Fitness fashion became very popular in the 1980s. Films such as Flashdance and Fame made workout gear a fashion statement. People no longer just wore their spandex pants to the gym but to their favorite rock concert. Here are just a few staples that every 80s diva must have in her wardrobe.

The Shell Suit

The shell suit is a nylon zippered jogging suit. The colors are usual bright with a secondary contrasting color. Initially, shell suits were for those highly involved in sports, but when the look became popular people began to wear them to the grocery store and elsewhere in everyday life.

Leg Warmers

Professional dancers wore leg warmers to keep their ankles warm. Leg warmers are made of knit fabric that surrounds the calf and ankle area. In the early 1980s when the dancewear craze hit, women everywhere wanted to look like a dancer and began adding leg warmers to their attire.


Whether you were sweating or not, the sweatband was an essential item to the 1980s wardrobe. Sweatbands are worn around the forehead during exercise to absorb sweat and keep it from reaching the eyes. Wristbands were worn as well.


Gymnasts, figure skaters and dancers traditionally have dressed in leotards. In the 80s, women began wearing them for exercise made popular by Jane Fonda workout videos and Olivia Newton John’s song and video “Physical”. The 80s leotards came in bright colors and sometimes came with elastic belts. Most were made out of spandex.