These 80’s Fashion Fails Will Leave You Cringing

Ruffle Me Up

This outfit is just too much. Between the bright fuschia ruffles and the matching earrings, teamed with the purple hair piece, she optimized the very worst of 80’s fashion. Perhaps the worst part of this is that this style was seen as a the most trendy and cool.


Striped Out

Coordinating was all the rage in the 80’s, but these two took twinning to new heights when they posed in these bright striped leggings. If these two were walking down the street, we would have to do a double take to see if our eyes were deceiving us. To add to this fashion faux pas, the contrasting backpack adds even more color to this already bright outfit. Just looking at this, we’re so happy that prominent stripes are a trend of the past.


Hair Volcano

How could we forget the big hair in the 80’s. It was one thing that every woman wanted to have, and would go to great heights to achieve it. From hairspray to mousse and gel, there were many different ways that women achieved the volume they so desired. In addition, the trend was unisex and it was also men who were rocking the outrageous hairstyle. We might look back and laugh now, but it was all the rage back then.



Read Me

In the 80’s, many people expressed themselves through fashion and their personal style. In some cases, we can understand 80’s fashion, but in this case, we can’t. This woman looks very proud of her book sweater but we’re not exactly sure why. Many people would see this as a total fashion fail, yet this woman is rocking this outfit like it’s nobody’s business. You have to give it to her, she clearly does not care what anyone else thinks.


Couples Costume

These twin couples are really a sight to see. Not only do they think alike when it comes to their taste in partners, they also share ideas when it comes to fashion. The men seem to be donning some kind of chaps on top of their high waisted jeans, as well as a tribal choker, while the women went for a bright patterned sweat suit. Standing side by side, you can’t help but question their choices, but they seem to be pretty pleased with themselves.


The Louis Vuitton Don

It’s not unusual to have a favorite expensive, luxury brand but this woman went slightly overboard. It is not hard to tell which designer brand is her favorite and she looks very proud of herself in the Louis Vuitton get up. We do however, have to question the authenticity of this jacket, it’s not something we have seen in any Louis Vuitton stores or online, so either it is vintage chic or a fake designer disaster.

90s-louis vuitton

Shirt Sisters

Before going out, friends will often ask one another what they are wearing so that they are on the same wavelength with dress code. These friends took coordination very seriously when they showed off their matching patterned shirts. This kind of shirt was increasingly popular in the 80’s so to an extent they were very on trend. Nevertheless, the matching nature of both their shirts and their hair seems a little much, but this photo probably made for a great memory.



The superhero blockbuster movie Batman was released in the 80’s, so it is no surprise that everyone was infatuated with the logo and anything to do with the film. Not only was this teen loving his batman t-shirt, his mullet hairstyle, made popular by U.S. hip-hop group the Beastie Boys, confirmed that his look could not have been more appropriate in the 80’s. This slick guy must have gotten all the ladies in the 80’s, despite his outfit being very embarrassing nowadays.



Big Hair, Don’t Care

We have already established that big hair was the cool thing to have in the 80’s, but we can’t help but wonder if this woman has gone too far? Her hair looks to reach heights of more than seven inches and while the volume is undeniably impressive, the general look is a sight to see, and not in a good way. This along with her partners extreme mullet makes for an amazing photo and something that perfectly epitomizes 80’s hair.

80s-bad hair

Pretty In Pink

There is no denying that if Sarah Jessica Parker was to come across this photo now, she would probably bow her head in shame. The Sex And The City fashionista is more accustomed to her Manolo Blahniks and Chanel outfits rather than pink and white crop tops with matching sweatpants. She looks like she should be belting “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” at the top of her lungs. Thankfully, Parker’s fashion evolved from here on out.


Like Mother, Like Daughter

We can’t work out if this mother-daughter duo is incredibly cute or incredibly terrifying. From the matching outfits, to the matching glasses and hair, it looks like it could be something out of a horror movie. On the other hand, the perm hair style was very common in the 80s, so the mother wanted to match with her young daughter. In later years, this is probably a photo they looked back in absolute horror.

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Poodle Pic

There are no two ways about it, these outrageously big hairstyles are a fashion no-no. These two girls resemble poodles with their voluptuous hair that could be seen from miles away. It almost looks like these women are donning wigs instead of their normal hair to achieve this look, but they are not. There must have been a huge amount of hairspray to keep it up like that. We won’t talk about the large hoop earrings though, they’ve managed to make their way back into fashion today!

