Q:

What did black people wear in the 80s?

A:

In the 80s, African Americans wore an array of eccentric fashions. The style was psychedelic print shirts, biking shorts, oversized clothing and acid washed denim. No outfit was complete without the key accessories — gold chains, bamboo earrings, scrunchies, floppy hats and Adidas sneakers.

In the 80s, loud and brightly colored clothing was the trend. MC Hammer popularized colorful, oversized pants in the late 80s. The pants came in different prints and materials and defined the hip-hop look. Overalls, more commonly referred to as “jumpers,” were prevalent in women's fashion. The style was to wear one strap fastened and leave the other strap hanging loose. Tracksuits were also very popular; men often wore tracksuits with coordinated sneakers and hats.

Adults and kids wore inexpensive, colorful shoes called Jellies. Jellies were comfortable but not very durable; they usually only lasted for a few months. For men, no outfit was complete without a high-top fade. The hairstyle consisted of shaving the sides of one’s head, leaving a square block shape on the top. Rapper Kid of the “House Party” movie series was instrumental in popularizing this hairstyle.

Fashion from the 80s remains prevalent in modern culture to date. Carrie Bradshaw of the hit HBO series Sex and the City wore 80s bamboo earrings and a gold name chain as her signature style. Louis Vuitton collaborated with the late artist Stephen Sprouse to integrate 80s graffiti street art into monogrammed bags, leggings and shoes.


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