80s Fashion Trends: From Short Shorts to Neon Everything

The 80s was a decade of the most outlandish styles — brash, colorful, and loud was in! From neon everything to lace up boots, this gnarly time period had something for everyone … and something for everyone to hate! Do you remember these bone-jarring, brain-shaking 80s fashion trends that rocked the world?

Puffy Sleeves

The 80s brought a high-fashion twist to the standard white shirt by adding puffy, voluminous sleeves. It was all about showing off your wrists and an expensive watch!

Lace Up Boots

Running with this trend of flamboyance, lace up boots were all the rage in the 1980s. Who remembers these diamond-studded, sturdy leather numbers?

Short Shorts

The 80s were all about showing off your legs! It didn’t matter if you wore a miniskirt or a pair of shorts; the goal was to show off as much skin as possible.

Neon Everything

It’s not an 80s trend without neon everything! The 1980s was a time when neon colors were all the rage. It didn’t matter if it was an article of clothing, jewelry, or makeup – everything had to be bright and colorful, even if it was just one color.

Big Shoulder Pads

Women of the 80s loved wearing lots and lots of shoulder pads. The bigger, the better!

Leisure Suits

Who remembers these? Leisure suits were a style popularized by Tom Selleck on Magnum PI in the 1980s; they were most often worn with an open collared shirt, slippers or loafers, and a wide, floppy belt.

Baggy Sweaters

One of the most popular 80s trends was wearing baggy sweaters. These were often made from wool and came in various colors such as navy blue, bright red, or hot pink. Great for cold weather and to wear over jeans, these sweaters were often trimmed with geometric designs, stripes, or zig-zag patterns.

Neon Colors

The 80s was all about neon colors! From head to toe, many people chose shades of pink and green for their clothes. These bright hues were used on shirts as well as sunglasses then available in the market; these glasses


Girls rocked a headband to add some flair to their hair! Bands usually matched with an outfit like a neon yellow band for example.

Boyfriend Jeans

Crop tops for women and flare jeans for men were popular in the 80s. This was a time when these items of clothing weren’t categorized as “men’s” or “women’s,” so people could wear what they wanted without barriers. The style also lent itself to comfort, making it perfect for the 80s.

Parachute Pants

In the 80s, parachute pants were all-the-rage. The wide leg opening and slim fit of this style made it a popular choice for people looking to show off their twinkling disco moves!

High-Waisted Jeans

The high-waisted jean became popular in the 80s as a throwback to an earlier era of fashion. These jeans were often paired with dresses or skirts and featured a higher rise than they do now.


Not just for summer anymore, espadrille sandals are perfect all year round. They fit in with the 80s fashion trends because they aren’t as heavy and bulky as boots, making them perfect for warmer climates like Los Angeles or Miami!


In the 80s, mullets became a staple of men’s hairstyles. The infamous look was popular with male rock musicians like David Lee Roth and Kip Winger.

Cargo Shorts

Men in the 80s loved cargo shorts! They were perfect for storing all sorts of items while still looking stylish and put-together!


Spandex and leggings became popular in the 80s. A lot of women would wear spandex with crop tops or turtlenecks for a sporty look!

Leg Warmers

For girls who love to dance, these leg warmers are perfect! They can be paired with knee socks or other kinds

Ripped Knees

Ripped jeans became a big trend in the 80s. Girls would often crop their jean shorts or skirts to show off these fashionable rips!


Who doesn’t love velour? This fuzzy fabric is perfect for warm-weather clothing and it’s also very comfortable! You can find this style of material on pants, tops, and even jackets!

Leather Jackets

Another 80s trend is the leather jacket. Girls would wear these over their turtlenecks or other shirts to keep them warm while still looking stylish! The most popular colors are black and brown.

(Like 80s Fashions? Then you might like our article on 80s Fads, click here.)

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