MONTREALCANADIENSTEAMSHOP

Look like a Star

Fashion And Style

Bold and Bright Colors


The 1980s were all about making a statement, and nothing did that better than bold, bright colors. Neon hues were everywhere, from highlighter-yellow leg warmers to electric-blue jackets. This decade embraced color in a way that was almost aggressive, as if to declare that subtlety had no place in the fashion world. The brighter, the better—this was the mantra that ruled the 80s wardrobe. Whether it was a fluorescent pink dress or a lime-green tracksuit, these colors were all about grabbing attention and exuding confidence.

Power Suits and Shoulder Pads

The power suit became a symbol of authority and ambition in the 80s, especially for women entering the corporate world. Designers like Giorgio Armani and Ralph Lauren popularized the look, which featured sharp tailoring and, most notably, shoulder pads. These pads gave wearers a broader, more commanding silhouette, which was seen as a physical manifestation of power and determination. Both men and women adopted this style, with women pairing their suits with silk blouses and bold accessories to make a strong impression in the workplace.

Denim Dominance

Denim was another key player in 80s fashion. It wasn’t just about jeans; denim was used for jackets, skirts, and even accessories. Acid-washed denim, in particular, became a trend that defined the decade. This unique style, characterized by its light, mottled appearance, was achieved through a process of washing denim with chlorine and pumice stones. Brands like Levi’s and Guess capitalized on this craze, producing various acid-washed items that became must-haves for anyone wanting to stay on-trend.

The Rise of Athletic Wear

Athletic wear made its way from the gym to everyday fashion in the 80s. Tracksuits, often made of shiny fabrics and featuring bold stripes, became popular casual wear. Brands like Adidas, Puma, and Nike led the way, making sportswear fashionable outside of sports. Leg warmers, headbands, and high-top sneakers were essential components of this trend, often worn together to create a sporty, energetic look. This movement paved the way for the athleisure trend that is still prevalent today.

Punk and New Wave Influence

The punk movement of the late 70s continued to influence 80s fashion, particularly in its early years. This style was all about rebellion and individuality. Leather jackets, ripped jeans, band t-shirts, and studded accessories were staples of the punk wardrobe. Hair was often dyed in vibrant colors and styled into mohawks or spikes. At the same time, the New Wave movement brought its own unique aesthetic, characterized by futuristic and eccentric styles. Bands like Duran Duran and Devo inspired fans to embrace bold, avant-garde looks that often included geometric patterns and asymmetrical cuts.

Pop Culture and Celebrity Influence

Celebrities and pop culture had an enormous impact on 80s fashion. Icons like Madonna and Michael Jackson set trends that were copied by millions. Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” look—complete with lace gloves, layered necklaces, and a cross pendant—became iconic. Michael Jackson’s red leather jacket from the “Thriller” music video is another unforgettable piece from this era. Television shows like “Miami Vice” popularized pastel-colored suits, while movies like “Flashdance” and “Footloose” brought leg warmers and off-the-shoulder sweatshirts into the mainstream.

Preppy Style

On the other end of the spectrum from punk and New Wave was the preppy style, which also gained popularity in the 80s. Inspired by Ivy League fashion, this look was clean, conservative, and polished. Polo shirts, often with the collars popped, were a staple, as were khakis, blazers, and boat shoes. Brands like Ralph Lauren and Lacoste were synonymous with this style. The preppy look was all about projecting an image of affluence and classic American elegance.

Accessories and Big Hair

No discussion of 80s fashion would be complete without mentioning the accessories and hairstyles that defined the era. Big, bold accessories like oversized earrings, chunky bracelets, and statement necklaces were the norm. Hair was equally dramatic, with both men and women sporting voluminous styles. Hair spray was a necessity to achieve the high, teased looks that were so popular. For those looking for an edge, hair colors like platinum blonde and jet black were common, often paired with bold makeup that featured bright eyeshadows and heavy eyeliner.

The Legacy of 80s Fashion

The fashion of the 80s was more than just a collection of trends; it was a reflection of the decade’s vibrant, eclectic spirit. The bold colors, dramatic silhouettes, and diverse styles all spoke to a time when self-expression was celebrated. Many of these trends have cycled back into popularity over the years, proving that the daring fashion choices of the 80s have a lasting influence on how we dress today. Whether it’s the resurgence of neon or the enduring appeal of denim, the 80s continue to shape the fashion landscape.