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Madonna Iconic Dress

Okay lets start with Madonna’s most outrageous but iconic dress of all time. That’s right its the 1984 classic she wore at MTV Music Awards taking everyone’s breath away. I mean bright red lipstick stunning curly hair and statement jewellery just screams 80s!

Leopard Print Dress

I would say a leopard print dress is sexy. In my opinion there is something alluring about wearing one. I mean you can’t help but get instant attention. I always feel empowered and sexy at the same time, a bit like Cyndi in this photo just casually owning the throne.

I love how she has accessorised with knee high stockings and black stilettos. Not forgetting 80s hair and 80s make-up!

Red Vintage Ruffle Dress

Ruffle dresses were all the rage in the 80s! As we can see a young Janet Jackson in the photo below wearing a red vintage ruffle dress at the a 1980s music awards. With a pair of statement earrings in tow.

Off the Shoulder Floral Print Dress  

A floral dress is perfect for summer, they are very versatile and go with anything. Just a simple clutch bag and heels will do the job. In the photo below you can see a 1981 Meryl Streep on a subway train wearing a simple yet elegant floral off the shoulder dress.

Sweater Dress

Madonna again people! I just can’t get enough of her style and fashion sense. In this photo she is totally working the sweater dress. The block colour heavy knit sweater is a look that is still trending today. Once again Madonna is wearing pure bright luscious red lipstick.

Slip Dress

Slip dresses have always been around. Every celebrity you could imagine was photographed wearing them, whether it was Kate Moss, Liz Hurley or even Princess Diana. A good simple slip dress is timeless as gorgeous Liz is showing .

Tea Dress

A traditional tea dress is quite feminine and it’s not for everyone. It’s kinda like the dress you’d wear if you’re going to meet your boyfriend’s parents for the first time, or something like that. 

Maxi Dress

You can’t beat a light gentle yet glamorous maxi dress in early spring or late summer, whether your meeting friends or just spending quality time alone, this dress will make you feel special.

As we can see in the photo below Cyndi Lauper is wearing this elegant long floral maxi dress with a front slit up to her thigh, with bright red lipstick that just adds that wow factor.

Turtleneck Short Black Dress

Okay ladies the 1980s was all about short dresses. I mean just look at Beverly Johnson and Grace Jones doing their thing…styling their outfits out in 1988.

That said, I’m taken by Beverly Johnson style, I mean she’s wearing the perfect short black dress and then just goes and accessorises with leather gloves, leather coat, black stilettos and a red hat…can you be anymore 80s?

Dramatic Shoulder Pad Dress

Okay dramatic shoulder pad dresses had their time and they are legendary but they are not for everyone and that’s okay. However I totally love them. They scream 80s 80s 80s oh and here here to powerful women.

Remember Dynasty anyone? Come on we all know Joan Collins rocked a good shoulder padded dress!

Rave Dress

The greatest thing about a rave dress is that you can either dress them up by adding cool funky accessories or you can pop the dress on and set out on your way! Rave dresses are normally worn in a rave, night club or festival.

Short Sleeve Polka Dot Dress – Cyndi Lauper Style

Short Sleeve dresses are great for when its warm and you just want to be outside. So having a short sleeve polka dot dress in summer is essential for every woman. It’s cheeky yet glamorous at the same time.

I mean just look at this photo from 1989 where lovely Cyndi Lauper is wearing a straight forward short sleeve polka dot dress. You can’t help but think, what she is thinking?

Off The Shoulder Dress

Off the shoulder dresses are a classic 80s dress, there is no denying that.

I mean look at stunning Jennifer Grey, who played ‘Baby’ in Dirty Dancing with this red off the shoulder knee length dress. I mean don’t you just love the way she has simple pop on a classic black belt that just gives the dress that wow factor.

And that’s a classic tip right there, anytime you want to bring attention to your mid section around you waist, just pop on a belt.

Spaghetti Strap Dress

The only women I know that is just totally able to pull any look off, it’s Madonna! Here we see her wearing a simple yet extravagant spaghetti strap dress. The Queen of Pop looks stunning in this 1987 Who’s that Girl premiere photo showing off red lipstick and red nails.

