Reviving Classic Chic: 1980 Womens Fashion Trends

Do you ever feel like drifting away from the modern fashion trends and hop into the past? 80’s fashion might be what you are looking for! The 80s had an effortlessly chic fashion trend that has seemed to transcend the test of time. Its unique combinations of colorful, bold, and glamorous styles have inspired fashion enthusiasts of the current age to come up with new ways to re-create the classic 80s look. In this article, we’ll explore and revive some timeless 1980 women’s fashion trends that can make you look just as stunning today as they did back in the day.

Reviving Classic Chic: 1980 Womens Fashion Trends
Reviving Classic Chic: 1980 Womens Fashion Trends

The Origin of 1980 Women’s Fashion Trends

The 1980s was an unforgettable decade of style experimentation and self-expression in fashion. Women’s fashion, in particular, saw drastic changes and became bolder, brighter, and more expressive. The decade was heavily influenced by the political and cultural events that occurred during this time. From the rise of feminism to the music and entertainment industry, there were many factors that shaped the fashion trends of 1980 for women.

The Influence of the Music and Entertainment Industry on 1980 Women’s Fashion

One of the most significant cultural influences on 1980 women’s fashion was the music and entertainment industry. Music icons such as Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, and Michael Jackson had an enormous impact on fashion trends and were trendsetters for the decade. Madonna, for example, popularized the “Madonna Look,” which included an edgy, punk-inspired style with lace tops, fishnet gloves, and layered jewelry.

Another significant trend that emerged from the entertainment industry was the rise of aerobics and fitness culture. The popularity of movies such as “Flashdance” and “Footloose” brought about a new trend of workout attire, including leg warmers, spandex leggings, and headbands. This trend paved the way for the rise of activewear and athleisure fashion in the 21st century.

The Influence of the Women’s Movement on 1980 Women’s Fashion

The 1980s was a significant decade for women’s rights, and fashion was no exception. Due to the rise of feminism, women’s fashion became more masculine, with power suits and sharp-shouldered blazers becoming a ubiquitous sight in offices and workplaces. Designers such as Giorgio Armani and Calvin Klein were popular for creating tailored and refined looks for women that helped them break the barriers in the male-dominated corporate world.

Additionally, the feminist movement also led to the emergence of the androgynous fashion trend. Men’s clothing items such as blazers, oversized shirts, and loafers became popular among women, and the gender lines in fashion began to blur.

Key Elements of 1980 Women’s Fashion Trends

Women’s fashion in the 1980s was all about bold, vibrant styles that reflected the cultural changes happening at the time. From clothing to accessories to makeup, the fashion of the ’80s was all about making a statement. Let’s explore the essential fashion pieces that defined the look for women during this decade.


The clothing styles of the ’80s were big, bold, and often featured bold patterns and bright colors. Some of the key elements of 1980 women’s fashion trends include:

  • Shoulder pads: One of the biggest trends of the ’80s was the exaggerated shoulder pad, which was seen in everything from blouses to jackets to dresses. It was all about creating a strong, powerful silhouette.
  • Power suits: Women’s power suits became popular during this decade, particularly in the business world. These suits featured oversized blazers with fitted trousers or skirts.
  • Neon colors: The ’80s was all about bright, bold colors, and neon shades were particularly popular. Think hot pink, lime green, and electric blue.
  • Denim: Denim was a common fabric in the ’80s, worn in everything from jackets to jeans to skirts. Acid wash denim was also a popular trend at the time.


Accessories were an important part of the ’80s fashion look, and they were often just as bold and statement-making as the clothing. Some popular accessories of the time included:

  • Big, chunky jewelry: From oversized earrings to chunky necklaces, the ’80s was all about jewelry that made a statement. The bigger, the better.
  • Sunglasses: Big, colorful sunglasses were a popular accessory during the decade. Some styles even featured colored lenses or funky shapes.
  • Hair accessories: Scrunchies, headbands, and hair bows were all the rage during the ’80s. It was all about adding extra volume to your hair.
  • Fanny packs: Believe it or not, fanny packs were actually considered stylish during the ’80s. They were the perfect accessory for carrying around all of your essentials.


