Women of the 80s

A decade of Madonna, neon, and power suits, the women of the 80s had so many options.

Maybe it was womens power suits by day and Madonna by night or 80s preppy and Ivy League bound.

There were many cliques that any woman of the 80s could find herself in, or at least wished she were in.

With the 1980s dawning, powerful women were taking the workforce by storm. They were educated, motivated and empowered pioneers. women in the 80s still wanted families, but were no longer staying home to do so.

They were willing and able to balance the roles of wife, mother and a member of the workforce. They were not only employees, if they wanted to fight for it and compete against the men, they were now becoming the boss.

These 80s women needed their power suits. After all, they were still competing fiercely with the men in the 80s. They wanted to prove themselves and for the higher-ups to take them seriously.

Typically, a womans power suit was a jacket with big shoulder pads and either a skirt or dress pants to match. Black pantyhose and heels, as well as tasteful makeup and accessories, would complete this professional look.

The pop princess, or the Madonna type women, were usually a young adult, and probably worshipped Madonna and Cyndi Lauper—and let their true colors shine through. This clique was all about big teased hair, short skirts, fingerless lace gloves, black eyeliner, and lots of jewelry and neon.

Other groups of women in the decade may have been into the preppy style, wearing polo shirts with sweaters around their shoulders, knee-length khaki shorts or skirts, and tennis shoes.

Like the preppy men, they usually only associated with other preppy types, and never the wrong crowd. They were the smart overachievers that would one day be in a power suit. The Madonna types usually called them snobs or goody two shoes.

In entertainment Madonna is the most obvious example of 80s culture for women, as she influenced both music and 80s fashion in a big way.  Other female groups like The Go-Go’s, The Bangles, and Joan Jett were also very influential.

From the music to the fashion, and the strong messages they both sent, women in the 80s had icons with attitude.

Entertainment brought us women like Joan Collins and Linda Evans, they brought us Dynasty, and Linda Gray and Victoria Principal brought us Dallas, two of the most popular television series during the 80s.

Catherine Bach played the infamous Daisy Duke in The Dukes of Hazzard-which also brought us the famous short-shorts named for her, and Molly Ringwald gave us the classic movie 16 Candles.

Aerobics videos were also huge in the 80s. Exercise gurus such as Jane Fonda kept women fit, and in the ever-so-popular leg warmers.

Not all women of the 80s were just about hanging out or sitting back and letting others do things for them.

The younger ones, perhaps, but the 80s were also a time of women paving the way for those younger ones to have the chance to do things they never would have been able to do in decades past.