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Home /History / Worst Fashion Trends of the 80s

Worst Fashion Trends of the 80s

By Shelby Burr

The 80s. What a decade! Big hair, loud music, scrunchies galore, and parachute pants that went on for days.

Ah, yes, those were the days.
Although that decade brought a lot of fun to our fashion, there were a few trends that may have been...well, mistakes.

Spandex Workout Wear

Have you ever dreamed of working out and looking like a highlighter at the same time? Spandex suits, my friend. That’s how you’ll make all your dreams come true! This trend made everyone look like life-sized barbie dolls in shiny morph suits, that (sometimes) were a little too tight. Plus, can we mention that you’re working out in these? Hello! You’re going to sweat! I can’t imagine what it felt like peeling those suits off your skin. I’m sure, if you sported one of these back in the were probably looking fly. Let’s just not bring that bad boy out of the closet. 

Shoulder Pads

Are you wanting to look a little more muscular in the arms, but you want to avoid working out? Boom. Shoulder pads. This trend made every woman and man look very...angular. Yes, it was super cool and super fun. The bigger the shoulder pads, the cooler. Now? I mean, they might be great for extra cushion, like in football. Or maybe if you shrug your shoulders, they can keep your ears warm? You know, just trying to be innovative!

Flashy Windbreakers

I bet you sported one of these back in the day and you were proud. Who wouldn’t be? You’re protected from the harshness of the wind AND you’re wearing a super shiny and crazy patterned jacket. With these jackets, there were no limitations. If you wanted to wear spots, zebra stripes, and triangle shapes, all you would have to do is wear your windbreaker!

Super-Sized Hair

Maybe this was a fashion trend or maybe it was another trick to look taller. Either way, ladies, this was the 80s. Giant hair and tons of hairspray. During this decade, women defied gravity with their souped-up ‘do. I also bet, with all the hairspray, your hairdo made a great helmet as well! Your hair held all the beauty secrets. 


This look was great for both guys and girls. You had a very McGuiver kind of feel if you went this route for 80s fashion trends. Business in the front, party in the back! This trend lived on for a while and became a huge staple of the 80s! 

Okay, here’s the deal. We go through this list of all “worst fashion trends” and deem what was hot then isn't so hot now. My honest opinion? Everything comes full circle. Those old trends are currently trending today in 2020! Mullets - yeah, they’re back. Spandex workout’s called leggings. Heck, there are “jeggings” now! And most people wear sportswear just for kicks; not even for working out. Crazy colorful jackets? Gen Z kids are fishing for them in goodwill and thrift stores everywhere. Shoulder pads and big hair? Listen, if 80s mom jeans and scrunchies are back, those are soon to follow!

This is what made an AWESOME decade! And if that means those trends are coming back, then 2020 must be holding out something great. These are our memories, our good ole days, our fond times where we can say “Yep! I used to rock a mullet.” and wear that with pride as new kids are bringing it back. Enjoy it because those trends brought greatness and are still living today!

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