The characteristics of the 80s style

80s style

The 80s was an unprecedented success in all areas, especially in music, film and fashion. Today, its style continues to be a trend and we can affirm that it will continue to be so, as it is an era that is widely used for television products and clothing.

In Smile Vintage we are going to review the main characteristics that marked the style of the 80’s, more present than ever in our daily lives. Let’s go!

The revolution of freedom

The 1980s was an explosion of liberalism, where everyone wanted to express their values, their ideas, their rebelliousness, their way of thinking, their opposition to tradition and extravagance through their clothes. It was undoubtedly one of the most influential periods in terms of style, so much so that it is still a trend today.

On the big screen, films such as Back to the Future, Mad Max and Ghostbusters were released. Young people’s walkmans played the sounds of artists who immortalised the era, such as David Bowie, Prince and A-ha. And in the world of clothing, Madonna was one of the great celebrities who best represented the trends of her time, with groundbreaking clothes, XXL accessories, strong colours, oversized jewellery, extravagant hairstyles, etc.

Characteristics of 80s style

To define in a few words the fashion of the 80’s, we would say neon colours and oversized accessories. The use and combination of both were groundbreaking elements of the era that were not only limited to clothing, but also to hairstyles.

Ripped, high-rise, baggy jeans

They were the most widely worn jeans of the time, and you could find all kinds. Generally, they were worn with rips along the length of the fabric, as well as being high-waisted. They were also very loose-fitting, far from the narrow trend of more formal clothing. They were very combinable, so everyone wore them. To top it off, they had patches and decorative badges.

Parachute trousers

Although they were not as baggy in their early days as they were later on, they were as much in use as the jeans of the time. The best thing about them was that they had a large number of printed designs that made them unique and extravagant.

Mini skirts

All the girls of the time often wore miniskirts, and they came in all sorts. As a rule, they were very colourful miniskirts, loose-fitting or tight-fitting, made of different types of fabric and combined with high heeled platforms.

Shoulder pads

It was a garment that was all the rage among young people. It could be worn on blazers, blouses, T-shirts or coats with very broad shoulders. The musical styles of the time had a great influence on the use of this garment.


Leggins were not only used for exercise, but were also a common item of clothing for everyday wear. As in the other styles of the time, they were usually very colourful and patterned, combined with tights. They were very loud, like the decade itself.


Accessories also played a very important role in the style of the era. It was common to see a lot of punk bracelets, colourful bracelets, rings, earrings, turbans, big earrings, sunglasses… Just like the clothes, the accessories were exaggerated, colourful and combinable with everything.


This colourful style of the clothes was also transferred to the make-up. Shades such as pink, yellow, purple, red, etc. were worn. In addition, make-up was embellished with glitter and glitters, blushers and mascara to highlight the colour palette.


The use of mousse and hairspray was a must for going out. On those 80s nights, long, exaggerated manes, curls, long fringes, dense hair volume, etc. were seen. Casual blonde highlights were very common, and adorning the hair with hairpins and big headbands.

The 80s were extravagant in every sense: colours, intensity, quantity, freedom, rebelliousness were the values that marked a whole generation. Without a doubt, the 80s were a special decade and had a great influence on all cultural aspects of everyday life. Today, in the 21st century, this era is still in fashion. Long live the 80’s!

In Smile Vintage you can find all kinds of clothes from the 80’s that are still in fashion today.

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