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Double Denim

This is a prime example of when a trend from decades ago makes its way back into fashion. A couple of years ago, people would look at such picture and laugh at the denim head-to-toe, but today, no one would dare. In recent years, double denim hit all of the big runways and it came back into fashion in a big way. All the celebrity fashion icons were photographed in it and it became a fashion staple. We have the 80’s to thank for this one.


Paint Job

These women took the phrase ‘a splash of color’ quite literally with these outfits. We have previously noted the popularity of lycra leggings, leotards and leg warmers that became amongst the biggest fashion crazes of the 80’s, but these women went a tad too far. Their leotards look like they were in the middle of a bad paint job which ended up all over their clothes. We’re happy that this trend stayed in the past and didn’t resurrect itself in today’s fashion.


Mad Makeup

It seems that the neon trend in the 80’s did not stop at clothing. This woman has decided to use neon make up to highlight her face. Between the green and pink eye shadow and lipstick, we can promise that it really isn’t enhancing her features the way she has intended. We also have to mention the crimped hair. It was considered so cool then but it is absolutely tragic now. Lastly, the photo brings a bit of nostalgia as the woman holds a VHS tape.


In Sync

We simply can’t talk about 80’s fashion fails without mentioning the all important workout gear. From lycra leotards to leggings and leg warmers, fitness icons on workout DVD’s made it cool and then the trend spread like wildfire. There was no originality when it came to workout clothes, every wanted what their favorite fitness star was wearing, which usually included a barely there leotard. These two women coordinated perfectly when it came for the time to do a joint workout.



The bold looks in the 80’s did not start and finish with fashion as women wanted to be as striking as possible in all aspects of their looks. Not only were the makeup colors bright and intensely hued, they were also applied in a way that it would smudge all over the face, creating a smokey eye look. While we still use smokey eyes in makeup today, it is a completely different look and you wouldn’t find top makeup artists drawing inspiration from looks in the 80’s!


Lace And Leather

With rock stars also being fashion icons in the 80’s, perhaps the coolest thing you could wear was a leather biker jacket that emulated the some of the biggest artists around. The rock look was everything and ranged from leather jackets to pants, crimped hair, red lipstick and of course, studs. Morgan Fairchild’s leather and metal belt look really hit the nail on the head and in addition to her over the top mullet, this is what the 80’s was all about.


Rock It

We’re not sure if The Rock ever lived down this photo. These days, he is more commonly known as Dwayne Johnson, the actor, but this stage must have been prior to his stint in Wrestling. Looking like this, he doesn’t exactly appear as the tough competitor. A fanny pack doesn’t exactly scream manly. Speaking of the fanny pack, we are sad to inform you that this embarrassing bag made a comeback this year and the coolest celebrities around have been sporting them.

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Regular ponytails were far too mainstream for the 80’s fashion world and they thought of a way to manipulate it to make it ‘cool’. The side ponytail was born and in true 80’s style, of course it was not discreet, as it sat at the very top of the head, making it impossible to miss. Add a scrunchie to the hairstyle and you have the perfect look. However, looking back on it now, it was probably one of the worst hairstyles, and we’re so happy it’s gone.


Slope Style

80’s fashion did not just start and end for everyday. The bold styles and colors were injected into every activity you could think of, from aerobics, to rollerskating, to skiing! These three women are showing off their 80’s ski fashion, when it is just too cold and not appropriate to wear a neon, lycra leotard, you just throw on a neon ski jacket instead! This teamed with the matching sunglasses really made for a look that would have all of your friends envious.


Too Much Tease

You may or may not have noticed that almost everyone had bangs back in the 80’s, but it was hidden by the fact that these people teased their hair so much that it stood up like an electric shock. It might have taken almost an entire bottle of hairspray to get the hair looking like this, but it was all worth it. Not only did this woman go overboard with the teasing, it also appears that she went for a mullet hairstyle too.


More Mesh

To put it frankly, you were not cool if you didn’t have a mesh shirt in the 80’s. Despite the fact we look back at it now and want to close our eyes for the sheer vulgarity and embarrassment of it, it was all the rage back then. This guy is wearing mesh and he just knows he looks good. From his blue steel gaze to his pin-straight hair, he has proven that no one in the 80’s had a better look than him.


Triple Tease

We have seen many different women in the 80’s who have teased their hair beyond comprehension, but these women look to have taken the competition very seriously. Posing in a photo together, we give the one on the far left an A for effort, as she probably has an extra inch or two on the other women. Moreover, when these friends are stood together, we can’t help but notice the clashing nature of their patterned shirts, there is just too much going on here.


