The 1980s were a time of bold fashion statements and larger-than-life hairstyles. Although the era was characterized by vibrant colors, eclectic designs, and a sense of youthful rebellion, it is often remembered for some of its more questionable style choices. In this blog article, we’ll take a nostalgic trip down memory lane to explore the good, the bad, and the downright outrageous trends in ’80s fashion and haircuts.
Big Hair, Don’t Care: The Hairstyles of the ’80s
- The Perm: The ’80s saw the rise of the perm, a hairstyle that involved chemically treating hair to create long-lasting curls. This voluminous, tightly-coiled look was sported by both men and women, often resulting in a rather poodle-like appearance.
- The Mullet: Business in the front, party in the back. The mullet was a popular hairstyle in the ’80s, characterized by its short, clean-cut front and sides, and long, flowing hair at the back. It was a style that defied logic and left many questioning the fashion sense of those who embraced it.
- Crimped Hair: A hair trend that seemed to defy gravity, crimping involved using a specially designed hair iron to create tight, zigzag-shaped waves. The result was a textured, frizzy look that was difficult to manage and has since been consigned to the annals of bad ’80s hair.
Fashion Faux Pas: The Clothing of the ’80s
- Shoulder Pads: The ’80s was a decade of power dressing, and nothing said “power” more than shoulder pads. These foam inserts were sewn into jackets, blouses, and dresses to create a strong, angular silhouette. While they were intended to evoke confidence and authority, they often resulted in an awkward, boxy appearance.
- Neon Colors: The ’80s were a time of vibrant, in-your-face colors. Neon hues like hot pink, electric blue, and lime green were all the rage, appearing on everything from clothing and accessories to makeup and hair dye. While the bright color palette made for a visually exciting decade, it was also overwhelming and difficult to pull off without looking like a walking highlighter.
- Leg Warmers: Originally designed for dancers to keep their muscles warm during practice, leg warmers became a mainstream fashion trend in the ’80s. They were worn over leggings or jeans and came in a range of colors and patterns. Although they added a touch of flair to outfits, they were ultimately an impractical and unnecessary accessory.
- High-Waisted Jeans: Also known as “mom jeans,” high-waisted jeans were a wardrobe staple in the ’80s. While they’ve recently made a comeback in fashion, their original iteration was far from flattering. The tapered leg, pleated front, and sky-high waistline created an unflattering silhouette that was anything but chic.
- Spandex: The ’80s were the decade of spandex. From aerobics classes to casual wear, this stretchy, form-fitting material was everywhere. While it may have been comfortable and practical for working out, it was far from forgiving and often left little to the imagination when worn as everyday attire.
While the ’80s were undeniably a time of innovation and experimentation in fashion and hairstyling, the decade also produced some truly unforgettable faux pas. From gravity-defying hairstyles to neon clothing and questionable accessories, the ’80s were a time of trial and error in the world of style. However, these outrageous trends have left an indelible mark on the fashion history, and serve as a reminder of the bold and adventurous spirit that defined the era.
Today, some of these trends have made a comeback, albeit in a more refined and updated form. The return of high-waisted jeans, for example, has been embraced by fashion-forward individuals who appreciate the flattering, vintage-inspired silhouette. Similarly, the revival of ’80s-inspired neon colors and bold patterns has found a new audience among younger generations who appreciate the unapologetic vibrancy of the era.
In the end, the ’80s will forever be remembered for its fearless approach to fashion and hairstyling. While some trends may be best left in the past, the decade’s lasting influence on popular culture and style cannot be denied. As we continue to revisit and reinterpret the iconic looks of the ’80s, it’s essential to remember the spirit of creativity and self-expression that made this era so memorable. After all, sometimes the most outrageous styles are the ones that leave the most lasting impression.