1980s Fashion for Women & Girls

1980s Women & Girls Fashion

Fashion for women evolved quite dramatically during the 1980s. From dresses to fabrics to hairstyles, virtually nothing went unchanged. But it wasn’t that way immediately.

Catalogs from 1980 don’t differ a whole lot from 1983, but once you hit 1985, watch out. You can almost smell the hairspray from the pictures alone.

In the early 1980s, women preferred soft fabrics and neutral colors. It was almost as if color was the enemy and beige was the only option. Don’t get us wrong; brown, tan and pale orange were in style as well. The neon that made 1980s fashion so famous had yet to become the norm.

Around that time most every woman owned a turtleneck or six, and scarves made a huge comeback in the early 80s. Silk blouses were all the rage throughout the entire decade.

Pants were a very popular option for all women, and many styles were sold. Denim jeans were hot, arriving in styles with wild bleaching, dyeing and even some really expensive designer jeans came with pre-made holes in them. This very fact made youth fashion the butt of many jokes with the older set. Most dress pants were high-waisted, pleated and snug fitting.

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Throughout the decade, elaborate licensed prints featuring cartoon and movie characters were much more popular than in decades before. Garfield, Warner Brothers and even E.T. enjoyed staggering profits due to inexpensive production combined with surging demand.

The mid- to late-eighties were a period of experimentation. From fabrics that changed color to clothes meant to be worn backwards, nothing was off limits. Bright neon colors were very popular and rocking brand names was more important than ever. Belts and bracelets were the most vital accessories in the wardrobe.

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1980s Women’s Fashion Pictures


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Last modified: Jan 22, 2016 | Written by Paul Phipps