1982 fashion images collage


By Mark Nobes, chief editor

For this post, I have gathered together an array of 80s fashion photos from 1982. So whether you're here to gain inspiration for an 80s costume, or you're just curious about what people were wearing back in the day, I'm confident that you will find something of interest here.

Grace Jones Shoulder Pads 1980s

Grace Jones Nightclubbing LP

This album was released in 1981, but the iconic cover represents the early 1980s perfectly. Power dressing with shoulder pads became popular with the new breed of career women who were moving out of the kitchen and into the office. The term "power dressing" originated in the late 70s, but it was during the 80s that it became well established. Androgynous tailored suits and jackets with padded shoulders were combined with more feminine jewellery, scarves and high heels to create a professional, authoritative look.

Noise! magazine December 1982 ft. Thomas Dolby
Thomas Dolby adopted an eccentric science teacher look and released the electro funk single "She Blinded Me With Science".

Ladies wearing knitted leg warmers in 1982

1982 knitting pattern for leg warmers and socks

In the early 80s, just about every teenage girl suddenly started wearing thick, footless socks over their jeans. Better known as leg warmers, they were worn with just about everything, but particularly with leggings and tights or, as mentioned, over jeans. It was an aerobics craze that was responsible, and this was started by Jane Fonda's 1982 Workout Video and films such as Flashdance and Fame.

1980s Oversized Blouse with batwing sleeves and belt

Oversized Blouse with batwing sleeves and belt

This sewing pattern from 1982 features a very fashionable over-sized blouse with batwing sleeves and belt. Baggy jumpers and loose shirts were often worn as dresses and were sometimes worn off one shoulder. Big belts worn around the waist (they were often neon or white) became very trendy.

1982 Kids Aran Sweaters Knitting Pattern

1982 Aran Sweaters Knitting Pattern

My gran was very fond of knitting, and every Christmas she would present me with an Aran sweater which I was forced to wear over the festive period. She was a "loose" knitter and it was always two sizes too big. In fact, it looked like it had been knitted for an orangutan, with the arms going down to my knees. My gran would fiddle around with it for about half an hour trying to make it fit, and then would smile and say "Don't worry, you'll grow into it".

1970s Paper Bell Christmas Decoration

70s Paper Bell Christmas Decoration

The early 1980s also saw a change in our taste for Christmas decorations. The paper tissue decorations of the 70s were being replaced by modern foil decorations. I was actually quite fond of the paper decorations, and they were more eco-friendly, too. In fact, we've decided to go back to using them (although using less ghastly colours) by making our own paper chains. I remember that some of the decorations came in pretty bizarre colours such as pink, yellow and orange, which were not very festive at all!

Haircut 100 on cover of Sounds magazine June 1982

Sounds Magazine 1982 ft. Haircut 100

Pop stars of the day were adopting all kinds of weird and wonderful fashion styles. Here we see Haircut 100 donning rather camp nautical outfits. 80s pop band Duran Duran were leading the way with nautical stripes, and helped popularise them further with the release of their Rio video.

Clare Grogan wearing polka dots in 1982

Clare Grogan - Kicks Magazine - July 1982

Altered Images lead singer Clare Grogan chose to wear a blue and white polka dot top for her photo shoot with Kicks magazine. Polka dots rarely go out of fashion, and they became particularly popular around the mid-eighties when Princess Diana wore a range of bold outfits featuring them.

The Police Walking On The Moon (1980) French single

The Police "Walking On The Moon" 1980 French sleeve

As you can see on this 1980 single sleeve, there was certainly nothing new about pop stars adopting either polka dots or stripes. Although he's not wearing them in this picture, lead singer Sting was also partial to nautical stripes.

Tight Fit wearing headbands and polka dots in 1982

Jackie Magazine July 1982

In the jungle, the mighty jungle, polka dots, vertical stripes and headbands were order of the day for the 80s novelty band Tight Fit.

Jackie Magazine 1982 - big hair and bold make-up

Jackie Magazine March 1982

Someone should have told this girl to go steady with the blusher! Yes, big hair and bold make-up were very much part of 1982, although I certainly can't remember any girls wearing bow ties!

1982 Spandex Leotards Advert

Spandex leotards advert by Blue Lagoon in 1982

This was also the year when an aerobics and fitness craze swept the nation with ladies everywhere going crazy for leotards, headbands and leg warmers.

1982 Patons knitting pattern - childs country look
Patons knitting pattern from 1982. Okay, so if you lived in the Cotswolds then you would just about get away with this look. However, it would take a very brave person to walk down any high street looking like this!