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The Greatest (and Lamest) 80’s Fashion Trends – Part 1

Love it or hate it, the 80’s was a decade that brought us some *ahem* strong looks. Do you remember (or were you guilty of) donning any of these from our list? Take a trip down memory lane – and get ready to cringe and feel some serious fashion nostalgia all rolled into one, for the era that was louder than Madonna’s ‘Papa Don’t Preach’ blasting out of a neon pink Delorean, the 80s. 

1. Neon

This eye burning trend has made a few comebacks throughout the years – with varying (some would say horrifying) results. We defy you to find someone that can actually pull off these intense colours!

Photo: 80s Fashion

2. Acid Wash Jeans

Jeans. Washed with acid. Of course these were thought up in the 80s! A real mainstay of 80s cool-kid culture, these were a must if you were trying to up your street cred. Still popular now!

Photo: Airy Hair

3. Highwater Pants

These would not look out of place in an outfit today! The best of 80s minimalist design, a pair of these paired perfectly with penny loafers (see below) and a boxy men’s-style shirt.

Photo: Refinery 29

4. Bucket Hats

Brought into our consciousness by LL Cool J, Run DMC and the like, these sun-shunning accessories were the epitome of rapper cool.

Photo: High Snobiety

5. Side Ponytails

Cute and quirky, these came into mainstream fashion along with Jane Fonda, exercise videos, leg warmers and sweatbands. Totally the 80s version of the activewear look of today.

Photo: Skool Days

6. Penny Loafers

Those who rocked an androgynous Annie Hall-esque look in the 80s will remember penny loafers well. Super minimal, they would still look chic paired with any outfit today. Well played, 80s, well played.

Photo: Baudoin and Lange

7. Rat Tails

Okay, woah. If these come back in, we’re out. Regular length hair with a small strand of hair grown extra long. Sometimes plaited. Ugh.

Photo: Hairstyle Camp

8. Washed Jean Jackets

The perfect accompaniment to basically any outfit in this era, the jean jacket was an absolute must for both girls and boys. Oversized, undersized, cropped, longline, acid wash, black, light blue, dark blue – if you could think of a variation, it existed. Extra points went to cool kids who customised theirs by sewing patches on them.

Photo: Vanguard Vintage

9. Ray Ban

Tom Cruise launched an entire era of copycats when he donned his infamous Ray Ban wayfarers in the film Risky Business in 1983. They’ve made a comeback in recent years, and we have a feeling they will continue to rank consistently as a timeless classic for many years to come.

Photo: Simply Eighties

10. Ripped Jeans

Okay, these are still a huge look today, so I guess the 80s didn’t get it all wrong! The varieties of the past were baggier in style and sometimes offset with some lace or neon underneath. They stayed in fashion throughout the 90s too – who would’ve thunk it?

Photo: Richard Corman


Stay tuned for Part 2 next week!


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