80′s Fashion Trends I Tried to Rock…But Mostly Didn’t

Today’s Monday Listicles are 10 Things Totally 80s.  This was a topic I got to suggest.

I got so into the 80s as I researched for this post that I posted 14 Toys & Other Stuff from the 80s on Friday.  Check it out and let me know if you remember any of that stuff. I’m sure you will.

Ocean Pacific (OP)

Everybody wore these when I was in junior high.  I was obsessed with getting my hands on a pair.  Unfortunately when I got them…I didn’t rock them.

Here’s what they look like when they were worn well:


Here’s what they looked like on me.


Check out the matching OP shirt. And the sweet pink Huffy. Actually the Huffy was my sister’s bike. I didn’t have a Huffy, but I did have a white and green striped banana seat.


Britches Rugby Shirts (with rubber buttons)

I think this was a Washington, D.C. local thing – maybe a few other cities. My husband didn’t have a clue what I was talking about when I brought this up to him. In our area, the Britches store was the “Abercrombie & Fitch of its day“. They sold casual and outdoor clothing.  But they had this one style of shirt, the rugby shirt, that everyone was wearing. What made the Britches brand so special, outside of the expensive price, and the warthog logo, was the rubber buttons. We couldn’t afford the Britches brand, so I got the cheap knock-offs with the plastic buttons. So not the same. Kids checked for that crap.

Now that I think about it, I think had one Britches rugby shirt. But I think that either I, or my sister, spilled chocolate milk down the front of it and it stained the white button part. Typical. Maybe that’s why I was only allowed to rock the knock-off.


Ray-Ban Wayfarer Sunglasses

Here’s Tom Cruise of Risky Business fame wearing his Wayfarers the cool way.

And here’s me using them as a hair accessory. I wouldn’t put them over my eyes in the sun because then my hair wouldn’t have looked good anymore. Because my style was hot…obviously.

I may not have rocked the glasses, but I sure rocked that cotton candy…and the farmer’s tan.


The Banana Clip

Again, I could not rock this.

I had my ideal and it wasn’t what was being produced on my head.  I wanted to put the clip in and have the hair neatly curl around the clip to hide it, forming a giant set of sideways lips at the back of my head. Instead, my hair looked like any old horse’s tail hanging out of a banana.  Lame.


Glacier Shades
Rockin’ glacier shades
Me trying to rock the glacier shades with my dad’s giant visor and my little sister at Cypress Gardens.
Too cool for school.



I LOVED the giant bow. I rocked this one…most of the time.  I had a bunch of these, along with a swell collection of scrunchies. I would wear them on the top of my head all the way down to the nape of my neck. I may have even worn multiple bows down my back on a french braid – that sounds like it would have looked stupid…which ensures that I probably did it. One of my favorites was a big denim bow with a silver Indian eagle medallion in the center. Wearing that, I gave new meaning to the term “Western Sizzlin”. Hot.

Mine was WAY cooler than this.


Feathered Hair

Hair is such a big deal when you’re a teen. I spent hours with my curling iron. I had two failed perms. I could not rock this. There were a few girls in my school that had their hair so perfectly feathered that the feathering ended at the very middle of the back of their head where the feathered sides met, so that it looked like a faux butt crack on their head. I so envied their feathered butt cracks. I could not reproduce that butt crack.

This wasn’t me.
She had perfectly feathered hair.
I could never reproduce this on my own head.


The Ghostbusters T-shirt

I kind of rocked this t-shirt…in an awkward, oily forehead, eighth grade, metal brace-face kind of way. My sister was really rockin’ that mullet.


The Mullet

My weak attempt at a mullet.

A woman who knows how to rock a mullet.  She’s got a full-out party on her shoulders.

She’s got it. Yeah baby, she’s got it.


How many of these fashion trends did you rock?  What was your all-time favorite 80s fashion trend? Tell us about it in the comments.

Sources for great 80s stuff:
Like Totally 80sFourth Grade NothingBest of the 80sThe 80 Greatest Fashion Trends

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80′s Fashion Trends I Tried to Rock…But Mostly Didn’t — 47 Comments

  1. Oh, the rugby shirts. My sister had those, as she was the fashionable sister. I had the banana clips, though, since they were great at hiding the growing-out mullet. Great list! And fantastic photos. Thanks for the perfect suggestion for ending the year. So fun.

  2. You had me laughing out loud at the feathered butt crack! I so remember that. I never could get the feathering because I have naturally curly hair. But I ruled the late 80s with that curly hair. Mwahahaha!

    I’m glad you told me that was that woman’s hair on her shoulders. I thought she had a fur collar. On second thought, maybe I’m not glad at all.

    Great topic! Thanks for picking it. BTW, I think you rocked the OP just fine. And love the Huffy.

