Category: Fashion Flashback Friday

Fashion Flashback Friday: The 1980s

Fashion Flashback Friday: The 1980s

When you think of ’80s fashion, you probably think big, bright and bold. There was no one-size-fits-all when it came to style, although most of the clothing seems to have been one size: large. You could be preppy, yuppie, punk, hip-hop – possibly all within one outfit.

Let’s explore some of the trends that made the ’80s the ’80s.

Power Suits

Although the phrase “power suit” conjures images of douche-bros with slicked back hair (oh who are we kidding, we totally have a crush on Gordon Gekko), the power suit was also the uniform of the ’80s working woman, from Diane Keaton to Melanie Griffith (and of course actual non-fictional people).

Get me the head of Darryl Hannah

Made popular by designer Giorgio Armani, the power suit – for both men and women – featured broad shoulders and wide lapels. For men, a crisp shirt with banker stripes, suspenders and a classic silk tie completed the look. Think Gekko of course, but also Judd Nelson in St. Elmo’s Fire or Richard Gere in American Gigolo.

Judd Nelson in St. Elmo’s Fire
Richard Gere: just an American Gigolo

Women’s power suits were apparently aimed making women as sexless as possible, with giant shoulder pads and below-the-knee skirts. Add a high-necked blouse and “pussy bow” and you’re totally ready to pass yourself off as an executive and steal Harrison Ford.

Babies also make great accessories. (Diane Keaton in Baby Boom)
Working Girl Melanie Griffith before the tragic plastic surgery

Athletic Wear

“Athleisure” was a buzzword in 2016, but this trend began in the early ’80s. Track suits, made from polyester and rayon as well as velour made their way off the fields and into the mainstream.

They were also popular among swingers.

The aerobics craze, coupled with the popularity of movies like Fame and Flashdance,  made legwarmers a thing, and these colorful tubes – ideally the same color as your Forenza sweater – could be found on young women from Boston to the Bay Area.

Thanks Jane Fonda


Lisa Birnbach’s 1980 book The Preppy Handbook was intended to skewer the upper middle class, but instead ended up inspiring a trend.

Preppy fashion took its cues from New England prep-schools – think khakis, oxford shirts and sport coats (or blazers for women). Leisure wear included brightly colored pants with little designs and polo shirts. A popped collar was de rigueur.

Michael Bowen and Deborah Foreman show off their Valley Girl Prep

Add some pearl earrings and a little alligator (or polo player) on your breast and you’re all ready to party at Dorrian’s Red Hand.

Clothing was conservatively tailored, but came in bright colors, like pink and Kelly green. Tying a sweater around your neck was not unheard of, and if you happened to be wearing a sweater around your neck while appearing in a high school movie of the period, chances are, you’re the bad guy.

Classic ’80s villains


Punk traces its beginnings to England in the ’70s, where it was seen as “an intentional rebuttal of the perceived excess and pretension found in mainstream music.” Shorter, unkempt hair and dirty, torn t-shirts paired with jeans and a leather jacket replaced the slick, flashy styles of the disco era.

By the ’80s, Punk music had evolved in both the U.S. and UK and so did its fashion. T-shirts with political slogans and customized leather jackets or denim vests became popular.


Hair was spiked, sculpted into a mohawk or cut really short.

London Punks
This dude is not fucking around

Body piercings and tattoos were in and the Doc Marten or combat boot adorned most punk feet.


Designers like Vivienne Westwood, Anna Sui and Jean-Paul Gaultier began to introduce punk elements into their lines, which brought many of the styles into the mainstream.

Vivienne Westwood (far right) and her punk-inspired designs


Hip-hop originated among African-American and Latin youth in NYC, L.A., Chicago and other inner cities, each of which contributed its own elements.

In the late ’70s, sportswear brands such as Le Coq Sportif, Kangol, Adidas and Pro-Keds attached themselves to the emerging hip hop scene. Its adherents wore brightly colored track suits, leather bomber jackets and brand name sneakers, such as Pro-Keds, Puma, Converse’s Chuck Taylor All-stars, and Adidas Superstars.