Short Black Dress – Cyndi Lauper

Short black dresses are great because everyone can make this dress their own. As we see in the photo below Cyndi Lauper styles it out with her rather extravagant purple/navy puffy jacket.

Short Puff Sleeve Dress

Here we have Rihanna wearing a pink short off the shoulder puff sleeve dress people. She looks amazing whatever she wears. I mean she’s got this look to a T with pink stilettos and anklets that give her legs attention. Not to mention the silver layered choker necklaces, silver bracelets and handbag.

Sleeveless Floral Dress

I think the best time to wear sleeveless dresses is in early spring until late summer. I say this as I tend to wear them then and when it gets cooler, I simply pop on a cardigan.

Floral dresses are great because they have that bit of detail that gives the dress attention without you having to accessories too much. Floral dresses tend to speak for themselves. All you really need to do is pop on your mascara and lipstick and you’re on your way.

Denim Dress

First of all let me start by saying that a good quality denim dress will last you a long time. Trust me on this. I find with my denim dresses they are very durable and I have had many amazing times wearing them.

There is a whole range of different type and styles of denim dresses but I’ll go through them another time. Just a quick tip any denim dress you wear, make sure you wear a belt. It gives the dress a finishing touch.

Polka Dot Dress – Jerry Hall Style

Who can forget the absolutely stunning Jerry Hall in 1983 wearing a black and white polka dot dress with red waist belt and red hat. Polka dot dresses have been around since the 60s or even before then but they are a timeless classic!

Sequins Dress – Kylie Minogue

Sequin dresses scream party! There is something special about a good sequins dress. I think its fair to say that Kylie Minogue rocked the mini sequins dress and no one could have done it better.

Plaid Dress

Here we have young Princess Diana in a knee high plaid dress, with a classic white bibbed blouse adding a touch of class with black boots. Accessorising with simple pearl earrings and a black hand handle clutch bag.

Metallic Blue Party Dress 

A beautiful blue metallic party dress worn in 1982 by Pat Cleveland during New York Fashion week. Just the perfect look with her 80s hairstyle and make-up.

Polo Shirt Dress

First things first, don’t let that image of a typical white polo shirt dresses put you off. You know the one’s, like you see in the old school ads or tennis clubs. Polo shirt dresses come in all colours so be brave and wear a colour you like. They’re also easy convenient and comfortable wear.

As you see below it’s a black polo shirt dress. I like it because it’s urban and sexy yet smart at the same time.

Bandeau Polka Dot Dress – Madonna Style

The bandeau polka dot dress is very summery and can be dressed up or down depending on the reason you’re wearing the dress. You can accessorise with a red beaded necklace and simple red clip on earrings with red lipstick to finish off.

As you can seefrom the photo below a young Madonna is wearing the dress with a simple nude fresh look. It’s really up to you how you want to style this dress.

White Shirt Dress

OK people, way before the celebrities of today Tina was rocking it in white shirt dresses, see the photo below. I love how Tina accessorises with black ankle boots and red lipstick. Tina you’re simply the best.

Rara Dress

Here we can see Kyle absolutely smashing it in a red rara dress. Accessorising with hoop earrings and low heeled pumps and not forgetting her gorgeous curly hair. It’s a classic look, right?

Wrap Over Dress

Wrap over dresses are great in summer you simply wrap them around you, tie the belt and off you go! As we can see in the photo below, the dress has been accessorised with red lipstick and oversized sunglasses. Perfect.

Side Button Dress

Here’s a beautiful Princess Diana in 1989 wearing a red and pink Catherine Walker dress when visiting Kuwait. Matching hat and clutch bag. Graceful elegant Princess Diana had an amazing fashion sense. 

Cocktail Dress

Cocktail dresses are an all time classic. They’ve been around with what feels like since the dawn of time. Cocktail dresses are sexy and sophisticated. I always feel elegant and classy. All you need to accessorise with a cocktail dress is high heels, clutch purse and pearls.

