Posted by on Jun 10, 2017 in Case Studies |

1980’s Fashion: Everything Went and it Did!

The 1980’s was truly one of the more popular decades in history. From the rise of the personal computer to break-dancing and new wave music, the 80s was known for its high-energy and upbeat styles. No truer is this than when it came to 1980’s fashion, which ranged from Adidas track suits to trendy and fashionable skinny ties. From Calvin Klein to Izod, the 80s was a time to experiment with clothing styles and concepts as well. In fact, the decade produced everything from parachute pants and baggies to silky dress shirts and the return of suspenders. In a nutshell, the 80s was about neon-filled nightclubs and mTV accentuated with high-end fashions for adults and teens alike.

Fashion for Men

1980s mens fashion was anything but conservative. From spike belts and 50s-esque gangster suits to Members Only jackets and Lee trousers — there was a smorgasbord of fashions for teens and adults alike. Whether you were into heavy metal, punk-rock, hip-hop, or new wave — every male had to have at least one suit. This suit was preferably dark with a cool skinny tie and small collared — dress shirt. As you can see in retro shows like “Stranger Things” and “The Get Down”, many male teens struggled with looking hip and trendy. This was due to financial constraints — especially for kids in the inner cities. However, it was their ingenuity and creativity that propelled their innovative styles and fashions to global dimensions.

So popular was street-wear in the 80s that it became permanent staples across many global catwalks. In fact, entire fashion shows were dedicated to hip-hop fashion styles — long before Karl Kani and Russell Simmons dominated the market. These styles — that were mainly created in the South Bronx and Uptown Manhattan — included:

  • Lee trousers in a variety of colors with Adidas sneakers and fat laces.
  • Adidas jump suits, Kangol hats, Gazelle glasses, and different types of vests.
  • Members Only club/disco jackets, baseball caps worn backwards or to the side, and baggy new wave pants.

80s Fashion Influences

However, 1980’s fashion was just not relegated to Michael Jackson and break-dancing. In fact, the synth-wave revival of today — and much of the fashions attached — was dictated by Europe and even Canada. From Bryan Adams and Michael J. Fox to Kraftwerk and New Order — music and television was all you needed to see what was hot in the world of fashion. There was no Internet — so kids would rely on music videos and shows like “Dance Fever”, “Solid Gold’, “Puttin On The Hitz”, and especially “American Bandstand” to browse the latest fashions.

Cyndi Lauper also impacted fashion with her outlandish and zany costumes. In fact, her unique and original attire spawned legions of loyal fans from across the world. Lauper inspired fashions and accessories included sunglasses, bangles and even hoop earrings. Girls would also love to tease their hair, while adding plenty of hair spray and even glitter and colored high lights. Loud makeup and neo colors were also “the in thing” in the 80s, along with wearing your pants and slacks a little above the waistline. Still, there was a somewhat conservative look in the 80s as well — inspired by the Yuppies on Wall Street and especially Spandau Ballet. From slick business suits to new wavish hair and the latest in fat knots and skinny ties — business attire had its own niche in the decade of excess and abundance known as the 80s.

80s Fashion Album

In 2017, it seems the entire world wants to go back to the 80s. We are seeing so many references to the 80s in movies, television, Netflix shows and especially music. Long gone are the days of skin-tight cotton stirrup pants and “Flashdance” leggings. You only need to look at 1980’s fashion pictures to see what kids are emulating today. From Polo tennis shirts and suede Pumas to penny loafers and retro-designer jeans, the 80s truly gave the world unlimited fashion options and choices. Whether it was Vogue or even TV Guide, fashion was everywhere in the 80s. From leather pants and jackets to pin-striped comfort wear and ankle socks, everything was a go in the 80s. There were no restrictions or formal compositions. Kids were free to express their own styles which helped shaped their identities for years to come.

Like decades before, the 80s was about ushering in new changes and styles. No longer were the disco-laden 70s setting the fashion trends for the 80s. This decade had its own unique and distinct styles, which are still being copied and emulated by millions of people today. From Sergio Valente and Alessio to Jordache, 80s designers believed in two things; comfort and cool. The latter, of course, meant that you were hip, in-style, and open to making new fashion statements across the board.

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