Leggings in the '80s

Written by renee greene
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Leggings in the '80s
In "Grease," Olivia Newton John wore black leggings with a "Candies" shoe. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

The fashion theme of the '80s was to wear something "funky." Part of the fashion aspect of '80s funky was a women's high-leg tight stretch (spandex) pant called "leggings." Leggings were not new, but they did experience a retroactive rebirth in the 1980s. During the '50s and '60s, leggings were more popularly known as "capri pants" or "hippie jeans," a snug-fitting alternative trouser.

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Leggings with Jackets

Leggings were often worn "catsuit style," but were likely covered up with a mini-, midi- or bubble-hem dress or skirt and a short jacket. The '80s fashion era was explosive and risky, but there was still a bit of old-school modesty and decorum at the time. The style disappeared again during the '90s and then experienced a new-millennium resurgence in the mid-2000s.

Leggings in the '80s
Leggings with high-heel shoes was a dressy evening-wear style. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Leggings with Long or Oversized T-shirts

The most popular leggings style for casual or party wear was with a long or oversized shirt or T-shirt. The '80s was the decade of "almost anything goes," and people were no longer afraid to go outdoors in what appeared to be relaxing housewear or pajama-like styles.

Leggings in the '80s
The most popular way to wear leggings was with oversized shirts. (Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Leggings With Wide Skirts

Madonna popularised a particular look with leggings, which would be worn with a wide, short puffy skirt with netting underneath. Girls wearing leggings with puffy skirts, netting and/or lace, cropped-top jackets and fingerless gloves were said to be wearing the "Madonna look." This look often appeared in public topped off with a boyish-looking hat or wild hair decorations, long fingernails, or even a neon hair colour, such as purple, pink or green.

Leggings in the '80s
(PhotoObjects.net/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Leggings As Sportswear

Leggings have been very comfortable and durable wear for the sports enthusiast. From exercising for fitness to basketball and ballet practice, the fabric is so expandable that movement is very seldom and issue while wearing leggings. Some leggings stop just below the knee, at the calf, all the way to the ankle, or as far down as the feet, with stirrups (footbands) attached to them.

Leggings in the '80s
(George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

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