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25 Things Cool People Wore in the 1980s


There was no such factor at subtlety within the Eighties—in the event you needed to be cool, that’s. Bright assertion colours (and by shiny, we imply neon), acid-wash denims, Members Only jackets, and Swatch watches have been the definition of completely tubular—so with the intention to mild up a room, you actually needed to mild up a room. And although we actually don’t desire these ’80s trend developments to return, it is all the time enjoyable to look again, cringe, and say, “Gag me with a spoon.” So put in your fingerless lace gloves and straighten up these shoulder pads, as a result of it is time to relive the ’80s trend developments that outlined cool.

1 Acid-wash denims

Acid wash jeans cool
Image through Wikimedia Commons

Acid-wash denim dominated closets and outfitters within the Eighties. It was by accident created by Italy’s Rifle denims firm once they tumbled denims and pumice stones with bleach in a washer with out water. And the perfect half was that it was attainable to create this ’80s trend development, which was significantly standard with punks, by yourself. All you needed to do was splatter bleach in your high-waisted denims or overside denim jacket, and all of a sudden your threads appeared identical to the glitzy clothes being offered at Bloomingdales.

2 Jams shorts

jams shorts

Jams shorts, with their shiny, typically Hawaiian-inspired patterns, completely demonstrated the loud fashion of the ’80s. Jams have been one other staple of skater tradition, with each women and men proudly sporting them even when they weren’t wherever close to a seashore. And if you wish to purchase somebody Jams as a gag present, you are in luck: They’re one of many 30 Gifts That Prove the Eighties Were the Best.

3 Vans

Studio Publicity Still from Fast Times at Ridgemont High Sean Penn © 1982 Universal All Rights Reserved File Reference # 31710200THA For Editorial Use Only

Mostly because of skater Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn) in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, checkered Vans sneakers have been all over the place within the Eighties. Nothing appeared to fairly embody the spirit of California cool like Vans did, and nonetheless do to at the present time.

4 Croakies

Croakies sunglass holders 1980s fashion

Today, Croakies would most likely be thought-about retro. But within the Eighties, everybody was sporting these sun shades straps. Actually, you may nonetheless store the Croakies Fortieth-anniversary assortment at present (just like the pair above) at makeupclass.internet. We should admit, it is an effective way to make sure you do not free your Wayfarers.

5 Shoulder pads

prvi maj pirot models wearing structured shoulder padded jackets, 1980s fashion
Wikimedia Commons/Pirot Historical Archive

There was no higher strategy to look skilled within the Eighties than with a blazer with huge shoulder pads. Truly, greater was higher when it got here to this ’80s trend development, which Andie Walsh (Molly Ringwald) embodied in Pretty in Pink. If it appeared like your boyfriend or husband loaned it to you, you knew you’d discovered the proper blazer.

6 Members Only jackets

Joe Keery and Gaten Matarazzo in Stranger Things (2016) members only jacket cool

Even in the event you did not develop up in the course of the Eighties, you are doubtless conversant in the Members Only jacket, because of the hit Netflix sequence Stranger Things. They have been a signature ’80s trend development and have been well-known for his or her promoting campaigns, a few of which have been odd PSAs and others of which featured celebrities like David Hasselhoff.

7 Chunky jewellery

Mr. T Wears blue and white star bandana and gold chains with gold hoops, an icon of 80s fashion
Everett Collection / Shutterstock

Just like all the pieces else, equipment solely obtained greater and bolder within the Eighties. Gold chains turned massively standard throughout this period, because of Mr. T sporting a breastplate of chains on the hit present The A Team. Soon sufficient, quite a few rappers, like members of The Sugarhill Gang, adopted the fashion.

8 Sperry Top-Siders

College couple on campus from the 1980

Though Sperrys first launched within the Nineteen Thirties, they did not have their second till the Eighties, when the preppy look took over the runways and subsequently avenue fashion as properly. When it got here to ’80s trend developments, Ivy League fashion dominated, and so Sperry Top-Siders have been the one acceptable footwear to accompany your khakis and the Shetland sweater tied round your neck.

9 Leggings

jane fonda leotard cool 1980s styles
Image through Amazon

With the rise of the aerobics craze, leggings turned a trend staple within the Eighties. As Jane Fonda completely demonstrates right here, they have been typically worn underneath a high-cut leotard (ideally in neon, in fact).

10 Neon

the 1987 cover of vogue with neon covers, 1980s fashion
Condé Nast

If you were not coated in neon within the Eighties, then what precisely have been you sporting? In the ’80s, you may see somebody coming from a mile away. (At least nighttime bicycle using wasn’t an issue!) With its neon leg heaters and off-the-shoulder sweatshirts, this decade glowed brighter than the remaining.

11 Animal print

Suzanne Somers in animal print top entertains the crew aboard the aircraft carrier, 1980s fashion

Wikimedia Commons/National Archives and Records Administration

Could you even take into account your self fashionable in the event you weren’t decked out in animal prints within the ’80s? Cheetah, giraffe, and even zebra-print clothes have been about as widespread in the course of the Reagan period as “Just Say No” memorabilia.

But this wild fashion (worn by Suzanne Somers right here) wasn’t for girls alone. Animal print was standard in menswear, too; even the members of Mötley Crüe obtained in on the development.

12 Ray-Ban Wayfarers

Drew Barrymore and Corey Feldman at the 61st Academy Awards, corey wearing ray ban wayfarers, 1980s fashion
Wikimedia Commons/Alan Light

If you lived you thru the ’80s or are a movie aficionado, you may most likely nonetheless image Tom Cruise strutting round in his Ray-Ban Wayfarers in Risky Business. From the second the film was launched in 1983, anybody who aspired to succeed in Cruise’s degree of cool—together with Corey Feldman right here—needed to have a pair.

