Five for Friday: Fashion Forward or Faux Pas? - Women at Forty™ : Women at Forty™

Five for Friday: Fashion Forward or Faux Pas?

Filed under On Life

The 80’s were big – really big. Big jewelry, big hair, big shoulder pads. Here’s a look at five styles that were all the rage in the 80’s.

1. Tshirts with Blazers  and loafers without socks – Thanks to Miami Vice detectives Sonny Crockett and Rico Tubbs, high school boys in the 80’s felt comfortable rocking the Thsirt with blazer, no socks look in the latter part of the decade. Miami Vice changed the way people watched TV and ushered in an era where television began to appeal to a younger, more vibrant audience.

MIAMI VICE -- Sleuth Series -- Pictured: (l-r) Don Johnson as Det. John "Sonny" Crockett, Philip Michael Thomas as Det. Ricardo Tubbs -- Sleuth Photo: Frank Carroll

2. Leg Warmers – Thanks to movies like Fame and Flashdance, and Jane Fonda’s workout videos legwarmers became staples in the 80’s and were worn with leggings, jeans or tights.

Olivia Newton John gets physical

3. Shoulder Pads – Alexis and Krystal rocked them almost every week on Dynasty, but huge shoulder pads weren’t relegated to prime time divas. Unfortunately I’ve unearthed several pictures of my 16 year old self wearing shoulder pads that could rival those of a linebacker.

Grace Jones rocks shoulder pads

4. Jheri Curls – If there was ever a trend to look back and ask “why?!?” this one was it – and I know of what I speak. I rocked a head of massive curls for a good part of the decade. That’s one picture you won’t be seeing on Facebook.

Oh those Jheri curls

5. Off the shoulder sweats – Not only did Flashdance bring us legwarmers, it also brought us Jennifer Beals sporting an oversized, off-the-shoulder sweatshirt. Not surprisingly that fad seems to be making a comeback.


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  • Lizaf

    I was in college in the 80's, so I was part of the generation that felt embarrassed by our 70's style mistakes when we were in high school. You know – flared hip hugger jeans, long hair parted in the middle… Now of course that style is back. But when it started coming back I hesitated to make those same mistakes and became stuck in the 80's well into the 90's. When the 80's fashions come back, you will see what I mean. :)

  • womenatforty

    Liza – some of the 80's styles are coming back! Check out skinny jeans and off the shoulder tops. I was always told though that if you were around to wear it the first time, you shouldn't be wearing it when it comes back. I wonder if that's still true? :)

  • Kalin

    I was a shoulder pad QUEEN — think Joan Crawford! Someone actually had to tell me to start taking the pads out of my blazers, because the fad had faded out! But I'm proud to say I never went as far as the Jheri Curl! :-)

  • editor

    Lucky you – unfortunately I rocked a Jheri curl for years!