Home » 80s Gym Pants – Colorful Styles Then And Now

80s Gym Pants – Colorful Styles Then And Now

by Julie

The 80s were a simpler time. During this decade, things were more relaxed and people seemed to have more time to spend doing whatever it was they wanted to do. This was also the decade where everyone was looking for an easy way out when it came to exercising.

For those who considered themselves “too cool” for traditional exercise routines, there was aerobics. Aerobics was a new craze that swept over America during this decade as everyone seemed to want to get in shape without leaving their house or running on a treadmill for miles (okay so maybe just one mile).



The aerobics craze was so popular that it eventually led to the creation of the aerobics studio. These aerobics studios were basically gyms where people could go and workout together in a group setting. Just as with any other exercise trend, people had to come up with a way to make the exercises more fun and exciting while still being productive. This is where the 80s gym pant came into play.

The 80s gym pants were basically a tank top and pair of shorts that were often made out of spandex. The tank top was meant to be breathable while the spandex shorts helped to keep you from getting too hot while working out (which is important when you’re exercising in a room full of sweaty people).

These colorful outfits took aerobics from being simply a workout to being an aerobic fashion show. The 80s gym pant was perfect for the aerobics trend because it allowed people to show off their hard work as they got in shape.



Throughout this decade, the 80s gym pant was seen as more of a fashion statement than an exercise uniform. As such, people were more willing to wear these bright colored outfits in public.

The 80s gym pant started out as just a simple tank top and pair of shorts during the first half of the decade and eventually evolved into an aerobic uniform by the end of the decade. Although these outfits were meant for working out, they ended up playing an important role in pop culture during this decade as well.

Aerobic videos helped make these colorful outfits popular during this time, but it wasn’t until 1985 when Madonna wore her blue leotard with red side panels and leg warmers during her performances that the 80s gym pant became immortalized in pop culture. Her iconic outfit became an icon for the 80s aerobics craze and helped bring gym pants into mainstream America.



Gym pants have been around long before the 80s, but it was during this time that they started to become more common. They have also been around long after the 80s but are still popular today even though they are no longer popular in mainstream culture.

Gym pants will always be a part of American culture and will never go away as long as people want to get in shape without having to put a lot of effort into it (and maybe they just want to show off their hard work).

The Design of Gym Pants

The design of these outfits during the first half of the decade was very simple. It was basically just a tank top and a pair of spandex shorts (or leggings). The outfit consisted of one color or one basic pattern which made it easy for people to mix and match with other shirts or shorts that were worn during this time period.

The tank tops were usually very thin in order to help keep people cool while working out, but many tank tops from this time period were made out of thicker material in order to keep people warm while they were exercising.

The spandex shorts usually had an elastic waistband to help hold them up, but some had a drawstring instead. Most of the shorts were made out of a transparent material so that people could see through them, but there were some cases where the shorts were made out of solid material.


The tank tops and spandex shorts often had leg warmers that matched the outfit as well. The leg warmers usually matched the color scheme of the outfit and were either made out of spandex or nylon. Sometimes these outfits would also have a sports bra to go along with them as well, or sometimes they would just have a pair of tennis shoes to go along with the outfit.

During the second half of this decade, there was an obvious design change when it came to aerobics outfits. The outfits became more colorful and began to look more like an aerobic uniform than a fashion statement.

During this time period, most outfits consisted of at least two colors; however there are cases where there were three or four different colors in one outfit as well. Many outfits from this time period used neon colors which helped make these bright colored outfits even brighter.

The outfits from this time period also started to use different patterns as well, such as stripes and even different animal prints. The aerobics outfit during this time period consisted of a full outfit, including a shirt, shorts, leg warmers, and sometimes even a sports bra.



The shirt usually had short sleeves with an elastic waistband and was made out of spandex in order to make it more breathable. The shorts had an elastic waistband as well and were usually made out of spandex as well.

The leg warmers were usually much larger than the 80s gym pants from the first half of the decade and were often made out of nylon instead of spandex. They also had a drawstring instead of an elastic waistband. There were also cases where the leg warmers would be full length instead of just covering up to the knee or above the knee like they normally did during this time period. When it came to shoes, most people would wear tennis shoes that matched their outfit; however there are cases where women wore aerobics shoes that matched their outfits as well.

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