80's Women's Fashion: A Close Study With Insights For Designers
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80's Women's Fashion: A Close Study With Insights For Designers

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The ’80s were known for many things like sporty cars, rock music, movies, and models. But the only thing that made it iconic and memorable was its ‘fashion’. Ravishing shoulder pads, swanky neckpieces, sensuous boots, eye-straining fabric prints and colours, and acid wash jeans are the highlights of the 80s. Fashion police considered this era as bold, brave, and loud.

From Madonna’s Like A Virgin-era styles to Cher’s bold dresses, the ’80s was undisputedly an era to be alive when it comes to fashion. The 80s fashion women outfits were daring, bright, and rebellious. Sequins were a rage back then. The yarning to flaunt larger-than-life hairstyles and dramatic earrings was unmatchable. It was not only the era of power dressers but also of gangsters.

While this fashion is all set to make a grand comeback in 2022, design professionals might not want to miss making the most out of this opportunity. It is what today’s blog post will be all about. We will be discussing the top trends of the 80s that are creative, fun, and inspiring. Budding designers can take cues from these trends and use them in their upcoming collections. So, without much ado, let us time travel to the magical 80s and witness how fashion was during that era.

Hip-Hop Fashion

Hip-hop culture was started in the United States of America and is still followed in a major part of the country. Anita Dogre, renowned fashion designer says, “Hip-hop culture and music were extremely dominant in the 80s. It was a magical time in the fashion industry, especially for teenagers. Baggy silhouettes, peppy colours, athletic details, and bold patterns were the highlights of hip-hop fashion. As far as accessories were concerned, snapback caps and sneakers reigned supreme. Wearing multiple rings and glittering diamonds added to the dramatic look.” Fashion professionals can take inspiration from 80s fashion women and come up with a vibrant collection for youngsters, especially rap lovers.

Punk Fashion

The rebellious punk look created a revolution back in the 80s. The young bikers of the UK tried this fashion for the first time. Doc Marten heavy-duty boots, leather jackets, silver chains, band tees, and ripped jeans are the cult features of punk fashion. Basilica Fernandes, a hair stylist says, “The hairstyle of punk subculture was bold and raw and this is what appealed the most.” This rebellious look is still admired and followed by a lot of youngsters in western countries. However, this intense and edgy look is slightly more casual and toned-down these days. Designers who want to design a punk collection should consider this for the best launch.

Workout Fashion

80s Fashion Women\n

Ritu Malhotra, owner of a clothing line says, “Workout fashion made a comeback this year with a bang. People around the globe are making every possible effort to up their gym fashion game. However, the competition was not that intense in the 1980s until Jane Fonda gave an appearance in leg-warmers and leotards. She brought forth a new wave of workout fashion.” Bold prints, flashy colours, high-rise bodysuits, headbands, bike shorts, and neon-bright leggings, defined the workout fashion in the 80s. Upcoming designers can use these 80s fashion women tips while planning for their next workout fashion collection.

Black Fashion

Blacks are known for their impeccable fashion sense, brilliant hairstyles, and out-of-the-box style statements.  Psychedelic print shirts, acid-washed denim, and oversized garments were the highlights of black fashion in the ’80s. Nitika Thakkar, a fashion designer says, “The most striking part about this fashion is that no look is complete without floppy hats and bamboo earrings. Apart from this, gold chains and Adidas tennis shoes were also prominent accessories that are a must in black fashion. Jellie was the favourite shoe brand of both adults and kids at that time.” She added, “Budding designers have a lot to learn from the 80’s black fashion. They can come up with some amazing cult collections that will act as an inspiration for the upcoming generations.”

Teen Fashion

Teen fashion was a rage in the 1980s. It gave much-needed liberty and boldness to the rebelling teens of that era. Rodrick, a fashion stylist recalls, “ I was doing my internship in New York when I first witnessed how it feels like to be a teenager in the USA. Oversized blazers, floral-filled vests, brooches, lace trimmings, and pearls defined the teen fashion in that era. Not to forget the iconic straight-leg jeans, hair bands, and tucked-in shirts. The craze for accessories was immense at that time. Huge sports watches, funky caps, and big sneakers were a must to complete teen fashion look.” Interestingly, young modern-day designers can take a lot of clues from this style. They can use it to create a unique style for Indian teens and help them ‘up’ their fashion game internationally.

