Many styles from the late 1970s remain fashionable in the early 1980s. In the 1970s, the silhouette of fashion tended to be characterized by close fitting clothes on top with wider, looser clothes on the bottom. This trend completely reversed itself in the early 1980s as both men and women began to wear looser shirts and tight, close-fitting trousers.
Michael Jackson had many iconic looks. The Thriller look was inspired by Jackson’s record breaking album Thriller. Teenagers would attempt to replicate the look of Jackson, which included matching red/black leather pants and jackets, one glove, sunglasses, and jheri curl.
Michael Jackson’s Thriller jacket and similar clothing seen in films like The Lost Boys were often studded and left undone to create a messier look. Oversized, slouch shouldered faded leather jackets with puffy sleeves from Europe caught on. Gloves, sometimes fingerless, would also accompany the jacket. Late in the decade plain brown aviator jackets made a comeback, styled after World War IIfighter pilot jackets. Already popular aviators were joined by other forms of sunglasses. It was not unusual for sunglasses or shades as they were known, to be worn at night. Jackson frequently wore a fedora in during concerts and other public appearances.
In the 1980s, rising pop star Madonna proved to be very influential to female fashions.
She first emerged on the dance music scene with her “street urchin” look consisting of short skirts worn over leggings, necklaces, rubber bracelets, fishnet gloves, hairbows, long layered strings of beads, bleached, untidy hair with dark roots, head bands, and lace ribbons. In her Like a Virgin phase, millions of young girls around the world emulated her fashion example that included brassieres worn as outerwear, huge crucifix jewelry, lace gloves, tulle skirts, and boytoy belts.
Doc Martens shoes were worn by both sexes in the 1980s. They were an essential fashion accessory for the skinhead and punk subcultures in the United Kingdom. Sometimes Doc. Martens were paired with miniskirts or full, Laura Ashley- style dresses.
They were an important feature of the post-punk 1980s gothic look which featured long, back-combed hair, pale skin, dark eyeshadow, eyeliner, and lipstick, black nail varnish, spiked bracelets and dog-collars, black clothing, often made of gabardine, leather or velvet trimmed in lace or fishnet material. Corsets were often worn by girls.
Underwear became a more important fashion accessory for both men and women. Women’s looks tended to be in a wide array of pastel colors, with lacy trimmings. Camisoles with built in bras became popular for women, especially visible in the neckline of jackets worn for work. Men became more fashion conscious as well. Underwear was also colorful for men, and boxer shorts were “tapered”, or styled after the side-vent running shorts, with a trimmer cut.