As possibly one of the most comfortable trends of the decade, 80s leggings were also one of the most versatile.
They were also essential to some of the most iconic, and totally rad, outfits of the 80s.
Tight acid-washed jeans were one of everyone’s favorites, but unlike the jeans, 80s leggings were actually comfortable to wear.
The fabric was usually a blend of cotton and Spandex, polyester, or Lycra, which gave them plenty of stretch.
You could dance, move around, and sit any way you wanted with a pair of these on. They had no pockets or zippers, but they did have a comfortable elastic waistband.
Leggings were one of the more versatile pieces of fashion you could own. The most legendary outfit of the 80s made great use of legging – this was the ‘Madonna’ look. It paired these awesome leggings with a mini-skirt – usually tiered and ruffled – and tons of accessories.
They could also be worn alone as pants. Of course, you had to have plenty of self-esteem to wear such snug leggings by themselves. To cover up your rear and the tops of your legs, an oversized T-shirt, dress shirt, or an off-shoulder top looked rad with any pair of leggings.
Leggings could also serve as exercise gear. They were stretchy, comfortable, and some were made with moisture-wicking fabrics that were perfect for working out.
Along with leg warmers, leggings were in the spotlight when the movie ‘Flashdance’ came out – and it was now okay to wear them as a fashion statement.
Capri-length leggings were the most popular style, coming down to about the top of the calf. This gave you plenty of options for footwear, which could be anything – high heels, combat boots, Converse sneakers, even jelly shoes.
They came in any color imaginable, which was always a good thing in the 80s. Neon pink, green, yellow, anything really bright and eye-catching, were all popular choices. They could match another part of your outfit, like accessories, or be used as a contrasting color.
They also came in basic colors like black and white, but sometimes in surprising materials and patterns. Lace was a big trend in the 80s, and leggings were perfect for it, especially in hot weather. It showed a little more skin and you couldn’t wear them as pants, but they looked great under skirts.
They could be shiny and metallic or take on a glossy, wet look. The most popular colors for these types of leggings were gold, silver, or copper, as well as your basic black.
Any pattern was fair game – the abstract patterns of the 80s were on everything, including leggings. Stripes, polka dots, and animal prints like zebra or leopard would make a bold statement and definitely make you stand out in a crowd.
They could be as bold as you wanted them to be – and the focus of your outfit – or a functional piece of your wardrobe that simply covered your legs if it was chilly out.