30 Iconic Outfits that Defined 80’s Fashion

The 1980s were a time of bold colors, big hair, and even bigger personalities. Fashion was loud, fun, and unapologetic – much like the decade itself.

From the daring designs of pop stars like Madonna to the refined elegance of award show looks, 80’s fashion continues to inspire modern trends today.

Let’s step back in time and spotlight 30 iconic outfits that encapsulate the dazzling spirit of this unforgettable decade!

1. Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda
(Tom Wargacki/WireImage)

Kicking things off we have the one and only Jane Fonda, radiant at the 1980 premiere of her hit comedy Nine to Five. Jane glows in a sophisticated full-sleeve sparkling dress that hugs her physique.

The outfit’s fitted silhouette and high neckline embody the decade’s accentuated shoulders and cinched waists. It’s a glamorous look fit for a leading lady on her big night!

2. Sigourney Weaver

Sigourney Weaver
(Getty Images/Bob Riha, Jr.)

Fast forward nearly a decade later, here is Sigourney Weaver collecting her Best Actress Oscar at the 1989 Academy Awards. Sigourney stuns in a cream long-sleeved dress with ornate golden embellishments around the waist.

She keeps the rest of her look minimal, letting the gown’s decadent detailing take center stage. An small rectangular clutch adds a final touch of refinement.

3. Kathleen Turner

Kathleen Turner
(Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)

Switching gears, this piquant paparazzi pic captures Kathleen Turner on set in 1985. Between takes, Kathleen dons a light beige button down paired with a dark skirt – quintessential 80’s style.

A slim brown belt accentuates her waistline while keeping the breezy shirt neatly tucked in.

4. Debra Winger

Debra Winger
(Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Check out this bewitching look from actress Debra Winger in 1981. Attending the wrap party for Cannery Row, Debra turns heads in a textured fishnet-patterned blue dress and eye-catching metallic blue leggings.

She finishes the outfit with a cheeky fish hairpiece – playfully nodding at the nautical film she starred in alongside Nick Nolte. Too cute!

5. Sally Field

Sally Field
(Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)

Let’s take a moment to soak in the legendary style of Sally Field, gleefully clutching her Best Actress Oscar in 1980.

Sally sparkles in a white knee-length dress covered in a vibrant, semi-transparent floral overlay that flutters poetically as she joyfully accepts her award. The look is simultaneously delicate yet dazzling.

6. Shirley MacLaine

Shirley MacLaine
(Bill Nation/Sygma via Getty Images)

The sublime Shirley MacLaine also took home Best Actress honors in 1984 for her performance in Terms of Endearment. She illuminates the red carpet in a floor length gunmetal gown lavished in ornate beadwork.

The dress’s metallic sheen and intricate embellishments embody the grandeur and extravagance synonymous with 80’s fashion.

7. Sissy Spacek

Sissy Spacek
(Barry King/WireImage)

Posing backstage with her own Best Actress award is Sissy Spacek for her transformative turn in Coal Miner’s Daughter in 1981. Sissy dons an exquisite outfit featuring a long-sleeved black dress. The look’s sleek monochromatic color scheme spotlights the Oscar as the centerpiece accessory. Captivating in its stark simplicity!

8. Jessica Lange

Golden Goddess
(Barry King/WireImage)

Gracing her first Oscar red carpet in 1983 is Oscar winner Jessica Lange, radiant in teal. Her splendid tea-length dress charms with a delicate white polka dot print and long fluttery sleeves.

Jessica refines the look with timeless silver heels and a dainty handbag. It’s old Hollywood sophistication blended with a hint of 80’s whimsy!

9. Diane Keaton

Diane Keaton
(Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Who else could pull off this idiosyncratic ensemble other than the always adventurous Diane Keaton? Spotted outside Madonna’s 1987 AIDS benefit show, Diane displays her avant garde style in an oversized, checkered coat paired curiously with an orange glove and a yellow flower bouquet.

