I Love the 80's off-shoulder black T-shirt for ladies


Fashion in the 1980s

1980s Costume Ideas at simplyeighties.com


The eighties was a decade when many of the fashion trends that people love to hate were created. In complete contrast to the 1970s, shirts became looser and trousers became tighter. Hair was heavily styled and voluminous (teased and permed to the limits!) and make-up was bold with clashing colours - almost like face paint. Some call it "the time that fashion forgot", as most laws of fashion were broken & torn to shreds.

Music Videos were a major influence for 80s fashion, as well as American TV shows such as Dynasty and Dallas - shoulder pads spring to mind!

Recent Posts from 2017

Don't miss the latest eighties fashion articles on the website and our blog. Please note, some of these links take you to our blog which is published on a separate web address.


12th August 2017

1982 Fashion Pictures

We've already featured 1981, 1983 and 1984. This time we travel back in time to 1982, when power-dressing and leg warmers were all the rage.


2nd August

The Breakfast Club T-shirts

Celebrate the classic 1985 John Hughes movie with a T-shirt. We show you where to find the best designs.


20th July

80s Funk Skulls Costume

A fabulous dress with skull and crossbones design and layered skirt. Ideal for 80s, punk and Halloween dress-up.

1983 blouse with puffed sleeves and neck scarf


10th July

80s Fashion Pictures from 1983

Featuring original images including puffed sleeves, tuxedo blouses, neck scarves, shoulder pads, leotards, headbands, leg warmers, Smash Hits covers and more.


2nd July

The Shell Suit

A look back at, quite possibly, the worst fashion fad to ever to come out of the 80s, and also how to create a fun costume.


26th June

The Clothes Show in the 80s

A look back at the popular fashion show which launched on BBC1 in 1986.


23rd June

Create an 80s Roller Disco Look

Become an 80s skater girl using accessories, or buy a ready-made costume.


7th June

Bullseye Bully Costume

Perfect for 80s fancy dress, this fun outfit includes the iconic red and white striped shirt and a face mask. 


4th June

Cyndi Lauper Costume for Women

A popular and highly rated outfit from Emma's Wardrobe is featured on our latest blog post at 80sfashion.online.


25th May

Iconic and Infamous 80s Perms

Our new blog post looks back at some very memorable BIG perms. 


18th May

Bros 80s T-shirts

Discover where to find a stylish range of tees celebrating 80s teen pop band Bros. 


13th May

Top 5 Stores to Buy 80s Costumes

Discover where to find the biggest range of outfits at the lowest prices.


6th May

80s Hair Styles - Pictures

A selection of hair and fashion photos to give you inspiration for an 80s party costume. Or maybe you just want a darn good laugh!


30th April

Create a Flashdance Costume 

Our latest blog post will show you how to transform into the iconic Jennifer Beals character Alex Owens in the 80s movie Flashdance.


20th April

Dynasty Puffed Sleeves Costume

Become 80s soap star Krystie Carrington, or create a power dressing style using our latest blog post.


22nd March

Side Ponytails in the 80s

Our latest post delves into an 80s fashion fad that many would like to never see again!


14th March

Women's "I Love the 80s" Costume

Create your own fabulous outfit, or buy one ready-made. We show you all the option in our latest post.


7th March

Madonna 80s Costume Ideas

Our new blog post takes a look at Madonna outfits with an 80s theme and where to find the best value suppliers.


20th Feb

Twister Costumes

We all played this popular game back in our childhood days, and in our latest blog post we explore the fantastic range of costumes available which are ideal for 80s and retro themed parties and events.


9th Feb

Cafe 80s T-shirts

In this blog post, we explore tees relating to the futuristic 80s themed cafe in Back To The Future 2. 


2nd Feb

80s Splatter Paint Clothing

Our latest blog post takes a look at leotards and leggings with a paint splatter design.


29th Jan


A look back at those suits with colourfed or white flecks and turn-ups, which just about every man wore at some point back in the day.


