Girl, the 80s Fashion were all about being loud and proud! The fashion of that era practically screamed for attention. Neon colors, big hair, and bold patterns were the name of the game. You embraced all the latest trends without holding back. Shoulder pads that would make a linebacker jealous? Check. Enough lace and ruffles to make a Victorian era lady blush? Double check. The 80s were a time of unapologetic excess and flair. However, the era also saw the growth of strong women in music, TV, and culture who weren’t afraid to express themselves. This was in addition to the outrageous fashions. Even though the dress was outrageous, it symbolized a generation of women who were not afraid to be bold and distinctive. Those were the days! The 80s saw you at your boldest, brightest and most beautiful.
The Rise of Power Dressing in Women 80s Fashion
The 80s saw a rise in power dressing for professional women entering the workforce. Padded shoulders, bold colors, and sharp silhouettes conveyed a “don’t mess with me” attitude.
The Power Suit
The power suit featured a blazer with massive shoulder pads, paired with a knee-length skirt or pants in a solid, jewel tone. These ensembles allowed women to appear authoritative and self-assured in the male-dominated business world. Popular shades included royal blue, forest green, and burgundy.
For a stylish touch, women rocked silk bow blouses, gold jewelry, and statement belts under their suit jackets. Kitten heels or low pumps completed the look. While the silhouettes were boxy and mannish, bold accessories and fabrics allowed women to maintain their femininity.
Dressing for Success
In the 80s, “dressing for success” meant wearing the uniform of the powerful and prosperous. Yuppies and career women adopted an upscale preppy style characterized by brands like Liz Claiborne, Ann Taylor, and Escada.
The 80s power suit and preppy styles enabled women to convey a confident, elite image during a decade focused on status, glitz, and living the high life. While the enormous shoulder pads may seem comical now, these ensembles symbolized women taking charge and breaking barriers. The 80s power woman knew how to balance femininity and authority, all while making a bold statement.
Iconic 80s Style Staples for Women
The 80s were all about excess, and fashion was no exception. Some of the decade’s most iconic styles are still beloved today.
Legwarmers were a must-have accessory, originally popularized by dancers and aerobics instructors to keep muscles warm. Made of wool or acrylic, legwarmers added flair and kept legs cozy under skirts and dresses.
Powerful shoulder pads helped women achieve that bold, intimidating silhouette so popular in 80s fashion. Pads ranged from subtle curved inserts to huge, squared-off pads that made shoulders appear twice as wide. Love them or hate them, shoulder pads dominated the decade.
Acid Wash Denim
Nothing said 80s cool like acid wash jeans. Acid washing involved bleaching regular denim to create a mottled, tie-dye effect. Tight-fitting acid wash jeans, often with zippers or rhinestones and worn with a belt, were a fashion staple of the era.
Big hair, don’t care! Backcombing, crimping, and teasing hair at the crown created sky-high volume. Hairspray by the gallon helped defy gravity and hold outrageous styles in place. Teased hair paired perfectly with heavy makeup and loud, neon colors.
The 80s live on through its vibrant, rebellious fashion. Next time you rock legwarmers, teased hair or acid wash jeans, thank the era that made them iconic. The 80s inner rebel in you will thank you.
Influential 80s Supermodels That Defined the Decade’s Style
The 80s were full of iconic supermodels that epitomized the decade’s over-the-top style. Some of the most influential models that defined 80s fashion were:
Christie Brinkley was the all-American girl next door. With her blonde hair, blue eyes and megawatt smile, she landed three consecutive Sports Illustrated covers from 1979 to 1981. Christie helped launch the aerobics craze appearing in workout videos and sporting athletic brands like Danskin. Her wholesome and athletic image captured the fresh-faced, health-conscious spirit of the 80s.
Iman was one of the first black supermodels to achieve mainstream success and gain international fame. Born in Somalia, Iman brought exotic beauty and glamor to high fashion. She walked the runway for Yves Saint Laurent, Versace and Calvin Klein, and appeared on the cover of Vogue several times. Iman showed that diversity and inclusiveness were becoming more prominent in fashion. Her regal presence and polished style embodied the opulence of the 80s.
Along with Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista was part of the “Trinity” – the most influential group of supermodels in the late 80s. With her ever-changing hairstyles and chameleon-like qualities, Linda was a favorite of top designers and photographers. She was famously quoted as saying “we don’t wake up for less than $10,000 a day.” Linda represented the elite world of high fashion models and 80s excess. Her edgy and avant-garde style captured the drama of the 80s.
These iconic supermodels brought glamor, beauty and style to the 80s, influencing fashion trends and representing the spirit of the times. With their larger-than-life personas and fame, they became celebrities in their own right, helping launch the era of the “supermodel.” Their reign defined 80s fashion.
So there you have it, a whirlwind tour through the loud, proud, and unapologetically flashy fashion of the 80s. Those neon colors, big hair, and shoulder pads may seem over the top now, but they represented an era of experimentation, expression, and embracing boldness in style. While 80s fashion certainly won’t appeal to everyone’s tastes today, you have to admire the carefree and fun-loving spirit it embodied. Fashion is fleeting but the memories of stepping out in your favorite 80s Fashion outfit, feeling confident and defiantly stylish, will last forever. 80s fashion was all about making a statement and being unforgettable. Judging by how iconic it remains today, it’s clear the 80s absolutely nailed that mission.