Her wide-brimmed hat tops off the eclectic, free-spirited look. Very groovy Diane!

10. Mia Farrow

Mia Farrow
(Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

New York City provides an atmospheric backdrop to Mia Farrow‘s effortlessly chic street style. She wraps herself in a tailored overcoat, buttoned to the top to reveal only a peek of the intriguing black and white checkered dress underneath. Mia carries an enigmatic air – sophisticated yet mysterious!

11. Meryl Streep’s Shining Moment

Meryl Streep's Shining Moment
(Barry King/WireImage)

Simply divine! Meryl Streep illuminates in this shimmering cap sleeve gown from the 1983 Academy Awards. The dress’s golden metallic finish and sequined floral embroidery embody the ostentatious fashions favored in the 80’s. Let it shine Meryl!

12. Dark Horse

Dark Horse
(Barry King/WireImage)

Slinking down the red carpet in 1989 is Glenn Close, spicing up the ubiquitous black dress with a set of striped ankle boots. She finishes the look with a dark, equestrian-inspired coat – putting her own daring spin on red carpet attire. Saddle up and take notice of Glenn’s bold fashion sense!

13. Cher

(Barry King/WireImage)

Bow down to the goddess of glitter – the iconic Cher at the 1983 Oscars! Legendarily draped head to toe in shimmering opalescence, Cher’s sheer ensemble drips in crystal embellishments, casting an ethereal glow over the red carpet.

14. Kim Basinger

Kim Basinger
(Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc)

Kim Basinger thinks outside the box with this eye-catching outfit from the 1989 Dream Team premiere. She pairs a navy mesh top with an asymmetrical black pleated leather skirt – an intriguing dark romance juxtaposing soft and hard elements.

Distinct cherry red ankle boots polish off Kim’s artistic fashion creation. Brava!

15. Molly Ringwald

Molly Ringwald
(Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

80’s teen queen Molly Ringwald brings her signature sweet style to the 1987 Oscars. She dazzles photographers in a girlish black dress.

16. Bette Midler

Bette Midler
(Steve Fenn/American Broadcasting Companies via Getty Images)

Behold this gilded goddess – Bette Midler glittering in a shining strapless bodice with a voluminous metallic gold skirt, cinched to accentuate her hourglass frame.

A sheer polka dot shawl adds a coquettish touch. No one out-sparkles The Divine Miss M!

17. Goldie Hawn

Goldie Hawn Strikes Gold
(Barry King/WireImage)

Goldie Hawn earns her namesake in this luminous cap sleeve gown from the 1989 Academy Awards. The dress’s radiant metallic sheen resembles liquid gold cascading over Goldie’s figure.

A plunging neckline provides a titillating flash of décolletage. Goldie goes for gold and scores a perfect 10 in this sultry outfit!

18. Barbra Streisand

Barbra Streisand
(Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

The magnificent Barbra Streisand attends a glitzy 1986 New York gala in fine fashion form.

She stuns in a tailored black coat fastened to the neck to highlight a subtle yet impactful touch: a alluring sparkling neckline peeking playfully from underneath. It’s a classy yet cheeky style move perfected by the iconic Barbra.

19. Michelle Pfeiffer

Michelle Pfeiffer
(American Broadcasting Companies via Getty Images)

Check out a fresh-faced Michelle Pfeiffer circa 1980, starring in the TV series B.A.D Cats. Here she dons a sweetheart pink dress with a wrap silhouette that elegantly drapes along her frame.

Michelle softens the feminine look further with a long pearl necklace – the makings of a budding style icon!

20. Shelley Long

Shelley Long
(Harry Langdon/Getty Images)

Golden girl Shelley Long brings old Hollywood allure to this alluring 1984 photoshoot. She smolders in a silky champagne-hued dress with a lace embellished sweetheart bodice – at once innocent yet seductive. Shelley leaves a lasting impression as a vintage screen siren.

