Dresses of the 80’s were dynamic, bold, and daring with fashion designers that loved to use as many pattern tricks as they could to create bright, flamboyant, and exuberant designs.
The 1980s dress patterns, UK shoppers wore, and seen below, feature an array of ruffles & tiers, puffed and pleated details, all neatly patterned to perfection using tucks, known as darts, to fold around the womanly figure, often coming in at the waist with a belt, sash, or extra ruffle or two. Even drop-waist 1980s dress patterns had some way of emphasising the womanly hip curvature, whether it was that the cut of the dress came in slightly at the waist, hugging the shape, or it was defined with some change in fabric, or embellishment. For example, when a dress pattern had the bodice section come down perhaps even as far as the thighs, before flaring out with a pleated or tiered flowing skirt, the wearer may also have worn a belt, bow, or sash to pinch in at the waist. This created a very layered and beautifully ornate look.
The shoulders, arms, and neck shapes were otherwise padded and puffed out to create a blockier shape. Big hairdos and bold earrings, were always worn with a dress to elongate the neck, while very broad shoulders and drop-down necklines made a woman’s torso the focal point of any outfit.
The prom dress was perfect for 80s fashion. Bright neon, bold shocking pinks, electric blues, and alarming yellow colours, all worn with several tiers, corsages, big pearl necklaces, teased high hair and big dangly earrings were the epitome of the style worn. For some very beautiful dresses for a special occasion look at the vintage dress patterns 1980s collection below.
The well-known shoulder pads, blocked colour, double-breasted and heavily buttoned bodices of the time, all mimicked a work suit look and had the aim of empowering the woman in the workplace and any other competitive environment. Icons of the time such as Princess Diana and the Duchess of York wore very ornate and glamourous styles that inspired many who saw them care for charities, stand up for causes, act as ambassadors alongside other royals, and deal with being in the constant public eye.
Oversized jackets and coats were often seen and were incorporated even into the 1980s wrap-around dress styles of the time. For example, we have a Ralph Lauren mock wrap around dress that looks like it was inspired by the trench coat that was also popular in the 80s.
For the everyday look, the 1980s house dress pattern favored pinafore dresses, with the same attention to the neckline, and bodice part of the dress. The bold shoulder shapes were still there, but perhaps without the padded material which may hinder your chance of getting any jobs done comfortably around the home.
For an excellent choice and growing collection of vintage dress patterns 1980s UK fashion lovers can purchase and create in their own home, come to The Vintage Pattern Shop, and check out the beautiful 80s dress patterns we have available.
1980s Vintage VOGUE Sewing Pattern B36 DRESS BELT & JACKET (1708) Adele Simpson
1980s Vintage VOGUE Sewing Pattern DRESS B36" (R335)
1984 Vintage VOGUE Sewing Pattern B38″ DRESS (1945) By Albert Nipon
1985 Vintage VOGUE Sewing Pattern DRESS B36" (1702) By Kasper
1986 Vintage VOGUE Sewing Pattern MOCK WRAP DRESS Bust 36-38″ (1703) By RALPH LAUREN
1987 Vintage VOGUE Sewing Pattern DRESS B36" (1690) By BELLVILLE SASSOON
1989 Vintage VOGUE Sewing Pattern DRESS B34-36-38" (1699) By Tom & Linda Platt