Following the two previous decades, with its hippy and mod fashions, 80s pattern designs seemed to change direction dramatically. Gone were the floaty, feminine ethereal styles that had predominated the fashion world. 1980s clothing patterns had been taken over by bold statement pieces and daring new uses of fabric, colour and shapes.
The shoulder pad is a popular look and can be found in most 80s sewing patterns. Power-dressing was very popular in 80s Pattern Designs, focusing on the emancipation and liberation of women’s right and the freedom of expression and speech. Similar in style to the look of dominance and rulership displayed in ancient fashions worn by Egyptian Pharaohs and princes, the shoulder pad aimed to make its wearer feel bolder, powerful, strong and competent.
Even punk clothing, found frequently amongst 1980s patterns, came about in order to make a statement against society. Punk and indeed fashion were used as a medium to display anarchy, or some kind of rebellion.
There was nothing that was considered to bold, too bright, or too daring in 1980s clothing patterns. Bright pinks, electric blues, and grass green ruffled blouses made from satin or silk, with puffed sleeves and cuffs were the order of the day. Large belts and heavy patterns, sashes, ribbons, bows and layers all make up what we now recognise as the iconic, unique vintage sewing patterns, 1980s catwalks were full of.
UK fashion reflected the difficult political scenes of the times, the social developments such as the improvements to women’s rights, and the influences that came from a new generation of style icons, musicians and film stars. It was a time to throw out the rule books and the old orders of the day, and try something new. Maybe you could too?
Vintage Vogue Patterns 1980s, here at The Vintage Pattern Shop, include Ralph Lauren and Adele Simpson brands and designs.