Makeup in the ’80s was all about making a bold statement. Some popular makeup trends during the decade included:

  • Bright lipstick: Shades of hot pink, bright red, and even purple were all popular lipstick colors during the ’80s.
  • Blue eyeshadow: Blue eyeshadow was a trend that you either loved or hated. It was a bold way to make a statement with your eye makeup.
  • Heavy blush: Blush was an essential part of any ’80s makeup look. The key was to apply it heavily and blend it out for a bold, rosy look.

How to Wear 1980 Women’s Fashion Trends Today

Reviving the classic chic of the 1980s is a fun and easy way to add some personality to your wardrobe. Here are some tips on how to wear 1980 women’s fashion trends today:

1. Shoulder pads

Shoulder pads were a huge trend in the 1980s and they are making a comeback today. If you want to incorporate this trend into your outfits, the key is to balance the proportions. Try wearing a blazer or a jacket with shoulder pads with a pair of skinny jeans or a pencil skirt. This will create a modern, updated look. If you want to go all-out 80s, wear a dress with shoulder pads and accessorize with a belt to define your waist.

2. Bold prints and colors

The 1980s were all about bold, eye-catching prints and colors. To make this trend work today, pair a colorful dress or a printed top with simple, solid-colored pants or skirts. Alternatively, you can mix and match prints – just make sure they have a similar color palette.

3. Acid wash jeans

Acid wash jeans were a staple of 1980s fashion. To wear this trend today, pair acid wash jeans with a simple, white t-shirt and a leather jacket. You can also dress up the look with heels and a statement necklace.

But why stop at just jeans? Acid wash denim jackets, skirts, and even overalls are all great ways to incorporate this trend into your wardrobe.

Best Brands for 1980 Women’s Fashion Trends

The 1980s were a time of power dressing, bold colors, and experimental fashion. Today, many brands are keeping the spirit of this iconic era alive with their collections. Here are some of the best brands for 1980 women’s fashion trends and where to find them:

1. Guess

Guess was founded in 1981 and quickly became a popular brand in the 1980s. Their denim and leather pieces were especially popular, and their legacy lives on in their current collections. Head to their website or a Guess store to find denim jackets, high-waisted jeans, and statement belts.

2. Reebok

Reebok is known for its classic high-top sneakers and athletic wear, which were all the rage in the 1980s. Today, the brand has revamped its classic styles with a modern twist. You can find the Classic Leather or Freestyle Hi shoes on the Reebok website or at major retailers like Nordstrom and Zappos.

3. Adidas

Adidas was also a popular brand in the 1980s, especially for its tracksuits and sneakers. The brand has since expanded its offering to include streetwear and fashion-forward styles. Check out the Adidas website or major retailers like ASOS and Foot Locker for retro-inspired tracksuits and bold graphic tees.

4. Betsey Johnson

Betsey Johnson is an American fashion designer who rose to fame in the 1980s with her bold, bright, and eclectic designs. Her punk rock aesthetic and use of neon colors and tutus are still iconic today. While Betsey Johnson no longer has standalone stores, you can find her designs on major retail websites like Nordstrom and Macy’s. Her statement jewelry pieces and colorful dresses are a must-have for any 1980s fashion lover.

Celebrities Who Embrace 1980 Women’s Fashion Trends

When it comes to 1980 women’s fashion trends, there are a few names that immediately come to mind – Madonna and Princess Diana. These fashion icons left a lasting impact on the fashion world with their bold and unique personal styles. Here are five celebrities who have embraced 1980 women’s fashion trends:

1. Rihanna

Rihanna is known for her daring fashion choices, and she has certainly embraced 1980 women’s fashion trends. From oversized blazers to neon colors and big hair accessories, Rihanna knows how to make a statement.

