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1980s vintage clothing

1980s fashion saw Madonna and Kylie Minogue fight it out with Kylie’s bubbly, girl next door image (mom jeans, kooky hats, big grin) contrasting with Madonna’s seductive posturing (conical bras, underwear as outerwear, Jean-Paul Gaultier as her chief designer). Cyndi Lauper, with her mismatched converse, crazy hair colour and flouncy skirts was an alternative contender.








In 80s fashion, more women were coming to boardrooms and wanted to project an image of themselves as strong and efficient. They wore jackets with padded, broad shoulders in bright, primary colours, teamed with pencil or pleated skirts, and sometimes trousers. These became known as power suits. Donna Karan invented a wardrobe for the modern working woman, easy to wear, and including the stretch “body”, a top like a leotard that gave clean lines under suits.

Track suits and sportswear became seen on the streets in 1980s fashion, with different trainer brands and new models being important status symbols. Denim skirts and denim jackets, as well as jeans, proliferated. The boy band Bros popularised jeans ripped at the knee.


80s Inspirational films: “Flashdance” – Jennifer Beales had a huge part in popularising dancewear as streetwear. “Beetlejuice” – Geena Davis for her curly permed, Laura Ashley dressed housewife, and Catherine O’Hara for her power dressed art dealer character. “Desperately Seeking Susan” perfectly captures 80’s style clothing as Madonna and Rosanna Arquette model frosted perms, lace gloves, multiple chains, wayfarer sunglasses and lots of attitude.


80s Hairstyle: Bubble perms were fashionable, dressed with padded hairbands and Fergie bows, named for Princess Sarah Fergusson, who was a style icon back then. Princess Diana was married in 1981, and her short hairstyle was also often copied.



80s Makeup: Bright makeup in a “More is More” style was popular. For example, you might wear purple eye shadow with electric blue mascara, a streak of peach blusher, and frosted pink lipstick. And that would be just for day time.













My Vintage stock a wide and varied range of original 80s fashion and 80s clothing available to buy at our vintage shop in Lancashire and online at

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1980s-fashion | 80s Clothing | 80s Style
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