Wrap It Up

Pop superstar Madonna can be held responsible for making hair wraps all the rage in the 80’s. When the ‘Material Girl’ started sporting punk teased hair with a hair wrap in it, so many women attempted to emulate the look. These women are just two of the people following the trend and together with their large, monochrome earrings, it really is a bizarre look. We do have to question, what kind of hair piece the woman on the left is using?!

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Oh, Boy

Boy George was a huge icon in the 80s, not only for his music, but also for his fashion. However, looking at his photo, we can’t seem to understand the appeal for his fashion sense. His neon makeup was very on-trend and many people in the 80s replicated it, but the double layered polka dot shirt, paired with a floral baseball cap is something that we hope not many others tried to attempt. The singer’s outfits are still outrageous today, but at least he toned it down!


Star Gazing

Between the space-like background and the outrageous hairstyles and clothing in this photo, there is plenty to be amazed by. Two of the women in the photo appear to have gone to the same hairstylist and asked for this gravity-defying look with shaved sides. Nonetheless, one of the women seem to have taken their look a little too far with the gothic make up, a style only the brave adopted in the 80s. Perhaps their mother didn’t get the memo for outfits in the family portrait?



These guys think they are too cool for school with their serious looks and on-trend outfits. The man in the front looks to be the leader of this group, and his teased hair style shows that he means business. The man in the oversized sunglasses knew he was on to a cool trend when he found these shades and they stood the test of time, and are still fashionable today. The others, wearing shoulder pads and matching belts looked to be very confident in their 80s get up.


All Eyes On Me

This guy has so many hairstyles going on and instead of going for just one 80s style, he has combined quite a few. Either he is incredibly proud of his look and feels that he doesn’t even need to look at the camera with two eyes, because he is just that cool, or he is totally embarrassed and doesn’t want to be recognized. The bouffant and the side fringe isn’t doing him many favors, but if he liked it, he should rock it.


Fashionable Fam

Judging by their faces, these parents are thrilled at the way their family photo outfits turned out. So many elements in this photo perfectly portray how bad some 80s fashion trends were. The matching mullets for the whole family is quite the sight to see, but let’s not forget about the coordinated denim and oversized collars. It is clear that plenty of thought went into this before and although the parents look pleased, their son doesn’t seem to express the same emotions.


Thriller For Three

Michael Jackson’s iconic song for “Thriller” was released in 1982 and immediately stormed the charts. However, it wasn’t only the song that caught on, it was also Jackson’s outfits in the video which became increasingly popular in the 80s. These young brothers were forced to replicate Michael’s red leather jacket in their sibling photoshoot. This was definitely an idea from their parents, but the boys don’t seem to be too upset about their matching jackets. Nevertheless, the boys might never live this down.


Hair For Days

When going to prom it is important to find out what color dress your date is wearing so you can get her the appropriate corsage that matches perfectly. However, this prom couple decided to take their coordination a step further and agree to for maximum volume and tease in their hair. After all, sleek, straight hair was so out in the 80s, the bigger the hair was, the better. We hope they packed on the hairspray to stop it from falling during the night.


Red Hot

This family snap represented the 80s down to a tee. Firstly, their batching bouffant hair styles was mirrored throughout the family, making it overtly clear that they were all related.  Secondly, the red worn by the whole family was standard in the 80s. Thirdly, how can we not mention the fathers hot pants?! Put simply, you were not cool in the 80s if you didn’t own hot pants. Whether you could pull them off or not was a completely different story.


Prom Pose

Fashion was so important in the 80s, and attending prom was the best way to show off your coolest and most stylish clothes. These prom-goers were clearly trying to win prom king and queen judging by the effort put into their outfits. Not only did the guy match his bowtie to his date’s puffy, blue dress, he also made sure to get a large, blue corsage to tie their outfits together. They might not have planned it, but the pink and blue balloons coordinate seamlessly.


Something Blue

Here we have yet another prom couple who have chosen to coordinate their outfits. However, that is not the most unusual part of this photo. This man has a very peculiar smile so much so that we can’t work out if this is his way of looking happy or if he just completely startled by the cameras and the whole prom experience. In fairness to him, if we had that hairstyle, we would probably have the exact same facial expression.


Bridal Bouffant

80s fashion didn’t finish with street style, of course it translated into every aspect of people’s lives, including weddings! Just because it was their special day, it didn’t mean they were going to forgo trends of that time and do something classic and understated. This groom took inspiration from 80s workout guru Richard Simmons, and replicated his exact hairstyle. In addition, the bride decided to let her over-the-top veil do the talking and created a bouffant kind of style with it.


