top of page

Colorful 80s Vintage Clothing: A Love Letter

A woman in an 80s era windbreaker and heart shaped sunglasses

I had the occasion to be in Glasgow last week, and as is standard operating procedure at this time of year, the weather was predictably dull and grey. As much as we all come to expect a grey sky at this time of year, this trip stood out in that it wasn't just the weather contributing to the ambiance of nondescript, gloomy ennui. Everywhere I looked, my follow humans were actively participating in the erasure of any speck of color or sartorial joy that might have accidentally leaked in to the collective field of view. I walked into M&S at one point and encountered multiple racks of black, polyester trousers. I mean, yes, everyone needs a good pair of "work pants", but come on. I could literally feel my life force draining just looking at it. And it went on like this all day. Every single person had on black, grey, navy....the "safe" colors that won't garner too much attention or stand out in a crowd. Looking down Glasgow's busy Sauciehall and Buchanan streets felt like looking at a chorus of Mao jacket-clad extras on the set of some oppressive revolutionary period piece.

The sight of all that gloom got me thinking; what has happened to us!? I distinctly remember the clothing of my youth in the 70s and 80s as being so much more colorful and full of whimsy something that has spurred me on to have an absolute love of the loud, exaggerated, in your face 80s vintage clothing that was the sartorial hallmark of the era.


80s Vintage Clothing is About Color & Fun

Or course, I'm speaking purely sartorially here. I understand fully what has happened to us; the global pandemic, the financial struggles, the shortages of goods (both perceived and real), the woeful political and ideological extremism, the acting-out...everyone is I get it. But our eschewing of color and whimsy is not just a product of this pandemic. This phemonenon has been building for a while - sartorially since the demise of the bigger is better "me era" 80s and the rise of the goth-clad 90s manic pixie grunge girl.

With that in mind, I wanted to remind us all of something that's the polar opposite of all this angst-fuelled, boring, serviceable dark clothing that seems to have taken over our collective sensibilities. Today I'm focusing on 80s vintage clothing that is in equal parts colorful, fun, wearable and ridiculous; the entirety of the 1980s aesthetic. Because when things get tough, even though it may seem appropriate, I believe it's a mistake to abandon the fun and the whimsical. It is exactly at these times that we need it more. Photos are clickable should you want any more information on any of these colorful little fun nuggets. Now go forth and be brave, and for the love of all the Gods, leave those miserable black polyester trousers on the rack where they belong.

A mint green 80s parka with pink heart shaped sunglasses

A woman in rainbow suspenders

a blousy 80s era windbreaker with a wild Azec pattern and a built-in vest

80s vintage suede colorblock boots, Western style

A woman in an Aztec print 80s vintage blouse

Graphic 80s design resin earrings

Rainbow frames sunglasses with rainbow reflective lenses

Recent Posts

See All

2 comentários

Yes! I live in the Pacific Northwest in the U.S., and I wish more people here would wear bright colors in the wintertime when the sky is so often gray. It cheers me up to wear my red rain coat or my kelly green rain jacket.

Kristin Buchholz-MacKillop
Kristin Buchholz-MacKillop
19 de out. de 2021
Respondendo a

I completely agree! It's such a small thing, but it WORKS!

bottom of page