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1980s vintage blouses

July 6, 2015

It wasn’t just the 60s or 70s that was about experimentation and risk, the 80s had its fair share too. We’re talking eye makeup, backcombed hair and shoulder pads up to the ears. We had androgyny and power dressing as women became equals among men. Designers played with colour and size and aerobics brought us leggings and Lycra and 1980s vintage blouses


The 70s brought us jumpsuits and the 80s created their own with plenty of pattern and colour. The aerobics vibe brought us legwarmers with neon colours and headbands worn with oversized grey marl sweatshirts.


But today we’re going to talk 1980s vintage blouses, for here is a cornucopia of delights with pussy bows, shoulder pads and colour, we’re talking romance and power dressing. Blouses were either part of a power dressing combo, worn with two piece suits, or they were a more romantic affair with intricate patterns or neck wrappings, shoulder tucks and lots of fabric cross over.They came in polyester, satin or crepe de chine, bodies also became popular and were often worn under blouses to give a more streamlined silhouette.

Power dressing

Power dressing was all about the women being as good as the men, wearing corporate business suits with shoulder pads to give a more powerful, taller, wider look at the shoulders. Suits finished off a blouse perfectly with perhaps a high neck with a pussy bow.

 1980s vintage blouses and patterns

1980s vintage blouses and patterns


Romantic – 1980s Vintage blouses

The early part of the 80s was all about the new romantics, with Spandau Ballet, Culture Club, and Adam and the Ants, fashion was billowing fabrics, and a dandyish 18th look with ostentatious makeup for both men and women. Some of this spilled over into everyday wear, with blouses having more fabric, and plenty of work at the neck with crossover fabric and bows. Blouses often came collarless with either a bow or simple pleated fabric and darts. For office wear they were a little more conservative, but didn’t scrimp on darts, drapery and frills if that was what you wanted.


Dress it up with an 80s vintage blouse

Whether you like power dressing with a suit or you fancy a blouse to wear with skinny jeans for a more contemporary look, there’s plenty of 1980s blouses to choose from vintage collections (Blue17?) and independent designers. As with anything vintage you have to be prepared to look high and low and everywhere in-between in order to find that perfect blouse.


Once you’re found it you can wear it anyway you want, with skinny jeans, a denim skirt, leggings, shorts and if you’re not really into the more ostentatious frilly shirt or large pussy bows, then there are alternatives. You can go with a more conservative collarless number, with more emphasis on colour than drapery and frill, or you can go for the v neck collarless blouse with pleated bib or discreet pleated drapery down the front.

And finally….

1980s vintage blouses can be a perfect accompaniment to any outfit whether it’s vintage 80s from top to bottom, or mixed with more contemporary pieces to create a really unique look. The extra effort in finding something that little bit different is always worth the time invested as you’ll be able to put together something uniquely different.


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