1980s Workout Outfit Ideas

1980s fitness fashion was fierce, sexy and unafraid to flaunt the body.
1980s fitness fashion was fierce, sexy and unafraid to flaunt the body. (Image: fitness trainer image by Andrejs Pidjass from Fotolia.com)

The 1980s workout fashion scene was not afraid to show the body. People were glamorous and sexy when they worked out in the 80s, and wore brightly colored tight outfits, cut off shirts and revealing bottoms. Exercise outfits were worn not only to the gym but during everyday routines and often to school.


The headband was a staple accessory of 1980s workout fashion. Seen in countless 80s movies, the headband or sweatband was both useful and stylish. While ornamenting the crown of the head, it kept hair from falling into the face and absorbed any sweat that dripped down during exercise.


Spandex was worn shamelessly in the 80s by both men and women. Tight, brightly colored pants and tops were worn underneath short shorts, thongs and unitards. This stretchy material was perfect for exercise as it did not hinder body movement. Spandex kept skin covered while still revealing the shape and contours of the body.


Unitards are one-piece full body suits that cover the torso. Women wore unitards alone or over tights, spandex or shorts. Unitards, like spandex, are skin tight and were often brightly colored. Unitard cuts varied greatly in the 80s. Some were modestly designed, while others revealed cleavage and had thong bottoms.


Another staple of 80s workout fashion was legwarmers. Made famous by movies like "Flashdance," legwarmers are soft tubes that cover a woman's calves and ankles. Leg warmers are stretched out along the calf and then scrunched down to the ankles and around the top of the shoe.


T-shirts were worn in the 80s to work out as well. T-shirts were, like the other articles, brightly colored and tight fitting. Men would often cut the sleeves off T-shirts to reveal their chests and sides. Women would cut the necks to let the T-shirt drape over the shoulder, or cut the bottom off revealing the midriff, or both.


Sweatpants were worn not only to workout but around the house, to run errands and even to school. Colored sweatpants were a favorite choice for both men and women. In the 80s, most sweatpants were made of cotton fleece and had elastic waists and ankles, making them flare out.

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