  3. Oh my!!! I dreamed if glacier glasses and matching white lipstick! But I only had big puffy ski suit and kinda light pinkish lipstick I found in my moms handbag. But I still, rocked the 80′s ski slopes ;) love this weeks listicles, the you so very much Kate!!! My hubby has read all of the linked posts already ;)

  4. I LOVE these 80′s posts! I totally had a gazillion banana clips and I’m pretty sure I had those exact sunglasses. The one thing I have yet to see are the layered T’s and matching layered socks. Now those were styles I totally rocked!

  5. I forgot all about the banana clip. Alas, I couldn’t rock one of them for long because they always pulled my hair. Very uncomfortable; maybe I wasn’t getting it fastened properly. I am also pretty sure I had the exact same sunglasses.

  6. There are times I’m happy to be a guy, and not attune to the latest fashion trends. Yet, my daughters experienced many of the same ones you showed here. I remember a bathroom sink area filled with those damn Banana clips. Man, what I would give for a good old pair of blue jean bell bottoms and a leather vest with fringe again! lol Great post!

  7. Banana clips!! I had so many of those. Thank gawd those haven’t made a comeback. Eeek And your bike brought back fun memories :D mine was purple and white. Long gone are the days if those huge banana seats.

  8. The comment on one of the banana clip pics I saw said that the person’s co-worker was currently wearing one. Making a comeback? Or co-worker stuck in the 80s? Not sure.

  9. These 80′s lists are the best! I hated those Banana clips… I remember they always would make m head hurt right where they clipped together. And, you’d have to do the “flip” to get them in— bend over and let your hair fall and then clip it in. Sheesh.


  10. I was so not a trend follower in the 80s and I have to confess I’ve never heard of some of them either. But the one thing I did manage to rock on more than one occasion was that banana clip! You had to have just the right length hair and for a handful of times, I did. If it was too short, you had a mohawk encased in plastic. If it was too long, like you said, like a horsetail hanging out of the middle of the clip. BUt if it was just right, it did curl all around the plastic so you couldn’t see it and it looked pretty. I distinctly remember the day (probably the only one) I turned a bunch of heads in high school as I rocked not on the banana clip, but also some silky dress shorts made by The Limited. DO you remember these?

  11. OH MY to that lady with the mullet. I wonder if she had a dog to match? Can’t you just picture it? Do you remember the Members Only jackets? I had one in pink. It was a knock off but it was cool because it was pink and my favorite color to overdose on.

  12. As a teen in the 80s, I TOTALLY rocked the mullet, the banana clip and feathered hair…not all at the same time, but you know, over the span of the decade. My mullet never looked as awesome at the lady in your post though. She is definitely a mullet pro. I loved OP, corduroys, white canvas nikes with the blue swoosh, alligator shirts, all things pink and kelly green, and add-a-bead necklaces. Good times, indeed!!

  13. OK, coffee just came out my nose!! Laughing at that last pic. Can’t say I’ve ever come across anyone sporting that particular hair style! For me, it wasn’t so much that I wasn’t able to rock the styles growing up as it was that I was wearing then slightly BEFORE they came into style. I was always out of synch. I was wearing designer jeans when everyone else was still wearing Lees/Levis, saddle shoes before they came back, and don’t even get me started on the spandex years LOL. Aside from that, I made every effort NOT to rock the style most in vogue where I grew up, in the Land of the Peppy – layer upon layer of Izod, Bermuda shorts and bags, the headbands, etc. [#TALU]

  14. I can TOTALLY picture a matching dog. Hilarious. I never had a Members Only jacket. Pink – totally cool. I had pink satin glittery roller disco jacket that I begged my mom to get me. I wore it two times and then was embarrassed to wear it again because it was so not me. My best friend had a matching purple one. She wore it all the time. I was jealous that she was so comfortable in it.

  15. It sounds like you were on the cusp of style. I’ve always been behind. Often I wear styles long after they’ve faded. And these days I lean toward no style. Then it doesn’t go out of style.

  16. That reminds me of some Stride Rite shoes I had in the 5th grade. I wanted some SO bad because my best friend had some. She was so tiny, I remember that she still wore a 13. They had the shoes in my size but they were SO ugly on my foot. I was embarrassed and I HAD to wear them after my mom paid “all that money”.

  17. Knee-high argyle socks with either topsiders or penny loafers (complete with shiny penny). The mental image actually makes me dry heave a little.

  18. I had great feathered hair and the banana clips worked great for me too. Did the big bows and rugby shirt that one prob didn’t rock too much tho and thank God I never did the mullett, just dated guys who did LOL

  19. Yep pink and green and the alligator shirts……my preppy phase. Then i went all rocker in high school and did the jordache jeans

  20. Pingback: All the Important Things in the 80s…Like Love’s Baby Soft | Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine

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