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Fashion in the 1980s

The early 80s were all about BIG. Everyone needed bigger hair, bigger muscles, bigger breasts and bigger budgets to pull the whole thing off.

Think Brooke Shields and George Michael’s eyebrows, Flashdanceinspired big sweaters with widened necks, Dynasty and Dallas shoulder pads and huge legwarmers or socks ballooning at the ankles.

This “big” look was a scary fashion nightmare. And to make matters worse . . . two words – Day-Glo!

The typical ‘power-dressed’ woman of the 1980s wore her shoulders wide, her skirts short and her heels high.

Clothes by top designers were a mainstay of the 80s. Department stores were rearranged to cater for a new way of merchandising, with in-house designer boutiques selling everything from coats and suits to accessories and perfume – all under one designer label.

But ‘Junk’ dressing was also very popular in the New Wave 80s: Madonna and Cyndi Lauper ruled in this category although it aerobics_002was a very popular street fashion; Cat collars, white lace shirts with different-coloured bras underneath, big bows in EVER SO moussed and teased hair, leopard print scarves and about 500 necklaces, bracelets and earrings with endless hoops and plastic goldfish, lots of eye-liner, pink eye shadow, red lips, petticoats and fishnets, lace-up boots with bobby sox and lace fingerless gloves . . .

Neon fishnets, exposed navels, net shirts, overlined lips, white lace, green lace, blue lace, black lace, torn lace, random hair ties, underwear as outerwear, a bustier with visible cleavage, rats-nest hair, ripped stockings, ripped denim, fingerless gloves, leopard print, 50s shades and the push-up bra (Amen).

Lycra was also big in the aerobicised 80s Usually paired with legwarmers (which could also be worn with tight jeans for that Pat Benatar aesthetic).