Fashion in the 1980s

Power Dressing

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Dynasty TV Show
Shoulder pads, popularized by Joan Collins and Linda Evans from the soap opera Dynasty, remained popular throughout the 1980s and even the first three years of the 1990s. The reason behind the sudden popularity of shoulder pads for women in the 1980s may be that women in the workplace were no longer unusual, and wanted to "power dress" to show that they were the equals of men at the office. Many women's outfits had Velcro on the inside of the shoulder where various sized shoulder pads could be attached.

The Dynasty television show, watched by over 250 million viewers around the world in the 1980s, influenced fashion in mainstream America and perhaps most of the Western world. The show influenced women to wear glitzy jewelry as a way of flaunting wealth. Synthetic fabrics went out of style in the 1980s. Wool, cotton, and silk returned to popularity for their perceived quality.

Men's business attire saw a return of pinstripes for the first time since the 1970s. The new pinstripes were narrower and subtler than in 1930s and 1940s suits but were similar to the 1970s styles. Three-piece suits gradually went out of fashion in the early '80s and lapels on suits became very narrow (similar to 1950s styles). While vests in the 1970s had commonly been worn high with six or five buttons, those made in the early 1980s often had only four buttons and were made to be worn low. Neckties also became narrower in the 1980s and skinny versions, some made of leather, briefly were stylish among men interested in New Wave music. Button-down collars made a return, for both business and casual wear.

Meanwhile women's fashion and business shoes revisited the pointed toes and spiked heels that were popular in the 1950s and early 1960s with . Some stores stocked canvas or satin covered fashion shoes in white and dyed them to the customer's preferred color. While the most popular shoes amongst young women were bright colored high heels, a trend started to emerge which saw 'Jellies'—colorful, transparent plastic flats—become popular. The top fashion models of the 1980s were Brooke ShieldsChristie BrinkleyJoan Severance, , Kim AlexisCarol AltRenée SimonsenKelly EmbergTatjana PatitzElle McPherson, and Paulina Porizkova.

Source:  “1980s in Fashion.”  Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.  14 Apr. 2011.  Web.  15 Apr. 2011.