Pink Gown Dress – Madonna Style

Now who can forget Madonna’s, ‘Material Girl’ pink gown dress!. How great did Madonna look. I think its safe to say gown dresses are formal wear and should be worn in the evening.

Rock Dress

Here we have the one and the only Cyndi Lauper in 1983 doing her thing wearing a colourful rock dress but styling it in a glamorous way. The perfect combination of 80s make-up and accessories with the bright orange hair, so 80s!

Velvet Dress

With velvet dresses, there is a certain time or place to wear them. A formal work party, Christmas party or New Years celebration. Velvet dresses always look wonderful in the evening after compared to in the day.

Velvet dresses are not really ideal for a hot summer’s days because velvet tends to be a thicker material compared to cotton or linen. Velvet dresses are perfect in Autumn or Winter.

Denim Overall Dress 

Okay denim dresses are simply timeless and classic. Every women should have a denim dress in her wardrobe! I mean you can accessorise with a denim dress to dress them up or just go with a really simple and casual look.

I always wear my Doc Martens if i want the street retro style with a black hat and choker of course. However of I want a ore smart look then I tend to wear either white sneakers or platform heels (wedge heel)

Black Denim Pinafore Dress

Now the secret to a black denim pinafore dress is that you can literally wear any colour or style top underneath and it will stand out accept black of course. In the photo below I just love how the orange and black blouse compliment the dress. Quick tip accessories with a black choker, red lipstick and fishnet tights. Oh and don’t for get your leather jacket.

R&B Dress

I call them R&B dresses simply because they are sexy, sassy and out there. R&B dresses are normally worn at night clubs. R&B dresses are tight, low cut and revealing as you can see from the photo below.

All you really need to accessorise with this dress are statement hoop earrings that are larger then life and heels that reach the sky!

Quick tip:

Quick tip
Keep the makeup light with nude lipstick and plenty of mascara. Ladies let the dress do the talking.

Leather Dress

Now I know what your thinking and yes your right leather dresses are not for everyone. However I think there is something so sexy about a leather dress and its so demanding at the same time. You can’t help but get attention in a leather dress. All you need to accessorise with a leather dress is black lace up boots, choker and the classic red lipstick. Oh and don’t lots of mascara!

Halter Neck Dress

Halter neck dresses are plain simple and sexy full stop. I mean I love them. You just can’t beat a good halter neck dress in the summer when the sun is just beaming down. All you need is a pair of sexy oversized sunglasses, long choker necklace and anklet.

Short Sleeve Taffeta Dress

Short sleeve taffeta dresses were all the rage in the 80s. I mean you only have to look at Dynasty and other sitcoms of the era to see that. There is something flattering about short sleeve taffeta dresses. The dress it self is simple but can be dressed up or down depending on the look you want.

All you need to accessorise with this dress is black high heels, statement earrings and a clutch bag. Wear satin elbow gloves if you want to add the wow factor. So 80s.

Taffeta Strapless Pouf Dress

Okay can you get any more 80s then a taffeta strapless pouf dress? I mean this is a classic dress people. I would wear this dress to an evening do or as a cocktail dress. Just as they did in the 80s.

Babydoll Dress

Now in my experience I find a babydoll dress to be easy to wear because they’re so comfortable. The best thing about a babydoll dress is that they are short, stylish and sexy.

You can’t really go wrong with a babydoll dress if you accessorise with hoop earrings, retro sunglasses and a good handbag. As we can see from the photo below, that the right accessories really give the dress a wow factor.

Denim Shirt Dress

I love denim shirt dresses. They’re perfect whether you wear them in summer or winter. Denim shirt dresses are sexy and have that causal, smart feel to them.

You can accessorise with a belt if you like, however if you are just chilling with friends and relaxing then no belt looks better. Also add oversized sunglasses with gold bracelets or bangles, whichever you prefer.

Spanish Dress

As we can see in the photo below, an elegant Princess Diana in 1987 wearing a red and black Spanish style dress with long above the elbow gloves. True 80s style

About The Author

May is totally crazy about the 80s and everything the decade inspired! Having grown up in a household that was totally taken over by 80s music and fashion its only natural that May lives and breathes the 80s!

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