Home Uncategorized FY’s How- to Guide to 80’s Chic!

FY’s How- to Guide to 80’s Chic!

July 13, 2011

It’s arguably the most fun girls have ever had, dressing up! Think Madonna’s conical bra, Cindi Lauper’s crazy hair, Lady Diana’s padded skirt suits, Flash dance’s sexy outfits, loud Leotards, leg warmers, headbands, bangles, lace and furious Neon pink lips- what you get is a heady 80’s déjà vu. Here’s a snapshot how-to guide to the 80’s redux!

Sarah Jessica Parker dressed as Madonna in Sex and the City

Pic: iStock

1) Power to you!
The fierce, fabulous 80-s woman showed off her accentuated shoulders as an assertion of power in the workplace. The padded shoulders trend was big in dresses and suits, as seen in popular American soaps- Dynasty and Santa Barbara. They loved their shoulders so much, many women’s dresses and jackets came withVelcro on the inside, so various sized shoulder pads could be attached!

Melanie Griffith in Working girl

Lady Diana in her padded shoulder suit

I remember, as a 6 year old back in the eighties, I thought those big neon purple sleeves and that fat patent leather belt were ghastly! I’d look at my 21 year old aunt in her side pony and permed hair and high waist skirt with booties, terrified! Secretly I wondered if and when I’d ever wear something like that… Today, I find myself rummaging through her truck loads of hand me downs for some remnants of the disco generation!

Here and now:

Beyonce in a Balmain 2011 bolero

Jason Wu FW RTW 2011

Balmain 2011

2) Volumize your hair!
Big hair, crimped hair, permed hair, crazy hair- The 80s were all about women being a lot of things and subtle was not one of them. Perhaps bold, vicarious, rebellious and assertive were some of those things.

Cyndi Lauper's punk rocker style

Madonna's big curls

The most sought- after looks were the side pony, the careless bangs, supersized curls and hair highlights. There was no stopping the 80s woman from having her fun in the sun and boy, did it show! Hair accessories like the big bow band, the headbands, and big clips were huge trends and the girls really did go all out with shimmer and neons.

Here and now:

Rihanna follows the punk rocker style at a performance

The messy side pony of the 80s

3) Bare your s(h)oul (ders!)

How I love off shoulders! This super glam look took on another meaning in the eighties- Look at Madonna’s Material girl video for reference! Even tops and oversized T shirts were cut out to transform them into sexy one shouldered outfits.

A poster from Flashdance

Madonna's iconic 'Material girl' outfit

A pair of long dangly earrings, multiple long chain link necklaces and stacks of bangles in various shapes and sizes completed the look.

 Here and now:

Lanvin for H&M

Prabal Gurung RTW FW 2011

Dior RTW FW 2011

Chanel FW 2011

4) Get Lacy!

Madonna is responsible for single handedly making lace sexy. Her racy lace outfits, gloves and stockings were a global talking point and an instant rage.

Madonna in her lacy ' Like a virgin' avataar

Madonna in a lace bodysuit

Here and now:

Lanvin RTW FW 2011


Marc Jacobs RTW FW 2011

5) Color parade!

Ra- ra skirts, leg warmers and mini skirts, cut off sweat shirts and ofcourse, Flashdance! The Californian ‘Valley girls’ gave us much to thank for. The aerobics craze introduced leotards in stripes, polka dots and even elastic belts which moved from the dance floor to the gym and then onto the streets.

Olivia Newton John in her hugely famous 80s video, 'Physical'

Colored and printed leotards were a rage

Now imagine of of these in neon colors! Neon and fuchsia were hot favorites for clothing, accessories and make up.

Here and now:

Diesel Black Gold Collection FW 2011


Beyonce and Lady Gaga in their leotards during performances

Neon make up is a hot favourite backstage

6) Accessories:

Ray Ban’s Wayfarers were hand down the biggest discovery of the 1980s. The Unisex sunglasses were the worn my rock stars, movie stars and street hoppers in a mad flurry of color and accents. Teamed with a massive tangle of long chain link necklaces and crucifix pendants, along with chunky belt buckles, the eighties really did rock the fashion boat.

Madonna made chain link necklaces and ccrucifix jewelry famous

Madonna sporting her wayfarers

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