Flashback Friday: Six Fashion Fads We’d Rather Forget

3 min read
Flashback Friday: Six Fashion Fads We’d Rather Forget

Looking through an old photo album, I couldn’t help but cringe as I studied the pictures. Between the hair, the clothes and the accessories, I can’t believe some of the fashion traps I fell into. Here are six fashion fads that I am sure we’d all rather forget.

Happy PantsFlashback Friday

Originally, happy pants were released in the 80’s as long shorts with colourful patterns aimed at kids. Thanks to the likes of MC Hammer, the bright full length baggy version of happy pants became a phenomenon in the 90’s. Resembling traditional Indian clothing and very comfortable to wear, the fashion at the time was to pair happy pants with shirts that did not match.  Thanks MC Hammer.

Shoulder Pads

Broadening the profile of a woman’s figure, shoulder pads were an iconic symbol of professional women in the 80’s everywhere. Shoulder pads were instrumental in coining the term ‘power dressing’. No woman went without a shoulder padded power jacket. Every female character on television at the time, from The Golden Girls to The Cosby Show, all wore them. Personally, I blame David Bowie for this fashion disaster.


Everyone wore a satin scrunchie in the 80’s. Available in every colour and pattern possible, they were a daily necessity for women and children alike. Suitable for ponytails, piggy tails, buns and plaits, the scrunchie proved its versatility across all hairstyles. Although they are no longer considered in fashion, scrunchies are readily available from $2 shops today. Unless you are in primary school, then you should not wear one. Ever.

Big Hair

Keeping with the ‘everything big’ theme of the 80’s, hairstyles of the time were exactly that: big. The bigger you could tease your hair, the better. It was an added bonus if you had a perm. Every second woman owned a hair crimper or a banana clip to get that ‘big’ hair look. Then they topped it off with hair mousse or a scrunchie. Even the men all had ‘big’ hair. Think Jon Bon Jovi era.


Flashback Friday

My nose curls at the thought of those big plastic button earrings that were all the rage back in the 80s. Being more a sleepers from the chemist kind of girl, I never wore them myself but that’s not to say I wasn’t surrounded by them. If they weren’t the button shaped, which were often clip on, they were fluoro triangles or long and dangly earrings. Madonna started the popular trend of wearing one dangly earring in the shape of a cross.

Tiered Skirts

I owned numerous tiered skirts as a kid and I loved them, I really did, but thinking about it now as soon as they started to come attached to bike shorts, I should have stopped wearing them. Immediately. But I didn’t. My favourite tiered skirt was hot pink with black spots, over black bike shorts. Fashion lesson #6375: Skirts attached to bike shorts should not be worn under any circumstance.

What was your favourite fashion faux pas from the 80’s?



About Author

Kelly Ninyette

Kelly Ninyette, a long time public servant, is currently on maternity leave. Kelly is a blogger, a FIFO wife and a SAHM to her 15 year old step daught...Read Moreer and one year old son. When she is not changing nappies or trying to avoid questions about algebra homework, she can be found in the kitchen cooking up a storm, at her craft desk crafting away or hiding away in the bedroom typing an article or reading a book. Read Less

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