(Photo courtesy of: Skooldays)
The 1980’s was a crazy decade. For starters, the election of Ronald Regan brought us a new group of voters called “ReganDemocrats”. They voted for Regan and were crucial for actually getting him elected.
Little know fact about our dear President Regan, he was formerly a Hollywood actor. His most notable role was as George Gipp in his 1940 film about the former Notre Dame Football player.
Once Ronald Regan took office, he made it his mission to advocate for industrial deregulation and reductions in government spending.
But enough about stuffy old politics, LET’S TALK FASHION!!!
In the 1980’s it seemed that most fashion was geared towards the expensive fabrics and, of course, the accessories. Clothing also seemed to lean towards extremely bright colors.
(Photo courtesy of: Inn Trending)
Women tended to express their social status by wearing shiny costume jewelry and clothing that was adorned with sequins and a material called diamante. It was common that costume jewelry often consisted of: faux-gold earrings and pearl necklaces.
Another fashion trend that mad became famous was Punk fashion. It was thought to be the rebellion against the hippie look of the previous decade. An interesting fact, it wasn’t until the second half of the 1980’s that the crazy color schemes in clothes actually became popular.
Hair in this decade tended to be on the big and super curly side. Television shows, like Dynasty, made this hair style popular along with the crazy bright makeup and light colored lips of the day.
Fashion in the 1980’s was broken into two categories. In the early half there was the minimalism style. This showed us that accessories were not the centerpiece of fashion, colors were more neutral and in varying shades of brown.
Clothing that was typically worn was uni-sex, featuring a lot of sweaters and turtlenecks. Women’s pants of the early 80’s were generally worn with longer inseams, which carried over from the 1970’s.
Next up, the beloved Aerobics Craze, yay! Again, this was a trend that was carried over from the 1970’s, but during the 1980’s women began to include ripped sweatshirts, tights, and sweatpants. It also saw the introduction of the leg warmers and trainer shoes.
Professional women’s clothing made some major changes as well, since women were trying to portray themselves as equals. It became more serious with knee-length skirts, wide legged slacks with a matching blazer, and a blouse; generally of a different color.
By the mid-1980’s fashion began to be infused with a lot more color and longer lengths. This included: long skirts, slim miniskirts, tapered pants (often times with stirrups), and pastel colored trench coats.
(Photo courtesy of: Mail Online)
Around 1985 women’s fashion began to be influenced by rising pop star Madonna. Her most famous look was soon dubbed “street urchin” and consisted of a skirt over leggings, necklaces, rubber bracelets, fishnet gloves, strings of beads and bleached untidy hair.
(Collage courtesy of: Pic Monkey)
TV shows like Dallas or Dynasty also played major roles in influencing fashion. The casts of both dramas were often seen wearing jackets with over sized shoulder pads. The women often times pronounced their wealth by involving jewelry and sparkling clothing.
Moving on to the later 1980’s fashion began to take on a more “consumer-friendly” feel.
I learned that in 1987 the short skirt was the only length to be manufactured by most fashion houses. Shoulder pads became smaller and coats began being offered in a wider range of options.
(Photo courtesy of: Inn Trending)
Up and coming fashion trends included: baby doll dresses, jumpsuits, stretch pants, happy pants (homemade pants constructed out of crazy patterns and bright colors), and opaque tights. Accessories included: bright-colored shoes, berets, and lacy gloves.
Men’s fashion in the early 1980’s leaned towards a more athletic style, similar to what a young Sylvester Stallone would wear. Popular colors were black, white, browns and orange. Polyester was popular and used mostly to make v-neck shirts or button ups.
In the mid-1980’s men’s fashion was influenced by the popular TV series’ Miami Vice or Magnum P.I. These fashions included: wool sport coats, Levi 501s, Hawaiian themed shirts, flannel shirts, spandex cycling shorts and khaki pants.
The late 1980’s brought men’s fashion around to Doc Martens and Parachute pants. Doc Martens were dark shoes or boots with cushioned soles and were often times worn by both men and women. They were highly popular among the Goth crowd because they went well with the vampire inspired look of the time.
(Photo courtesy of: Pinterest "80s Men's Fashion Board)
Parachute pants were made famous by none other than MC Hammer. The pants were generally constructed out of ripstop nylon and were purposely cut to be very baggy.
There is some debate as to why the pants are called “parachute” pants. In the 1970’s the world “parachute” may have referred to the synthetic nylon the pants were made from. However, in the 1980’s it is thought that “parachute” may have referred to the extreme bagginess. I guess we will never know.
With that, we have reached the end of yet another decade!!! I hope you have enjoyed the fun information and will stay posted for next week’s post: the 1990’s.