80s Bollywood fashion raised the glamour and glitz bar significantly. Actresses were seen in chiffon sarees and floor-length anarkalis and actors were seen in leather jackets and disco overalls.
The 80s was the time when fashion peaked in Bollywood. Actors and actresses were more open to experimenting than ever before which gave us some major fashion trends that remain relevant even today. Check out our list of the
most iconic Bollywood looks pulled by classic actresses, and you’ll know how great everything was back in the day.
It was also the time when Bollywood movies spread across the world, hence they also played a part in setting trends worldwide.
We’ve often heard that what goes around, comes around. While we aren’t sure how true it is when it comes to other things, it is 200% in the case of fashion trends. Since the 80s were the most stylish era for Bollywood we have often seen the style trends of that time making their way into modern times, and we are not the ones to complain!
Instead of focusing on the
best and worst dressed celebs on this week, read through this list to see the 24 such fashion trends from the 80s that we love to follow even today;
Oval Shaped Sunglasses
Biker Leather Jackets
Neck-tie Scarf and Bandana
High Waist Jeans
Scroll down to find all the deets about these vintage fashion trends;
Be it in the glam roles in movies or at red carpet appearances, Bollywood beauties from the 80s were seen in sequined dresses, more often than not. One of the main reasons that glitter sequined dresses are loved even today, is that a glittery gown brings out your inner diva like no other outfit, and which girl doesn’t like that? Actresses like Zeenat Aman and Hema Malini were seen dancing to songs like Laila Main Laina and Mere Naseeb Mein, in a body-clad glittering gown. And even today you see Bollywood actresses opting for such gowns on various occasions.
Disco King, Mithun Chakraborty is the reason disco overalls are a thing even today. We agree that they have gone in and out of style over the years but you can’t disagree with the fact that they have always made a comeback.
Today’s stylists and celebrities can’t get enough of this popular fashion trend from the 80s. We understand the obsession as they are too good to just move on from! Ladies, ditch those skinny jeans and hop on to this trend from the 80s and get yourself those sleek pants for these approaching summers and we promise you. You will look back and thank us for the suggestion! These pants have a high comfort quotient as we just mentioned but they have an equally high style quotient if not hot!
The Bollywood movies in the 80s saw men exchanging suitcases in fitted suits making them look more handsome than ever. A suit is for a man as a saree is for a woman! It can never go wrong and if we are talking about a well-fitted suit, you know you are going in the right direction. Our Bollywood heroes from the 80s can’t be wrong with this trend. That is why we see so many young men looking up to them and adopting their style statement.
You must remember, chiffon sarees from YRF movies, but Sridevi wore it before, back in the 80s. The credit for popularising chiffon sarees goes to Sridevi, be it her yellow chiffon saree in ‘Chandini’ or blue chiffon saree in ‘Mr. India’, she made every woman want to shop for a chiffon saree for themselves. Sridevi should get the credit for why people started wearing more and more
Indian dresses in functions.
There’s another 80s heroine who deserves some credit for popularising chiffon sarees, Rekha, she wore Chiffon sarees in the movie Silsila. There’s a reason why it continues to remain in style even today as it makes you feel like a Bollywood actress dancing in the picturesque mountains of Switzerland amidst that chilly weather!
Floor-length Royal Anarkalis
Rekha in Umrao Jaan is the one and the only reason we love Anarkalis to this day. Rekha in her iconic silk Anarkali continues to make our jaws drop each and every time. Her elegance and grace are something every lady aspires to achieve in an Anarkali.
If we talk about it now, Anarkalis have never really disappeared from the fashion trend and make an appearance every now and then.
The 80s were dominated by gangster culture movies and angry young man images of the actors. Hence, every actor wanted to flaunt his broad shoulder, and shoulder pads came as a blessing in disguise. Actors were seen wearing shoulder pads with their shirts. In the last decade, shoulder pads returned, and how!
Shimmering sarees are another gift to us from the 80s. We can see many Bollywood actresses turning heads in a shimmering saree at weddings and red carpets and we have Hema Malini, Rekha, and Sridevi to thank for it. Nothing makes an Indian girl look sexier than a saree and the sexiness increases tenfold if shimmer is added to the equation. Ladies, you don’t have any reason to doubt superstars Hema Malini, Rekha, and Sridevi, so go for a shimmering saree the next time you need to up your glam game.
Bold, sexy, and glamorous are the words that come to mind when we think about one-shoulder dresses. Who would have thought that these dresses were a hit back in the 80s as well? We love how this trend is fastly catching on again and you can see Bollywood celebs and commoners wearing gorgeous one-shoulder gowns, tops, traditional wear, and so forth.
Oval Shaped Sunglasses with Metal Frames
Oval-shaped sunglasses have been a raging fashion trend last year and everyone hopped on to this trend. But were you aware that they too are a comeback from the 80s? You could see Bollywood celebrities, social media influencers, and women around you with oval-shaped sunglasses with metal frames. Again the style queen, Rekha, is to be credited for setting forth this fashion trend of wearing oval-shaped sunglasses which got the approval of every famous influencer on Instagram and YouTube.
When chokers became a massive hit in 2015, everyone thought that they were a new fashion trend but edgy chokers were the product of the 80s fashion. After 2015, chokers again disappeared in 2019 and they made a comeback for good last year. Chokers ruled the 80s and 90s and are back to rule again! A choker can either make or break your look, go for a choker that compliments your outfit and you are good to go. But if you want to adorn a choker just for the heck of it to appear trendy even if it doesn’t go with the vibe of your outfit then it can go really wrong!