13 Bally footwear

Bally sneakers retro style product shot

The Eighties noticed the beginning of hip-hop tradition, and together with it got here a method that will outline a era. Bally sneakers, which ’80s rappers like Rakim and Slick Rick have been specific followers of, have been thought-about the final word standing image all through the last decade. (The footwear stoke a lot ’80s nostalgia which you can nonetheless purchase them now, for $425 on makeupclass.internet).

14 Lace equipment

Madonna in Lace
© 1985 Orion

Lace was all over the place within the Eighties—largely because of Madonna’s affect on stage, in her music movies, and in 1985’s Desperately Seeking Susan (pictured right here). From gloves and headbands to sheer tops and leggings, something could possibly be—and was—fabricated from lace within the Eighties.

15 Swatch watches

Swatch watches cool 1980s style
Image through Flickr

Founded by Swiss watchmaker Nicolas Hayek in 1983, Swatch watches have been one of many greatest ’80s trend developments. During the last decade, the brightly coloured timepieces adorned the wrists of cool children all over the place. And since they have been additionally fairly reasonably priced—the watches offered for about $50 every—it turned trendy to put on a couple of on every arm. In reality, the extra Swatches you piled on, the higher.

16 Mickey Mouse clothes

1980s baby wearing mickey mouse clothing, 1980s fashion
Galvanized/Diana Bruk

In the Eighties, Disney was greater than only a standard theme park—it was additionally a trademark fashion. After John Lennon proudly wore a Mickey Mouse ringer tee within the decade prior, it wasn’t lengthy earlier than vintage-inspired Disney shirts and sweatshirts have been all over the place.

17 Kangol hats

LL Cool J in I Need Love music video wears white Kangol bucket hat, a popular 80s fashion trend
Def Jam

Any cool ’80s child knew there was a single acceptable piece of headwear: the Kangol hat. Whether you went for a beret or the bucket hat, the English model, with its distinctive kangaroo brand, took the States by storm within the ’80s. Soon sufficient, Kangol turned an indicator of hip-hop fashion, as you may see from LL Cool J’s 1987 “I Need Love” music video.

18 High-waisted denims

Freddie Mercury on stage and triumphant at Live Aid concert in July 1985

The trendy set of the Eighties rebelled agains the low-rise pants of the ’70s with tremendous high-waisted ones as an alternative. As modeled by Freddie Mercury right here, they have been useful, comfy, and appeared nice paired with a “Choose Life” tee.

Plus, because of these huge again pockets, high-waisted denims might maintain a cellphone the scale of a brick, which is about how huge they have been on the time.

19 Tracksuits

anthony andrews in his garden in wimbledon england wearing a red tracksuit, 1980s fashion
Wikimedia Commons/Allan Warren

In the Eighties, tracksuits transcended exercise put on and have become an on a regular basis trend staple for the good children on the block, particularly because of The Beastie Boys and LL Cool J. The tracksuits of the ’80s, like these made by Adidas, got here in a large assortment of colours, patterns, and materials. If you needed a neon nylon set, Surf Style had you coated. But in the event you needed a suave velour model, Fila was most likely your go-to.

20 Coca-Cola clothes

1980s USA Coca-Cola Promotional

If there’s one factor Americans love, it is Coca-Cola. And within the Eighties, we did not simply like to drink Coke—we beloved to put on it, too. Branded Coca-Cola merchandise was an enormous ’80s trend development, and essentially the most iconic merchandise was the rugby shirt. Designer Tommy Hilfiger created these relics, which featured Coca-Cola’s well-known cursive letters and shiny crimson hue.

21 Ruffled shirts

President Reagan and Mrs. Reagan pose in the Blue Room for their official portrait, nancy wearing ruffled shirt, 1980s fashion
Wikimedia Commons/Ronald Reagan Presidential

Whether you have been Prince, Liberace, or Nancy Reagan, ruffled (or “puffy”) shirts have been the look of Eighties royalty. Sure, they have been just a little loud and gaudy, however that is what the Eighties have been all about.

22 Cazals

two men in the back of the car, one wearing cazal glasses, 1980s fashion
Wikimedia Commons/Alan Light

Oversized Cazal glasses have been a paragon of ’80s trend. Created by Australian designer and visionary Cari Zalloni, these daring specs have been extremely standard and had movie star followers like Run DMC and Spike Lee.

23 Miniskirts

cool 1980s style miniskirt
Image through Wikimedia Commons

Unlike the A-line miniskirts of the Sixties, the ’80s skirt kinds have been tighter, shorter, brighter, and extra more likely to be coated in acid-washed ruffles.

24 White pumps

white pumps from the 80s

If you have been a bridesmaid within the Eighties, you most likely additionally owned a pair of white satin pumps. While different colours, particularly neon shades, have been standard within the Eighties, white was iconic. “The white stiletto once stood for style that was bold, brash and sexy,” a trend author from The Guardian defined.

25 Puffy vests

Back to the Future Michael J. Fox red vest cool 1980s style
YouTube/Universal Pictures

After Back to the Future got here out in 1985, each man needed a puffy vest so he could possibly be extra like Michael J. Fox’s Marty McFly. And, identical to you did not have to be on the seashore to put on Jams, it did not should be chilly to sport this wintertime look. And if you cannot get sufficient ’80s trend, try these 20 Photos Only Kids Who Grew Up within the Eighties Will Understand.

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