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Let’s take a trip through 1982, complete with our slouchy boots and shoulder pads. Let’s go to the movies and watch ‘Tootsie’ then work up a sweat with Jane Fonda. Then, we’ll throw some Pat Benatar, Grace Jones, and Lionel Richie into the cassette player as we flip through ‘Cosmopolitan’. 

1982 was an excellent year for fashion, and these are our favorite moments! Follow the bullet-points to recreate the looks in your own wonderful way. 

Grace Jones angula makeup, black trousers, leather top, and draped head dress 

Grace Jones is a master of performance, drama, and excellent music. She is a champion of the artistic image, with strong silhouettes and shades of the surreal and the weird. Grace Jones’ 1982 performance of ‘Nipple to the Bottle’ shows her in: 

  • Plain black trousers
  • A leather jacket and leather gloves
  • Black head wrap with Mickey-like round shapes 
  • Thin eyebrows drawn in an upward angle
  • Red and black eyeshadow 
  • Deep red blush applied in a dramatic angle, with metallic red lipstick 

Princess Diana’s jewel-tones and ruffled bandeau dress at the ‘E.T’ Premiere 

1982 saw the release of one of the most iconic, beloved family movies of all time, ‘E.T’, starring the cutest little Drew Barrymore. The premiere saw a velvet-clad Drew handing  a taffeta-clad Princess Diana an E.T doll (what a moment). The newlywed princess wore an outfit that encompassed many 1980s formal wear trends: 

  • Strapless, bandeau top with deep burgundy satin and delicate ruffles
  • Flared, bell-style skirt with soft pleats in deep purple and red tartan
  • Very sensible metallic low heels 
  • A silver envelope clutch
  • A matching diamond and gemstone choker and dangle necklace 
  • Signature Princess Diana short, feathered hair and sheer nude lips 

Jane Fonda’s leg warmers and spandex in her iconic fitness video 

Feel like getting a little exercise into your day? Throw Jane Fonda’s iconic 1982 workout video on the TV and go nuts. While you’re at it, check out that fashion and take notes: 

  • The gals are covering their slender pins with slouchy leg warmers
  • Colored spandex bodysuits and leotards in pink stripes or block colors
  • Elastic waist belts 
  • Pale pastel tights 

Andrea Malkiewicz in bulky metallics on the cover of ‘Cosmopolitan’

The cover of the January 1981 Cosmopolitan magazine is emblazoned with model Andrea Malkiewicz in quite possibly the most 80s glamour outfit ever: 

  • Gold metallic bomber jacket with plunging neckline
  • Popped collar
  • Giant puffed shoulders and blousy sleeves 
  • (What looks like) navy velvet hammer pants 
  • Giant, fluffy, feathered hair 
  • Glossy red lips, smoky eyes, and deep red blush under the cheekbones 

Pat Benatar’s black tights, dramatic makeup, and straight jacket on the ‘Get Nervous’ cover

Pat Benatar is a 1980s musical treasure, (‘Shadows of the Night’, oh yeah!). Pat Benatar turned some excellent looks in the 80s, such as a full spandex bodysuit with red heeled slides and a black leather jacket with huge shoulders. On the ‘Get Nervous’ album cover, Pat wore some to-be 1980s staples: 

  • Slouchy black suede boots
  • Black stockings
  • Big, feathered hair piled on the head
  • Matte blue eyeshadow, plenty of pink-red blush, and glossy red lips
  • A white straightjacket (not a staple, but hey, you could deconstruct it) 

Donna Summer’s shirt dress, slouchy boots, and statement belt 

Disco queen Donna Summer’s 1982 video single “Love is in control – finger on the trigger” features an outfit that is uber-80s while oddly 00s. 

  • A bright blue shirt dress with curved hemline, short on the sides
  • Ultra-wide gold waist belt 
  • Big, bounteous hair 
  • Blue suede slouchy boots 
  • Sheen-finish red lips (classic 80s, always with the glossy red lip!)

Read:

1986: Preppy-Sport Style and Baggy Denim

1985: Madonna’s Floral Pants and Prince

1984: Bruce Springsteen and Ghostbusters

1983: Culture Club’s New Wave style and Annie Lennox

1980s: Wide collars and Metallic cutout dress

Debbie Allen’s sparkly lilac dream gown at the 1982 Academy Awards 

Searching old Academy Awards footage is the most reliable way to get a snapshot of how glamor was interpreted at a certain time. At the 1982 Oscars, Debbie Allen (amazing choreographer and dancer) wore one of the most stunning gowns ever (if you love lilac and sparkles, which I do). 

  • Super-pale lavender/white column gown
  • Dripping with sparkling embellishments all over and falling off the shoulders
  • A high neckline and wide shoulders
  • Thigh-high split 
  • Snuggly skimming the waist  

Pleated slacks and pussybow shirts in a 1982 Spiegel catalogue  

Spiegel was a fashion catalog company that started in 1865 and maintained popularity in the 20th century. Spiegel catalogs are a treasure trove of 1980s fashion, full of clean, preppy looks and smart outfits your Mom would definitely have worn. In a catalog from 1982, models (including Andie MacDowell) wore: 

  • Smart slacks with front pleats, high waists, and wide or tapered legs
  • Blouses tucked into trouser waistbands
  • Buttons done all the way up to the neck
  • Pleated, puffed shoulders and cinched wrists 
  • Pussybows tied around the neck 
  • The faintest trace of a fluffy, floofy 80s mullet 

Studs, animal print, metallics, and cutouts in Prince’s ‘1999’ video 

Prince’s ‘1999’ is one of the best grooves of the 80s, and the music video is an archive of 1980s pop fashion. The band wore cutout leather sleeveless jackets, satin pants, military caps, sunglasses, and plenty of floofy hair. The legend Prince himself rocks the star look: 

  • A sparkly purple coat with shoulder pads and small epaulettes 
  • An animal print guitar strap
  • Slouchy heeled boots (oh so 80s!)
  • Deep grey gloves
  • Metallic studs down one side of the chest 

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