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June 17, 2019

15 Fabulous Vintage Photos That Prove 1980s Was the Best Decade Ever!

Whether you grew up in the 1980s or not, there is no denying that there is just something about the decade that people can’t seem to get enough of. Perhaps it is the neon spandex, leg warmers, boomboxes, and big hair that we love to look back on, or maybe we just long for a much simpler time.


Were things better back in the day? It is hard to say, but there is definitely something about the 1980s that keeps people reminiscing about it – so why not go back in time with these fabulous vintage photos from one of the best decades ever.

1. Going Shopping


In the 1980s, still many years before the days of Amazon and Ebay, the popularity of shopping malls was at an all time high. It became the number one hang out spot for America’s youth, who would often meet up with their friends at their neighborhood’s mall sporting their trendiest clothes and hopping from one chain store to the next.

These three young shoppers were caught on camera in the 1980s, each wearing a pair of huarache sandals, one of the most popular style of female shoes of the decade.


2. Fashion Girls


If you were one of the ‘cool kids’ of the 1980s, then chances are you had a pair of L.A. Gear sneakers. The athletic footwear and clothing company, which was founded in 1978, quickly became one of the most popular brands for shoes and clothes by 1980. Their chunky ankle-high white sneakers with bold-colored laces became a fashion staple of the era.


3. New York Subway


Photographer Bruce Davidson captured this stunning shot of a woman waiting for the subway in New York City circa 1980. With her voluminous hair, dark denim waist-high jeans, bold-colored tank top, and fierce look on her face – this unknown woman is a perfect representation of 1980s city fashion.


4. Beauty Queens


Pictured here are the reigning beauty queens of 1983. Here we have Miss U.S.A. 1983 Julie Hayek, Miss Teen USA 1983 Ruth Zakarian, and Miss Universe 1983 Lorraine Downes posing together with their pageant-ready smiles at a Maybelline press luncheon in New York City. At the time, these three lovely ladies with their fanned out hair and strikingly white teeth were considered the ‘It’ girls of the decade, gracing the cover of nearly every fashion magazine cover in the country.


5. 3D Dinner


This photo from 1982 shows a family enjoying their dinner – and a bit of 3D television. Although 3D film can be traced as far back as the 1920s, it saw a worldwide resurgence in the 1980s. Back before the days of high-def television, these cardboard red and blue glasses were all the rage.


6. Material Girl


It is hard, if not impossible, to talk about the 1980s without mentioning Madonna. In 1982, the singer quickly went on to reach ultimate fame after releasing her first ever singles, Everybody and Burning Up – which were both major hits throughout clubs in the US. Not before long, the Material Girl singer became known as the Queen of Pop.


7. Punk Couple


In the 1980s, the punk rock subculture continued to rise, becoming more hardcore and provocative in its fashion choices. Punk rockers of the 1980s – who idolized bands such as The Misfits and The Clash – would commonly dress in torn, ripped clothing sporting spikes, studs, safety pins, chains, as well as leather jackets, dark eyeliner and makeup. They also were recognized by their often elaborate, spiked up, bleached hairdos – similar to the ones this hip 1980s couple are seen with here.


8. Record Store


This woman is seen here in 1986 holding the newest Bruce Springsteen album at one of the most frequented record chains of the era, Tower Records – which sadly went out of business in 2006.


9. Not So Mobile


While it may be hard to recall a time when we didn’t have smartphones, let this picture be a reminder of what life was like before we all had phones that we can easily place in our pockets. This woman seen here was photographed in the mid-1980s while walking around an airport talking on her ‘mobile’ phone.


10. Game Boy


With many people already crazy about the Nintendo Entertainment System, which was launched in 1985, this portable device meant that kids could take Super Mario Bros. with them wherever they went. In this picture from 1989, this mom is seen here helping her children through a tough level in Super Mario on their brand new Game Boy.


11. Fitness Craze


The aerobic-dance workout became all the rage thanks to fitness gurus like Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons, whose VHS workout tapes became best-sellers. Pictured here is a Jazzercise class from The Jazzercise Center in Pennington New Jersey circa 1989.


12. The Walkman


The beginning of the 1980s welcomed an exciting revolution in music technology, the Sony Walkman. The portable cassette player, equipped with its own set of headphones, became so popular, that by 1983 cassette tapes were outselling vinyl for the first time ever.


13. Concertgoers


These dedicated and excited fans photographed here on October 18, 1985 are getting ready to see their favorite band perform live at the Forum arena in Inglewood, California.


14. Boombox


Despite the popularity of the Walkman, people who preferred to listen to their music publicly, with a group of friends, still were crazy about the boombox. These heavy, bulky musical devices were huge especially in more urban communities, and quickly became a symbol of the American hip hop culture.

In the 1980s, it wasn’t an odd sighting to find a group of breakdancers showing off their moves on a New York City street corner somewhere, with their large boombox nearby blasting hip hop beats.


15. In Style


Another favorite clothing brand of the 1980s was the footwear and apparel company Reebok. In 1982, the company made history by coming out with the Reebok Freestyle aerobics sneaker, the first athletic shoe designed and marketed for women.

(This original was published on Monagiza)



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