[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 14 June 2007, 10:54 GMT 11:54 UK
More 80s fashion and music
Duran Duran
Wild boys
The Magazine is compiling a people's history of modern Britain - featuring your written memories and photos. We started with the 1950s, the 1960s and the 1970s and continue this week with the 80s.

It was the decade of Thatcher, yuppies, chunky mobile phones and BMX bikes.

But among the hundreds of written memories you e-mailed to us, many of you thought first about the music and fashion.

Here is the second story featuring your comments about the popular culture of the decade.

The 80s was full of colour and everything was big. It was a time of big hair, preferably a spiral perm (I got through two cans of Silkvin hairspray a week) big shoulder pads and of course big ear-rings. No look was complete without Twighlight teaser lipstick and blue mascara.
Julie Goodman, late 80s
The music was more "electric" sounding - every band based their music around numerous keyboards and all the boy bands had floppy fringes. And the fashions...who can forget.... leg warmers, Ray Ban sunglasses, trilby hats, fingerless gloves, snoods (Nik Kershaw fans will remember them) wearing odd neon coloured socks, wearing a roll neck top under a shirt, puff ball skirts, the original ra-ra skirts, having short hair but having a tail (one long bit growing down your back which you platted!!) Wearing a bling broach over the top button of a dress shirt with the collar up (very Nick Rhodes) and then there were jump suits which you had to wear the legs rolled up with stillettos and co-ordinated accessories like red plastic bracelets and red bead necklaces and not forgetting the ultra-trendy bit of lace tied into your hair like an Alice band with a bow on top. Oh good god, what were we thinking!!!! But we thought we were so cool.
Julie G (right, in the late 80s), Christchurch, Dorset

It was just before hair gel had reached the shops... we all wanted spiky hair, defined quiffs like Steve Strange, so we used... bars of soap and a hair dryer. The resulting glutinous mass would flake into a torrent of dandruff by mid-morning school break and our much-thumbed copies of the Face magazine (5th form 1983)
Paul Clements, London, UK

Hi Tech trainers with fluorescent laces, permed hair dos everywhere - myself included, with the front sprayed up and the sides, ha ha, how ghastly. Top of the Pops was a weekly favourite and along with it came many one hit wonders and rubbish songs. Playing out was safer and a huge skipping rope with two parents on either end and all the streets kids joining in, that was fun. No one ever stayed indoors all day EVER!
Helen, Runcorn, Cheshire

Hair! The princess Di flick, those ridiculous tiny pig tails, shaggy dog perms - I tried them all in my late childhood. I had some vile bright pink leg warmers which I loved. The news was all about the miners and AIDS. Rubik cubes were the rage. Then later the brick-sized Walkman became the rage in secondary school! Michael Jackson. Commodore 64's...Fantastic! Oh yes and our town got a MacDonalds, well there has to be a down side!
Sarah Peall, Weybridge, Surrey

The 1980s was a coming of age for me. I entered the decade as a 16 year old going on 17. I was working and looking to a future of independence, while, like most other teenagers, I was trying to discover who I was and who I was going to be. Hence, with 20-20 hindsight I often made disastrous fashion choices. I bought my first house for £19,500, my first car, a mini van, for £115.00 and with careful savings, I took a holiday in Greece or Spain once per year. I was pleased and happy with my lot but afraid of credit cards which were thrust at me from all quarters, none of which I took up until well into the 1990s. There was big hair in the 1980s and wet look jerry curls, side burns were out and mullets were in. The music of the 1980s defined the decade for me. We had New Romantics, bubble haired rockers, Michael Jackson, Prince and Madonna, Stock, Aitkin and Waterman, Loose Ends and Soul to Soul. It became alright for a man to spend almost as much time as his girlfriend grooming himself to look his best. It was popular to knock Thatcher, and some had very good reason to, but I often suspected that those I knew who were doing well secretly admired her as the catalyst for their success.
Joe Richardson, Biggleswade

White shirts with broad pink stripes. Women's hairstyles varying from a short back and sides (usually beaver brown dye)to what resembled an explosion in a mattress factory. Next, Principles, men carrying huge fat diaries which resembled a handbag usually selling endowment policies which no one wanted except for the commission. Mobile phones the size of a builder's brick.
Gary Leece, Whitley Bay U.K.