Heavy gold jewelry – chains for men and big earrings for women – became hallmarks of hip-hop fashion. Other popular accessories included bucket hats, nameplates and multiple rings. Luxury brand names like Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Gucci and logos adorned custom-designed tracksuits, jackets and mink coats, made popular in the early ’80s by Dapper Dan, a Harlem-based designer.

Grandmaster Flash

Toward the end of the decade, styles began to incorporate traditional African influences, such as the fez, Kente cloth (a textile) hats and kufis (another type of hat). Blousey pants were famously worn by artists like MC Hammer.

Please Hammer, don’t hurt me with your enormous pants

And that wraps up our partial overview of the ’80s fashion scene. We hope you enjoyed it. If you want to learn more, check out the sites below.

And just for fun, here are some pics of Les Femmes in all their gnarly ’80s glory.

Luscious Lane chilling circa 1986. Oversized Oxford, double socks.
Luscious Lane 1987
Luscious Lane prom pic, 1988
Hellz Kitten looking thrilled for the first day of 8th grade, 1983
Hellz Kitten made it through the year. 8th Grade grad, 1984. Sweet mullet!
Hellz Kitten prom, 1987. Her enthusiasm is overwhelming.
Ruby Mechant (right) and sister, 1986
Ruby looking adorbs in her Popeye shirt, 1983
Ruby Mechant in 1982 – already naked!

Crazy about the ’80s? Come see Decadent: 100 Years of Burlesque at The Triad on April 22.  TICKETS

**SPECIAL LIMITED TIME OFFER** Buy one ticket, get the second at half price with promo code BOGO50 until 4/1! BUY 

Fashion Flashback Friday: The ’60s

Fashion Flashback Friday: The ’60s

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, peeps! We hope you’re getting your green on today. And speaking of fashion, the ’60s had some dope styles.

’60s fashion ran the gamut from buttoned-up and tailored at the beginning to wild and crazy at the end. Jackie Kennedy was the style icon of the early ’60s, with her tailored, smart Chanel-type suits and pillbox hats. The mid-’60s gave us the bright colors and patterns of the Mod movement and by the end of the decade, “anything goes” and hippie chic were all the rage.

Click any photo for more info.

Early ’60s dresses resembled ’50s styles
More ’50s style in the ’60s. Tight waist and full skirts. Shorter hemlines, though.
And then along came Jackie
And her pillboxes
And effortless style
Women copied her look
Women copied her look
The mid-60s gives us the mod look, with bright patterns and colors.

Twiggy was the mod “It Girl”
She embodied the “pixie” look
Audrey was another popular pixie
Brigitte Bardot rocked the sex kitten scene
More Brigitte
The Babydoll look was big in the mid to late '60s
The Babydoll look was big in the mid to late ’60s.
More babydoll looks
More babydoll looks
And then there were the hippies…London’s Carnaby St.
More British hippies
More British hippies
Festival hippies
Festival hippies
Protesting hippies
Protesting hippies
Who needs fashion? 1967
Who needs fashion? (1967)
Men's silhouettes were tighter
Men’s silhouettes were more tailored to the body
Mod Men, London
Mod Men, London
Male hippies
Male hippies

We hope you liked this groovy journey through history. To see more ’60s fashion, including hair, shoes and accessories, try the sites below. They have amazing info and you can even buy stuff.

Be sure to come back next week as we dust off our bell bottoms and tackle the Me Decade.

And if you haven’t gotten your tickets for Decadent: 100 Years of Burlesque you can do so HERE.

Have a great weekend!

Fashion Flashback Friday: The 1950s

Fashion Flashback Friday: The 1950s

Welcome back to our weekly review of fashions of the past. Here’s an overview of the popular styles of the ’50s, with links to more info. Enjoy!

With WWII over, and with it, the rules that governed everything from hemlines to sleeve-lengths, fashion exploded. Bright colors, full skirts, some using as much as six yards of fabric, were all the rage. With the economy booming, people had more money to buy more clothes and fashion became a statement to illustrate one’s social status. Women too, were expected to dress up even while at home.

Last week, we learned about Dior’s 1947 New Look, and that’s the silhouette that carried over through much of the ’50s.

Dior’s New Look
More New Look
The New Look makes its way to the masses
Skinny version of the New Look
It also comes in black
And leopard! (Want so bad!)
Balenciaga’s “sack” dress, which doesn’t even look good on the model
More sack madness
How about a two-piece sack?

