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Ah the 80s, the days of neon fishnets, mullets and the Rubik’s cube. Every 80s kid will look back fondly on this unique decade, a time when styling your hair meant breaking out the crimper and a yoyo beat any far-off thoughts of a fidget spinner. Packed with unique trends and items that helped make the eighties so unique, these are some of the top trends that every eighties kid will remember.
- #1. Yoyos
- #2. The Mullet
- #3. Slap Bracelets
- #4. Hair Crimping
- #5. The Big Hair Craze
- #6. The Everlasting Fun of a Hacky Sack
- #7. Shoulder Pads
- #8. Leg Warmers
- #9. Jelly Shoes
- #10. Fish Net Stockings
- #11. Before the Age of the iPod
- #12. Fingerless gloves
- #13. Rubik’s Cube
- #14. Candy Bracelets
- #15. Colorful Beads
- #16. Koosh Balls
- #17. Car Surfing
- #18. Parachute Pants
- #19. Finger Monsters
- #20. Cabbage Patch Dolls
- #21. Ghetto Blasters
- #22. Mixtapes
- #23. Camcorder
- #24. CD’s
- #25. Monster Balls
- #26. Polly Pocket
- #27. Commodore 64
- #28. Swatch Watches
- #29. MTV
- #30. John Hughes Movies
- #31. Spielberg Movies
- #32. TV shows
- #33. Memorizing phone numbers
- #34. Rotary Dial
- #35. Cool Telephones
- #36. Faxing
- #37. Denim on Denim
- #38. Neon Everything
- #39. Heavy Metal subculture
- #40. Preppy subculture
- #41. Hip-Hop subculture
- #42. Acid Wash Jeans
- #43. Converse
- #50. Big Gold Necklaces Chains
- #51. White Adidas Sneakers
- #52. Oversized Blazers
- #53. Using crazy amounts of hairspray
- #54. Bright Make-Up
- #56. The Walkman
- #57. Home Video Games
- #58. Valspeak
- #59. Preppies
- #60. Hair Metal
- #61. Bananarama
- #62. Penny Loafers
- #63. Care Bears
- #64. Funky Earrings
- #65. Stirrup Leggings
- #66. Banana Clips
- #67. Marbles
- #68. Mood Rings
- #69. Hair Spray
- #70. Aerobics
- #71. Shoelace Hair Clips
- #72. T-Shirt Rings
- #73. Jelly Bracelets
- #74. Lip Smackers
- #75. Barbie
- #78. Mad Libs
- #79. Side Ponytails
- #80. Sticker Albums
- #81. HyperColor Shirts
- #82. Charm Bracelets
- #83. Arcades
- #84. Strawberry Shortcake
Long before the age of the fidget spinner, the yoyo was the toy of choice for any eighties kid. The ultimate 80s toy, these entertaining little contraptions coming in multicolours, with pictures of pop culture icons or the coveted light up yoyo, were the prized toy of every school yard around the world.
#2. The Mullet
Perhaps one 80s trend that isn’t always remembered quite as affectionately is the mullet. Short in the front and long at the back, this hairstyle was donned by the likes of Brad Pitt, Lionel Richie and large chunk of the high school population. The ultimate business in the front and party in the back hairstyle.
#3. Slap Bracelets
Is there anything in the world more fun than a slap bracelet? I think not. Stiff, decorated bracelets that as the name suggests, when you slap them onto your wrist they immediately wrap around it. Coming in bright colours and often including pictures, these were a whole lot of fun on one of the must have accessories of the eighties.
#4. Hair Crimping
Forget straightened hair of beach style waves, 80s kids will remember that back in the day crimping was all the rage. With stars like Demi Moore embracing this look, we all wanted crimped hair in the playground.
As every 80s kid will remember, if you weren’t embracing the hair crimping craze then big hair was the style to go for. Perms soared in popularity and you got all your 80s hair inspiration from 80s stars like Brooke Shields and Nicole Kidman.
