80s Accessories

The decade of the 1980s was chock-full of wild adornments.

They included, but were definitely not limited to, big earrings and an excessive amount of necklaces.

Many 80s accessories went beyond the basics.

That usually meant piling on layers of everything from socks to watches.


80s Watches and Jewelry Accessories

Necklaces were very prominent 80s accessories, worn extra long and in multiples. The 80s also brought us the clock necklace.

If not worn on a chain around the neck, there were plenty of other ways to wear a watch. Swatch was a company that made plastic watches, called swatches, in a rainbow of neon colors.

People would not just wear one watch, but line their entire forearm with them—with or without bracelets. The early 80s also brought us large, square digital watches, complete with calculators.

Beads, pearls and chains cascaded in layers, sometimes even grazing bellybuttons. In contrast to the long strands, the choker made a big comeback. Worn alone or with other necklaces, chokers were popular in everything from leather to pearls.

Also worn in multiples, bracelets frequently spanned the entire forearm, sometimes both of them. Thin metal bangles or rubber bracelets were trendy, and were perfect for layering. Bracelets were not only layered together, but also layered themselves—charm bracelets with as many charms as they could hold weighed down fashionable wrists everywhere.

The most popular earrings were big and bright. Nearly bracelet-size, hoop earrings in neon colors were all the rage, as were shoulder-length chains and feathers. Men started getting their ears pierced, usually only in one ear.

80s Hair Accessories

The decade also brought fun accessories for the 80s hairstyles. Banana clips were available to match any neon outfit, and were easy to use. Headbands with giant bows or scarves wrapped around the head and tied into a giant bow were the perfect accessory to crimped and teased hair.

The use of small plastic toys to decorate a perfectly teased hairdo was also popular; all it took was a couple bobby pins and some hairspray. Clip on feathers were common, and even swatches as ponytail holders would give hairstyles their own unique personalities.

A very popular 80s accessory was the scrunchie. These fabric-covered elastic bands were everywhere, and in virtually any color or pattern. The scrunchie was also perfect for keeping the popular side ponytail in place, which was an embellishment all on its own.

Other Fun 80s Accessories

No mention of 80s accessories would be complete without referring to some of the biggest trends of the decade. Fingerless lace gloves, leg warmers, and two pairs of slouch socks in contrasting colors to match an outfit, sometimes even in addition to the leg warmers.

Press-on nails, clear purses, black hats (think Boy George), and wide belts were among other favorites.

Since neon was huge in the 80s, the bright hues made their way to 80s sunglasses. It was quite common for someone to own a pair in more than one color.