The Ultimate Guide to 80s Fashion Icons: An Era of Style and Influences


The 80s were a golden era, characterized by big hair, bright colors, and bombastic personalities – a bold decade that ushered in a new wave of fashion icons who have left an indelible mark on the fashion industry.

Fashion Icons of the 80s

Madonna: The Queen of Pop rose to prominence in the 80s. Madonna’s edgy fashion choices, including her penchant for lace tops, crucifix accessories, and infamous cone bra, created a fashion revolution that terrified parents worldwide.

Michael Jackson: The King of Pop ruled the airwaves and blessed us with investment in military-style jackets, bejeweled gloves, and penny loafers worn with white socks. Michael Jackson was a vision of unmatched style, and he brought a new element of performative styling into pop culture.

Princess Diana: Her elegance, beauty, and timeless style became a global phenomenon. From swinging pearl earrings to padded blazer dresses and one-shoulder silhouettes, Princess Diana’s fashion sense is still emulated to this day.

Cher: Cher’s eclectic style and her ability to push fashion boundaries with her provocative and novel use of clothing established her as a cultural fashion icon.

Boy George: With his androgynous aesthetic and flamboyant style, Boy George revolutionized male fashion and continues to inspire new generations.

80s Trends Introduced by These Icons

Shoulder Pads: Introduced by the likes of Princess Diana, shoulder pads were emblematic of the 80s. They added structure to the silhouette and exuded a power statement, popular among working women.

Neon Colors: Michael Jackson, with his vivaciously colorful outfits, and Madonna, driven by her youthful adventurous spirit, made neon hues a colossal trend.

Athleisure: Everyone fondly recalls Jane Fonda, who solidified workout gear as everyday-wear. Her high cut leotards, fitted leggings, and statement belts were trendsetters for what is now a rapidly growing athleisure market.

Leather Jackets: From rock stars to actors, leather jackets were a favorite. This robust style symbol was popularized most notably by icons such as Michael Jackson and Madonna.

Pearls and Costume Jewellery: Princess Diana graced numerous events adorned with pearls, making them a staple accessory among women. Madonna followed suit with costume jewellery accentuating her outfits.

Breaking Down Iconic Outfits

Madonna’s Wedding Dress: Madonna’s wedding dress made waves during her wedding to Sean Penn. It was an ensemble of a lush white tulle dress, grenadine veil, and the iconic ‘Boy Toy’ belt.

Michael Jackson’s Thriller Jacket: This red iconic leather jacket, with its striking black V stripes, became an emblem of Jackson’s style and has inspired many renditions and homages.

Lady Diana’s Wedding Dress: The showstopper was graced with a dramatic 25-foot train that made the ornate ivory taffeta and antique lace concoction a masterpiece of the decade.

Cher’s Bob Mackie Dress: Cher’s head-turning Bob Mackie dress at the Oscars presented a daring outfit with feathers and rhinestones that is hard to forget.

80s Fashion: A Revolution in itself

The 80s fashion icons spurred a period marked by distinctiveness and individualism. They were courageous trendsetters who dared to experiment and unsettle the norms. They effectively democratized fashion, turning it into a platform for self-expression rather than just a marker of status or wealth.


The era of 80s fashion icons was not just about baggy sweaters, big shoulder pads, and neon colors. It was about a cultural and fashion revolution led by key figures who dared to challenge the conventional, explore the extraordinary, and articulate their identities through their sartorial choices. Today’s fashion landscape remains heavily inspired by these 80s fashion icons, illustrating their powerful influence and enduring legacy in the domain of style.

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