#6. The Everlasting Fun of a Hacky Sack
Mini leather beanbags that came in various colour combinations gave hours of fun to 80s kids. Whether you used them for the traditional game of hacky sack that involved kicking it between a group of people, decorated them with permanent markers or used them for a game of catch, every 80s kid will have fond memories of the humble hacky sack.
#7. Shoulder Pads
Shoulder pads were one fashion trend that really took off in the eighties. Worn by famous faces like Cindy Crawford, embraced by royalty including Lady Diana Spencer and a staple item on the red carpet, every 80s kid will know that shoulder pads were a well-loved look of the decade.
#8. Leg Warmers
Worn by stars like Kylie Minogue and featured in 80s hits like Flashdance and Footloose, leg warmers started out as a sporting accessory and turned into a trendy style that could be incorporated into an everyday look. Often found in neon colours, these knitted leg accessories when worn with some fishnet gloves and a mini skirt were the must have item.
#9. Jelly Shoes
As any 80s girl will tell you, there are no shoes like jelly shoes. These tinted plastic shoes often included sparkles and came in a variety of styles for any situation. Flats for the beach or a casual weekend or strappy with a chunky heel for a cute dinner, jelly shoes were the ultimate eighties footwear.
#10. Fish Net Stockings
Fish net stocking added a new element to any 80s look. Worn under a mini skirt or shorts, fish net stockings came in a variety of neon colours that embraced the fun loving 80s vibe or when worn in black like Madonna gave a subtle rebel vibe while still seamlessly fitting into an 80s look.
#11. Before the Age of the iPod
Before Apple rose to prominence and we all downloaded hundreds of songs on Spotify, 80s kids knew that you could get your music fix with a handy Walkman. Inserting a cassette into this revolutionary device allowed you to rock out to your favourite tunes wherever you were.
#12. Fingerless gloves
Every kid in the 80s had a pair of fishnet fingerless gloves. These gloves came either to the wrist of reached right up to the elbow and came in neon colours you could fashionably match your nail polish with and after Madonna was seen wearing a pair, every 80s kid wanted a pair too.
#13. Rubik’s Cube
Responsible for hours of fun and frustration the release of the Rubik’s cube in the 80s created a worldwide sensation. Still insanely popular today, every 80s kid will know that we all had that one friend that could complete it with his eyes closed like a wizard and the one friend who told us to just pull the stickers off.
#14. Candy Bracelets
The ultimate 80s accessory, the candy bracelet was both a snack and a fashion piece. Made of coloured edible candy beads and on a piece of elastic, every 80s girl loved picking up one of these from the corner store.
#15. Colorful Beads
Colourful beaded jewellery was all the rage in the eighties fashion world with stars like Madonna and Kylie Minogue rocking chunky beaded necklaces. Every 90s girl will know that no outfit was ever complete without some colourful plastic beads incorporated.
Every 80s kid will look back fondly on the trends of this fantastic decade. Whether you were donning some jelly sandals, playing hacky sack or emulating the looks of Madonna with some stylish fingerless gloves, the 80s were a time unlike any other. So crimp your hair, rock some shoulder pads and pull out the yoyo and embrace the uniquely 80s trends that every kid from this unique era will remember.
#16. Koosh Balls
Did you own a Koosh ball? If you didn’t you missed out! These simple rainbow ball toys included rubber filaments that were soft to touch and fun to play with. While you can find Koosh balls on their own, you can also purchase keyrings and yoyos with these fun balls on the end too. A Koosh ball keyring is a great accessory to own if you want a subtle nod to the 80s in your pocket!
#17. Car Surfing
Are you ready for a new hobby? Car surfing became a popular activity in the 80s and it involves riding on the outside of a car while it’s driving. Though this sounds fun, it’s pretty dangerous as you can imagine! Maybe this is one trend that’s better left in the past…
#18. Parachute Pants
With the rise of the break dancing subculture, many started to dress like these professional dancers too. Parachute pants were originally made from synthetic materials to withstand the effects of break dancing, however, these unique trousers ended up as a fashion statement too. If you like tight pants and shiny materials, these are the perfect new trousers for you! Whether you dance or not, these are a cool statement against standard denim pants worn today.