19th JaN

Create an 80s Pop Star Costume

Buy a ready-made outfit or create your own awesome 80s outfit using accessories.Discover more at our blog.


12th JAN

80s Fashion Pictures from 1983

In our latest blog post, we rewind to 1983 when leg warmers and shoulder pads were all the rage, although not both worn at the same time!


This revamped section now includes many more skirts in a new grid layout with larger images - take a gander!


Our latest blog post features the perfect T-shirt designs for any 80s party or event.


Our latest blog article will show you how to create simply the best outfit for your party or event.


Take a trip back to 1982 in our latest blog post. Inc. shoulder pads, aran sweaters, magazine covers and more.


Our latest blog post shows you how to create a quick and easy costume for men or women 


We a look at various Rubik's Cube outfits for men and women, with positive and negative points for each one.


Discover how to become He-Man's sister and where to find the best-priced full costumes and costume shirts - many options available.


Our latest blog post explores 1980s, Flashdance, dance and workout style, off-shoulder T-shirts, sweatshirts and pullovers. Plus, advice on creating a costume.


This updated post includes many more photos and extra info inc. Human League, Martin Kemp and Princess Diana.

Eighties fashion info pages at SimplyEighties.com 

If your wore a a Miami Vice suit with rolled-up sleeves and boxer shorts then you were the coolest guy in town!

A Jumpsuit worn with a belt around the waist was the height of fashion in the 80s.

Take a look back at heavily styled, voluminous hair, wedges, spiral perms and many other crazy styles!

During the 80s fitness craze no girl was without a pair of leg warmers, and they were even warn over jeans!

Big spiral perms, crimps and peroxide blonde locks weren't just for the ladies!

These bizarre-looking skirts were pretty awkward to look at and to wear, but it didn't stop Princess Diana from wearing one.

Inflenced by 1950s fashion, polka dots were worn by royalty and pop stars alike, including Princess Diana and Strawberry Switchblade. 

From Nike to Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star Hi-tops, a look at the brands that were popular back in the day.

From Ray-Bans to aviator shades, we look at the most popular sunglasses in the great decade.

Grace Jones wearing shoulder pads

These were very scary indeed and for a while, power dressing was all the rage with power-hungry career women and soap stars who portrayed them.

Just about every guy wanted a suit with flecks of white or different coloursall over it - just don't ask me why!


80s Aerobics and Fitness

For quite a while an aerobics craze grabbed hold of the nation, and it was created by American dance movies such as Fame and Flashdance. Here in Britain, Jane Fonda workout videos helped fuel the 80s fashion craze and you may remember Diana Moran (nicknamed the "Green Goddess") stretching her limbs on BBC's Breakfast Time, much to the delight of presenter Frank Bough. It just looked like far too much effort for me, especially that early in the morning!

Olivia Newton-John was also at it in her controversial video for her hit song Physical. It seemed like every female wanted to join in, and we suddenly saw women appearing out on the streets in aerobics gear just to do the shopping - this was in broad daylight, too!

The 80s keep fit look for women included items such as neon-coloured, plain, pastel or stripy legwarmers that were scrunched up and worn over leggings, tights or even their jeans for a more casual style. They were also worn with mini skirts. 

The over-sized, grey sweatshirt with a large neck opening (which was ripped open and worn off-the-shoulder) became hugely popular after Jennifer Beals wore one in Flashdance.

The classic 1980s aerobics look included a headband, leotard, tights or leggings and, of course, those legwarmers.
Visit our 80s Workout Clothing page
80s Fashion - fitness girl
Ladies Aerobics in the 1980s
Aerobics in 1985


Women's Retro Gym Shorts (Dolphin Shorts) with drawstring
Dolphin shorts (Gym shorts) with a drawstring also became popular and were in usually in one block colour and often with a contrasting edging colour such as white. Interlock running shorts were very similar but without the drawstring. 
 Visit our Leggings pages.



