Best Symbolic ’80s Fashion Moments and Trends

Best Symbolic ’80s Fashion Moments and Trends

Since the 1980s, we’ve been hosting costume parties honouring the bold, fearless, and utterly iconic fashion of that era. The 80s fashion on today’s design is evident in everything from the gritty underground punk movement to the vibrant colours and leg warmers of the aerobics lifestyle to the enormous shoulder pads of oversized jackets. 

The wide spectrum of style icons that gained prominence during this decade of excess was embodied by celebrities such as Madonna, Grace Jones, and Princess Diana. It makes sense that growing stars in pop culture, fashion, and music pushed the bounds of originality in their costumes both on and off stage and screen throughout this decade, which also brought about the emergence of music videos and the Brat Pack’s cinematic supremacy. Here, we look back at 42 of the most memorable outfits that helped to define a legendary decade.

Top Influencers of 80s Fashion 

Princess Diana

#1 of 10 Symbolic 80s Fashion Moment 

Princess Diana’s iconic wedding gown and her notorious black sheep sweater are just two examples of the iconic looks from the decade that could fill an entire list of 1980s attire. However, this combination of jeans, sweatshirt and blazer perfectly captures the essence of the People’s Princess’s effortless style.

Whitney Houston

#2 of 10 Symbolic 80s Fashion Moment

Whitney Houston was a fashion icon thanks to her gorgeous curls, enormous earrings, and cheery bodycon dresses, in addition to her angelic voice that was topping the charts.


#3 of 10 Symbolic 80s Fashion Moment 

When it comes to Cher’s ’80s wardrobe, the wild Oscars getups garner most of the attention. However, what really stands out in our opinion is the iconic leather jacket—which she wore without pants—that she donned when performing “If I Could Turn Back Time” on the battleship USS Missouri.


#4 of 10 Symbolic 80s Fashion Moment 

The influence of hip-hop girl group Salt-N-Pepa on music and style cannot be overstated. One of the key moments of the decade was the jackets they wore in the “Push It” video.

Brooke Shields

#5 of 10 Symbolic 80s Fashion Moment 

Brooke Shields was somehow crafting an impressive ensemble out of roller skates, a Kermit the Frog T-shirt, and red suspender pants before she wore the infamous Calvins.

80s Fashion

Courteney Cox

#6 of 10 Symbolic 80s Fashion Moment 

Courteney Cox was a master of the sophisticated business look that was so fashionable in the 1980s, and this olive green suit was no exception in her pre-Friends existence.

Joan Collins

#7 of 10 Symbolic 80s Fashion Moment 

Dynasty’s drama and elegance had a profound effect on American society, and its actress, Joan Collins, personified the extravagant, exaggerated look more than anyone else.

Grace Jones

#8 of 10 Symbolic 80s Fashion Moment 

Grace Jones, an actress, singer, and model, was and still is the moment. An essential component of her unique, androgynous, and seductive look were hoods.

Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Polly Mellon, and Christy Turlington

#9 of 10 Symbolic 80s Fashion Moment 

Supermodels (and one fashion editor) showing off their best ’80s cocktail dress in a truly memorable scene.

Olivia Newton John

#10 of 10 Symbolic 80s Fashion Moment 

Olivia Newton John, who shot to fame in the 1970s with Grease, went on to create a whole new fashion trend with her “Physical” music video and incredibly famous sweatband.

Men 80s Fashion

Fashion was a means of self-expression in addition to being about looking attractive. It gave males the chance to express their uniqueness and personalities via their wardrobe choices. During this time, brands were also quite significant in the fashion industry. A popular brand among preppy guys who aspired to look put-together but still smart was Ralph Lauren’s Polo line.

During this time, men’s fashion was also greatly influenced by the media. Tom Cruise in Top Gun popularised bomber jackets and aviator sunglasses, while Michael Jackson’s Thriller video introduced us to red leather jackets and the one-glove fad. The 1980s fashion movement was a sort of protest against the traditional, conservative looks of the past.

Men desired to express themselves and have fun, even if it meant dressing a little strange or out of the ordinary. And when we reflect on it now, we can’t help but be impressed by the distinctive fashion choices that emerged during this decade.

Preppy Style 

The preppy look was more about conveying a casual elegance than power dressing, which was more about projecting an impression of professional accomplishment. Consider boat shoes, khaki trousers, shorts and polo shirts with popped collars.

The 1950s and 1960s Ivy League trend had a big influence on this look, which was modernised with brighter hues like pastel pink or mint green for a current audience. Even though the attire was casual, high-end components like silk ties and cashmere sweaters were valued highly.

Punk Rock

Many men chose more rebellious looks during the 1980s, even though power dressing and preppy style dominated popular culture. Throughout this decade, men’s fashion was heavily influenced by punk rock, with leather jackets being among the most recognisable items.


Punk clothes and band t-shirts with icons like The Ramones or The Sex Pistols were also synonymous with ripped jeans. The basic idea behind this fashion trend was to embrace a more countercultural style while rejecting conventional conventions.

However, it went beyond the attire. In addition to sporting more dramatic hairstyles like mohawks or shaved heads, punk rockers frequently donned heavy black eyeliner or other cosmetics to showcase their rebellious nature.

Heavy Metal Scene

When it came to fashion, the heavy metal scene was arguably the most simple—black was the standard colour for everything from t-shirts to leather jackets. Band logos were frequently slapped on apparel to show support for one’s preferred band. Metalheads were partial to motorbike jackets because they provided both style and protection.

Fans of the style also frequently wore combat boots, tight jeans and studded belts. Even if 80s rock fashion didn’t have the same impact on alternative culture as new wave or hip-hop, it nonetheless had a noticeable influence that is still evident today.


When we reflect on the vibrant 1980s men’s fashion scene, we can recognise the decade’s inventiveness and audacity. Men’s fashion was a form of protest against earlier traditional fashions and self-expression, with trends ranging from punk rock to power dressing.

80s Fashion

Driven by a quest for originality and influenced by pop culture idols, the 1980s produced a range of distinctive looks that still influence fashion today. Ultimately, the decade had a profound effect on men’s fashion and self-expression by celebrating innovation and a bold attitude to style.