Fashion Influences in 1980’s
The 1980’s were characterized by the booming economy, greed, power women at the workplace and the fashion trends of this era reflected this.
After the hippy culture of the 1960’s and before the violence and wars of the 1990’s the 1980’s had a booming economy, partially fuelled by greed, and power women at the workplace as well as in politics like Margaret Thatcher. Two popular American TV serials dynasty and Dallas were watched throughout the world, not only for their storyline set in business families, but also for the fashion trends and clothes worn by the many characters in these serials. The four most popular trends in this period were power dressing, new romantics, sportswear; stretch dressing allowed women to experiment with a number of looks based on her specific features.
During this period, the number of women in the workplace increased very significantly due to changes in the social conditions, and these women needed suitable apparel to wear to the workplace. Power dressing was characterized by well tailored business suits for a woman and shoulder padding was often used to improve the look, make the shoulders look broader, help them garner attention both at office, business meetings and other occasions. Even for women with narrow shoulders, these were available in detachable format, with Velcro to attach them as required. These dresses were accessorized with beads, metallic sequins, and appliqué work.
The shift dress also made its appearance in the 1980’s but in rather bold colors like pinks, green, purple and blue. Both fine and costume jewelry were used as accessories, with matching precious stones like diamonds, emeralds and rubies. Big earrings and gold chains were back in fashion, as flaunting a person’s wealth was the in trend. For power dressing large bows and ties were worn both by men and women. To reduce the manly effect of shoulder pads, the garments were worn with rolled up sleeves. Woolen shawls, designer clutch handbags in different colors to match the shoes, stylish hats in different patterns, tights and lace up shoes were other popular accessories.