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On a rainy afternoon there is noting more nostalgic than settling down with some quality eighties TV shows and movies. An era of film that spawned classics like Dirty Dancing and Dynasty and featured stars such as Saundra Santiago, Tiffani Thiesen and Jennifer Grey, what is there not to love about the eighties film and television industry?

These iconic TV shows and movies gave rise to some of the even more iconic outfits of the eighties, so settle in and take a trip to the eighties world of Hollywood, these are some of the most iconic styles of eighties TV shows and movies.


Dirty Dancing: Baby’s Pink Dress

With the famous line ‘Nobody puts Baby in the corner’, it is only fitting that this legendary movie featuring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey would have outfits that are just as legendary.

Baby’s pink dress from the final dance scene in the movie is nothing short of iconic. A sleeveless, knee length number with a slightly flared skirt, this outfit is instantly recognisable and fully embraces the attitude of the sentiment behind ‘nobody puts Baby in the corner.’

Cagney and Lacey: Turtleneck and slacks

Before the rise of modern TV cop shows like Brooklyn 99, Cagney and Lacey was the classic crime fighting duo. This classic show featured eighties styles that are still recognisable today, particularly the turtleneck, slacks and knee-high boots combo that the duo wore on many of their crime fighting adventures.

And of course, like many iconic eighties looks, this show embraced the big hair trend in many of its costumes in this iconic era.

Dukes of Hazzard: The Styles of Daisy Duke

A show so popular it has spawned modern remakes, Dukes of Hazzard was one of the top shows of the eighties. Following the shenanigans of Bo and Duke, the show featured some truly iconic outfits, particularly in the case of the protagonists’ cousin, Daisy Duke. Daisy’s famous style of short denim shorts and a red checked shirt tied around the waist to expose the midriff is one that has gone down in eighties TV show fashion history.

The Breakfast Club: Claire’s Iconic Outfit

I would go so far as to say that the Breakfast Club is one of the most iconic movies of all time. Really any of the character’s outfits could be counted as legendary, but for now we are going to focus on Claire.

The pairing of that brown, long skirt, pink blouse, knee high boots and scarf is one that is instantly recognisable and perfectly portrays this character that has become a part of the fabric of the eighties.

Saved by the Bell: Kelly’s Bikini and Shorts

Saved by the Bell soared to the heights of popularity toward the end of the decade. The show gave rise to the famous outfit worn by character Kelly Kapowski, consisting of a pink bikini top and hot pink shorts.

This famous look embraced the neon trend of the eighties and truly embodied the energy of this unique decade, making it one TV outfit that earned its place in film history.

Dynasty: Furs and Shoulder Pads

The eighties TV series Dynasty is one that truly embraced the decadence of the eighties fashion scene in every single one of its costume. With iconic and instantly recognisably eighties outfits, the show features those classic, luxurious eighties styles with a focus on the use of fake fur and accentuated the shoulders at every possible opportunity.

From evening dresses with ruffled shoulders to fur shawls, Dynasty had all the upper class looks of eighties fashion.

Miami Vice: The Outfits of Detective Gina Calabrese

Miami Vice is another fantastic eighties cop show that is instantly recognisable through its classic eighties looks. The costumes the cast wore embraced many of the iconic eighties trends, with everything from the famous pastel skirt suits that Gina commonly wore to the little red dress she sported, to her co-stars iconic white trousers, Miami Vice is a true portal to back to the world of eighties fashion.


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Stranger Things: Eleven’s Jumpsuit

Okay, so this one may not be a show strictly from the eighties, but the outfits featured are truly iconic eighties throwback looks. Eleven’s black, patterned jumpsuit is a look that is classically eighties and is a testament to the skill of the costume designers to so successfully capture the fashion of this era to make a truly nostalgically eighties outfit in this widely popular modern-made TV show.

Flashdance: Leg warmers and Sweatshirts

Flashdance is one of the all-time best eighties movies. It not only features an iconic story but the outfits in it helped to popularise some of our favourite eighties fashion trends.

Perhaps the most iconic of the costumes sported in Flashdance is the off shoulder grey sweatshirt and leg warmers worn by Alex. This early eighties look helped to popularise the active wear trends of the eighties and is a truly nostalgic eighties style.

Cheers: Prim and Proper Diane Chambers

Cheers is one of the iconic TV series of the eighties and featured some instantly recognisable costume choices. The prim and proper styles worn by Shelley Long’s portrayal of Diane Chambers became synonymous with the character she played and one of the iconic TV fashion styles of this incredible decade.

Everyone from the eighties has a fond memory of the classic TV shows and movies that graced our television screens. With timeless shows like Flashdance, Miami Vice and Dynasty, TV and film studios in the eighties created some truly unforgettable cinematic experiences.

The fashion trends that these iconic shows gave rise to are still remembered today with unforgettable costuming choices like Baby’s pink dress in Dirty Dancing and the iconic looks of Claire in the classic movie the Breakfast Club.

So next time you want to step back in time to the world of the eighties or are looking for inspiration for your next eighties inspired look, why not check out these incredible shows.

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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