21. Linda Hamilton

Linda Hamilton
(Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Taking cues from the decade’s popular military and safari trends is actress Linda Hamilton in 1987. She mixes rugged and refined with a cropped light-wash denim jacket and floral print skirt.

Linda rolls up the jacket’s sleeves to reveal her inner renegade spirit. It’s utilitarian chic with a splash of wild charm.

22. Madonna

(Larry Busacca/WireImage)

The quintessential 80’s trendsetter Madonna never fails to think outside the fashion box. Here she takes drab grey and makes it daring with a short-sleeved above-the-knee dress punctuated by shiny decorative buttons marching down the front.

23. Melanie Griffith

Melanie Griffith
(Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Actress Melanie Griffith opts for timeless Hollywood glamour at the 1988 MTV Video Music Awards. She dons an elegant little black dress with a subtle yet alluring sweetheart neckline, topped with a satin lapel blazer – the quintessential power suit for women. It’s quietly confident eveningwear perfect for a red carpet event or cocktail gala.

24. Brooke Shields

Brooke Shields
(PL Gould/IMAGES/Getty Images)

Behold a beguiling Brooke Shields circa 1980, roller skating through New York City in head to toe crimson!

Brooke dazzles photographers in high-waisted red pants and a playful parrot-print top – the perfect way to make heads turn as you skate by. You glow girl!

25. Jodie Foster

Jodie Foster
(Barry King/WireImage)

A heavenly sight in light blue – Jodie Foster shines on the 1989 Oscar’s red carpet in a dreamy strapless fluffy dress.

The magical skirt moves gracefully with each delicate step while clever gathering through the top part of the dress elegantly shapes Jodie’s admirable figure. Absolutely charming!

26. Demi Moore

Demi Moore
(Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

As a rising star in 1984, Demi Moore already displays the makings of a style icon at the Golden Globes. She stuns in an off-white Grecian inspired dress with a gathered sweetheart neckline that gracefully drapes over her décolletage, punctuated by a daring thigh-high slit.

It’s at once romantic yet risky – perfectly encapsulating Demi’s star power.

27. Diane Lane

Diane Lane
(Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Diane Lane turns heads on a night out circa 1980’s New York, wrapped in a decadent white fur coat – the decade’s coveted status symbol outerwear.

She contrasts the lavish top layer with a dark, eye-catching dress underneath. It’s an intriguing study in light and dark from stylish Diane.

28. Jane Alexander

Jane Alexander
(Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Exuding grace and refinement in this diaphanous white dress is acclaimed actress Jane Alexander, captured outside a 1987 Broadway show. The flowy gauzy fabric and relaxed puff sleeves emit ethereal vibes while still feeling elementally chic. Proof you can look utterly divine while keeping things simple!

29. Annie Lennox

Joan Jett
(Tom Wargacki/WireImage)

At The British Pop Awards in London on February 6, 1989, Annie Lennox rocked the scene in a dark blue velvet dress with a plunging neckline and a full skirt.

Adding a pop of wild flair, she topped it off with a leopard print plush bolero jacket. Sparkling earrings and her vibrant short hairstyle completed the look.

30. Joan Jett

Annie Lennox
(Robin Platzer/IMAGES/Getty Images)

No roundup of iconic 80’s style would be complete without punk legend Joan Jett! Clad in her trademark black and white, Joan rocks a classic stripe tee, multi-strand jewelry, and slick pants with a shiny belt and buckle.

She finishes with a bold red lip and jet black hair – the ultimate musical rebel! Rock on Joan!

That Wraps Up Our 80’s Nostalgia!

I hope you adored this walk down memory lane spotlighting legendary ladies and their glorious 80’s fashion! From dazzling award show dresses to of-the-moment street style, these outfits capture the fun, bold, experimental, and glam spirit that made the 1980’s such an unforgettable decade for fashion.

What are your favorite looks or trends from the 80’s? Which iconic outfits or style icons should I cover next? Leave a comment and let me know! And be sure to follow me on Pinterest @fashionfolksblog for more throwback fashion inspiration!

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