Of course, mini skirts made their first appearance in the 1960s when they were often worn with go-go boots. During the 80s, more often than not, they were worn with legwarmers and/or leggings. Popular materials were denim and spandex and they were tight and clingy. Rah-rah's and skater skirts were particularly popular.

The ra-ra (or rah-rah) is a skirt with more than one layer (usually two or three layers/tiers, but I've seen some have six!) and during the eighties they came in a whole range of colours. Layers could be flat or in a puffed-out tutu style.

Kylie Minogue wearing a red rah-rah skirt in the 80s



An original 1980s ra-ra dress by C&A (UK)

An original 1980s ra-ra dress by C&A (UK) 


Original 80s Zebra Print and Cheese PLant Print Dress with batwing sleeves

An original 1980s batwing sleeve zebra and cheese plant print dress 

You can see many more skirts on our Ladies Fancy Dress pages
Animal print was also a popular choice in the eighties for both men and women, particularly leopard, zebra and snake. It featured on skirts, leggings, dresses, jackets and well, just about anything wearable! Metal bands loved it, too, and at least one member of most bands could be seen wearing animal print.
1980s - Girl in a zebra print dress with batwing sleeves
This original photo from the 1980s shows a girl wearing a zebra print dress with batwing sleeves.
80s Hair Metal Band Cinderella
Here we see 80s glam metal band Cinderella donning animal print trousers and accessories on their 1986 album Night Songs.

Deely Boppers / Bobbers

Invented by Stephen Askin in 1981, teeny boppers (also called bobbers) sold in their millions. Basically, it was just a headband with two, bouncy martian-like antennae protruding from it. Quite why everyone felt the need to look like a little green man I've no idea!

There were many variations with lights and pom poms being particularly popular. They're still worn by party-goers today and,  no doubt, should you risk venturing out onto the streets on a weekend night there will be, at least, one hen party wearing them.

Deely Bobbers
Photo by Jim Lane (self-made (the model has consented)) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Silver Glitter Ball Deely Boppers for 80s Dress-Up



With it's geometric shapes and substantial shoulder pads, this jacket is about as eighties as you can get!
80s style Padded Jacket with geometric shapes design
Not one to be left out of the latest fashion trends, Princess Diana also sported shoulder pads, although, she was often responsible for starting a new trend.
Priness of Wales in 80s Shoulder Pads
Is there anyone who thinks that padded shoulders were a great idea? This has to be one of the worst fashion fads to come out of the 80s. I believe it was a "girl power" thing, and this was long before the Spice Girls came onto the scene. Women were rising through the ranks like never before, and here in Britain, of course, our country was being run by our first female Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.

Then there was Joan Collins who played super-bitch Alexis Carrington in Dynasty. Let's face it, any woman with broad-looking shoulders and big 80s hair was going to make any man run for cover!

The New Romantics

New Romanticism was flourishing in the early eighties, and was born in the nightclubs of London such as The Blitz and Billy's. We saw flamboyant men wearing frilly shirts, eye-liner and other forms of make-up. 70s glam rock was a big influence for the look, whilst Kraftwerk influenced the sound, with many (but not all) acts using synthesizers and electronic drums to create their music.

New Romantic Hair Style 80s
Japan Quiet Life - New Romantic Fashion

Above we see some typical New Romantic hair styles. On the left is some bloke I've never seen before wearing a dodgy wig, and on the right is the cover of Quiet Life by Japan, featuring a very typical fashion look from the early 80s where we see the hair sweeping over one eye. Quite often the hair was also cut shorter on one side of the head.

One of the earliest examples of New Romanticism can be seen in the video Planet Earth by Duran Duran.

Duran Duran on the cover of their self-titled debut album
Duran Duran on the sleeve of their self-titled debut album in 1981


In 1984, whilst Wham made the "Choose Life" T-Shirt popular, Frankie Goes to Hollywood made the "Frankie Say Relax" T-Shirt even more popular!

Pepsi and Shirlie, the backing singers with George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley's Wham! made the Katherine Hamnett "GO GO" and "Choose Life" t-shirt famous by wearing them in the video for the 80s hit single 'Wake Me Up (Before You Go-Go)'.

