The 1980s was a decade of bold and dynamic fashion, characterized by a distinct aesthetic that is instantly recognizable even today. From the rise of punk and new wave to the emergence of MTV and music videos, the 1980s was a time of cultural and social change that was reflected in its fashion trends. In this blog post, we will explore the key fashion trends of the 1980s and what influenced them.
One of the most iconic fashion trends of the 1980s was power dressing, which emerged as a result of the growing number of women entering the workforce in positions of power. Power dressing was characterized by structured, tailored silhouettes, shoulder pads, and bold colors, often featuring strong and assertive accents such as oversized bows, statement jewelry, and bold prints. This trend was heavily influenced by the feminist movement, as women sought to assert their presence and authority in a male-dominated workplace.
Another significant trend of the 1980s was the rise of punk and new wave fashion. Inspired by the music scene, this trend was characterized by leather jackets, studded belts, ripped jeans, and chunky boots. This anti-establishment aesthetic was a reaction to the mainstream fashion of the time and was heavily influenced by the punk rock movement of the 1970s. Bands such as The Sex Pistols and The Clash were major influences on punk fashion, which became a symbol of rebellion and non-conformity.
The 1980s also saw the emergence of hip hop fashion, which was characterized by bold, oversized clothing, including baggy pants, graphic t-shirts, and tracksuits. This trend was heavily influenced by the hip hop music scene, which originated in the Bronx in the 1970s. Hip hop fashion was a reflection of the culture of the streets, and it was often associated with the emerging hip hop subculture, which was defined by its emphasis on self-expression and individuality.
In addition to these trends, the 1980s was also characterized by a range of other fashion styles, including preppy fashion, which was characterized by clean lines, tailored clothing, and bright colors. This trend was influenced by the popularity of Ivy League fashion and was often associated with the upper classes. Another trend was the emergence of the “yuppie” culture, which was characterized by designer labels, power suits, and a focus on materialism and consumerism. This trend was heavily influenced by the economic prosperity of the decade and the rise of the business class.
So what influenced these trends? One of the key influences on 1980s fashion was the emergence of MTV and music videos. Music videos became an important medium for fashion designers and stylists to showcase their designs, and they helped to popularize many of the key trends of the decade. Bands such as Duran Duran, Madonna, and Michael Jackson were major influences on fashion, and their music videos became iconic examples of 1980s style.
Another key influence on 1980s fashion was the growing influence of celebrity culture. The rise of tabloid journalism and the emergence of paparazzi photography helped to make celebrities more accessible and influential than ever before. Celebrities such as Princess Diana, Madonna, and Michael Jackson became style icons, and their fashion choices helped to shape the trends of the decade.
Finally, the social and cultural changes of the 1980s played a significant role in shaping fashion trends. The rise of feminism, the emergence of the hip hop subculture, and the growing influence of youth culture all had a profound impact on fashion. The 1980s was a decade of change and experimentation, and fashion was no exception.
What fashion trends from the 1980s stick out the most in your mind? Are we going to see another resurgence of 80s styles sometime in the near future? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
-Ian Drake, Diversity Consignment