From leg warmers to crimped hair, the ’80s were a time for bold and unapologetic fashion. Girls wore clothing that was usually bright, sometimes neon, and occasionally strayed from the form-fitting outfits of earlier decades. In fact, oversized shirts and layered socks ruled in the 1980’s. Critics of this righteous decade’s fashions abound. They claim that many of the fashions were unflattering and haven’t stood the test of time. But make no mistake, the fashions were fun and dramatically set this decade apart from the rest.
In the ’80s, a pair of leg warmers could probably be found in every girl’s dresser. This didn’t mean that every girl was into dancing or ballet, just that it was the must-have look. These huge, thick, footless socks came in all colors, and after the hit movie “Flashdance” premiered, every girl had to have a pair.
From funky and chunky abstract necklaces to huge cross earrings, it was “the bigger, the better” when it came to jewelry in the ’80s. Not only did jewelry have to be prominent, there had to be lots of it. Madonna can be credited for pioneering this layered jewelry look. She piled on the bracelets and necklaces in her videos, and she went overboard with accessories in the ’80s movie “Desperately Seeking Susan.”
Baggy Tops and Sweaters
Fashionistas in the ’80s wore baggy tops and sweaters. The tops were oversized and usually shapeless and sometimes showed a little shoulder. This way, tops could be layered over a tank and maybe even a third top underneath. For chic ’80s gals who wanted the baggy-top look, the bat-wing sweater was an excellent choice. Fitted at the waist and wrists, it provided plenty of fabric in between, giving an extended arm a winglike appearance.
In contrast to the layered jewelry and baggy tops and sweaters, girls kept skirts short and simple in the ’80s. Extremely short. The mini skirt was in, and the perfect mini skirt was tight and bright and sometimes paired with leg warmers. The girls of the ’80s wanted to show off their gams or that new pair of funky tights, and mini skirts showcased them best.
Priced at around a buck each, just about every girl had a pair of Jellies. These clear plastic PVC shoes were shiny and sometimes decorated with glitter. They still can be found at stores for about the same price.
References and ResourcesLike Totally 80s: 80s Leg Warmers
Like Totally 80s: The Madonna Look
The Great 80s: 80s Fashion