80′s Fashion Styles
The 80s was described as the decade of decadence and excessiveness with its hodgepodge of styles and fashion. Out of that decade emerged some crazy fashions and beauty trends.
The hairstyle trends of the 80s can best be described as spiked or voluminous. Big hair was achieved with three of the decade’s most important hair products hair gel, hairspray and mousse. One of the decade’s most memorable hairstyles is the mullet. The mullet was mainly a man’s hairstyle which consisted of shorthaired on top, both sides cropped and long hair that hung past the shoulders. The pompadour was also another prevalent hairstyle of the decade. Short male inspired haircuts were a fashion trend for women of the eighties; a reflection of women’s gathering equality and ambition driven, yuppie culture.
Olivia Newton-John had a smash hit with the song “Physical” in 1981. The music video spawned a new fashion trend with matching headbands and wrist bands. Men and women wore the headband as a fashion accessory as sports such as jogging and going to the gym became indicative of the go-getting eighties generation.
With the success of the 1983 film “Flashdance” a style of dress known as dance apparel was born. The film spawned a series of clothing styles that were no longer worn during dance classes but as every day wear. The leg warmers that dancers wore to keep their legs warm but had now become a new fashion trend. The leg warmers came in an array of colours, were usually worn over jeans or with skirts, dresses and high heels.
Baby Doll Socks
Baby doll socks emerged onto the scene in the early 80s and was an important accessory when women who wore miniskirts and high heels. The baby doll socks were cute for young girls and sexy when worn by mature women with high heels. These socks usually had a ruffled trim around the top, just above the ankle and were a staple of 80s fashion.
The 80s decade was also a decade of androgyny with the men adorning themselves in heavy make-up and with women wearing unisex clothing style. Some designers embraced the androgyny style and for a few years a woman could wear exactly what a man could wear. This fashion trend peaked in popularity between 1984-1986 and then faded out. Boy George (Culture Club), Grace Jones, Annie Lennox (Eurythmics) and Pete Burns (Dead Or Alive) made androgyny sexy and appealing during the decade of the New Romantic. Even glam rockers of the 80s metal music scene toyed around with androgyny by wearing heavy make-up.
Heavy make-up was all the rage during the 80s decade from blue and purple eye shadow to heavy black eyeliner accompanied with ruby red lips. The make-up of the 80s was Gothic inspired. The cat-eye look was very popular in the world of fashion and entertainment and was inspired by the European actresses of the 60s and 70s. The 80s gave this look a melodramatic twist, with pale skin and deep red lips fashioned by Robert Smith (The Cure) and Siouxsie Sioux (The Banshees). Blusher was also another popular make-up technique, applied heavily to the cheek bones to give an angular, theatrical look. Neon colours and multi-layering colours of eye shadow with thick black mascara were also prevalent. The lip was lined with black pencil and then filled in with bright red lipstick completed the look.
Shell suits were brightly coloured tracksuits made out of a nylon polyester material. The shell suits were very widespread throughout the UK while in the United States sweat suits popularised by hip-hop artists.
Many designers are now a embracing their love affair with the 80s decade and many of their fashions are inspired by the decade. From the retro hairstyles to the padded shoulders, from neon coloured clothes to high heels and fishnets, these are making a comeback. Popular culture has become fascinated with the 80s as an era of optimism, ambition and technological innovation. Designers and entertainers are embracing the 80s with retro style with gusto, showing that every new generation takes the fashion of the last and regenerates it with vigor and aplomb.