What Clothing Styles Were Popular in the 1980s?

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Some popular clothing styles from the 1980s include shoulder pads for women’s business wear, miniskirts, leg warmers, large earrings and fingerless gloves. Some other 80s styles include parachute pants, Members Only jackets, UNITs boutique clothing, oversized women’s tops and stirrup pants.

In the 1980s, the presence of women in the workplace increased dramatically, due in part to the women’s liberation movement. Women used large shoulder pads to look strong and prominent. Miniskirts, especially made in denim, were a popular choice and usually paired with leggings or tennis shoes and big socks. Women also wore UNITS, a one-size-fits-all brand that made coordinating pieces that were interchangeable.

Leg warmers became popular when the workout video market exploded in the 1980s. They were a dancewear staple that went mainstream for a time. Oversized earrings were also popular for both men and women. Celebrities like Madonna, Mr. T and Cyndi Lauper wore large earrings throughout the decade. Madonna also sported fingerless gloves, another 80s trend.

Both men and women wore parachute pants and Members Only jackets. Members Only jackets were a status symbol often worn with the sleeves pushed up to the elbow. Stirrup pants were women’s pants with an elastic band at the end of the leg that went under the heel of the foot. Oversized tops, including sweaters, sweatshirts and tunics, were trendy when worn over miniskirts or leggings and were often belted with wide, colorful belts.