#19. Finger Monsters
Do you remember finger monsters? These quirky toys were made of plastic and fit easily on your fingers for some bite-sized fun. Available in a range of colors and styles, these were essential kids’ toys and provided hours of fun for you kids with imaginations. You can still buy these today, so why don’t you indulge your inner child and go for it!
#20. Cabbage Patch Dolls
These iconic dolls were originally sold for $30 in the 1980s, but did you know that they are worth a lot of money today? If you have the doll’s original birth certificate and you’ve kept them in good condition you can get a lot of money for your childhood toy online! The rarest dolls go for as much as $3,500 so make sure you check your cupboards!
#21. Ghetto Blasters
Also known as a boombox, Ghetto Blasters are a must-own for anyone who loves to listen to loud tunes. Though these are functional radio systems, carrying a Ghetto Blaster is like an accessory and a perfect nod to 80s music culture. You can even use one to make a romantic declaration like in the iconic film Say Anything…
A Mixtape refers to a compilation of music that comes from different sources and artists. These tunes will all be on one medium (such as a tape) and these can be created at home. Creating a mixtape is a great way to express your music taste, set a mood, and they also make a great gift for a friend or loved one!
A camcorder was a video camera with a built-in recording system. This was a new and exciting invention in the early 1980s, as before video devices were heavy, not portable, and difficult to use. The humble camcorder allowed the average Joe to start documenting their life in moving images – thanks to this invention embarrassing home films were born!
The CD is now viewed as an outdated way to listen to music. Why buy a physical copy when you have access to free streaming sites, right? Well, when CDs first came out they were impressive as compared to vinyl records their size was tiny. Easy to store and carry, CDs became the new rage for music.
#25. Monster Balls
While these unusual toys may have scared some, for fans of strange monsters these were perfect. You can throw, bounce, catch, and hit these toys and they’ll not be damaged at all. Monster Balls were created to rival MadBalls, and they featured common horror monsters to impress all 80s kids.
#26. Polly Pocket
Though Polly Pocket is still a popular kids toy today, this brand had humble beginnings. You can find expensive setups for modern Polly Pocket toys, these are great, but they don’t compare to the 1980s design. Any 80s girl will know how satisfying it is to have a complete doll’s house in their pocket, especially in the cute Polly Pocket style!
#27. Commodore 64
Created in 1982, the Commodore 64 was a popular 8-bit home computer game system. This game system was sold in retail stores, instead of only being available in electronic stores. This is important as it showed everyday families they could own a high-tech gaming system that’s easy to use. The Commodore 64 could be plugged into any home TV and you didn’t need any complex modifications, making it accessible for all homes.
#28. Swatch Watches
Swatches are a defining accessory of the 80s. We’ll be surprised if you haven’t heard of this brand, as in the 1980s these watches were everywhere. Swatch created a watch design that provided the consumer with a Swiss-made quartz movement watch at an affordable price. Not only that, but you could find these unique watches in hundreds of different designs – one for everyone!
MTV is a household name, but its best era was the 1980s. If you wanted to see the latest music videos, this was the channel to watch. MTV allowed teens access to a world of celebrity and it gave them endless style inspiration too!
#30. John Hughes Movies
John Hughes is another important 80s icon. This filmmaker created some of the best films of the decade, including Ferris Bueller’s Day off (1986), The Breakfast Club (1985), Sixteen Candles (1984), and Pretty In Pink (1986). These gave teens a chance to escape reality and live through his characters on the screen. Also, his films always had a catchy soundtrack and great costumes – inspiring outfits to this day.
#31. Spielberg Movies
Another legendary director from the 1980s is Steven Spielberg. This well-known filmmaker has created some of the most memorable 80s films including E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Indiana Jones (1984), The Color Purple (1985), and more. IF you want to watch an adventure film that will keep you hooked, make sure you watch a Spielberg production!
