HomeOpinion & AnalysisGrooming:Some popular trends of the 1980s

Grooming:Some popular trends of the 1980s

Fashion trends come and go. Sometimes they come back refined and other times they still look just as “weird” as they did the first time around. It’s no secret that I love fashion, after all, it is the reason I write this column.
Report by Heather R

I am an ’80s baby, but I am glad I was not in my teens or twenties back then. Of all the fashion eras I have looked at, the ’80s is my least favourite.

Everything was just over the top, be it the colour, the hair, the size of the clothes and jewellery, it was all huge. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular fashion trends of that decade:

Colour
If you were not wearing blinding bright colours, worn in unusual combinations, you weren’t with it. You had to look bright. Colour-blocking was the order of the day, except they did not need to name the trend, it was just how they dressed.

Now we have the return of colour-blocking. Some combinations are great while others are too predictable. As for the neon colour palette, that trend can just pass me by. I have no desire to be dressed in clothes inspired by highlighters.

Shoulder pads
True to the 80s, they were oversized. They made blouses, dresses, jackets and shirts that looked like rugby players’ jerseys.

The shoulders were wide and high and very unflattering. I wonder why women felt the need to have exaggerated shoulders.

However, shoulder pads are back, especially on women’s tailored jackets. They are a lot smaller and add character to what would be an otherwise bland jacket.

Shoulder pads are not all bad; it’s the size that matters. For women with droopy shoulders, shoulder pads are a good way to perk up their shoulders.

Leg warmers
As a young girl, I owned a few of these, but not as a grown woman. These made a mini-comeback a couple of years ago, a trend I allowed to pass me by, again.

It looked good on some women when worn with a mini dress and a pair of appropriate heels, but they never found their way into my drawers.

Not my kind of look.

Permed hair was the ‘in’ style for all races and for both sexes

Huge “bling”
One online fashion writer wrote: “If your earrings did not touch your shoulders, they were not big enough.”
It’s as though they were trying to mimic Christmas tree ornaments. As for the chains and necklaces — why wear one when you can wear five?

They were long, chunky with large pendants and I am assuming heavy. The hip-hop culture still follows this trend.

Parachute pants
Think MC Hammer! These pants were so baggy you could hide babies in them. They have since made their way back as harem pants.

I have a harem jumpsuit that I quite love, but I know that a lot of men find them unflattering to women because they look as though they have pooed in their pants.

They make whoever is wearing them look bigger than they are, so if you are already big it would be wise to steer clear of them.

Puffy sleeves
This has to be in my top three of the worst ’80s fashion trends. Remember the really big and puffy wedding dresses, the huge sleeves and the big bow at the back. Just the thought makes me shudder.

I am glad I did not get married in that era. Those sleeves looked like they intended on flying away.

Puffed sleeves are back in fashion on fitted dresses and on jackets and blouses.

The proportions have been drastically reduced, therefore they look very stylish. Something I would actually wear! Thank you to designers that brought the trend and gave it some sophistication.

Big hair
Last but not least, the huge hair! Goodness, remember how size was key? Bone straight hair that fell around your face was not on. The perms were big whether you were black or white.

For the white men, mullets were popular and for the black men it was the MC Hammer-sky-high hair cut, also known as the dino.
Maybe because the men looked like dinosaurs! It must have been hard work carrying such masses of hair.

Recent Posts

Stories you will enjoy

Recommended reading