Stylish Ceremony

This bride clearly didn’t understand the concept ‘less is more’ as she went all out with this detailed and larger than life veil. In fact, she seemed to go for a statement outfit for her wedding day, matching the headpiece in her veil to her choker and off-the-shoulder dress. In keeping with the 80s style, her groom decided to let his mane flow freely in a shoulder length cut. We hope this couple were able to look back on their wedding photos with no regret!


Mullets In Matrimony

Some brides want to stand out from the crowd on their wedding day and look completely different to all of the guests and the bridal party. However, this bride decided she wanted to have a mullet theme at her wedding, considering it was one of the most popular hairstyles in the 80s. As a result, the bride had everyone’s headpieces made to ensure that their mullets would be accentuated throughout the day. It’s a relief that this hairstyle never left the 80s!


Overalls For All

This couple perfectly coordinated every aspect of their outfits and appear to be very happy with them. On the other hand, we can’t help but face plant at this photo, it may be one of the greatest 80s fashion fails we’ve ever seen. The blue overalls paired with a matching striped shirt is doing them absolutely no favors. This, together with the bouffant hair styles epitomize the worst of 80s fashion. Overalls are making a comeback today and we don’t feel too good about that!


Missed The Yellow Memo

Teased hair was super cool in the 80s and fashion forward individuals strived to get that perfect style. These guys seemed to go all out with their hair and took it to new heights for their group photo. Neon was also all the rage in the 80s so what better way to make their look that much better than to make their hair yellow. The effect was certainly striking but one band member seemed to miss the yellow idea and rocked up with black hair.


Matchy Makeup

Understated make up to highlight the features of the face was just not a thing in the 80s. Instead, people wanted to create big, bold looks complete with their favorite neon eyeshadow and lipstick. These women teamed their neon makeup with matching accessories to get that extra bold look. In addition, the afro hair made it true 80s, paying homage to the disco era. Although we can’t see the extent of the other woman’s hair, we can only imagine there was some tease hiding in there.


Real Men Wear Mesh

It wouldn’t be the 80s without some mesh. Although the trend would be considered a fashion catastrophe today, thanks to icons including Madonna, it was the coolest piece of clothing you could wear in the 80s. It didn’t matter if you were male or female or how much flesh you showed, you were just considered a fashion forward individual. This guy knew exactly how to pull it off, giving his best pose. Although the photo is black and white, his mesh outfit was probably neon.


Land Of The Free

This saxophone player proudly posed in front of the American flag, showing his love and respect for his country, being as patriotic as he could. Whether he was representing America in a jazz performance or simply trying to get some great poses, this guy knew exactly how to get the best shot. His red, white and blue jacket worked seamlessly with his bowl cut and large specs, which were all typical of 80s fashion. This is one photo that must be framed.


Made For The Mullet

80s fashion would not have been nearly as iconic if it wasn’t for the mullet hair cut. This guy made sure to perfect his mullet before having his photo taken. His face says it all, he meant serious business when it came to his look. We have to admit he messed up by not teasing his hair, leaving his mullet less than perfect. Nevertheless, this whole mullet look wasn’t really working for him and he probably realized that in later years.


Baring The Belly

Much of 80s fashion was unisex, despite the fact that it shouldn’t have been, and this man is a prime example of why it didn’t always work. Arguably, midriff-baring tops should have only been worn by a certain type of person, and this man was not one of them. However, teamed with his oversized glasses and mini-mullet, he looked to be proud of the look he went for. We’re pretty sure that he wouldn’t be caught dead in this today.


Mohawk Mania

Although the 80s was seen as the disco era, we can’t forget the fact that punk rock was also incredibly popular. This group of guys absolutely nailed their punk rock look with their gravity-defying hair that could only be achieved by using quite a few tubs of hair gel and enough hairspray to give you asthma. This, together with their terrifying make up and matching leather jackets perfectly epitomized how people tried to emulate their favorite rockstars in the 80s.


Baby Bouffant

80s fashion didn’t stop with adults and young kids tried to jump on that bandwagon too. Whether it was the youngsters who chose to dress like this, or if it was their parents’ influence is yet to be confirmed, but it is safe to say that mommy chose this little girls hairstyle. The bouffant style on a young girl immediately adds years on to her age and she looks closer to her middle ages than to her adolescent years!


Elton John Jr.