#32. TV shows
Do you feel nostalgia for 80s TV shows? Popular shows of the era were Cheers, Dallas, Dynasty, Magnum P.I, Married…with Children, The A-Team, Happy Days, Knight Rider, and Dukes of Hazzard. Watch some of these popular picks to get that comfortable feeling of the past! These shows are binge-worthy and perfect for a cozy night in with some snacks.
#33. Memorizing phone numbers
Where would we be without our mobile phones? In the 80s you had to memorize phone numbers instead of relying on your phone to store them – *gasp*! This is a shock to younger generations, but being able to recall multiple phone numbers from memory is a lost art. We should bring this back ASAP!
#34. Rotary Dial
Another shock to younger generations is rotary dialing. Landlines aren’t even very popular now, so the idea of a home phone with manual dialing sounds foreign – but it was the norm in the 80s! You can actually pick up replica vintage phones now if you do want a hint of nostalgia in your home.
#35. Cool Telephones
While you didn’t have personalized smartphones in the 1980s, you could purchase modified landlines to add some style to your home. Whether you opted for classic mid-century designs or colorful 80s phones, it was normal to use a cool telephone instead of a standard model!
You’ll rarely find fax machines in offices today, but in the 80s these were a common office device. These appliances basically scan a document or image line by line and this is transmitted to a receiver and re-printed. Think of it as early emailing but with physical documents! We don’t expect this tech to make a comeback, but it’s fun to reminisce on what we used to use!
#37. Denim on Denim
Though it sounds like a fashion faux-pas, double denim actually looks great and this 80s trend should be brought back instantly! Seen in films, adverts, and on catwalks, this versatile material was popular and there was never enough of it. To get the look, pair a boxy blue denim jacket with high-waisted straight leg blue denim jeans, remember to tease your hair too!
#38. Neon Everything
80s style clothing is often used for fancy dress parties now, and one of the trends that’s always popular is neon clothing. But how often was neon worn in the 1980s? Of course, it was! Popular colors were green, orange, pink, and yellow. The neon color palette was embraced and worn often, perfect for parties and standing out from the crowd.
#39. Heavy Metal subculture
Metal isn’t popular with everyone, but in the 80s this subculture had an increase in popularity. Glam metal became popular and bands like Motley Crue and Bon Jovi were leaders of the genre. Fans of the subculture embraced dark clothes, leather jackets, long-teased out hair, and sometimes dramatic makeup too!
#40. Preppy subculture
Influenced by academia and more conservative styles, the preppy subculture was popular in the 1980s too. This subculture referenced a privileged lifestyle that was seen as inspiring in the decade. Styles included popped collars, knitted sweater vests, blouses, and polo shirts.
#41. Hip-Hop subculture
One of the most well-known subcultures of the 1980s was hip-hop. This subculture was inspired by rapping, DJing, graffiti art, and MCing too. This subculture started in New York City in the early 1970s and gained a lot of fans in the 80s. Artists like L.L Cool J, Run DMC, and Public Enemy influenced the youth and set fashion trends as well.
#42. Acid Wash Jeans
We saw acid wash jeans resurface again in the 2010s, but this fabric finish trend was initially popular in the decade of the 80s! Acid wash refers to a finish that distresses the denim fabric and the pigment too. This leaves the garment looking worn in, perfect for a casual outfit that wants an edgy look.
The converse brand still creates popular shoes today. The style hasn’t changed much since the 80s and these canvas trainers are classic icons. You’ll find Converse shoes in many 1980s films and they were popular casual trainers with celebrities and normal people too! This is a trend you can wear today and no one will bat an eye!
#50. Big Gold Necklaces Chains
A popular jewelry style in the 80s was chunky gold chains. This trend was more popular with men than women and it was also linked with the hip-hop subculture. These chains were a great way to add detail to your outfit, artists like Run DMC embraced this look too.