Bat wing jumpers, stretch jeans, white leggings - with white stilettos(!), BIG hair, hair crimpers, Twilight Teaser lipstick, Limara Body Spray, Anais Anais, shoulder pads, Dallas, Duran Duran, Live Aid, Ford Escorts (XR3) with massive spoilers, the miners strike, The Falklands, Espana 82, Mexico 86 (The hand of God or most importantly, Gary Lineker winning the Golden Boot), U2, Levi 501s, Dr Marten shoes... the list goes on!
Maxine Hayes, Bristol

My first holiday to Loret de Mar in Spain, I was pregnant but not aware of this. My two children were born in the 70s, I divorced, met my second husband. Whilst my children were small I did part-time work in a greengrocer, a florist and finally working in local government. I wore platform shoes, flares, maxi dresses and had a frizzy perm. I remember it well!!!!!
Elizabeth Wiltshire, Bristol

Ah the 80s... New Romantics, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Human League, Wham!, Adam and the Ants, S Express, Frankie, Gary Numan, Depeche Mode, Madonna, Stock, Aitken and Waterman, mullet haircuts, ra ra skirts, puffball skirts, shoulder pads, Dallas, Dynasty, Star Trek: The Next Generation, The A Team, Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, Blakes 7, Into the Labyrinth, Margaret Thatcher, Charles and Diana's wedding, Andrew and Fergie's wedding, Falklands, raising of the Mary Rose, unemployment, miners strike......
Sarah Rooke, Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK

I was very young but I remember stilettos; I wanted to be old enough to wear them but sadly was not. I remember the new tarmac on the pavement outside our house being peppered with heel-sized indentations, where it wasn't quite dry yet and had been walked on!
Shirl, Midlands, UK

I was at secondary school during much of the 80's and I remember hating most of the music around at the time. However, I know look back at that music with great fondness and have a large number of 80's compilations in my CD collection. It's also remembered as a decade that fashion forgot. Looking back though, we all seemed to dress pretty smartly. Farahs, shirts, loafers. Jeans and trainers were rarely worn - unless they cost your mum about £60 each!!
Mat Fletcher, Essex

I had my first date with a boy, he arrived in full make-up, all frill and knickerbockers with long boots and hair standing up in all directions...my parents nearly died of shock. I learned a valuable lesson that night about the transferability of make-up¿ the evidence of my first kiss all too obvious!
BigCityGril, London, UK

When straight men wore pink
David, Manchester

A fantastic decade for music, apart from the likes of Stock Aitken & Waterman - manufactured pap. Band Aid, Live Aid, U2, Pet Shop Boys, Tears For Fears, Aha, Billy Idol, Public Image Limited. Started the decade as a boy, ended it as a man. What made it great are my own personal memories. Might have had as much fun growing up in other decades but I guess our 'own' decade is always the best. and a final thought - Pete Wylie, Sinful...thanks for providing the soundtrack
Paul Gray, Gloucester UK

Bad music, extremely dodgy haircuts (the mullet being a personal favourite), frilly shirts and jewellery that matched my belt, shoes and handbag! My first concert, at the age of 12 in 1980 - Shakin' Stevens, my first holiday abroad (to Paris with the school at the time Italy won the World Cup-that was an eye opener!)Not getting to school 'cos the bus couldn't get thru the snow - so much snow - never seems to be as much now. Not knowing whether it was better to be a New Romantic, a mod or to try out some Heavy Metal - punk was never my thing. Lots and lots of firsts and I'd do it all again - but I'd prefer a better soundtrack!
Tracy D, West Lothian, Scotland