Neon Fashion

Blinding neon tones was the highlight of 80’s fashion. People love flaunting ultra-light neon hues, including electric purple, hot pink, making it an era of neon. It is one of the rare fashion trends that have become a mainstay for the era. And experts believe that neon fashion is here to stay for at least the next 10-15 years. Michelle D’Souza, a clothing line owner says, “Neon is courageous, beautiful, and soulful. It is one of those colours that is now a part of the mainstream fashion arena for eternity. Back in the 80s, this shade was often paired with white or black. Matching shoes, funky glasses, and caps were used to complete the look.” Neon is still in fashion. Designers can use it to recreate these iconic 80s fashion women look with a skirt, a yellow sweater, and a blazer. But the best way to get the most is by keeping the other tones minimal. Let the neon do the talking!

Goth Fashion

80s Fashion Women\n

Smoky intense eyes, heavy makeup, black lips, fussy hair and black outfits. Yes, we are talking about one of the most iconic fashion styles of the 1980s. Andreola, a leading stylist says, “Goth is ideally a fashion subculture that began in the UK during the early 1980s. It was invented by Gothic rock fans, a post-punk music genre. Waving huge hair locks, lots of black, a mix of textures, and leather jackets define this fashion style. Interestingly, the 80’s also witnessed spillovers from one music genre to another. Fragments of funky piercing, plaid, and chunky boots were also prominent parts of this cult fashion style.” She believes that budding designers can learn a lot from this fashion subculture and come up with some intense and thought-provoking clothing collections. The youth of today look for a meaningful fashion style rather than wearing anything and everything from the market.

Preppy Fashion

Preppy fashion has been a notable trend from the 80s and remains in vogue to date. Rohit Khanna, a veteran stylist fondly remembers, “It takes me back to the times of Rishi Kapoor, Jeetendra, and Amitabh Bachhan. Button-down shirts, blazers, polo shirts, dress pants, with sweaters casually draped around the waist or shoulders – what an era of fashion. Fashion shy people also loved this fashion as it was simple to pull over. No flashy accessories, ripped clothes, or punk rockers were needed to ace the preppy look.” People, even today, like to rock this look but with lighter colour hues and toned down accessories. Designers can take crucial cues from preppy fashion and come up with sober clothing collections.

Beach Fashion

High-cut bikinis, vibrant colours, huge sunglasses, and open permed hair defined beach fashion in the 80s. Julia Roberts, owner of Vogue Fashion says, “The era of the 80s was all about experimenting with different silhouettes and styles. The main motive of the beach look was to accentuate hips and elongate the limbs. It was the decade of power dressing and heading to the beach was like an opportunity to show off everything you got. Moreover, the surf culture of California added to the beach fashion rage. Bright colour hues, animal prints, and minimal coverage were the prominent features of this style.” Upcoming designers should consider these hints and create a ravishing beach collection that will be a blend of modern and retro styles.

Sloane Ranger Fashion

The princess of Wales, Diana, started this trend in the early ’80s. Knitwear, calf-length skirts, pie-crust collars, tank tops, and silk scarves are a must to ace the Sloane Ranger look. Apart from this, pussy bow or floral blouse, luxurious accessories, and riding boots were also a part of this style. Pavithra Sengupto, a leading trend forecaster says, “Sloane Ranger was the British version of preppy fashion. It was a uniform, unambitious, and effortlessly sophisticated style that grabbed the eyeballs of the fashion police around the globe. Designers still take inspiration from this high class, unbothered style, and we can see that in international fashion shows.” 


So, this was all about the dynamic and versatile 80’s women’s fashion. Young designers have a lot to learn from these fashion trends. The detailings, intricacies, draping, and colour palette are super inspiring and worth exploring.

Apart from this, brands that face supplier-related issues can turn to Fashinza for solutions. Fashinza is a leading B2B apparel-manufacturing platform that aims to offer hassle-free, transparent, and fast apparel manufacturing processes to the brands.


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