10 Awful ’80s Fashion Trends That Thankfully Didn’t Make a Comeback

10 Awful ’80s Fashion Trends That Thankfully Didn’t Make a Comeback | Society Of Rock Videos

via sam kupper / YouTube

In addition to being a decade of profound societal change, the 1980s also saw the rise of some of the most confusing and embarrassing fashion fads in recent memory. Here’s a look back at some of those fashion decisions that, thankfully, haven’t returned in the mainstream, ranging from neon to nylon and everything in between.

Popped Collars

The popped collar trend, with its roots in the preppy subculture, was more than just a fashion statement; it was a sign of affluence and belonging to a certain societal group. Celebrities and TV characters sporting this look led to its wide adoption among youths seeking to emulate that same sense of elite cool. Yet, the popped collar’s association with a specific clique and era prevented it from transitioning into the following decades as a staple fashion choice. Over time, the look became synonymous with a bygone era of perceived arrogance, deterring new generations from adopting it.

Oversized Earrings

Madonna and Tiffany weren’t just pop icons; they were fashion trendsetters whose choice of oversized earrings inspired a generation. These accessories were bold statements, mirroring the confidence and audacity of the decade. However, as fashion shifted towards minimalism, the practicality and subtlety of accessories came into play. Oversized earrings, while occasionally revisited for nostalgic or thematic events, have largely remained a hallmark of ’80s excess rather than a timeless accessory choice.

Parachute Pants

Parachute pants epitomized the ’80s merger of street culture with mainstream fashion, primarily due to the rise of breakdancing. Their functionality for dancers combined with their edgy look led to widespread popularity. Nonetheless, their distinctive style and association with a niche activity meant that as trends evolved, parachute pants were left behind. Their lack of versatility and the move towards more fitted silhouettes in fashion meant that they stayed firmly in the era of their origin.

Acid-wash and Stonewashed Denim

Acid-wash and stonewashed denim were the rebellion’s uniform, challenging the conventional fashion norms of previous generations. This denim treatment became synonymous with youth culture’s desire to stand out and push boundaries. Despite this, the specific aesthetic qualities of acid-wash and stonewashed denim tied them too closely to the ’80s, preventing their adoption into new millennia where denim treatments became more subtle and nuanced.

Synthetic Leather Dress

The ’80s were a time of experimentation, not just with styles but also with materials. The synthetic leather dress is one such experiment, embodying the decade’s fascination with futuristic looks and synthetic materials. However, concerns over sustainability, comfort, and the evolution of fashion towards more natural aesthetics have meant that this particular trend remains a relic of its time.

Neon Clothing

Neon clothing was impossible to ignore in the ’80s, favored for its vibrancy and the statement it made. This trend was partly fueled by the fitness craze and the desire to stand out in increasingly crowded urban environments. Even though neon colors have made brief comebacks, primarily in athletic wear, they haven’t recaptured the widespread appeal they once had due to shifts towards more subdued and versatile palettes in daily fashion.

Shell Suits

The shell suit, with its garish colors and shiny material, is perhaps one of the most visually memorable remnants of ’80s fashion. Initially embraced for both sports and casual wear, its over-the-top aesthetic has not found favor in later decades where sportswear moved towards performance materials and less obtrusive designs. Shell suits, while occasionally worn for themed events or ironically, remain largely a symbol of outdated fashion.

Battle Jackets

Customization and personal expression reached new heights with jackets covered in patches, allowing individuals to showcase their interests, affiliations, and personality in a highly visible manner. While personal customization has remained popular, the specific trend of densely patched denim or leather jackets didn’t maintain its prominence, perhaps due to changing tastes and the rise of other mediums, like social media, for personal expression.

Sweaters Draped Over Shoulders

Symbolizing a blend of casual elegance and upper-class leisure, sweaters draped over the shoulders became shorthand for a certain preppy and privileged lifestyle in the ’80s. This trend’s strong association with specific social cues and its representation of a bygone era of exclusivity haven’t translated well into the more inclusive and diverse fashion landscape of later decades.

Crimped Hair

Crimped hair was the epitome of ’80s hair fashion, offering a bold and voluminous look that matched the decade’s flamboyant styles. While hair trends continue to evolve, the move towards more natural and less time-consuming styles has left crimped hair as a fond yet distant memory of ’80s fashion excess.

Don’t Miss Out! Sign up for the Latest Updates

Premium Partners

Society of Rock partner World War Wings
Society of Rock partner Daily Rock Box
Society of Rock partner Country Music Nation
Society of Rock partner Country Rebel
Society of Rock partner I Love Classic Rock
Society of Rock partner Rock Pasta

Interested in becoming a partner?

Contact us for more info.