Scooter Rallies!!! An eclectic mix of old time northern soulies punks skinheads psychobillies and overly earnest Smiths fans wearing their feet out dancing and drinking the weekends away at all-nighters, and wearing their backsides out riding from one end of the country to another from Easter till October each year.
Stevie, Paisley UK

I remember boys with eyeliner, boys and girls in frilled shirts, long and spiky hair. The New Romantics such as Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet and Soft Cell. Johnny Marr and the Smiths was more my thing. Away from the excesses of fashion, many people had no money and politics was polarised. At Leicester University, where I was a student in the mid eighties, fierce arguments raged including between various lefty factions - the Militant Tendency newspaper sellers jostled with the Revolutionary Communists and the Socialist Workers outside every Students Union meeting. There were well-known solidarity movements e,g with the anti-apartheid movement & the Sandinistas. Meanwhile the Federation of Conservative Students (also extreme in their views) were wearing T-shirts supporting the Nicaraguan contras. I remember it as a time of huge division everywhere, not just in the communities affected by the Miners' Strike.
K. Simpson, Nottingham, UK

Shellsuits and lycra cycling shorts in hideous neon colours!
Jessica Morgan, Baildon, UK

Being brought up in the 80s was cool, Duran Duran, Adam and the Ants and all that nu romantic stuff, jelly bean shoes and kickers, rubbish stone washed jeans with naff piping down the side but you thought you were the bee`s knees in them, swankers also that had elastic at the ankles ( noooooo, call the fashion police, Fruit of the Loom T-shirts and sweaters, leg warmers that you wore even in summer for some reason. The telly was fab with Dallas and Juliet Bravo. Then you had Flash Gordon battling it out with Ming`s minions, the kids from Fame, they didn't live for ever!! but encouraged kids from all over to kick their legs in the air as they jumped off the settee. Remember the Rubik cube? Everyone in school had one, to cheat you picked the coloured stickers off to make it look like you had actually cracked it, Pac Man video games. Ahh they were the days for me we had a fab time in the 80s, definitely the best era of all.
Jo Stubbs, York

Big phones, big shoulder pads, big hair and big egos¿. But hey, it was fun. Plus I miss Maggie - she was a true leader (unlike plastic Tony).
Alfie Noakes, North of England

Fluorescent socks! I had a pair where the left was bright yellow and the right was electric pink. They were really fluffy and made of a horrible cheap nylon type material. I was only about four at the time (1988) but I remember them vividly!
Daniel Robinson, Southampton, UK

In the 80s London and the UK were the place to be. The second British music invasion came to the US and everyone just wanted to go to London. My friends and I went every summer and sometimes another trip at Christmas or Feb. school break. I remember hanging out on the Kings Road and seeing the punks. We also hung out at Covent Garden, looking for Sloane Rangers, Hyper Hyper, the Hippodrome and the music. It was all about the music-U2, Cure, Smiths, Depeche Mode, Thompson Twins, the Art of Noise, Simple Minds, Wham, Duran Duran, the Alarm, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Eurythmics, Live Aid -- it was the best ever! The fashion was also great- big shoulder pads, spiked hair, cool sun glasses! It was also the decade of the Princess of Wales. I stayed home from work that day to watch the wedding and took pictures off the TV with my 35mm camera! I also remember how safe I always felt in London. The theatre was also fantastic then and we would see so many plays when we would be in town. I wish it was the 80s again! I wish I were in London again!
Mary Elizabeth Delaney, Oyster Bay NY USA

My memories of the 80s are the music. Pop stars looked like they fell from the sky with their unique looks - I loved Adam Ant, Toyah and Madonna. I had two older sisters and we were all Durannies but liked different members and often argued about who was the best. Then my eldest sister went to the dark side and started liking Wham! She's never lived that down.
Mandy, Cardiff, Wales

In 1987 my sister got into trouble with my mum for going all the way to Hammersmith Odeon to see Bon Jovi with her friend without permission(they were only 15!). I don't know which was worse - seeing her idols or getting a row off our mum!
Mandi, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific