80s Trends for Women

The 80s were a decade of fun, especially with all the new fashion and new trends.

Some hot 80s trends for women took the fashion world by storm and are instantly recognizable classics from this totally awesome decade.

Shoulder Pads

Shoulder pads were a staple of fashion during the 80s and sewn into almost everything.

Jackets, dress shirts, sweaters, and even T-shirts gave women the ‘bigger shoulders = smaller waist’ illusion and became one of the most iconic trends of the decade.

Womens Jeans Trend

Acid-washed jeans were one of the coolest garments in any 80s wardrobe. If they were a designer brand, like Guess or Calvin Klein, they were even cooler.

They had to be tight, too. If you had to lie down to zip them up, you were on the right track. They were especially rad if they had rips up the legs and were ‘pegged’ at the ankle.

Womens Oversized Shirts in the 80s

The jeans may have been tight, but shirts went in a different direction entirely. Baggy dress shirts were worn with capri-length leggings and paired with wide belts. T-shirts were so big the excess fabric would be tied in a knot or with a scrunchie, another 80s trend.

The off-the shoulder shirt was made popular by the movie ‘Flashdance.’ You could make this one yourself and wear any bright or neon tank underneath it – if you wanted to.

80s Jewelry Trend

There was no such thing as ‘less is more’ in the 80s. Earrings were gigantic hoops, big feathers, and extra long chandelier styles. Bracelets and necklaces were piled on in layers, threatening to throw us off balance.

Rubber bracelets and bangle bracelets were wildly popular, as were charm bracelets, but we always made room for a few Swatch Watches. Beaded necklaces were extra long, chokers added some variety, and the crucifix was the newest fashion statement.

Leg Warmers - Big 80s Trend for Women

‘Flashdance’ gave us more than just the oversized off-the-shoulder sweatshirt. It also made leg warmers a must-have accessory, and not just for the gym rats. They looked awesome with any outfit, in any color or pattern, and even with high heels.

Fingerless Gloves

Maybe our fingers were warm enough, thank you very much. Like our toasty leg warmer-covered calves, we just needed something extra for our palms.

There were two types of these gloves. There was lace for the Madonna fans, and studded leather for the punk crowd. They were normally just black or white, but they could also be neon.

Womens 80s Hair Trends

This was probably the most distinctive trend in the 80s. Big, curly hair with even bigger bangs was all the rage. Crimping and curling irons, as well as perms and Aqua Net were some favorite tools to achieve this look.

Another awesome look was the side ponytail – complete with a fun scrunchie. A great punk look was funky, choppy spiked layers with streaks of color. An awesome headband was always cool – especially if it had a big, lace bow attached to it.

Jelly Shoes

These soft, plastic shoes were not just comfortable, but versatile as well. ‘Jellies,’ as they were affectionately called, came in a variety of colors and styles. They also emitted a distinctive squeak when you walked in them. They were also cheap enough that you could have a pair to match every outfit.


It has been called everything from nauseating to retina searing, but neon was a fun part of the 80s. Whether it was a bright tank top, a new shade of nail polish, or an electrifying pair of jelly shoes, neon was everywhere.

Some of these 80s trends for women are still stuck in the 80s, but some of them are coming back in a big way. Some things are just way too rad to leave behind.