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From party dresses to sun dresses, ball gowns or something to go clubbing in, the eighties fashion scene had a dress style to suit any occasion.

From the styles rocked by fashion legends like Cher, to the quirky use of accessory, the eighties dress market was as diverse as it was unique, with a focus on individuality and style, there was something for everyone.

Whatever look you are searching for or whatever adventure you are embarking on, take inspiration from the stylish dress trends of the eighties.

Here we have some of the best styles of the eighties for when you need that picture-perfect dress.


Flowers, Flowers and More Flowers

One charming trend that everyone from the eighties would remember is the use of floral print fabric. This trend particularly took off in the dress market, used for everything from high fashion to casual street styles, a floral print dress added a dainty, nature inspired theme to any look.

Meryl Streep was a fan of this look back in the eighties and when styling it today, pair it with some Converse style shoes for a casual street trend.

If Not Flowers then Polka Dots

Anyone not rocking floral print on their eighties dress opted for the trendy polka dot look. Particularly popular in red or black, everyone from Lady Diana Spencer to Jerry Hall was seen in this style.

The polka dot look has maintained its popularity today and when trying out this style, match the colour of your shoes or hat to the colour of dots for a sophisticated style.

Not Quite Naked

The stars of the eighties weren’t afraid to show a little skin when flaunting the latest styles, from dresses that exposed midriffs to ones that showed more skin than fabric, these styles could be seen on red carpets and events around the world.

Even the legendary Cher was seen stepping out in this style of dress. When trying out this style yourself, match it with bold accessories such as drop earrings and bracelets to complete the look.

Accentuate the Waist

There are few eighties stars as instantly recognisable as the incredible Cyndi Lauper. Cyndi had an undeniable and instantly recognisable style, one look she was a fan of was wearing a corset belt over the top of a dress.

This style added some extra interest to a look and injected some of those punk rock vibes. Pairing a fairly plain coloured belt with a patterned dress and boots is one way to capture a Cyndi inspired style.

Embrace the Socks

Socks may not be something that immediately comes to mind when thinking of dress accessories but as we all saw expertly modelled by Meg Ryan in the eighties, it’s a look the can undeniably work.

Pairing a mid-calf length dress with some tube socks and flat shoes is a quirky style that still looks great without having to deal with the pain of wearing stilettos.

Mini Dresses Modelled by Minogue

As Kylie Minogue showed us all in the eighties, the mini dress style is one not to be overlooked. Diverse enough that it looks effortlessly chic paired with stilettos for a red carpet look, or when paired with sneakers or combat boots creates a cool street style, the mini dress is one trend that has endured the test of time.

After all when expertly modelled by someone as stylish as Kylie Minogue, what is not to love about this style?

Magical Metallics

Back in the eighties none of us were sacred to embrace some sparkle and shine and the metallic fabric craze found a home in the dress sector.

Everything from ball gowns to mini dresses could be found shining under red carpet lights and was a favourite of stars like Pat Cleveland and Kylie Minogue.

Try pairing a metallic dress with some strappy stilettos for a look that is instantly glamorous.


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The off the Shoulder Look

As any eighties star will tell you, one style you simply can not go past is the off the shoulder look. A style that keeps all its elegance while injecting some more casual and easy-going vibes, this trend was embraced by stars like Goldie Hawn.

This style has made a comeback in today’s fashion world and looks great in a formal style paired with an updo hairstyle.

Don’t Forget the Sleeves

If not an off the shoulder style, then dresses of the eighties embraced the trend of shoulder pads and puffy sleeves. This look was donned by movie stars and incorporated into the styles of politicians and socialites around the world.

When trying your own eighties inspired puffy sleeve look, pair it with some statement earrings to capture that effortless style.

Choose Something Bright

We all know and love that a big part of the eighties fashion seen was about vibrancy and colour. Dresses were often bright colours and incorporated neon hues whether they were styled for a swanky restaurant or a casual street look.

When injecting some vibrancy into your eighties inspired outfit, remember to keep any accessories simple to let those neon vibes of the dress do all the talking.

Tied Up with a Bow

Many dress styles of the eighties incorporated an over the top bow. This not only gave some extra interest to the look but provided a way to instantly make an outfit more formal and red-carpet ready.

This style has recently seen a comeback with stars like Candace Cameron- Bure rocking this style of outfit.

From red carpet styles to casual streetwear, the dresses of the eighties all shared the common theme of being truly iconic.

When experimenting with these looks and embracing an eighties vibe, remember to style each outfit with accessories that match the look. Have fun and embrace the celebration of individuality that the eighties were famous for!

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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