#51. White Adidas Sneakers
Adidas sneakers were popular in the 1980s, but the Superstar model was one of the most well-known. The most popular colorway was white with black stripes and shelltoes, creating an instant hit with the youth of the time. These shoes are still popular now and are worn by all generations.
#52. Oversized Blazers
Power dressing for women was a popular 1980s trend as more women entered the corporate world. This trend involved big shoulder pads and oversized blazers, creating a larger silhouette. Wearing a big blazer, jeans, and stiletto pump heels was a perfect date night look in the 80s.
#53. Using crazy amounts of hairspray
You can’t go wrong with big 80s hair. Hairspray was a must-own for anyone in the 1980s, girl or boy. Teasing your hair and creating big styles was a popular trend and while this looked great, it did leave everyone walking around with extra-flammable hair!
#54. Bright Make-Up
Similar to the popular neon clothes, these colors were used in makeup looks too! Bright makeup was a unique trend that showed creativity and skill within the beauty industry. Why go for a neutral makeup look when you can play with color? Fashion and makeup are about having fun and the 1980s understood this mantra!
#56. The Walkman
Can you remember the Sony Walkman? The precursor to the iPod was released onto the Japanese market before the American one. In 1979 this release changed how we listened to music forever. Not only that, Sony actually only expected to sell a small 5,000 units! In reality, they smashed their targets and sold 50,000 in the first two months.
The Walkman made its way to the U.S in 1980 and soon other tech companies followed suit. Toshiba, Panasonic, and Aiwa soon had their own listening devices too. Whether you used an original Sony device or an alternative, the freedom that came with a Walkman was like no other.
Did you know “Walkman” was actually added to the dictionary in 1986? Proving how impactful these mini stereos were.
#57. Home Video Games
The home video game systems of the 1980s are a far cry from what we’re used to now, but we all look back with fond memories. These home consoles were boxy with bad graphics, yet we loved them just the same!
Key video games from this era include:
- Space invaders
- Missile Command
- & more
Coleco was another big name in the gaming industry. This brand came to the forefront in 1982 with its modern Colecovision. These consoles included interchangeable game cartridges, an iconic design that had never been seen before. This major update allowed users to finally play different games instead of just playing one per console.
Though we love modern games, it’s great to look back at where we started and the joys of simplicity!
Do you remember Valspeak? This fun way of speaking was one of those odd trends that came and went in the 1980s. Valspeak describes a dialect that mimics hippy culture, African American lingo, and 1960s surfer dudes. This interesting language originated in California in the San Fernando Valley. It then gained attention in 1982 as Frank Zappa and Moon Unit released the tune “Valley Girl”. After this release, the language spread like wildfire and everyone was, like, totally awesome!
Though the 1980s was famous for lots of unique subcultures, there were some youngsters that liked to follow mainstream traditional styles too. Preppies were similar to the Yuppies, but with a conservative edge. Think about chinos, sailing, and lots of polo tees here!
Preppies were influenced by the “Official Preppy Handbook,” a tongue-in-cheek book written by Ivy League students in 1980. This style was inspired by the upper-class folk in New England and it looks very business casual too. Even if the youngsters didn’t have a trust fund, they were dressing as they did!
Popular brands worn by preppies include Lacoste, L.L. Bean, Brooks Brothers, and Ralph Lauren. Lots of stripes and lots of cardigans too!
#60. Hair Metal
Hair Metal bands were part of the heavy metal subculture in the 1980s, except these bands could be recognized via their statement hair. Hard rock and crazy fashion were mixed as bands strutted up and down the Los Angeles Strip with half a can of hairspray in their hair.
Though longer hair and makeup sound more feminine, the hair metal bands were known for dirty songs, groupies, and lots of booze. They were rock and roll personalized! Key names from this era include Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Twisted Sister, and Van Halen. Their music is still loved today, but unfortunately, the style didn’t stand the test of time.
