What Did Girls Wear in the 1980s?


Quick Answer

Girls' fashion in the 1980s was characterized by vibrant pastel colors, soft fabrics, leggings, oversized tops and flashy accessories. Older teens looked to pop culture for fashion inspiration.

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Full Answer

1980s fashion for young girls included pleated skirts, colorful sweaters, overalls and blouses. Much of this clothing was ornate, with ruffles, bows and lace details featuring heavily. Matching sets were popular, and dresses and skirts were often paired with white tights. Later in the decade, leggings, stirrup pants, jumpsuits, skorts and pastel colors became trendy. Acid-washed denim came about around 1989 and was popular among girls of all ages. Corduroy pants in pastel colors were paired with matching vests, button-up shirts or pullover sweaters. The fabrics tended to be soft, such as fleece or acrylic knits.

For older girls and teenagers, mini skirts, leggings, leg warmers and jackets with shoulder pads were common fashion choices. Mini skirts with tights or leggings were often paired with an oversized top that was often tied with an oversized, flashy belt. Music videos on MTV also greatly influenced fashion among the youth. Accessories like fingerless gloves, big earrings, hair scrunchies and jelly bracelets were commonplace. Parachute pants were favored by both male and female teenagers and young adults, in part due to comfort.

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