Top 20 '80s Fashion Mistakes

The Miami Vice Look
CREDIT: The '80s Server
For this week's Ranked!, we thought it might be fun to look back at some of the more unfortunate fashion trends from the '80s. Here are our Top 20 '80s Fashion Mistakes:

20. Jams
19. Miami Vice suit/neon t-shirt
18. Perms
17. Rat tails
16. Popped collars
15. Pleated pants/jeans
14. Sweaters around the neck
13. Banana clip
12. Fingerless lace gloves/one glove
11. Fringe
10. Pegged jeans
9. Mullets
8. Leg warmers
7. Acid wash jeans
6. Stirrup pants

Awesome '80s Hair
CREDIT: Like Totally 80s
5. Big hair
Do you remember that pivotal moment in time where the earth shifted just slightly on its axis and suddenly big hair that stood reaching for the heavens replaced the Farrah Fawcett winged flip you'd been trying to perfect for a decade?

I know, I remember that time too.

My quest for volume and height was aided by naturally curly tresses that frizzed up perfectly when saturated with product and finished with a half hour shellacking of Stiff Stuff.

When your outrageous coif deflated during the school day, you could stand on the bathroom sinks, hold the shoulders of two devoted friends and hang your head upside down while someone sprayed enough Aquanet onto your locks to instantly burn a hole right through the ozone layer. You emerged with seriously high hair and two lungs full of the most spectacular chemicals that man has ever created.

The eighties provided an equal opportunity environment for boys AND girls to experiment with various gels and mousses without fear of ridicule (well at least not until the advent of Facebook where you can be seen in all your '80s glory thanks to the friends who posted THOSE pictures [see below]) and I saw quite a few guys going for the "Duran Duran" or the more subdued, but still evident, "Morrissey."

Still, I look back not in anger or horror at my old '80s photos, but with warm fuzzy nostalgia. It took hours of loving devotion to craft a hairdo so at odds with the laws of nature and you can see the time and work that went into each raised strand that stood up and saluted the sky.

Big hair, you and I saw eye to eye. I understood what you were all about and in return you blessed me with mounds of untamable rats' nest that lent itself well to the style. Someday, hopefully we will meet again. --Dufmanno

CREDIT: Cliquey Pizza
4. Neon
In theory, it sounds like a good idea. I mean, have you ever met a person who doesn't like a good neon sign, be it Budweiser, nudie girl, or a palm-tree-shaped No Vacancy? No! Because it's classy! So of course, everyone thought the joyous spirit of neon would translate to clothes. In fact, people did it back in the '60s. Hmm, so why did it die out back then?

Oh yeah, it was the COLORS! Very unfortunate against the vast majority of actual skintones, if not hideous. The pink was alright on certain people (Barbie), even the green could occasionally work. But that yellow? If there is anyone out there who could work that neon yellow I want to hear from you. And send pictures. To make repeating a bad trend worse, the '80s had to raise the bar on everything. The '60s had very tailored clothing with maybe some day-glo blocking. The '80s had huge, square t-shirts in neon. And frenetic stripes in neon. And geometric prints. Who looks good covered in electric blue spirals? These things are not flattering even without being a color so glaring as to cause cataracts. There's a reason why that elderly lady couldn't find the beef and it was because of neon.

There were quite a few fun things I missed from '80s fashion, but being mistaken for a traffic sign was not one of them. Colors are a tricky thing and when a whole decade imposes colors across the board, you get serious styling trouble. I personally love burnt orange but it is a hard color to wear for a lot of people, so I did not make my bridesmaids wear orange at my wedding. Because I'm not a bitch.

When it comes to clothes, the '80s were kind of a bitch. --The Weirdgirl

CREDIT: Niche Style
3. Members Only jackets
Members Only jackets, the ubiquitous fashion statement everyone in the '80s was rocking. If you didn't have a Members Only jacket, you just weren't cool. Mine was tan and I loved it like no other piece of clothing I owned. However, if you're still sporting the trend today, you're either Kurt from Glee, that Italian guy in his late 50s I used to work with who looked like he was straight out of central casting for The Sopranos, or living in your mom's basement. Or an ironic hipster, but I try to pretend like they don't exist, so let's move on.

Sorry to harsh your flow, dudes, but there are few things that say "I'M STUCK IN THE '80S AND I NEED AN INTERVENTION STAT" more than sporting the polyester/cotton blend outwear in the 21st century. Of course, if you just don't care about looking like a jackhole, you can always buy one of these from Urban Outfitters for the low, low price of $78. OMG WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? Seventy-eight bucks for a cotton/poly blend jacket? Jeez, kids today.

Excuse me while I put my teeth in this glass filled with water and Polident.

And ladies, don't think you're left out. You can buy a gold one in leather for just $248, marked down from its original price of $990. You just can't put a price on good taste, amirite?

Listen, I'm all for resurrecting certain trends in a modern, fashionable way but taking a literal piece of '80s nostalgia and trying to pull it off today is not fashion, it's a cry for help.

Now keep that noise down and get off my lawn. --Tania

2. Parachute pants
There were so many "fashion" trends in the '80s that, looking back, were downright scary. There were trends exclusive to us girls (and I admit I fell prey to several of them -- remember Forenza and Benetton?), but there were thankfully trends for the boys to remember and cringe about as well.

I can admit that I was a little jealous when my brother got his parachute pants, but alas, they were for boys. There were few things as cool as wearing nylon pants that swooshed when you walked. If they had a few extra zippers and snaps, well, all the better. Pair these babies with a Members Only jacket and I'm pretty sure you were the finest guy in school. Not that I went for that sort of thing.

::whistles and looks around innocently::

When they came out with "windpants" in the '90s I may or may not have bought and worn several pairs. They were totally different. They were! --Heather

1. Shoulder pads
Like, gag me with a shoulder pad.

I'm serious, look:

Rich people on TV in the '80s wore shoulder pads
CREDIT: The Great 80s

Like, heart attack serious:

Old people on TV in the '80s wore shoulder pads

I remember my own wardrobe back in the day... replete with shoulder pads. Jackets, blouses, sweaters... even dresses.

No really...

CREDIT: Jenny On The Spot

And if I really think about it, perhaps we had no choice. Something had to balance out the hair. --Jenny On The Spot

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We showed you ours, now show us yours! What do you think was the worst fashion mistake of the '80s?

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