What was the fashion of the 80’s? Bright and extravagant

The 1980s were extravagant. They were defined by fashion icons such as Michael Jackson, Madonna, Dolly Parton, but also the elegant Lady Diana. People have endured big names and luxury brands at the same time…

The 1980s were extravagant. They were defined by fashion icons such as Michael Jackson, Madonna, Dolly Parton, but also the elegant Lady Diana. People suffered from big names and luxury brands, while looking for bright colors and materials. We will advise you how to dress in the style of the eighties.

The retro 80’s keeps coming back. We will introduce you to the key elements and the most popular silhouettes of this time. Fashion is a free space where we can express who we are. So it’s not a problem to choose only what you like from the 80’s.


Nobody says you have to go make it permanent. But if you choose her, why not? It will become part of your style. Get ready, the biggest hits of the 80’s are here. First, let’s take it a little analytically from materials and silhouettes. Then we move on to specific advice on clothing and styling.

Materials used

Compared to previous decades, in the 1980s it was almost no problem to get ready-made clothes. The mass production of clothing thus probably partly contributed to the fact that mainly synthetic materials were worn , spandex and artificial chiffon experienced a huge boom. Anything that was shiny, metallic, or with sequins meant a goal. We must not forget the leopard print!

But it was also worn with crepe, velor (including synthetics) , cotton , satin (also artificial) or silk. If you want to get into designing and sewing your own clothes in the style of the 80’s, you have a lot to choose from. Non-stretch materials prevailed mainly in costumes and tailor-made suits inspired by the army style, which were very popular at the time.

Colors – bright and minimalist

Vibrant colors are typical of this decade . But it wasn’t always like that. In the early 1980s, rather minimalist and neutral colors like brown and cream could be seen on the piers of prestigious fashion houses. But that didn’t detract from the overall opulence – these colors adorned extravagant furs and oversized jackets.

Distinctive colors came around the middle of the decade. And even with high fashion names. Colors were popular everywhere and everywhere, saturated, expressive, neon . They didn’t have to match the clothes perfectly, the broken contrast caused a sensation.

Towards the end of the era, mainly red and white began to gain ground as inspiration for Eastern cultures, brought by renowned fashion designers. In addition to this combination, fabrics with rich embroidery were also on display.

80s silhouette? Inverted triangle and asymmetry

The most popular silhouette of the 1980s was the one that created the illusion of an inverted triangle. This was achieved mainly through the biggest hit of this decade, the shoulder pads . It was important to connect the accentuated shoulders with a slimmer waist (calmly using a corset) and it’s an inverted triangle.

In addition to the inverted triangle, an asymmetrical silhouette by designer Thierry Mugler was also popular. The basis of the asymmetry is that the two sides of the garment are different . The main features of the asymmetrical style and design include the one-shoulder bodice, oblique hems or necklines that are often seen in streetwear fashion in Japan today.

The most popular brands and fashion designers

Many brands were popular in the 1980s. People liked to invest in models with large logos and inscriptions to see what the brand was. The popularity of sports fashion and sports in general (especially fitness and aerobics) has skyrocketed, so Adidas, Nike and Reebok have become among the top brands. Thanks to Michael Jackson, sneakers became the most popular shoes of the time. In addition to the already mentioned brands, Puma and Converse were also worn.

Brands like Levi, Wrangles and Guess produced more casual fashion, and especially trendy jeans . Because without jeans, the eighties couldn’t exist! What cuts were trendy? We’ll look into that soon.

A relatively interesting trend was the cheaper Swatch watches made of plastic materials. Perhaps everyone had several at home, and it was no exception that they wore two at a time. And speaking of those accessories, Ray Ban glasses were a must have, especially the Wayfarer model.

And the designers who influenced the 80’s?

