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Top 10 Decade Defining Fashion Trends of the 1980s

VO: Lisa Yang
Script written by George Pacheco. If you were rockin' this gear back in the day, then consider yourself totally rad! In this video, MsMojo counts down our picks for the Top 10 Decade Defining Fashion Trends of the 1980s. For this list, we're taking our souped up DeLorean back in time to the excessive 1980s in order to recall all of the wild and wacky fashions which most resonated with the public during this decade. Clothes, hairstyles and accessories will all be considered, just so long as they echo pleasant - or maybe not so pleasant! - memories of this visually unique period in time! Special thanks to Nana Amuah and Marlon Jacques for submitting this idea on our interactive suggestion tool at http://www.MsMojo.tv
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Script written by George Pacheco.

Top 10 Decade Defining Fashion Trends of the 1980s


If you were rockin' this gear back in the day, then consider yourself totally rad! Join MsMojo as we count down our picks for Top 10 Decade Defining Fashion Trends of the 1980s.

For this list, we're taking our souped up DeLorean back in time to the excessive 1980s in order to recall all of the wild and wacky fashions which most resonated with the public during this decade. Clothes, hairstyles and accessories will all be considered, just so long as they echo pleasant - or maybe not so pleasant! - memories of this visually unique period in time!

#10: Scrunchies

Hair accessories were all the rage during the 1980s, with very few being as popular as that faithfully strong tie known as the scrunchie! This fabric-covered elastic came in a variety of shapes and colors, and served as the perfect alternative when that favorite headband just wouldn't make the grade. Plus, the soft outer covering of the scrunchie made sure hair was never torn out or damaged, no matter how high it was, or how much Aqua Net hairspray was applied!

#9: Miniskirts

Although this next fashion trend first sparked public interest (and outcry) back in the swinging sixties, the miniskirt proudly lived on throughout the two decades which followed its debut. What separates the ‘80s miniskirt from so many of its predecessors, however, was the material used for its production. It wasn't long before denim, leather and even lycra miniskirts began showing up in films and on television, while simultaneously gaining popularity with those who just wanted to show off a little leg.

#8: The ‘Yuppie’ Look

The hippie look of Birkenstocks, flowers and beads was all but dead in the 1980s, replaced instead with what was essentially an about face of those who protested and fought the establishment at Woodstock. "Greed is good," proclaimed Michael Douglas as "Wall Street" character Gordon Gekko, and The Yuppie Look was indeed a reflection of these financially extravagant times. Suits, ties and perfectly coiffed hair were de rigueur for yuppies – short for young urban professionals - as were sweaters tied around the neck, patent leather shoes and yachting gear...dressing to impress, as opposed to dressing down for comfort.

#7: The ‘Miami Vice’

It's difficult to explain to those who weren't around during the 1980s how much of an impact just one television program could have upon an audience, but this was indeed the case with producer Michael Mann's decade defining cop show, "Miami Vice." Along with costume designer Jodi Tillen, Mann's vision was a cop show which stood in strict opposition to its funky predecessors from the 1970s, bringing with it a fashion sense firmly entrenched in the ‘80s MTV generation. Pastel colors, flowing white sport coats, designer stubble and those perfect Ray-Ban Wayfarers were the epitome of ‘80s cool, as well as an essential tool for kick starting actor Don Johnson's claim to fame.

#6: Lots of Makeup

Wearing lots of makeup was nothing new in the 1980s, but the onset of music television during this decade made the art of visual expression all the more important for just about everyone. Case in point? Just check out all of the extravagant makeup utilized in movies like "Labyrinth," animated television shows like "Jem" or presented in just about any music video shown during the early days of MTV. The1980s were all about radical, boundary-pushing visual style, and this sentiment was definitely echoed in how normal, everyday people reflected these wild and "out there" artists who were reaching into their living rooms.

#5: Neon

It almost seems like a cliché at this point, but neon really WAS everywhere during the 1980s, permeating nearly every facet of popular culture. And why not? Brightly colored clothes were a fashion statement: a rallying call out to any within eyeshot that said, "HEY! LOOK AT ME!" Bands especially seemed to pounce hard on the neon trend, trying on a seemingly endless array of attention-grabbing, gaudy neon colors, meant to drive as many eyeballs back to what they were doing. And you know what? It worked.

#4: Acid-Washed Denim

For everyone out there who wears any sort of distressed jeans, you have these gaudy grandfathers to thank for your keen sense of fashion. Acid-washed denim – preceded by stonewashed jeans, which used pumice to attain its faded appearance - is a type of denim that has been worn down and made to look weathered and well worn. Though pumice is also used to attain the acid-washed jeans look, no acid is actually used during the distressing process, despite its name. The end result is not only a cool-as-hell, rockin' pair of jeans, but also a soft and comfy one, as well, as the weathering process breaks down the denim, making it instantly feel like your most favorite thing in the world.

#3: Wild Hair

Ok, it's no secret that the 1980s were practically defined by weird, wild hair. There's just no escaping this fact, and it was prevalent in nearly every aspect of popular culture. From themusic, to the movies to network and cable television, it seems as if everyone felt the need to one up his or her neighbor in terms of how crazy, how high or how bizarre he or she could get his or her hair. Business-casual mullets, hair metal perms and new wave extension experiments? Yeah, the ‘80s had ALL of that.

#2: Shoulder Pads

Some’ 80s fashion trends have, for better or worse, made moderately successful comebacks over the years, yet the decade's penchant for shoulder pads seems to be very much a product of its time – though it is must be noted that they were briefly brought back duringthe revival of ‘80s styles in the early 21st century. It may seem crazy that the everyday business person or even young student might have the desire to utilize shoulder pads, which gave his or her torso the appearance of a football linebacker, but this was indeed the popular style of the day. Musicians and actors were no strangers to wearing shoulder pads, either, making this unique fashion trend one which just about anyone could pull off... with varying degrees of success, of course.

Before we reveal our most definitive fashion statement of the 1980s, here are a few honorable, or, depending on your taste, dishonorable mentions!

Tutus

Hammer Pants

Geometric Patterns

Huge Earrings



#1 Aerobic / Athletic Gear

That pulsing, undulating beat. The skintight leotards. Those crazy exercise moves. Folks inthe 1980s were obsessed with the culture of aerobics and athletic gear, and it showed. Thepopularity of aerobics brought with it the decade's penchant for legwarmers, leggings and stirrup pants, and combined it with jazzy, upbeat classes of group exercise. Indeed, it wasn't uncommon for folks to walk around town wearing their aerobics or athletic gear, regardlessof whether or not they even intended to do any actual exercise. It was enough just to be seen rocking the fancy gear, proving that you, too, could get "physical" like Olivia Newton-John... that is, if you wanted to.

Do you agree with our list? Which fashion trends do you think most defined the most excellent ‘80s? For more tubular top tens published every day, be sure to subscribe to Ms. Mojo!
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