The Greatest 80s Fashion Trends

From your mother’s jazzercise clothes, to your little sister’s bright jelly shoes, to parachute pants, these are the greatest fashion trends from the 1980s.


Image via Getty/ Michael Ochs Archives / Stringer


The 1980s were such a simpler time. Reagan was in the White House, the Internet was relegated to underground military bunkers, and computers were the size of your living room.

Fashion was also at its most bold.

I mean, high-waisted jeans, permed hair and leg warmers were just some of the styles that were popular in the 80s. In an age of excess, style reflected the zeitgeist perfectly. The 1980s left a fashion aftershock and parents were left cleaning up stuck-on bathroom hairspray for decades. It was worth it for big and bold curly hair, side ponies, man ponies, you name it—they needed extra hold aerosol hair spray. Second to the dues, attire was bright, flashy, and especially tight. Richard Simmons is proof of this—and no one has successfully expunged the memory of him vigorously “Sweating to the Oldies.” 

From your mother’s neon jazzercise clothes, to your little sister’s bright jelly shoes, dressing up in the ‘80s brought a wide range of styles. Some fell victim to parachute pants or the old clock around the neck, but a few items stood the test of time, and even more, are making their comeback in today’s decade. Scrolling through a typical hipster’s Instagram photos is like taking a joy ride back to the ‘80s, complete with slogan tees, fanny packs, washed jean jackets, and the man bun (which, thankfully, has replaced the man pony). 

So, what good came from the 1980’s fashion trends? While we may never revive some of the classic ‘80s hair, like perms, mullets, or the rat tail, anyone who’s been to an ‘80s themed party or ‘80s night at the dance club, knows the decade of wild fashion and dance music still has a stronghold in our culture and in our hearts. Plus, we always love the chance to wear a nice pair of high-waisted genuine snakeskin pants. We ranked the most memorable style choices that helped define the decade. These are The 80 Greatest ‘80s Fashion Trends.


80. Fanny Packs

streetwear nike fannypack

79. Slogan T-Shirts


78. Male Ponytails


77. Ski Prep

ski prep 80s

76. Jordache

jordache 80s best fashion

75. Four-Finger Rings

four finger rings

74. Velour

velour best fashion for 80s

73. Smiley Faces

smiley face jacket women's streetwear

72. Reeboks

vintage reebok

71. Triple Fat Goose

triple fat goose

70. Dookie Chains

slick rick 80s fashion

69. Scrunchies

sarah jessica parker 80s

68. Huge Earrings

vogue supermodel 80s

67. Shoulder Pads

Wham - Shoulder Pads

66. Vivienne Westwood

Vivienne Westwood

65. Spandex


64. Silk Shirts

vintage silk shirts

63. Gucci


62. Skinhead Style

Skinhead Style

61. Airbrushed T-shirts

Airbrushed T-shirts 80s best fashion

60. Muscle Tees

mario lopez 80s best fashion

59. Lacoste


58. Esprit


57. Sweaters Tied Around The Neck

80s preppies

56. Combed-Back Hair

johnny depp 80s movie premier

55. Iron On-Letters

iron on patches denim jacket

54. Miniskirts

80s leather miniskirts

53. Parachute Pants

mc hammer parachute pants

52. Keith Haring Graphics

Keith Haring

51. Perms


50. Issey Miyake


49. Dancewear

80s dancewear

48. Ripped Jeans


47. Animal Print

80s runway animal print

46. Ray-Bans

Ray Ban

45. Frankie Says Relax T-shirts

ross friends frankie says relax

44. Washed Jean Jackets

hailey bieber streetstyle denim jacket justin bieber

43. Rat Tails

anakin skywalker

42. Zubaz


41. Penny Loafers

Penny Loafers

40. Side Ponytails

full house dj tanner stephanie tanner side ponytail

39. Leggings


38. Z. Cavaricci

ac slater saved by the bell z carivicci

37. Down Vests

back to the future

36. Cazals


35. Miami Vice Style

purple suit miami vice

34. New Wave

80s new wave style womens streetwear

33. Lace Accessories

80s madonna white lace dress

32. Puffy Shirts


31. Keyboard Neckties

david hasselhoff keyboard tie

30. L.A. Gear

la gear advertisement

29. Headbands


28. Ocean Pacific

ocean pacific vintage advert

27. Croakies

croakies ad

26. Bucket Hats

Bucket Hat

25. Sneakers With No Laces

Run DMC shoes no laces

24. Power Suits

scarface powersuits al pacino

23. Kangol


22. Highwater Pants

steve urkel

21. Surf Brands

surf brands 80s best fashion

20. Fat Laces

fat laces best 80s fashion

19. Big Hair

Big Hair

18. Sperry Topsiders


17. Pegged Pants

Pegged Pants

16. Tracksuits

Run DMC - Tracksuits

15. Mickey Mouse Clothing

michael jackson best 80s fashion

14. Michael Jackson Style

michael jackson 80s

13. Stüssy

vintage stussy ad

12. Jheri Curls

lionel richie

11. Swatch Watches

Swatch Watches

10. Mullets


9. Bally Shoes

ll cool j bad album cover

8. Carrying Around a Boombox

Man carrying boombox

7. Acid Wash Jeans

80s acid wash jeans

6. High-Top Fades

80s high top fade barbershop

5. Jams Shorts

jam shorts

4. Coca-Cola Clothing

Coca-Cola Clothing

3. Vans


2. Members Only Jackets

members only jackets

1. Neon

madonna 80s neon outfit

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