These days there are more Wham style T-shirts available than ever before, with lots of variations of the original "Choose Life" message and also available in a whole array of colours.

Photo: Holly Johnson with Paul Rutherford who is modelling a "Frankie Say War! Hide Yourself" T-Shirt, which was designed by Frankie Goes To Hollywood's PR manger (and co-founder of ZTT records) Paul Morley. The design was based on Katherine Hamnett's slogan T-shirts, and also included "Frankie Say Arm The Unemployed" and, of course, the more popular "Frankie Say Relax". Unofficial tees with the slogan "Frankie Says Relax" (to avoid copyright infringement) also became popular during 1984 due to the lower prices.


This is one 80s fashion craze I'd rather forget about. The trend for yukky acid wash jeans was popular from the mid to late 80's and into the early 90's before they died a quick death.

The process involves washing denim with chlorine using a pumice stone and was invented by the Rifle Jeans company in Italy. They were often worn with motorcycle jackets or fringe jackets (cowboy/country music style leather jackets with lots of tassles) by heavy metal and rock bands, although plenty of non-rock acts (such as Bros and Salt N' Pepa) also jumped in on the trend. Acid Washed jeans made a bit of a comeback during the late noughties.


Kylie Minogue in tight-rolled jeans in 1989
Also known as pegged jeans/pants, during the late 80s and into the early 90s both males and females decided to tight roll the bottom of their jeans 2 or 3 times over. If you tight-rolled a pair of acid-washed jeans then you were ultra-trendy!

Rolling-up the bottom of your jeans is something that is still popular amongst some youngsters today. It's also a good excuse for me to claim that I'm being trendy when I've bought a pair of jeans that are too long for me!

An original pair of Levi's 501 acid-washed high waisted jeans from the 80s
An original pair of acid-washed, high-waisted 501's
1980s Levi's 501 Denim Jacket
Levi's 501 Denim Jacket from the 80s


The 1985 advert featuring Nick Kamen (see the video playlist at the top of the page) dramatically increased sales of Levi's 501 jeans in the mid 80's. Nick Kamen also had a #5 hit single in 1986 with Each Time You Break My Heart which was written and produced by Madonna and Stephen Bray.

After this success, ads featuring old classics by artists such as Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Ben E. King and Percy Sledge also boosted sales of both Levi's and vinyl records during 1986 and 1987.

80's pin badges
Denim jackets were often covered with pin badges
Debbie Gibson wearing acid washed denim in the 1980s


80s Pixie Boots

An original pair of 80s pixie boots 

Pixie Boots featured pointy toes and fold-over cuffs and were extremely popular with girls in the early eighties in the UK. 

80s Disco Diva Fancy Dress Costume

Create a similar 80s look on the 80s Fancy Dress page. Plus, discover more info about tutus and ra ra skirts.

Ray Ban Sunglasses

There has been something of a resurgence in this 80s fashion trend in recent years. When I was 14 years old back in 1982 I bought a pair of cheap mirror lens shades from the local market. Street Markets were really popular back in the eighties (in the UK, at least) as there were no chain pound stores or numerous discount clothing superstores on the high street like today.

Ray Bans were also popular and worn by many of the pop stars and film stars of the day, but I suspect that a good many of us ordinary folk bought cheaper replicas.

It's nice to see that Ray Bans (particularly Wayfarer), Aviators / Mirror Lens sunglasses are popular once again, along with so many other 80's clothes.


Create a Flashdance Costume 

Oversized 80s Off Shoulder
Batwing Sweatshirt


Black Stirrup Leg Warmers for Flashdance Costume

Black Leg Warmers 


Popular Tees 


Choose Life Wham Hamnett 80s T-shirt



80s Tutu Skirt, Leg Warmers, Fu=ishnet Gloves
This ladies MTV Music Television logo vest top is one of the most popular 80s tops at Amazon UK. The music video channel launched on 1st August 1981, and that logo is now iconic.