Fashion in the 1980s Influenced by TV

Written by hannah turnbull
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Fashion in the 1980s Influenced by TV
TV-inspired '80s fashion is still popular today. (annees 80 image by yannik LABBE from Fotolia.com)

The 1980s proved memorable for fashion, with a major shift in style from the previous decade. The tight clothing of the '70s gave way to a loose and slouchy look, while dance-inspired clothing got a boost from films including "Flashdance" and "Fame." Important fashion influences came from TV shows such as "Dynasty" and "Dallas," and as their ratings grew, so did the popularity of the characters' outfits.

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Eighties' fashion has a recognisable style. Women's clothing was tight on the bottom, and loose on the top. Slouchy T-shirts featuring slogans were a popular trend; wearers teamed them with a tight, brightly coloured skirts. The TV show "Dynasty," which featured many elaborate shoulder-padded outfits, sparked the trend toward large shoulder pads.

TV's Influence

The main influences on fashion in the '80s came from popular and long-standing TV shows including "Married With Children" and "The Crosby Show." Shows during this time usually ran for several consecutive years and were in a prime position to showcase new fashions. As shows gathered loyal audiences, the fashions worn by characters on the shows spread.

"Dynasty"

"Dynasty" ran from 1981 to 1989 and dominated the TV charts during the decade. The over-the-top styles worn by the characters became an instant hit and a worldwide trend. Extravagant "power suits" went from "Dynasty" to mainstream fashion and remained there until the late '90s. In 2009, many couture fashion shows branded their style "Dynasty fashion," giving a nod to the TV series that was still influencing fashion 20 years later.

Men's Fashion

TV shows in the '80s inspired not only women's fashion but also men's. Shows such as "Miami Vice" and "Magnum P.I." influenced on the clothing sold in stores. Men the world over began to wear tight, high-waisted trousers and matching jackets. Tom Selleck's very short shorts in "Magnum P.I." took off as a casual look for me. Men wore the shorts with tight T-shirts or colourful short-sleeved shirts.

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