Madonna Like A Virgin 1984 - lace top, bra and crucifix necklaces



by Mark Nobes, chief editor

For this post, I'm going to take a trip back to 1984. This was the year that Madonna caused controversy with her virgin bride outfit, David Bowie wore "normal" clothing and Adam Ant wore a space suit! 

Madonna in 1984
Madonna in the 80s

Cyndi Lauper in 1984
Cyndi Lauper in the 80s

80s Fashion Trends in 1984

After dying a death during the 70s, mini skirts made a comeback with shiny nylon and leather being the material of choice. Sleeveless T-shirts (known as muscle shirts in the U.S.) were very fashionable with men, as were T-shirts printed with block letter slogans such as "Frankie Say Relax" - you can read more about these further down the page - and these were popular with the ladies, too.

The pictures above feature Madonna Borderline and Cyndi Lauper Time After Time vinyl single sleeve fronts. Note how Madonna is dressed. We see an off the shoulder crop top, a stack of bangles on the arm and jelly bands, Cyndi Lauper's is wearing a fingerless, fishnet glove, a punk-influenced trend that Madonna also was also partial too.

This look was pretty much the norm for fashion-conscious girls back in 1984. Madonna was pretty much a clothing chameleon, and she also created a trend for lace when she wore a lace top on the cover of her 1984 single "Like A Virgin". When she performed the song at the MTV Video Music Awards in the same year, she created one of the most iconic and controversial performances from the 80s when she wore a white wedding dress with a "Boy Toy" buckle and fingerless with white lace gloves. The sexually suggestive "humping" movements towards the end of the performance caused much controversy.

Madonna at 1984 MTV Video Music Awards
Madonna at the MTV Video Music Awards 1984

Recreate the Madonna Bride Look

The "Like A Virgin" costume is available at Amazon UK and, although they do not come with the Boy Toy belt. However, this can be bought from eBay (the seller is highly-rated) and if you're in the U.S. also at Amazon.

David Bowie on the cover of TV Times in October 1984
David Bowie TV Times Oct 1984

David Bowie was never one to follow fashion trends and had a style all of his own making. However, in a huge departure from his outlandish costumes, her we see Bowie being considerably more mainstream by wearing a smart suit. Indeed, even musically, Bowie was going through an unusually mainstream period and released what is often considered to be his weakest album "Tonight" in September 1984. When working with Tin Machine in 1989, Bowie stated "There's stuff on the album that I could really kick myself about". He also once stated that he was going through a "Phil Collins" period.

Girl wearing neon 80s make-up
80s Make-Up

Thompson Twins Doctor Doctor single
Thompson Twins - Doctor Doctor
Frankie Say Relax T-Shirt
Frankie Say Relax T-Shirt - Buy at

The Katherine Hamnett inspired "Frankie Say Relax" T-shirt became almost as big as the band during 1984. The term refers to not using a condom during sex, and the single "Relax" by Frankie Goes To Hollywood was banned by the BBC for its controversial lyrics. Undisputedly, this this led to the song selling well over 1 million copies and topping the UK charts for five weeks.  However, it became even more cool to wear the unofficial "Frankie Says Relax" and "I Couldn't Give Two Sh*ts What Frankie Says" T-Shirts.

Adam Ant with no make-up in 1984
Hello space boy? Adam Ant on the cover of Smash Hits in 1984

By 1984, we had become accustomed to seeing Adam Ant without the heavy make-up. He released just one single this year, Apollo 9, which is why we see the shiny, silver half space suit concoction here.

Duran Duran 1984
Duran Duran's mid-80s hair styles

Duran Duran reached the peak of their career during 1984 with the singles "The Reflex" and "The Wild Boys".

Nick Rhodes and Simon Le Bon in 1984
Nick Rhodes and Simon Le Bon Mullets

Blonde highlights and mullet-like long hair (shorter at the sides than at the back) was so very 80s.

Limahl wearing braces
Limahl on the back cover of Look-In magazine in 1984

Ah, braces! Every now and then a pop star decides to try and bring them back into fashion. However, Limahl was best-remembered for his legendary hair style. The singer appeared on the 2012 series of "I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!" on ITV, and spent a bizarre night with celebrity chef Rosemary Shrager in a rat-infested house - how lovely!

Alannah Currie in 1984

This lady had a style all of her own, and she was often seen wearing bizarre headgear (such as an over-sized baseball cap) on top of a crazy hairstyle. The synth-pop band split in 1992 and Mrs Currie is now an artist upholsterer - very posh.

Torvill and Dean - TV Times March 1984

Torvill & Dean on the cover of TV Times in March 1984