The Top 10 Greatest Fashions Of The 1980s: The Results Are In!

Retro fashion connoisseurs unite, because we’ve got a really important argument to settle. We all know that the 1980s gave us some of the greatest clothing choices the history of the world has ever known, but what was the very best item from our childhood? That was the question we posed to thousands of 80s kids on social media, and we were incredibly surprised to find out that the likes of moon boots, reversible jumpers, bleached jeans and shoulder pads had not made the cut. So prepare to be transported back to a time when hair was big and jeans were ripped, with the top 10 greatest fashions of the entire 1980s.


10. Double denim

Why wear denim on just half of your body when you can be completely covered in the classic cotton-based textile?

Just like many of our favourite TV, film and music stars, we doubled up on this legendary 80s fashion item at every available opportunity back in the day.

9. Hawaiian shirts

We can’t remember seeing many youngsters dressed in Hawaiian shirts when we were growing up, but our far less trendy fathers were hardly ever seen without them.

Taking inspiration from Thomas Magnum and Tony Montana, our Hawaiian shirt-wearing dads were the dictionary definition of garish.

8. Colour changing T-shirts

Credit: roaming-the-planet via Flickr

Turning us into a cool looking 80s chameleon, colour changing T-shirts brightened up our otherwise dull-looking wardrobe.

These amazing retro tops gave us two distinctly different outfits in one humble T-shirt, and they might just be our favourite 80s fashion item of them all.

7. Neon

At the end of the day, it didn’t really matter what you wore in the 1980s, as long as it was as bright as humanly possible.

One style of clothing that required anyone viewing it to don their Top Gun-style Ray-Ban sunglasses were neon outfits, which gave a distinctive glow to each and every event they were worn at.

6. Bum bags

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We thought you would reject what many see as one of the decade’s most divisive fashion choices, but bum bags are hanging pretty at number six on our classic 80s clothing countdown.

Known as fanny packs to our American cousins, these must-have accessories may not have looked great, but they sure were a convenient place to store our wallet, keys and makeup.

5. Stirrup pants

Stirrup pants added an extra strap to our already amazing leg-wear, ensuring that our Flashdance-inspired dance routines always went off without a hitch.

Strapping our leggings to the bottom of our feet meant they were always stretched out to the max, allowing us to focus on looking and feeling amazing.

4. Leg warmers

We can’t recall a single occasion when we struggled with the temperature of our ankles, so we do have to wonder why you voted this particular fashion accessory at number four.

Leg warmers were often worn to accompany a tough 1980s aerobic workout, and despite seemingly serving no purpose whatsoever, they did without a doubt look utterly gorgeous.

3. Ripped jeans

Credit: Marco Verch Professional Photographer via Flickr

“I love ripped jeans! I had absolutely no problem when my 12-year-old asked if I could purchase a pair for her” was what one 80s fan wrote on social media, and we fully support those kind of parenting choices.

These days we prefer our clothing to come without massive rips and tears, but just a few decades ago ripped jeans were all the rage.

2. Ra-ra skirts

All 80s girls wanted to look like their favourite pop star, and one way to follow in the footsteps of Madonna and Debbie Gibson was to wear a cool and colourful ra-ra skirt.

There was a wide range of bright ra-ra skirt patterns to choose from, and the more they floated and flapped around when we danced the better.

1. Shell suits

According to you, the greatest 80s fashion item of them all is the good old shell suit, and to be honest we’d be extremely hard pressed to disagree.

Giving us everything that was good and bad about 1980s clothing in one dangerously flammable package, shell suits made us look and feel absolutely incredible.