Elton John was admired by so many in the 80s, with the singer producing hit after hit. It is not uncommon for fans to try and emulate their favorite stars, but this little boy looks to have been on the receiving end of his parents love for the “Tiny Dancer” singer. His Elton-inspired tinted shades along with his bowl cut and baby blue suit are incredibly adorable, but we’re not sure he will be thanking his parents in years to come.


Biker Boy

This guy looks like he means business. Sitting on his pink bike in hot pants, a crop top with a mullet and shades on, he knows he is too cool for school. Our feelings on his outfit seem to be rather different to his and it is very clear that he could only ever pull this off in the 80s. He would be lucky to ride down the street today without getting some very questionable looks from others.


Denim Disaster

Everything about this screams 80s fashion fail. Between the bowl cut, bright red shirt, paired with the denim waistcoat and skirt, this is one of the most cringeworthy 80s outfits that we’ve seen. Nevertheless, this young girl looks to be pretty pleased with her styling decisions, and seems to be completely unaware that it is a total fashion faux pas. Everyone has their own happiness and if this is what does it for this girl, then who are we to stop her for expressing herself through fashion?


Mismatched In Moscow

These women decided to take their fashion to international landmarks and posed in front of the Saint Basel’s Cathedral in Moscow. Between the polka-dots, metallic dresses and shoulder pads, these women took 80s fashion very seriously, despite the fact that none of their outfits coordinated. However, they looked like a strong enough squad to have the other women in the background giving them jealous stared across the Red Square. The others probably had to step up their 80s fashion game.


Snooker Star

This guy definitely had big dreams of being a rockstar. From this teased mullet hair style to his purple animal print tank top, brought together with a silk purple scarf, he knew exactly the look he wanted to pull off. Sadly, his ambition of being a rockstar didn’t appear to come to fruition so instead, he was forced to settle and posed with a snooker stick instead. This might be an embarrassing one to look back on.


Blonde, Braced Boy

Posing in a school photo, it was clear that this guy had thought about his look very carefully. His hairstyle was a combination between a mullet and a bowl cut and it probably took a long time to get this kind of length and thickness. In addition, his oversized glasses were typical of the 80s, but his big smile to show his braces really topped it off. It might be totally uncool to have this for kids today, but this guy was just fitting in.


Miami Vice

Miami Vice was one of the most popular shows in the 80s, so it is no surprise that many people tried to copy the style of actors in the show. Although this trend of a bright, oversized suit was all the rage, we can look back on it now and be thankful that it didn’t go past the 80s. Instead of agents going incognito, they seemed to wear the biggest, boldest outfits out there, and fashion forward people in the 80s couldn’t get enough.


Bring On The Blush

In the 80’s, highlighting the cheekbones was a big part of the culture, but the trend left women piling on the blush like it was going out of fashion. Instead of choosing a neutral color or a light pink, the general preference was caking on a bright pink or deep neon color. Makeup in the 80’s did not pay any attention to matching your skin tone to it and this blush trend exemplifies exactly that. Looking back at it now, it almost looks like clown makeup.


Bird Is The Word

At first glance, there is way too much in this photo to begin to analyze it. The two men are posing in the most ridiculous outfits we have seen in 80’s fashion. Forget the neon splashes of green, pink and yellow, the checkerboard addition is something that is really throwing us off. What would possess someone to put these two components together we’re just not sure. Finally, we have to mention the parrot, but in all honesty, we have no idea whats it’s doing there.


Double Trouble

It’s pretty obvious that amongst the most common trends in the 80’s was neon. These lookalike women clearly had an overt appreciation for the neon trend and wore it in any way they could. From the t-shirt to the leggings and sunglasses, they really had their neon on point. To add to the style, the woman decided to rock matching bouffant hair styles to really look like they were at the height of 80’s high fashion.


Perky In Purple

In the 80’s, there were absolutely no signs of the workout craze dying down, and through our list, you can see how workout leotards were the outfit of choice. Whether you were doing a genuine workout routine or just prancing around your living room, it just had to be done in one of these. These women decided to take the buddy workout to extremes and coordinate their outfits, going for a vibrant purple, ensuring their bodies were in shape and their fashion was on point.


Couple Goals

This couple truly epitomized 80’s fashion in its most questionable form. The matching colorful jackets are a true staple of the 80’s, but they chose to accessorize their individual outfits in different ways, to express their personal style. The woman went for a long gold chain with matching earrings as well as a pair of large sunglasses to make the look more hip hop, while her male companion went for a matching hat to his red and yellow jacket.

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