  • Calvin Klein – his brand’s underwear was a big hit.
  • Vivienne Westwood – a fashion show Pirate from 1981 inspired by history aroused a great response.
  • Jean Paul Gaultier – The clothes of the eighties did not differentiate between a woman and a man. Gaultier was a pioneer in the androgynous style.
  • Thierry Mugler – extravagant and sexy, Mugler also introduced a popular asymmetrical silhouette.
  • Issey Miyake – A Japanese designer who combined Japanese with Western, introduced a collection of comfortable clothing and started a revolution in the use of pleated material.
  • Gianni Versace – a collection of metallic clothes that became typical of the eighties.
  • Franco Moschino – a rebel among designers, he took fashion with foresight and liked to provoke, he reveled in distinctive inscriptions and applications, which also became iconic.

80s Fashion – What’s Worn?


Jeans wherever you look. The so-called mom jeans or mom jeans really flew back then. They are characterized by a high waist and a straight cut, the trousers narrow slightly downwards. But fans of rock and punk also preferred skinny jeans.

Dark denim was not so common, everyone wore mainly suede bleached jeans . You can eventually create them yourself at home. Combine that with colored dots, heels, bold earrings and you’re like an 80’s.

Beware, in addition to classic jeans, denim jackets were also worn , in one combination. It was not uncommon for them not to fit together completely in color, dark and light denim were worn at the same time.

Shoulder pads

Shoulder pads were visible everywhere. From the streets to the catwalks of the most prestigious designers. This trend was absolutely necessary for the octagonal silhouette of the inverted triangle. They combined with fluffy sleeves , were part of costumes, dresses and jackets.


Women’s costumes have gained popularity thanks to television series about women careerists. The icon was especially Jackie Collins. The costume used to be tailor-made, with an accentuated waist , shoulder pads and a knee-length skirt. Brooches and distinctive earrings were chosen as accessories. Although there was something typically feminine about him, especially the trouser suits were deliberately androgynous , which corresponded to the trends of the time.

Dress with padded shoulders

The dress with shoulder pads made of glitter or velor was a big hit. They were worn by both the elegant Lady Di and the petty Dolly Parton. When it was all combined with fluffy sleeves and strict geometric cut lines, a finished symphony was formed.

Jerseys, leggings and colored leggings

Thanks to Jane Fonda and Cher, a whole generation of girls and women have gone crazy into aerobics and fitness fashion. Everyone practiced, whether at home according to a videotape, according to a book or in a gym. And that was reflected in the fashion. Although originally intended as sportswear, leotards, leggings and colorful leggings, they have found their way into everyday fashion.


Whether from whisper or velor , the tracksuit was owned by almost every young person. Velor sweatpants from the Fila brand were a huge hit. Dior finally sewed a sweatpants from velor. If you are flirting with the idea of ​​buying a tracksuit, think about this luxury material.

Logos and inscriptions

Nike and Adidas made T-shirts with  large inscriptions . Most often it was some slogans commenting on current events, but also without a deeper meaning. Trends were also logos , whether Adidas or Lacoste . T-shirts combined with leggings or jeans . As you can see, a duo of t-shirts and leggings is nothing out of the ordinary.

Leather jackets

At that time, almost every celebrity wore a leather jacket, so this trend quickly spread to the city streets. Such a piece must have had shoulder pads and, ideally, rolled up sleeves , as Michael Jackson showed in the Thriller music video.


Miniskirts were in vogue in the 1960s and are now experiencing a big comeback. They were combined with blouses with shoulder pads, or in leggings or overshoes. The skirts were made of either denim or spandex . Madonna sewed them again from a combination of net and lace.

Makeup and hair

What was typical about makeup in the 80’s? Vibrant colors , and not just one. In addition to blue shadows, the trends were also pink, yellow or purple. Instead of matte lipsticks , glossy ones were used , the same goes for roses on the face . Her hair was tucked up and combed into voluminous hairstyles. The favorite was mainly permanent , but it could also have a more decent form. The montage of Princess Diana was also iconic .

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