2. Beyoncé

Beyoncé has never been afraid to take risks with her fashion, and she has definitely taken inspiration from the 1980s. She often rocks shoulder pads, bold prints, and statement jewelry.

3. Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian is a fashion icon in her own right, and she has certainly embraced the 1980s. She has been spotted in everything from neon colors to power suits and oversized earrings.

4. Zendaya

Zendaya has a unique and fearless sense of style, and she has definitely taken inspiration from the 1980s. She often rocks bold prints, funky accessories, and bright colors.

5. Gigi Hadid

Gigi Hadid is known for her effortless style, and she has definitely embraced the 1980s. She often rocks oversized blazers, high-waisted jeans, and bright colors.

Tips for Nailing the 1980 Women’s Fashion Trends Look

Wearing 1980s Women’s fashion trends can be tricky, as the ’80s are considered a decade of bold and daring clothing choices. However, you don’t have to look like you’re wearing a costume to pull off the look. Here are some tips to help you master the 1980s Women’s fashion trends:

1. Choose a statement piece

If you’re hesitant about trying out 1980s Women’s fashion trends, start with a statement piece. It can be a bright-colored blazer or a graphic T-shirt. Pair it with contemporary clothing pieces and accessories to modernize your look.

2. Mix and match patterns

Experiment with different patterns like polka dots, florals, and stripes. The tip is: pair patterns with solids or combine patterns of varying sizes. Keep the color palette cohesive to avoid looking too busy.

3. Don’t be afraid of shoulder pads

One of the defining looks of the 1980s is the shoulder pad. If you want to achieve the quintessential ’80s look, don’t shy away from them. For a modern approach, choose a blazer or a dress with subtle shoulder pads.

4. Accessorize accordingly

1980s Women’s fashion trends are incomplete without accessories. Opt for chunky statement jewelry, neon-colored shoelaces, or bandanas as headbands. Hats, scarves, and belts can also add interest to your outfit.

5. Experiment with denim

Denim was popular in the 1980s, but it wasn’t just limited to jeans. Try denim jackets, skirts, and jumpsuits. For a modern twist, mix denim pieces with contemporary items, like a simple white T-shirt or sneakers.

6. Don’t forget the leg warmers

A simple but effective way to channel the ’80s is by adding leg warmers to your outfit. You can wear them over tights or denim jeans. Leg warmers come in different colors and materials, so you can mix and match them with your clothing pieces.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions Answers
What are some classic 1980 women’s fashion trends? Some classic 1980 women’s fashion trends include shoulder pads, power suits, oversized tops, leg warmers, and high-waisted jeans.
Where can I find clothing inspired by 1980 women’s fashion trends? You can find clothing inspired by 1980 women’s fashion trends in many popular retail stores and online retailers. Etsy and vintage clothing stores are also great options.
Are 1980 women’s fashion trends making a comeback? Yes, many 1980 women’s fashion trends are making a comeback in recent years.
Can I incorporate 1980 women’s fashion trends into my everyday wardrobe? Absolutely! You can easily incorporate 1980 women’s fashion trends into your everyday wardrobe with a few key pieces, such as a blazer or high-waisted jeans.
What accessories were popular in 1980 women’s fashion? Popular accessories in 1980 women’s fashion included big hoop earrings, statement necklaces, and oversized sunglasses.
How can I add a modern twist to 1980 women’s fashion trends? You can add a modern twist to 1980 women’s fashion trends by incorporating more contemporary pieces, such as a leather jacket or ankle boots. Mixing and matching classic and modern pieces is also a great way to update the look.

Thanks for Reading!

We hope you enjoyed this look back at classic 1980 women’s fashion trends! Whether you’re looking to rock some shoulder pads or just add a touch of retro flair to your wardrobe, there are plenty of fun ways to incorporate these iconic styles into your outfits. Don’t forget to visit our site again soon for more fashion inspiration!

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