For more, check the sites below.

For men, the ’50s was the era of the “gray flannel suit,” with styles moving away from the wilder fashions of the ’40s (zoot suit, anyone?) and into a more conservative era. Suits were narrower and less fussy.

Men in suits
An evening at the bathhouse
Cardigans were also a thing for men
Cardigans were also a thing for men
Hats, of course, we're de rigueur
Hats, of course, were de rigueur

Read more about men’s fashions, including casual wear, HERE.

And for more info on 1950s fashion, check the sites below.

Don’t forget to check back next week as we cover the fabulous, funky ’60s.

And tickets are now ON SALE for Decadent: 100 Years of Burlesque. Click HERE.

See you on 4/22!


Fashion Flashback Friday: the 1940s

Fashion Flashback Friday: the 1940s

World War II affected pretty much everything in the ’40s and fashion is no exception. Fabric rationing forced hemlines higher and silhouettes mimicked Utility styles introduced in Britain. They featured boxy shoulders, a nipped-in waist and knee-length skirts. Necklines were modest and sleeves fell to the elbow or wrist.

Utility dresses
Actress Deborah Kerr in a Utility dress
’40s street style

Popular dress styles included the shirtwaist, the peplum and the wrap, all of which remain popular today.

Shirtwaist dresses
Shirtwaist dresses
Peplum suit
Wrap dresses

Skirts were usually A-line, flaring out from the knee, and somewhere between full and pencil. In 1947, French designer Christian Dior introduced his “New Look,” and based on that, skirts became either very tight or very full.

Dior “New Look” silhouette, full skirt, tiny waist
A Dior pencil skirt

Suits were popular as daywear because they could be mixed and matched if necessary. Blouses featured a V-neck or small rounded peter pan collar.


The 1939 movie version of Gone with the Wind made the princess dress popular for evening. It featured a fitted bodice, long full skirt and puffy sleeves, drop sleeves or no sleeves.

Princess evening gowns

Another popular evening look was a long, gathered column gown with a short dinner jacket.

Evening gown with jacket

Many women couldn’t afford long formal gowns, so semi-formal cocktail dresses were popular. They were frequently modeled after day styles but made from upgraded fabrics.

Cocktail dress

Women’s pants first came into the picture in the ’30s, but in the ’40s they became necessary for women working in factories. Like the ’30s versions, pants were high-waisted with wide legs. It’s also the first time coveralls or overalls are seen for women, again thanks to factory work.


Shoes were more utilitarian in the ’40s than the ’30s and often featured a chunky heel or wedge. Since leather was scarce due to the war, shoes were often made of other materials such as reptile skin.



Popular hat styles included the beret, imported from France, and the turban.


Women working in factories had to keep their hair free from getting caught in machinery so many wore a knitted snood or tied hair up in a scarf.


Rationing affected men’s styles as well. As we saw last week, men’s clothing of the ’30s was aimed at making a dude look big and powerful, but new regulations that dictated cuff and lapel lengths kept suits more fitted.

Slimmer fitting suit

After the war, military styles, such as the trench coat, showed up in civilian closets.

The Zoot Suit, with it’s super baggy fit and bright colors, made its first appearance in the ’30s and was considered unpatriotic during the war years because of all the extra fabric it used. By then it was also associated with gangsters.

Zoot suit couple
Zoot suit couple
Zoot suit caszh
Zooty tux

Despite that, it becomes very popular in the late ’40s and ’50s, which we will investigate next week!

Hope you enjoyed this overview of ’40s fashion. If you want to read more, check out the sites below.
this site
Marie Claire, 1940s Fashion in pics

And if you missed it, you can read about 1920s fashion here and 1930s fashion here.

As always, thanks for reading and catch you next week!

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Fashion Flashback Friday: The 1930s

Fashion Flashback Friday: The 1930s

So it’s the Great Depression and all, but that doesn’t mean we have to dress like it. Fashion in the ’30s is surprisingly glamorous. Gone is the boxy, boylike flapper figure of the ’20s and in comes a more feminine silhouette that emphasizes a small waist. Shoulder pads and fluttery sleeves help make the waist look smaller, and hems fall to calf length and lower.