Pop groups come and go, but some make a big impact. A key 1980s mention is Bananrama. This 80s pop group was formed by three best friends from London. Through their pop music and iconic 80s, they became a household name.
Key hits from this trio include “Venus” and “Cruel Summer”, tunes you’ll definitely remember. From chic berets to ultra-teased blonde hair, the style was also their strong suit. These girls were always seen in high-waisted denim mom jeans and cute crop tops and bralettes were common too. If you were a teenage girl in this era you wished you were in this trio.
#62. Penny Loafers
Are you a fan of business casual shoes? If you are, the humble penny loafer is an 80s fad you’ll love. These shoes grew popular after Ivy League students embraced them. They started as a college campus trend, these shoes soon hit the mainstream and you could find them in cities worldwide.
You can still find these shoes today! Penny loafers are still a popular shoe for a fancy event or business meeting. These shoes are slip-on and usually feature intricate topstitching details on study leather. The most common colors are black and brown, but you can find some funky colors too.
#63. Care Bears
Care Bears are cute multi-colored teddy bears that all have a different theme. Whether you opt for the lucky care bear or the rainbow bear, there’s one for every personality. These popular bears also had a TV show where the characters came to life before kids’ eyes.
Though these soft toys were designed for children, they are still a cult classic today. True vintage bears from the 1980s are highly sought after and some toy collectors will pay more than $10,000 for a full collection. If you have an old Care Bear laying around, you might want to check how much it’s worth online!
#64. Funky Earrings
Jewelry is a great way to express yourself. Not only that but there tend to be unique jewelry trends every season. Because of this, you can generally identify the time period from the earring style, and the 80s were no exception to this rule.
When it came to earrings, the 80s put on a show. These accessories were in funky shapes, geometric designs, and neon pops of color. Popular styles included large hoops in pinks or greens, lighting strike shapes, and triangular designs. If you love this aesthetic, you’re in luck! These earrings can still be bought online today.
#65. Stirrup Leggings
Do you remember stirrup leggings? Similar to the leggings we know and love today, these pants were form-fitting and stretchy. The key aspect that separates other pants from these unique trousers is their extra material at the hem of the pants. This stirrup end was traditionally used to keep the leggings down whilst horse riders were wearing boots.
Though stirrup leggings were born out of functionality, they soon became a fashion statement. These unique pants were popular in America and Europe in the early to mid-80s. Stirrup pants were comfortable, easy to move in, and they could match with a range of other garments.
#66. Banana Clips
Similar to other 80s accessories, the banana clip is a defining style point. Like scrunchies, this was a popular hairstyle for girls nationwide. But, what is a banana clip?
These clips had a curved shape (hence their name) and mimic the claw clips we love today. The banana clip comes with pointed teeth that were used to scrape hair back into a ponytail. These teeth were specifically designed to hold the hair in place – even in the wind.
Other popular banana clip hairstyles include low buns, high ponytails, and even loose updos. A popular pony-style hairdo with this accessory was a high pony and permed curly hair. This created a contrast between the front of your hair and the back, giving drama and volume!
Did you collect marbles? These simple toys were popular with kids in the 1980s and it’s easy to see why. These small balls feature lots of different colors and intricate designs. They often had swirl designs and the marbles that had no space between the colors were the most popular when collecting.
Marbles were around longer than the 80s, and you can even find collectible marbles online from the 1930s. But, it’s the 1980s we often associate them with due to their boom in popularity.
If you’re interested in collecting marbles or working out the value of your own, look at their color. Typically, true vintage marbles have brighter colors as they were hand-made one by one. On the other hand, batch-produced marbles look duller.
#68. Mood Rings
Sometimes it’s hard to know what you’re exactly feeling. This is where a mood ring comes in handy. These fun pieces of jewelry actually originated in New York in the 1970s, but they became popular with teens in the 1980s.
The gem or band on a mood ring changes color when heat is activated. However, these rings came with a little pamphlet describing what each color means. This allows the wearer to identify what their body heat is telling them about their mood.
