The Top Five Most Unfortunate Fashion Trends of the 80s

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It’s no wonder the ’80s party theme will never go out of style. The era was full of unfortunate — and colorful — fashion trends. Whether you’re taking a trip down memory lane or trying to win the top prize at a costume contest, these five ’80s fashion mishaps should come out of your closet and make an appearance (just for the night, though).

5 Fringe

Fringe came and, thankfully, left with the ’80s. This fashion nightmare caused rebellious teens everywhere to cut up their perfectly good tops, making long strings out of the bottom half, as well as the sleeves. To keep the dangling fringe pieces from tangling, you’d load them up with colorful beads and tie knots at the end to complete the picture.

4 Pleated Pants

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Some fashion designer out there decided that people would look better with more bulk around their waists — a la pleated pants. These bottoms were often high on the waist, sometimes having two or three buttons above the fly, and had these sewn-in folds in the material around the hips. Plus the pants tapered off and were more fitted the further down towards the ankle. The result? A poufy-looking lower belly for both men and women. But at least your ankles looked skinny.

3 Acid-Washed Jeans

Because denim was clearly too boring on its own, why not acid-wash it? It almost gave the look of washing jeans in a bit of bleach. Some had large white spots, while other pairs had more dark blue blotches. People of the ’80s couldn’t get enough of the look. You could even complete the look by picking up the matching acid-washed jean jacket. If it had fringe hanging from the front pockets, you must’ve been a local heartthrob. Sadly, that outdated look won’t get you far anymore.

2 Leg Warmers

Every girl had a drawer full of leg warmers in the ’80s; one pair in every color imaginable. Ladies of the ’80s wore leg warmers year-round — even in summer. But it didn’t stop there. Often the very first layer right up against the skin was colored tights. Then you’d slip on some corresponding leg warmers and, just in case you weren’t already feeling steamy, you’d bunch one more layer of leg warmers on top of the first pair. It was like a game of how many colors and layers you could get onto your poor unsuspecting calves at one time.

1 Shoulder Pads

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Every woman’s dream is to look bigger and bulkier, right? Apparently so in the ’80s, when every blouse, blazer, crop top, dress and even T-shirt came with custom-fitted shoulder pads. Squared-off, broad shoulders were a big hit for the ladies back then. Fortunately, that fashion trend disappeared when the decade came to a close.

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