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Totally Rad Fashions for 80s Girls

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totally 80s fashions

July 1982

Pulled from a stack of magazines from the 1980s, let’s have a look at some fashion spreads for young women.  Get ready for an overload of bright colors, big hair, and new-wave attitude.  The 70s are officially over – it’s time for valley girl fashions to take the stage.  Let’s have a look…


Scan 1 (1)

It’s like all the fashions designers got together and said, “We’re going to design clothes as bright, sparkly and un-70s as humanly possible.”

Scan 5 (1)


Scan 4 (1)

The girl in the middle is a young Nicole Kidman.  I was never a big fan of the Bananarama look.


1980s fashion

JULY 1983

1980s fashion 3


In the next fashion spread models are dressed as pop stars of the day…

1980s fashion 2

Joan Jett and Chrissy Amphlett of the Divinyls

1980s fashion 5

Toto Coelo (“I Eat Cannibals”) and Culture Club.

MAY 1983

Scan 1a

Scan 7 (1)

JULY 1981

Scan 4 (2)

I love that the miniskirt has made a comeback… but at what price?



Scan 4 (3)

Scan 6 (2)


Scan 5 (4)

JULY 1982

Scan 9

From the same fashion spread as the pages at the top of this post.  I love that they worked in a Bowie book.

January 1981

Scan 2 (2)

I can’t quite put my finger on it, but this particular fashion spread looks like a porn magazine.  Also, the fashions seem like they’d still be at home in the disco era… yet, this is from the grand old year of 1981.

Scan 7 (4)

JULY 1986

Scan 2 (3)

Scan 4 (4)

JULY 1981

Scan 3 (1)

MAY 1982

Scan 1


Scan 1

Scan 2



Scan 1 (3)


Scan 2 (6)

Scan 5 (6)

APRIL 1981

Scan 2A

Scan 5 (7)

  • njguy54

    Maybe I grew up in a cultural backwater, but no girls I knew ever wore outfits like these. In the early 80s especially it was all about the preppie look: Oxford shirts, polos, chinos and dockers all the way (and for extra panache, a sweater with the arms tied around the neck, never actually worn). Hardcore preppies did the layered look, with a polo under an oxford. Non-preppies could still opt for the headbanger or punk looks.

  • AlanOne7

    What, no Jordache jeans, Ocean Pacific, LA Gear, Reebox, acid-washed jeans, Izod shirts, jelly-bean shoes, calf-high sweat socks or the Western Look?

    Plenty of feathered hair though.

  • Mark Armacost

    When did radical style die out? Was it grunge that killed it? Ever since the mid-90s, style has become so much more conservative and slovenly. There is high-end fashion, which is either outlandish or outlandishly expensive. And then there’s the whole sweatpants thing. Sweeping middle-class style changes seem to be in decline. Vision seems to be in decline. I can’t imagine anyone harking back to the late 90s for style ideas like they do the 70s and 80s. There’s nothing there. And personally, I think that girl is definitely dressed for success. Good for her!