Because more women are working and taking care of bidness outside the home, they suddenly need a whole new category of wardrobe. Introducing the “day” dress, which falls between a house dress – worn, shockingly enough, only at home – and an evening dress, which is worn during those fancy nights sipping champagne at the Rainbow Room.

Day dresses
Day dresses for the 'stout' woman
Day Dresses for the ‘Stout’ Woman
More day dresses!

Evening gowns begin to feature silky, slinky or metal lamé fabrics and are embellished with sequins and beads for extra sparkle. Cutting fabric on the bias is new and exciting, and allows the material to drape more flatteringly and hug the curves.

Slinky Evening Dress
Slinky Evening Dress
’30s Evening Dresses on display at Metropolitan Museum of Art

The zipper is another new innovation that makes life easier, as is the beginning of mass-produced clothes, known as “ready-to-wear,” freeing women from having to sew their own clothes all the time. (Although many still do, it being the depression and all.)

Women’s pants begin to make an appearance, albeit mostly for beachwear and other casual occasions. Women’s trousers are wide-legged and high-waisted and sort of resemble a skirt in the way they drape and move.

Hats are still big, with 1920s-style cloches and berets still popular in the early part of the decade, later giving way to the more relaxed slouch and the flatter, wide-brimmed pancake-type hats.

Greta Garbo rocks the slouch hat
Greta Garbo rocks the slouch hat
Pancake hat
Pancake hat

The ’30s were known as the golden-age of Hollywood, so we would be remiss in not including some of the fashionable ladies of the time, like Jean Harlow, Carole Lombard (aka Mrs. Clark Gable) and Ginger Rogers.

Jean Harlow
Carole Lombard
Carole Lombard
Ginger Rogers
Ginger Rogers
Also some random (but very chic) actresses

For men, shoulder pads and wide-legged pants are also a thing. The “ideal” male silhouette is broad-shouldered and athletic, so suits were cut to accentuate the shoulders, slim waist and broad legs. Jackets were cut a little longer to give the appearance of height and tapered at the waist to form a V-shape, again to give the appearance of heft and power.

Silver foxes in suits

So there you have it – a quick overview of the fashion of the ’30s. For more information (and photos!) check out the sites below. (by the way, LFF is on pinterest too! Follow us!)

As always, thanks for reading! If you have any comments, hit us up. And if you like this, why not share it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr, etc., etc.

Don’t forget to join us on April 22 for Decadent: 100 Years of Burlesque. Ticket info coming soon! See you next week.


Fashion Flashback Friday: The 1920s

Fashion Flashback Friday: The 1920s

20sFFFHeaderHello! Today is Friday and we are focused on fashion! Specifically fashion of the 1920s, it being Roaring Twenties week and all.

The twenties marks a new, less restrictive era, and that shows up in its fashion. Women began saying adios to restrictive corsets, ushering in the era of a more boyish figure. Hems were on the rise as women got the vote and began to work outside the home.

Men’s fashion also became less formal, with men preferring short jackets to those with long tails and some adopting short pants or knickers for casual wear and sports outings. (Think Bagger Vance.)

Bagger? I don't even know 'er! (SORRY)
Bagger? I don’t even know ‘er! (SORRY)

Of course even “casual” in the 1920s is way more formal than we are used to today.

You're gonna love the way you look!
You’re gonna love the way you look!

Let’s face it, when people think of the Jazz Age, they think glitz, glamour and Gatsby.

Thaaaat's what I'm talkin' about
Thaaaat’s what I’m talkin’ about
Flappers gonna flap
Flappers gonna flap
Sparkly dress at the Met
Sparkly dress at the Met
Met evening gowns
Met evening gowns
Street style
Street fashion
Waiting for Uber
Waiting for Uber
Paging ZZ Top
Paging ZZ Top
Flapper figure
Flapper figure
Sweater? Well, you know...
Sweater? Well, you know…

As always, there are tons of resources if you want to learn more about 20s fashion and see more fun photos. Check some below:

Vintage Dancer

Glamour Daze


We hope you liked this, and be sure to check back every Friday as we highlight a different era. Stay tuned for ticket info for our fun show Decadent: 100 years of Burlesque, coming up on April 22 at the Triad.

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