed to garner the infamy the eighties has where clothing styles and choices are concerned. And with good reason. Can you think of any other decade where you would be wearing stirrup pants and parachute pants, all in the same ten years?
The Buzz of the 1980s
The 1980s was about the outrageous, the mind-bogglingly bizarre, the weird-with-a-touch-of-crazy. There was something about fashion in the '80s that makes it difficult to comprehend today. It was one of those periods where people thought of shocking being a great way of making a statement. And what a statement they made. It was crazy and vivid but it was a brilliant way of breaking out of determined molds.
We, at Buzzle, take a look back at what men and women wore in the dreaded eighties and give you our list of the top most notorious looks of the decade.
Womens Fashion in the 80's
Can you imagine wearing a protective covering for your legs to make a fashion statement? Well, in the eighties, the fashion-forward individuals did just that. With the popularity of dance movies like Fame and Flashdance, leg warmers became 'the' accessory to adorn amongst teenage women. They wore it over jeans, leggings, socks, with skirts... Well, you get the picture!
Minis and micro minis first became popular in the mid-sixties and early seventies. The length saw a resurgence in the eighties with women taking to the trend like never before. The shorter the skirt, the better. Fabrics that were popular included leather, denim and lace. Wearing a lace skirt with fishnet stockings was quite the statement to make.
Another trend that originated from the dance movies craze was wearing leotards. While initially they were only used as accents to add colors and textures, in time they became the fashion statement to make for the fairer sex. With the aerobics craze, they transitioned from being dance-wear to being gym-wear. If you wore leotards you would color coordinate by wearing matching tights, legwarmers, and headbands.
Think '80s and think out-of-the-world like fashion staples, the shoulder pads. And the credit goes completely to the soap opera Dynasty. It was the definition of power dressing and it was a way for women to show that they were equal to their men colleagues. A lot of women got Velcro attached to the inside of their outfits so that they could attach shoulder pads.
One of the biggest trends of the 80s (literally) - over-sized tops. A lot of women took to wearing big sweaters and bigger sweatshirts and these looked large enough to house buses and trucks. Exaggeration aside, they would wear these humongous t-shirts with miniskirts or even leggings, add a low-slung belt over it, and step out in style.
Mens Fashion in the 80's
Think MC Hammer and you get an idea of the kind of trousers we are talking about. Ultra baggy pants with a drop-crotch style, these pants became the embodiment of everything that was wrong with the fashion of the 1980s.
If you didn't have one of these, you were out of the race for being called the coolest kid in the class. The faded, slouchy leather jackets sported by celebrities (Michael Jackson for one) were all the rage. Most men would team the jacket with a pair of finger-less gloves and aviator glares.
This was the decade in which this style of denims made its first appearance. Denims were chemically bleached so that they would be streaked with pale white spots and lines. While they were manufactured purposely, many people also chose to play around with bleaching at home. They became a mainstream trend with the popularity of heavy metal bands soaring.
The eighties were mad, they were crazy but they were unique and individualistic. They were about color and vibrancy. They were about outlandish attire. And they were way too much fun. And the fashion of the eighties reflected just that.