10 Silly Fads of the 1980s

the 1980s

Ah, the decade of decadence – the 1980s. It was a time that unleashed a torrent of baffling fads onto the world that, in hindsight, make as much sense as a chocolate teapot. So, grab your neon leg warmers and prep that hair for some serious backcombing, because we’re about to take a wild rollercoaster ride through the most ridiculous crazes of the ’80s.

Leg Warmers

Leg Warmers

These fashion atrocities made it big in the ’80s, sweeping across dance studios and into the mainstream. Originating from the need to keep a dancer’s muscles warm, they soon adorned the legs of every Tom, Dick, and Harriet prancing around to synth-heavy pop tunes. They served no functional purpose for non-dancers and were usually paired with some garish neon leotard or, heaven forbid, a miniskirt.



Ah, the mullet. The notorious “business in the front, party in the back” hairstyle that looks as though a bob cut got into a fight with some hair extensions and lost. Worn by everyone from pop stars to sports personalities, the mullet was an inexplicably popular fad that, unfortunately, appears to have made a comeback.

The Rubik’s Cube

Rubik's Cube

This 3D combination puzzle was a triumph of marketing over substance, exploiting the competitive spirit of a generation that believed the ability to solve it was a sign of superior intellect. In reality, it led to countless hours of frustration and, let’s be honest, a lot of cheating by peeling off and replacing the colored stickers.

Shoulder Pads

The ’80s were a time when everyone apparently wanted to look like an American footballer off to a business meeting. Oversized shoulder pads were worn by both men and women, supposedly projecting an image of authority. More often than not, they just made the wearer look like they’d been working out one part of their body to a grotesque extreme.

Parachute Pants

In the ’80s, you were nobody unless you had a pair of these shiny, baggy monstrosities. They were named ‘parachute’ pants due to the synthetic material they were made from, but any attempt to use them as an actual parachute was, needless to say, ill-advised.

Jelly Shoes

Jelly Shoes

Nothing screams ’80s fashion disaster louder than jelly shoes. These transparent, brightly colored plastic shoes were not only a triumph of style over comfort but also had the added ‘bonus’ of making your feet sweat profusely.

Slap Bracelets

Thin pieces of steel, coated with fabric or plastic that would “slap” onto your wrist and coil into place. Ingenious? Maybe. Completely pointless? Absolutely.


1980s perm

Thanks to stars like Cher and Dolly Parton, the 80s saw the rise of the perm. Big, bold, and frankly, a frizzy mess, perms were the hairstyle that just kept giving.

Cabbage Patch Kids

Cabbage Patch Kids
Bernard Gotfryd, Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

The bizarrely ugly (yet insanely popular) Cabbage Patch Kids dolls resulted in literal stampedes in stores. The demand was so high; people were getting into fistfights over these pudgy-faced little critters.

Sweater Vests

1980s Sweater Vest

They were itchy, they were stuffy, and they were everywhere. Worn over a crisp white shirt, the sweater vest was the pinnacle of geek chic.

So, there you have it, another handful of fads from the 1980s that serve as a vivid reminder of how bizarre this decade really was. Neon nightmares, fashion disasters, and bewildering toys – welcome to the ’80s, folks!

Written by Editorial Team

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