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80s Popular Dress Styles

by Julie

The 1980s were a grand time for fashion and style. There was the obvious and tangible spike in fashion trends that occurred during this time; the popularity of “Mad Men” has been well documented, as have the eye-catching dresses worn by MTV and other media outlets, but more subtle changes occurred in women’s fashion.

The 1980s saw a trend for wearing clothes with graphic prints (such as leopard print), which had been starting to get popular in the 1970s. The 1980s also saw a trend for wearing clothes that were very low cut, exposing much of one’s midriff or cleavage. These were different from the miniskirts and flirty blouses of the 1960s and 1970s, which exposed a great deal of one’s legs.

Here are some basic popular dress styles found in the 1980s:

80s Bangs- Will You Try Them Today?
80s Bangs- Will You Try Them Today?

The Mini-Skirt

The mini-skirt (also known as the micro skirt, or simply “mini”) is a popular female fashion item. It consists of a full length dress with a skirt that is shorter than the waistline. The skirt is only worn on one side which leaves the wearer’s legs exposed and hence somewhat vulnerable to prying eyes. Mini skirts were first widely used in the 1960s, but they were particularly fashionable during the 1980s.

The most popular fabric for constructing this was denim, but you could also make miniskirts from other materials, such as knitted or leather. They are often worn with leggings for warmer wear or for those who just want to be a little more conservative.

The A-line Skirt

Another popular dress style in the 80s is the A-line skirt. It consists of a full length dress that has two parallel lines across the front. The most common fabric used to construct this is polyester, but you could also use silk or satin for a more expensive look.

You can wear this with leggings and either high heels or boots to add height, in order to make yourself feel taller than your shorter friends who are wearing miniskirts. There is usually only one side of the dress that exposes the wearer’s legs, so it doesn’t expose much thigh area.

The Tutu Skirt

The tutu skirt is another noteworthy fashion item from this decade. It consists of a skirt, usually knee-length or thigh-length. that is cut from one piece of fabric in the shape of a tutu. The fabric used for a tutu skirt is tulle, which gives it a very ballerina-like appearance.

Generally, tutu skirts from the 80s would come in neon colors, matching the cheery and playful trend at the time to mix a lot of bold colors together. Tutu skirts are also often worn with leggings and tights to make them a little more modest. Those who wore tutus are often teenagers, or people wearing them in casual settings.

The Skater Skirt

Inspired by poodle skirts from the 1950s, the skater skirt rose to popularity in the 80s. They are flared, mini, and high-waisted garments that have become a fashion staple. They are well-known for being able to shape bodies and flatter silhouettes.

The skater skirt is notably inspired by the costumes that ice figure skaters wear. They represent innocence, playfulness, and a perpetual sense of youth.

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