Bring back some good or bad memories


April 6, 2016

Bad '80s Fashion Trends: Here Are 20 Style Mistakes We Used to Love in the 1980s

As far as fashion goes, no decade is quite as no-no-notorious as the 80s. After all, in what other decade could you get away with wearing skin-tight pants one day and baggy “MC Hammer” pants the next?

Here, below are the top 20 '80s fashion fads we used to love.

1. Shoulder Pads

The decade's most prominent silhouette was the one that turned your body into an upside-down triangle. Add a couple giant earrings and a big belt, and you've got yourself an office power suit.

2. Sweatbands

The '80s were filled with sweatbands and headbands worn, for some reason, straight across the forehead. Was everyone really sweating that much under their shoulder pads?

3. Members Only Jackets

Members Only jackets: infinitely cooler in trios. And with sunglasses worn exclusively at night.

4. Denim

Who didn't have at least three pairs of acid washed jeans in their closet? This is one trend from the '80s that actually came back — in cutoff shorts form, naturally.

5. Leg Warmers

Dressing like a dancer seemed like a great idea at the time, but then everything started turning banana yellow and Pepto pink.

6. Iron-On Patches

Step 1: Get a denim jacket.

Step 2: Pretend you're a Girl Scout and start ironing patches onto it.

7. Fanny Packs

80s logic: Why keep your purse hung on your shoulder or held in your hand when you can simply suspend it around your waist?

8. Suits With Pastel Shirts and Ties

Miami Vice inspired an entire generation of men to start dressing in pinstripe, pastel, and all-white. While embarrassing, it's impossible to deny it: These guys definitely looked cool at the time.

9. Neon

We love a good bright color, but glowing in the dark isn't exactly ideal. Though if you're going to do it, you might as well wear it head-to-toe!

10. Ripped Jeans

Suddenly, denim didn't come perfectly intact — you could buy it pre-torn. Or, if you were feeling crafty, you could do it yourself. Sadly, this resulted in a whole lot of tragic jorts incidents.

11. Big Plastic Earrings

Matching your bright clothes to your bright earrings seemed like a solid idea at the time. And when paired with feathered bangs, this was the quintessential '80s beauty look for teens.

12. Off-the-Shoulder Sweatshirts

If you've been to an '80s-themed party since the actual '80s, you have likely noticed that this is the trend most people hold dearest.

13. Parachute Pants

Sure, MC Hammer made these look ultra-comfortable to dance in, but a crotch that sagged all the way to your shins is probably not the way to go anymore.

14. Geometric Patterned Shirts

Guys were definitely not exempt from wacky clothing — even Joey from Full House got in on the action with this crazy print shirt so many men were guilty of wearing in the '80s.

15. Stirrups

This outfit covers so many '80s bases: It has spandex, pastel colors, leggings, exercise clothes, and stirrups. But it's that last one that's the real standout here. Stirrups were a surprisingly practical trend that just looked so ridiculous — if only this functional fashion element could be made into something ... stylish.

16. Exercise Clothes

Okay, so technically exercise clothes are popular streetwear these days, but short-shorts and a skinny tank top are no longer the pieces of choice. Richard Simmons, on the other hand, will always be one of our faves.

17. Tulle Appliques

With the exception of ballerina tutus, tulle, in most forms, is a dangerous thing to a person's outfit. It has the power to turn a perfectly lovely dress into a craft store monstrosity. Avoid it at all costs.

18. Popped Collars

Let's be real: Everyone had a crush on bad boy Judd Nelson in The Breakfast Club. And his popped collar was part of his signature look.

19. Mom Jeans

No one could escape the horrors of '80s mom jeans, not even supermodels like Pat Cleveland. But this trend has made a huge comeback in recent years, minus the bad fit and acid wash. We'll take that beautiful brick red lipstick, too!

20. Sweaters Draped Over Your Shoulders

Want to instantly look like you're the jerk in an '80s movie? Tie a bright sweater around your shoulders, then feather your haircut for good measure.

(This original article was published on Good Housekeeping)



Browse by Decades

Popular Posts


09 10