The 1980s were a turbulent time in the fashion world- a celebration of bright apparel and big, curly puffed-up hair. Everything about the 80s was colorful- the makeup, the nails, and of course, the clothes. I think one of the biggest key words we can use to describe the 1980s is “glamour”, not only for women’s fashion, but also as a celebration of androgyny in the pop industry. I have some super fun, electric outfits picked out for today’s fashion journal, and I’m so excited to talk about these looks!

Left: 1980s Doc Marten Boots

There are certainly a lot of 80s trends that did not age well, but Doc Martens is an exception. This popular punk boots have evolved to remain both relevant and stylish, not only for the punk community, but for everyone. In the 80s, Doc Martens were worn by both sexes, and usually paired with back-combed hair, a ton of eyeliner, and fishnets. The Doc Martens brand has survived into the 2010s, now with more modern additions and embellishments. The modern Docs on the right have been embellished with faux flowers, and are studded along the exterior of the shoe. I love that although the brand has changed, Doc Marten has remained true to their aesthetic and overall look.

Left: Argentine music group in 1986

Like I said, the 1980s were a time for geometric patterns and vibrant color combos. The sudden popularity of aerobics played a large role in this desire for colorful clothes, along with the youthful, influential power of Madonna. Slim mini skirts, leather gloves, and dresses worn with thin belts were a large part of this colorful trend, as we can see in the picture on the left. On the right, this modern top from Anthropologie has clearly taken a lot of inspiration from the 1980s, especially from the geometric, loose-fitting-on-top style! Even the color schemes in the two pictures are similar: lots of bright oranges and reds, clashing with an array of blues and greens. The top on the right also comes with a matching, tight-fitting skirt, which would also be very historically accurate to the 1980s.

Left: High-waisted acid-wash jeans from the 1980s

Another fashion that was popular with both sexes was acid-wash jeans. These jeans were influenced by the heavy metal movement, and were worn high-waisted and slightly baggy. Denim jackets were also often worn with acid-wash jeans, because as you may have guessed, being matchy-matchy in the 80s was considered very stylish! The 1980s is also when ripped jeans became popular, and is a trend that we can still see flourishing today. The picture on the right shows a pair of modern acid-washed jeans, which are also pre-made to be ripped. This particular practice was inspired by the glam-rock movement, and specifically, the music act Poison was very crucial to popularizing this. The biggest difference between the 80s jeans and the modern jeans are the cut- the modern style jeans are much tighter on the model, and are also much more low-cut. Even as the shape in jeans has changed with the times, the inspiration from heavy metal and glam rock is still present in these edgy, acid-bleached bottoms.


We’re more than halfway through the fashion journal series, and the further we go, the more trends and diversity in fashion we are going to experience. The sixties was a budding introduction to this culture of “no rules”, and now that we’re in the seventies, this explosion of fashion is now in full swing!

The seventies were a turbulent period of glam rock, disco, new technology, and ultimately, the overproduction of cheap, synthetic clothes. Like I said, there were a wide variety of styles at this time, but the overall popular figure was tight on top, and loose on bottom. I’m very excited about the garments I’ve picked to talk about today, and I hope you enjoy reading as much as I’ve enjoyed putting it together!

On the left: Bell-bottoms, 1970s

Of course, we can’t talk about the 1970s without mentioning the iconic bell-bottom jeans! By the 1970s, both men and women were wearing sportswear apparel, and this was primarily based on flare or bell-bottom jeans. This fashion staple proved to be the beginning of the “casual chic” movement, and to this day, flare jeans are still popular among women going for  a trendy, retro look. Over the years, bell-bottom jeans (and almost all jeans) have been popularized with pre-made rips and tears, which some may see as a nod to the 1970s punk movement.

On the right: 1970s Punk Rockers

Speaking of the punk movement, I couldn’t not talk about the heavy metal fashion of the 1970s. As a psychobilly girl myself, I draw a lot of inspiration from the 1950s and 1960s, but also, a ton of inspiration and love from the 1970s. The early punk movie drew a lot of inspiration from hippies, but as the decade progressed, punk became all about combat boots, leather, faded jeans, and chains. The musical genre of punk itself had an enormous impact on the 1970s, and promoted a sense of rebellion and darkness among young misfits and weirdos. The punk movement has translated into modern times with brands like Dollskill, who created those fabulous garments you see on the right. The knee-high combat boots are a fantastic representation of the 70s sex appeal, and the chains on the mini skirt are also clearly inspired by the decade. Once I have a larger disposable income, I’d love to pick up some Dollskill merchandise for myself.

Left: Models in Floral Maxi Dresses, 1973

Another iconic statement piece from the 1970s was the maxi dress, which (again), is something that we can see translated into modern times. Also deriving from the hippie movement, early maxi skirts and dresses were heavily reliant on flower patterns- a symbol of peace during the tension of the Vietnam War. In modern times, Zaful has put a fun spin on the maxi dress by making the slip shorter and adding a semi-transparent overskirt. The dress garnered inspiration from the 1970s by sticking with the flower pattern, and additionally, dips in a v-neck on the bodice. Fashion in the 1970s was generally informal, and the universal maxi dress is a perfect example of that flowy, laid-back statement.