Biker Leather Jackets
If you have seen movies from the 80s then you might be aware that they were highly dominated by gangster culture and what better than a biker leather jacket to demonstrate that? The ‘cool dude’ and ‘stud’ look of
Salman Khan in Maine Pyar Kiya, became quite a hit in the 80s, creating a fashion for biker leather jackets and rugged jeans back in the times gone by. One twist to this style from the 80s to this day is that not only the boys but also girls can be seen rocking a leather jacket in style, which was not very common, then.
Pleated pants or paper-bag pants were a notable style statement of the 80s that continue to rule the fashion game even today, two decades later. These pants are perfect for a casual and formal look, it depends on the way you style them. Their huge plus point is the comfort offered by them which makes them a frequent pick in summer along with how they accentuate and define the waist! Next time you’re heading out, go for pleated pants and get into the retro vibes of the 80s.
Have you seen the dream girl Hema Malini donning a ruffled-sleeved white colored dress with a red-colored floral print in a movie alongside Jeetendra? She looked ethereal and her look can very well be chosen by any actress of today for their next public appearance. We can see trendy tops with ruffled sleeves, chic dresses with ruffled sleeves, blouses with ruffled sleeves, and traditional Indian suits with ruffled sleeves. They are all around and here to stay, from the looks of it.
The fashion trend of knotted shirts that birthed in the 80s continues to stay popular even today. Several decades later, it has expanded to t-shirts as well. It isn’t rare to find women with a tied-up shirt or a t-shirt going about their day in style. Women who deserve credit for popularising this trend in India are Dimple Kapadia, Zeenat Aman, and Urmila Matondkar. In Rangeela, Urmila can be seen donning tie-up tops like a boss. Tie-up tops have stood the test of time and are here to stay. And who are we to complain about these stylish and chic tops?
The 80s were the time when oversized clothing was a big hit but the waistcoat changed that for the good. Both men and women wore waistcoats back then over their shirts. Women wore waistcoats over their oversized shirts with statement sleeves that may be ruffles or bells. For men, a waistcoat was a part of their three-piece suit. We love how this trend has made its appearance time and again with certain variations. Today, a waistcoat isn’t only worn over a shirt but also over dresses. Corset tops which were trendy last year, are a variation of this 80s trend.
Are you wondering what are androgynous outfits? Androgynous outfits are gender-neutral outfits. There was an unmatched craze for these outfits back in the day and even today. From Hema Malini and Rekha to
Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra, actresses of both times wear these outfits with equal confidence. This is clearly one of our most favorite vintage fashion trends of the 80s which is followed even today.
Monokini is basically a one-piece bathing suit. Sharmila Tagore was one of the first Indian women to wear a monokini on-screen and the rest was history. Kudos to Sharmila Tagore for wearing a monokini on-screen back in the 80s when it wasn’t common to wear such outfits in movies. It became a massive fashion trend in real life. Monokinis are one of the most popular swimsuits adorned by women as you can see women wearing monokinis even today in 2023.
If you’re thinking of
buying a bikini swimsuit online, keep an eye out for monokinis.
Dungarees or overalls whatever you wanna name it, it’s up to you. But this trend of sporting a dungaree isn’t today’s fashion. This originated in the 80s and is popular even now. Though it got lost somewhere but was brought back to people’s notice by Kajol in the movie,
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.
Neck-tie Scarf and Bandanas
Neck scarves are another fashion from the 80s that has entered into our lives again and we are all for it. Neck scarves make you look feminine while giving you a boss lady vibes at the same time and this truly depicts a woman of the 21st century. Social media influencers love neck-tie scarves and bandanas and the gazillion ‘how to style your scarf’ videos are proof. Be it Parveen Babi’s pink scarf in Suhaag or Zeenat Aman’s black and white scarf in Don, our yesteryear Bollywood divas did it way before social media was even a thing!
The chain-link print was a luxurious look in the 80s, that is, it set you apart from the common man and made you a part of the elite. Of course, once the trend gained popularity, it was seen everywhere and lost its exotic factor. Even then we can’t ignore how elegant it looked. That is the reason we see the chain-link print on clothes even today after all those years. Trends like these refuse to die down and are revived over and over with slight variations.
Bell Sleeves are a summer favorite fashion trend! All the fashionistas opt for bell sleeves while shopping or getting their outfits stitched. We know that everyone loves bell sleeves but who made them fall in love with these sleeves is what really matters. The 80s Bollywood actresses did it way before in the 80s. Neetu Kapoor donned a bell-sleeved dress in the movie, Khel Khel Mein, while Rekha was seen in Bell-sleeved dresses and shirts in the movie, Khoon Bhari Maang.
Did you know that these comfortable and chic pants that you love so much aren’t a new trend but actually a comeback from the 80s? Whether you are heading to work or for a meet-up with your friends, these pants are suitable for every outing. Flared pants are definitely every girl’s go-to picks on those lazy days when you don’t wanna put much effort into dressing up but also want to channel your inner fashionista. This trend stood the test of time because of the comfort and style it offers and is here for the long haul.
High Waisted Jeans
High-waisted jeans were a rage among Bollywood divas, back in the day. From Madhuri Dixit to Sridevi you could see every 80s heroine clad in high-waisted jeans. These jeans made a comeback a few years back after everyone was kinda fed up with those low waists and continued to stay even today! One of the reasons high-waisted jeans keep coming back, again and again, is that they are effortlessly stylish and if you find the right pair of high-waisted jeans for yourself then styling it is a piece of cake. Such timeless trends rarely die down and continue to make an appearance over and over.