15 80s Trends We Wish We Could Forget

The 80s were a time of radical self-expression, neon dreams and unforgettable trends. While some elements of this dynamic decade have stood the test of time (we’re looking at you, glazed donut nails), there are a multitude of fashion and lifestyle choices that many of us are looking back on now looking back with an element of cringe. -a nostalgia worthy of the name.

Here are 15 trends that took the ’80s by storm and that we’re still trying to forget.

The wonderful mullet

Image credit: Jasmin Bauer/Shutterstock.com

The mullet is the iconic hairstyle that defined the decade. With all the business in the front and what can only be described as a party in the back, the mullet has become a subject of humor and parody, with comedians and the media poking fun at its polarizing nature.

As the ’80s gave way to the ’90s, the popularity of the mullet waned. However, the hairstyle saw a surprising resurgence in the 2000s and beyond, with some people adopting the mullet as a retro, ironic fashion statement.

Neon Overload

Image credit: Mickael Guyot/Shutterstock.com

Neon colors invaded wardrobes and left a lasting mark on the 80s. It was more than just a color trend; this was part of the broader retro-futuristic aesthetic of the 80s. The bright, electric colors contribute to a vision of a bold and optimistic future.

For some, it’s a vibrant and nostalgic reminder of a vibrant era. However, with the emergence of current trends such as “quiet luxury” and “old money aesthetics”, younger generations may prefer more timeless and understated fashion choices.

Hairspray Haven

Image credit: Olga Ekaterincheva/Shutterstock.com

The ’80s were definitely the era of gravity-defying hairstyles, thanks to the excessive use of hairspray.

The Aqua Net brand of hairspray was the go-to product for achieving the voluminous, sculpted hairstyles that defined the era. From teased and sprayed bouffants to statement hairstyles, it has played a crucial role in the quest for bigger, bolder hair.

While it’s easy to claim that there’s a place for hairspray in every beauty cabinet, it’s safe to say that many are happy to see the excessive style trends of the ’80s remain a thing of the past.

Huge Epaulette

Fashion portrait of confident woman wearing trendy leather biker jacket, cap, zebra print dress.  Model posing in studio, on dark red background.  Copy, empty space for text
Image credit: Victoria Chudinova/Shutterstock.com

The use of shoulder pads was not entirely new in the 1980s; its roots go back to previous decades. However, the ’80s saw a dramatic escalation in size and popularity, making oversized shoulder pads a dominant element of women’s clothing.

Shoulder pads continue to be seen in fashion today, although more tailored and structured. That said, choosing the wrong shoulder pad item can easily turn a stylish outfit into a fashion faux pas.

Jelly Shoes

Image credit: Rodrigo Schaeffer/Shutterstock.com

Made from PVC, jelly shoes were the iconic, colorful shoes that made a splash in the ’80s. Transparent and jelly-like in appearance, these shoes are also waterproof.

Sure, they’re practical, colorful and vibrant and have a certain nostalgic appeal, but many would prefer that jelly shoes remain a fond, iconic memory of ’80s shoe fashion and not be brought back to the present day.

Absurd Parachute Pants

Editorial credit: Lars Anders / Shutterstock.com

Parachute pants refer to the loose-fitting nylon pants with an elasticated waist that took the fashion world by storm at the time. Parachute pants became a fashion in American culture in the 1980s, amid the growing popularity of breakdancing.

Despite their popularity, parachute pants were a relatively short-lived trend. As the decade faded, so did the importance of this once bold fashion choice, leaving behind memories of rustling sounds and eclectic style.

Great Pet Battery

Image credit: Hong Vo/Shutterstock.com

The scrunchie was the must-have hair accessory of the 80s. The fabric-covered elastic band promises a softer hold than traditional hair ties and adds a playful touch to any hairstyle.

Scrunchies still exist today, but what made ’80s scrunchies different was the variety of bold neon colors and patterns that rivaled wallpaper.

Fashionistas of the 80s weren’t satisfied with just one favorite. Pairing these fabric marvels with outfits has become a trend in itself, leading to a sea of ​​coordinated ensembles that, in retrospect, might have been a little excessive.

Members Only Mania

Woman wearing iconic running jacket
Image credit: membersonlyusa / Instagram.com

Members Only was a popular American outerwear company and still exists to this day. Their iconic racing jacket has been a symbol of coolness in pop culture since the 1980s. Although their popularity has waned slightly in recent years, Members Only has certainly had a lasting impact on fashion.

Bulky Boombox Blues

Image credit: Vladimir Sukhachev/Shutterstock.com

At the time, carrying a boombox was nothing out of the ordinary. Fortunately, the world has moved on. The challenges of carrying around a big boombox for portable music are reason enough to be thankful for headphones and AirPods.

The permanent perm

Image credit: Olga Ekaterincheva/Shutterstock.com

Many will look back to the 80s and remember the risks and regrets that came with embracing the perm trend. This reminds us that perming hair involves the application of harsh chemicals to change the structure of the hair, often leaving it damaged and brittle.

Let’s not even talk about the delicate growing phase.

THE Fanny pack frenzy

Blue eco leather fanny pack for men, women, teenagers, travel fanny pack, blue belt bag, men's waist bag, women's bag.
Image credit: Lia Kos/Shutterstock.com

A few decades later, and certainly, the fanny pack is still worn by those who praise its convenience and practicality. Despite the love for this oft-mocked accessory, it’s one that probably should have been ditched in the ’80s.

Zealous for Zubaz?

Kyle Lowry is in the mood
Image credit: bigdripsports / Instagram.com

Zubaz is a pants and shorts brand founded in the late 80s. The founders wanted to create a new type of shorts for the man who lifts heavy loads, under the slogan “Dare to Be Different”.

The brand has expanded beyond shorts for weightlifters; However, regardless of the garment, Zubaz clothing was almost always bold, colorful, and, more often than not, quite ostentatious.

Exaggerated Eyeshadow

Image credit: Mihail Guta/Shutterstock.com

Distinctly different from today’s “less is more” makeup trend, ’80s makeup was defined by the vibrant and often excessive use of eyeshadow.

Jackson-Led Trends

Editorial credit: Vicki L. Miller / Shutterstock.com

Michael Jackson released his landmark album, “Thriller,” in 1982. It became the best-selling album of all time, with over 70 million copies sold.

It’s no wonder, then, that Jackson had a huge influence on the fashion trends of this decade, especially in terms of fashion, from military jackets to the famous sequined gloves.


Hyper color
Image credit: hypercolorclothing / Instagram.com

Hypercolor was a line of clothing made with a dye that caused the fabric to change color with heat. The ’80s were the time when the short-lived trend of color-changing clothing flourished. This is a trend that many were happy to see disappear, if only for the awkward situations that changing fabric color could cause.

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