Back To The 80s

Recently my kids’ school celebrated the 25th anniversary of Comic Relief by having a non-uniform day, and unlike most of the previous events where we’ve been asked for a small donation and to send the kids in their jeans, the dress code for this fundraiser was “Back to the 80s”. Now, my kids threw themselves wholeheartedly into the idea of getting dressed up as “someone from history”, but for those of us who grew up in the 1980s it was a real trip down memory lane.

The Madonna Look

Fashion was so much more colourful in the 1980s than it is today. In recent years we have seen more bold colours come back into fashion, but if the 2010s are all about black and beige, the 1980s were about neon, stripes and ruffles. Madonna’s look in her early days is something which is very easy to replicate for 1980s fashion, as all you need to do is chuck on some black lace, lots of beads or a crucifix necklace, a ra-ra skirt and tie a big rag of fabric round your backcombed hair.


For those of you now old enough to have heard of Fame, it’s the 1980s equivalent of Glee. The show followed the lives of students at a performing arts school in New York, and was single handedly responsible for bringing us the legwarmer, which we all wore in the 1980s all the time, whether or not we were heading off to a dance class or just wandering round the supermarket. Legwarmers are back in fashion, and if you are landed with a last minute request for a 1980s outfit and don’t have time to buy some, just cut the feet and tops off an old pair of tights and roll them down.

Miami Vice

The coolest men in the 1980s were definitely Crockett and Tubbs, the undercover Miami cops who drove Ferraris and prompted thousands of teenagers across the world to rush out and buy Ray-ban sunglasses, pastel coloured t-shirts and roll their sleeves up on their jackets. The t-shirt under jacket look is pretty easy to recreate for men or boys of all ages, and if you’ve got time to hunt around, you’ll find genuine 1980s vintage jackets in many charity shops. The shinier and more pastel in colour the better. Loafers and no socks was the Miami Vice look, but mix up the sunglasses with jeans and Air Max One trainers to fit in with the next major 80s trend too.

Rock God

The 1980s was the height of the soft rock era, and another very simple look to recreate is the big hair and tight jeans favoured by bands like Whitesnake, Bon Jovi and Europe. Jeans should be as skinny as possible, and worn with a band t-shirt or a loose fitting shirt. Complete the look with classic trainers like the Air Max One, and leather shoelaces tied around your wrists. Backcomb your hair for the classic 80s big hair look, or get a wig if you prefer your hair short and tidy.

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Morag Peers is a keen blogger with fond memories of the fashion excesses of the 1980’s. Take a look at her profile on Google+ now!

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