Here’s a quick rundown of the key mood ring colors:
- Dark blue/Navy. This color symbolizes the wearer is resting. This is the default color of the ring.
- Turquoise. If your ring turns turquoise (or light blue), it means you’re pleased.
- Green. Though some say green means jealousy, it can also signal you’re relaxed.
- Yellow. This fun color shows that you’re feeling happy.
- Red. If your ring shows a red color, watch out! This means you’re angry.
- Pink. This color often symbolizes love, but in a mood ring, it means you’re unhappy.
#69. Hair Spray
We all know that hairspray was popular in the 1980s, but do you know which brand? The most popular spray from this period was Aqua Net Hairspray. This trusty brand allowed men and women worldwide to achieve a dramatic glam rock hairstyle with ease.
The big hairstyles of the 1980s are known for taking hours of teasing and spraying to perfect. If you were on a night out during this time period, it’s likely the whole room smelled like a can of Aqua Net.
Like fashion, there are popular workout fads too. Right now cross fit is big, but in the 1980s it was aerobics classes. You probably remember the bright spandex outfits, or perhaps you’ve seen one of the meme videos that has resurfaced recently. However, though the outfits look funny now, these classes were the height of cool.
Aerobics mixed muscular strength, endurance, and cardio. This gives a full-body workout and all major muscle groups get used. So, while this dance workout looks silly, it actually does wonders for your body. Do we think it’ll come back anytime soon? Probably not, but we have fond memories.
#71. Shoelace Hair Clips
If there’s one thing the 1980s was known for, it was hair accessories. This decade had some major innovations in the accessories department, we wish it was still this creative today! Another forgotten hair fad from this time is shoelace hair clips.
These clips involve a standard hair slider with multicolored or neon shoelaces attached. While this sounds a bit odd, when placed above a low bun or with a ponytail, they actually complimented the look well. Bring these back soon!
#72. T-Shirt Rings
T-Shirt Rings, also known as T-shirt Clips, are another 1980s fad that was quickly forgotten. These quirky accessories came and left fast, but many of us will remember them from our childhoods.
The function of these clips was to tighten a t-shirt around your waist or hips. Unlike tying a t-shirt, a clip held it in place better and added an extra embellishment. This is an ideal pairing for a slouchy tee and some high-waisted acid-wash mom jeans.
These unique clips are hard to find now, however some online stores still offer them. They come in bright neon colors and some even have sparkles or diamonds on them too. Very bold, very 80s.
#73. Jelly Bracelets
Jelly bracelets, or shag bands, were another quick fad in the 1980s. These cheap accessories came in a range of different colors and wearers would stack them for a chunky look. You could also link bracelets together for a different look.
The different colors supposedly had different meanings, but the meanings often depend on who you’re asking. Alongside the multi-color options, jelly bracelets also came in glow in the dark and neon options too. Perfect for a night at the local disco.
#74. Lip Smackers
Created by Bonne Bell Cosmetics, Lip Smackers are an enduring beauty icon. Though these became popular in the 1980s, they survived up until 2015 when the company finally pulled the plug on these delicious lip glosses.
The premise of these lip glosses was that each flavor was based on a different fruit or soda pop drink. Popular flavors included 7up, Dr. Pepper, and even Coca-Cola. You could also buy these popular lip glosses in sour grapes, lemon, and other fruity options too.
Barbie was around before the 1980s and she is also still available today, however, some of the 80s dolls were iconic in their own right. These 80s versions are now highly collectible and if you have this toy in pristine condition you might be able to collect a good price for it.
Popular limited release 1980s Barbie dolls included:
- Fashion Jeans Barbie
- Astronaut Barbie
- Tropical Barbie
- Happy Holidays Barbie
- Crystal Barbie
- Day to Night Barbie
- Western Barbie
- Peaches and Cream Barbie
- Barbie and the Rockers
- Great Shape Barbie
The Barbie styles from this era encapsulated the fad trends of the time. From big hair and neon color to aerobics costumes and blazers, Barbie embraced every 1980s trend. Our personal favorite is Peaches and Cream Barbie, as this model offers a dramatic bright pink dress, a white bodice, and lots of ruffles!
