80’s Clothing Brands That Just Aren’t Cool Anymore

When we think of 80’s clothing, we think of spandex, lycra, neon colors, and oversized jewelry.

Whilst some of these trends have made it into popular clothing culture today, many are considered to be outdated and generally unfashionable. 

80’s Clothing Brands That Just Aren’t Cool Anymore

At the height of the 1980’s, designers were trying to keep up with public demand for new clothing styles, and this period of high conceptualization defined the decades desire for modernity, color, and personality. 

As lovers of fashion, we tend to take bits and pieces that we love from different decades, whilst some trends are completely sidelined and fall into the depths of obscurity.

Despite this, it’s still enjoyable to look back at some we might have forgotten. 

Below, we take a look at some popular clothing brands from the 1980s, that just aren’t cool anymore. Keep reading to feel all of that nostalgia. 

1. American Apparel 

Let’s start off with a brand that we’re all familiar with. American Apparel is still very much a part of the cultural psyche, but it is nowhere near as trendy as it was during the 1980s.

Although they’re still renowned for creating high quality garments that stand the test of time, their brand clearly couldn’t keep up with public demand. 

As a result, the other similar clothing brands have taken center stage, leaving the brand in their dust. 

2. Swatch Watches

Some of you reading this may not even be familiar with the brand Swatch Watches, but we’re here to guarantee you that they were a pretty big deal in the 1980s.

Although they’re not technically a clothing brand, having one of these watches on your wrist was the final way to complete your outfit. 

If you didn’t own one of their funky patterned watches with contrasting colors, you just weren’t hip. Looking at the garish colors of these however, we can guarantee that they wouldn’t fly nowadays. 

3. Issey Miyake 

Everyone who is interested in the history of fashion will know all about Issey Miyake.

He is credited with revolutionizing clothing in the 1980s, by generating sleek, stylish, fashionable trends that were comfortable to wear, unlike many other designer brands on the market. 

He is also credited with developing the pleat, which is a trend that we still know and love today.

Despite this, Issey Miyake definitely isn’t up there with our favorite designers today. Infact, the brand is more well known for their perfumes today than their clothing designs. 

4. Coca Cola 

Coca Cola 

The 1980s were the decade of coca cola adverts. With Michael Jackson taking center stage as the ambassador of the brand, it truly skyrocketed in terms of popularity.

Everybody suddenly wanted coca cola themed items. Coca cola themed pajamas, coca cola themed watches, coca cola handbags, you name it and they made it. 

As the 1908s waned however, so did the popularity of coca cola.

That doesn’t mean that we don’t still enjoy it as a popular beverage choice today, but that’s as far as it goes. You certainly wouldn’t find us sporting coca cola sunglasses!

5. United Colors Of Benetton 

This brand was truly one of the most popular on the market, and looking back at some of their clothing items is truly nostalgic.

They had highly expressive clothing that allowed you to stand out of the crowd. Some of their most popular pieces included colorful knitwear, as well as shirts, pants, and sweaters. 

Their clothing, which traditionally consisted of green, yellow, and red prints, is truly a staple of the decade, and screams 80s fashion.

The issue is that their clothing is simply TOO 80s for fashion today

Rather than creating subtle references to their previous fashion releases, they continue to produce the same loud color combinations that are a bit overpowering by today’s standards. 

6. Triple Fat Goose 

Triple Fat Goose still exists today, but has faded into obscurity due the popularity of competing brands.

Triple Fat Goose were well known in the 1980s for creating padded ski jackets that were of a high quality, hence the name ‘Triple Goose’. 

Ski jackets, or what we might call ‘puffer’ or ‘downs’ jackets today were incredibly popular with the socially elite.

Many yuppies of the day could be seen sporting one of these jackets, even more frequently after luxury designers such as Ralph Lauren started to steal their style. 

These kinds of jackets are so popular and ubiquitous nowadays, that the original creator has no longer become relevant. There are simply people out there who do it better these days. 

7. Coogi

If you take a look at some of the sweatshirts produced by Coogi, there is no doubt in our minds that you’ll be able to guess which decade they’re from.

These sweatshirts just scream 1980s patterns. They were incredibly popular amongst celebrities of the day, but this was actually a contributing factor to the brand’s downfall. 

Some notorious celebrities were known for wearing the brand, which ultimately discouraged the public from purchasing the sweatshirts, as they didn’t want the associations. 

8. LA Gear

LA Gear

We love the shoes that LA Gear produced in the 1980s simply because they’re so reminiscent of the decade.

They were made popular by several athletes, including Joe Montanta. Even Michael Jackson could be seen sporting these sneakers when he was offstage. 

These bright, chunky trainers just don’t fit into today’s fashion however, and this has seen the brand struggle for sales.

In fact, today they’re more well known for their clothing rather than their sneakers. 

9. Gloria Vanderbilt Jeans

Many people often forget that the 1980s were also the decade of denim. Many clothing brands rose to popularity by producing fun and innovative denim based items.

Heiress Gloria Vanderbilt decided to jump on this bandwagon, and produced her clothing line ‘Gloria Vanderbilt Jeans’, at the height of the decade. 

Because her name was attached to the brand, these sold out very quickly in their time. This brand however, is almost just a memory today.

You can still find a few of her pieces in department stores, but the brand only store of yesteryear is just a faint memory. 

10. Bebe 

If you take a look at some of the designs produced by the brand Bebe, you’ll be reminded of many of the fashionable cropped t-shirts of today.

This brand started the trend of the plain t-shirt along with a subtle nod to the branding on the front. 

This brand did try their best to make a comeback in 2017, but it just never happened.

Don’t get us wrong, you will still find a few stores that sell the brand, but they’re not bringing in the profit that they used to. 

11. Cap Sac

If you were a kid in the 1980s, then chances are that you remember the brand Cap Sac.

They’re renowned for their colorful prints, patterns and styles, which were just fun to wear. They were incredibly popular with kids, as well as for producing sportswear. 

Their swimsuits and trunks are legendary, and still look pretty cool today to hark back on. It was the sports industry that were actually responsible for making them as popular as they eventually became. 

12. Jordache 


We previously mentioned that the 1980s were the decade of denim, and this clothing brand certainly proves that.

Jordache were an incredibly popular clothing brand in the 1980s, and were especially popular amongst teenagers of the decade. 

Their bootcut jeans were especially popular, and marked one of the biggest trends of the decade. Unfortunately, this brand truly isn’t a thing anymore.

The producers of the brand failed to keep up demand, and have gradually given up on making new and interesting designs. 

13. Roberto Cavalli 

Perhaps the most popular designer brand of the 1980s, this brand was a well known clothing choice for elite businessmen of the day.

Their loafers, in particular, were incredibly popular. 

They have recently however gone into liquidation. 

Final Thoughts 

To sum up, there are many nostalgic brands of the 1980s that simply wouldn’t be considered fashionable by today’s standards.

Despite this, it’s interesting to look back at some of the styles of the decade. This way, we can learn about the fashions that have inspired many of our clothes today.

Willa Price