Vintage fashion lovers know that the clothing of every decade reflects much more than fashion style. Vintage clothing gives us a glimpse into what was happening in society and culture in every decade. Clothing follows the trends of the times.
Think 1980s and you’ll find the end of rebellious punk fashion, with skinny jeans and ripped tee shirts making way for the first of Madonna’s many fashion and style influences in the form of mini skirts, leggings, lace, fishnets and vintage lingerie fashion. When the Valley Girls cleaned up the ripped sweatshirts and legwarmers of the Flashdance look, their vintage cheerleader-inspired style made way for “like, totally” only loving the right designer jeans. As Brooke Shields said, “Nothing comes between me and my Calvins.” Those who chose to ignore all the fashion trends became their very own fashion trend called “preppy”, and their conservative fashion was captured in the bestselling “The Official Preppy Handbook” guide to the prep lifestyle.
United Kingdom style and fashion trends made a huge impact on the ‘80s. As a backlash to the punk trend, artists like David Bowie introduced a more gender-bending androgynous look. This led to New Wave and the fashion of the New Romantics such as Boy George and Duran Duran. Vintage poet and pirate shirts and baggy pants were often accessorized with spiked hair, eyeliner and goth fashion touches, similar to the gothic fashion you find in stores today.
Next came the trendsetting rappers, whose rap music videos gave us a look at track suits worn with oversized gold jewelry. “Power dressing” became a buzzword for suits with dramatically oversized shoulder pads in the fashion style of Joan Collins and Linda Evans on Dynasty. And the 1980s was the decade when every little girl decided that she wanted to be a princess, thanks to the ladylike dresses, feminine suits and evening clothing chosen by one of the world’s most important fashion trendsetters – the newly crowned Princess Diana.