#78. Mad Libs
Though you can still buy Mad Libs now, this fun word game was popular in the 1980s. If you were young in the decade, this will likely be a childhood memory for you. Hours of fun could be had with Mad Libs and friends.
Recently, Mad Libs released an updated 80s version of the game, proving the popularity of this era. Perhaps it’s nostalgia, perhaps the 80s are coming back into fashion, but we love it. Whether you’re young or old, try playing Mad Libs on a rainy day to pass the time.
#79. Side Ponytails
Side ponytails are a well-known 1980s fad. Whether you wore yours high or low, every girl experimented with this style at one stage. To give the look extra volume, girls often teased their pony with hairspray to make it stand higher for longer. When it comes to hair, letting it hang flat was not an option in this decade.
This hairstyle was often paired with scrunchies or colorful clips to add some extra detail to the look. Celebrities like Cyndi Lauper and Madonna were spotted with this style, proving it’s cool.
#80. Sticker Albums
Do you like collecting things? If you do, a sticker album is the 1980s fad for you.
Though many of our collections are now online (*cough* NFTs *cough*), back in the day it was normal to collect physical items. Panini stickers were the most popular type in the 1980s and this brand would release different albums and themes for collectors to buy.
Popular 1980s sticker albums included:
- Disney films – such as The Jungle Book
- Care Bears
- Italia ‘90
- Star Wars
- Back To The Future
- Smash Hits
- My Little Pony
When it came to stickers, basically any pop culture event, film, or character got their own album. Perfect for anyone who is into film or TV.
#81. HyperColor Shirts
Though these unique shirts were created towards the end of the decade, they were still an enduring icon of 1980s style. HyperColor shirts were essentially baggy t-shirts that came in a base color. When your body temperature is heated up, the t-shirt could change color in that area. This is a similar premise to Mood rings, another 80s fad.
These were popular as thermal technology hadn’t been seen in clothes before. These shirts could be purchased in bright pink, blue, and purple colors – perfect for the bright 80s color palette. Though HyperColor shirts were cool, if you wore one on a sweaty day it would emphasize your sweat patches! So proceed with caution.
#82. Charm Bracelets
The 1980s was all about accessorizing to the max. There are a range of different options to choose from (and many are featured on this list), but if you want to find an extra unique option a charm bracelet might be for you.
Though you could find charm bracelets in a range of different colors, materials, and from different brands, the most popular was Flash Charms. This brand offered plastic charms in different shapes and colors. These charms were easy to clip onto any necklace or bracelet, making them a versatile and affordable option.
Of course, Flash Charms included typical 80s motifs. For example, you could find roller skates, big headphones, hairdryers, and skateboards too. Plus, they were all in neon colors.
Arcades are an undeniable symbol of the 1980s. These spots served as meeting places for kids and teens alike, allowing them to consume candy, soda, and to enjoy the latest arcade games. If you’re watching a 1980s film or TV show, you can bet that there will be at least one scene in an arcade!
Popular arcade games included Missile Command, Pac-Man, Rally-X, and Phoenix. While these games have evolved into modern options now, you can still download and play original versions too.
If you’d rather stick to the true arcade setup, there are still some existing arcades or you can invest in an arcade game for your home. It might be cheaper to visit an arcade though!
#84. Strawberry Shortcake
Strawberry Shortcake was born in the 1980s and she was instantly a hit with all young girls. While you can still watch her today, the 1980s series is renowned for being the best version. This show ran from March 1980 until 1985. Generations of girls have watched this show and it won’t be going away anytime soon.
There were many Strawberry Shortcake-inspired toys and clothes in the 1980s. While many of these don’t cost much now, some rare pieces are collectible and can get you a decent price if in good condition. Make sure you clean out your old toy box today!