Fashion Trends that Defined the 80s | #AD

Every decade has its own key trends that defined the era. The 80s was no different. An interesting decade combining glamour and punk styles. These are the fashion trends that defined the 80s and how you can wear them today.

Fashion Trends that Defined the 80s

Fashion Trends that Defined the 80s

High-Waist Jeans

Although jeans became popular among men and women in the 1970s, it was the 80s when jeans became a style staple. For many years, even up until the 1960s, jeans weren’t widely available for women. If a woman of the 50s or 60s wanted to wear denim jeans, she’d usually have to borrow her boyfriend’s jeans, which is where the term “Boyfriend Jeans” originated from. High-waist jeans were typically the popular style in the 1980s and jeans in general became an item that everyone of all ages wore.


Shoulder Pads

Shoulder Pads are probably what most people think of when they here the 80s mentioned. Men would wear dramatic shoulder pads in their suits and women would wear them in blouses and dresses. When worn well, shoulder pads can be very figure-flattering, creating the illusion of a well-proportioned silhouette. They are made to make your shoulders look slightly wider and more defined, creating the illusion of a narrower waist.

Fashion Trends that Defined the 80s


The 1980s was all about sharp lines and accentuating silhouettes, in contrast with the 1970s and 1990s where we saw softer, more casual fashions. Corsets have came in and out of fashion throughout the decades, but it was Madonna who reintroduced the corset in the 1980s. Today, you can replicate the trend with a black lace bodysuit or corset dress for an 80s look with a modern twist.

Fashion Trends that Defined the 80s

Monochrome Outfits

This decade was all about solid colours. Patterns and prints made an appearance, but they weren’t as popular as the flower power decade of the 70s. In addition to all the bright colours on bold materials sported, simple monochrome outfits were also a popular choice. Black and white outfits were far from boring. They were styled to look glamorous and chic, epitomising what the era was all about.

Fashion Trends that Defined the 80s

Blouses and Shirts

Worn with jeans, skirts or over leggings, blouses and shirts were a lasting trend of the 1980s. The 80s was one of the first decades to embrace androgynous fashion – clothing styles that could be worn by both men and women. Although casual clothing for women became more readily available in the 60s and 70s, it was the 1980s when women had more freedom in how they dressed. A woman in the 1980s could wear a shirt with trousers for a more masculine look, just as easily as she could wear a feminine blouse with shoulder pads and leggings.

Fashion Trends that Defined the 80s

Fashion Trends that Defined the 80s

Batwing Sleeves

As you’ve probably grasped by now, the 1980s was not a decade of minimalism. The approach “less is more” was definitely not applicable here. This era was all about “more is more”! Big sleeves, big shoulders, big hair. Batwing sleeves were a well loved sleeve style in during the 80s and it’s a trend that has recently seen a comeback in today’s world of fashion.


What is your opinion of 80s fashion? Would it be something you would wear today?


#AD – this post is sponsored by FemmeLuxe Finery but all opinions are my own. 



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Fashion Trends that Defined the 80s | #AD

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