Totally awesome vintage ’80s clothes for girls

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Vintage '80s clothes for girls

Note: This article may feature affiliate links to Amazon or other companies, and purchases made via these links may earn us a small commission at no additional cost to you. Find out more here.

The clothing styles girls want to wear at school and at home (1983)

This school year, clothes that provide a versatile fashion slant without compromising practical and easy-maintenance features are the strongest leaders among the maze of trends and fads.

As in past years, separates are the bestselling student apparel. While the styles are purely functional, the pieces are easily mixed and matched.

However, the news about separates this season is the way in which grown-up styles are translated into youthful looks.

Vintage 80s blouse styles for girls from Miss Manhattan - Sears

Some of these new options include oversized shirt-dresses, dirndl skirts and drop-waist minidresses.

Along with the classic mid-knee skirt lengths are the increasingly popular skimp and minidresses worn with coordinating colored hosiery.

With skirt length of no real fashion significance, Rhoda Bloomquist, special events and fashion coordinator of Burdines, points out that hemlines are “everywhere,” adding, “you should wear a length that’s most becoming to you rather than wear one for fashion’s sake.”

Drop-waist skirts and dresses - Sears 1983

For school girls, a trace of the ’50s takes shape in the way of full-cut bias skirts, collarless V-neck letter sweaters and revamped saddle shoes in leather or brightly colored cushion-quilted nylon.

The coed look remains a staple in every school wardrobe. Girls team classic cotton cloth shirts — some featuring ruffled stand-up collar and cuffs — with tailored corduroys.

They also lean toward the simple sophisticated looks of lightweight wool blazers, button-down blouses and coatdresses.

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Fashionable activewear for girls (1983)


The trendiest ’80s fashions for girls & tweens

Hunt Club sweaters, polo shirts, oxfords, striped shirts, jeans, khakis and slacks

Hunt Club sweaters, polo shirts, oxfords, striped shirts, jeans, khakis and slacks


Vintage basic clothes for girls

Striped sweaters, Hunt Club Oxford cloth shirts, knit tops, corduroy trousers and web belts

Striped sweaters, Hunt Club Oxford cloth shirts, knit tops, corduroy trousers and web belts


Retro eighties clothing for girls

Double-breasted tuxedo blouses, suspender pants, argyle sweaters, cropped pants and blouses with detachable bows

Double-breasted tuxedo blouses, suspender pants, argyle sweaters, cropped pants and blouses with detachable bows


Trendy back-to-school fall ’83 clothing for girls

Preppy cable-knit sweater vests, circle skirts and pleated pants – worn with long-sleeved blouses and big neck bows

Preppy cable-knit sweater vests, circle skirts and pleated pants - worn with long-sleeved blouses and big neck bows


Traditional and old-time clothes

Old-fashioned ’50-style outfit — with poodle skirt! — plus prairie-style dresses and skirts for girls

Old-fashioned '50-style outfit - plus prairie style dresses and skirts for girls


Corduroy separates for girls – jackets, tops, pants, split skirts

Corduroy separates for girls - jackets, tops, pants, split skirts


Back-to-school fashions from JC Penney

Color-block velour top and corduroy pants – and a striped velour top with a corduroy skirt

Color-block velour top and corduroy pants - and a striped velour top with a corduroy skirt


Back-to-school clothing for girls

Layered-look striped top, denim vests, denim miniskirt, chambray skirt and denim baggy jeans

Layered-look striped top, denim vests, denim miniskirt, chambray skirt and denim baggy jeans


Plaid flannel tops, vintage corduroy pants, suspenders, jeans and backpacks

Plaid flannel tops, vintage corduroy pants, suspenders, jeans and backpacks


Stylishly preppy outfits for girls

Black and red checked tops, walk shorts, hooded cable sweaters and denim with corduroy roll cuffs
Black and red checked tops, walk shorts, hooded cable sweaters and denim with corduroy roll cuffs


Kids’ character fashion

Reversible raincoats, Garfield shirts and pants, plus Garfield and Smurfs underwear and socks
Reversible raincoats, Garfield shirts and pants, plus Garfield and Smurfs underwear and socks


Vintage character clothing

Novelty tops with Ziggy, Hogs ‘n’ Kisses and Garfield – plus shiny Smurfs and Strawberry Shortcake pearlized vinyl jackets
Novelty tops with Ziggy, Hogs 'n' Kisses and Garfield - plus shiny Smurfs and Strawberry Shortcake pearlized vinyl jackets


Dressier outfits for girls

Jacquard sweaters with leg of mutton sleeves, ruffled sweaters, and shawl-collar sweaters for girls

ALSO SEE: See how vintage prairie dresses & ruffled shirts had a big comeback in the ’80s

Jacquard sweaters with leg of mutton sleeves, ruffled sweaters, and shawl-collar sweaters for girls


Dressy ’80s clothing: Sweaters and blazers

Vintage flannel and corduroy blazers, plus cableswitch sweaters and striped Oxford-cloth shirts

ALSO SEE: 100 vintage ’80s prom dresses: See the hottest retro styles teen girls wore

ALVintage flannel and corduroy blazers, plus cableswitch sweaters and striped Oxford-cloth shirts


Shirts and sweaters for girls

Button-down Oxford cloth shirts and crewneck acrylic knit sweaters

Button-down Oxford cloth shirts and crewneck acrylic knit sweaters


Stylish basics for girls from 1983

Preppy polo shirts, twill pants and skirts – plus leather perforated-vamp pumps

ALSO SEE: Vintage Dr Scholl’s Exercise Sandals & Toe Hugger shoes for women

Preppy polo shirts, twill pants and skirts - plus leather perforated-vamp pumps Stylish


Sailing along – Retro ’80s spring clothes for the shore & sailboat

Sailing along - Retro 80s spring clothes for the shore and sailboat


Supermodel Cheryl Tiegs with future actress Jennifer Connelly in 1983

DON’T MISS: See young Jennifer Connelly before she was famous (1982)

Supermodel Cheryl Tiegs with future actress Jennifer Connelly in 1983


Trendy styles for tweens

Vintage ’80s scoop-neck top, fade-out denim jeans, boatneck sweaters and pleated corduroy pants for pre-teens
Vintage '80s scoop-neck top, fade-out denim jeans, boatneck sweaters and pleated corduroy pants for pre-teens


Preppy eighties outfits – sweaters, jackets and slack

Preppy eighties outfits for girls - sweater, jackets and slacks

DON’T MISS: Vintage shoe stores: See what shoe shopping really used to be like


Latest fashions for girls and juniors from 1983

Bomber-style jackets and rainbow shirts

Latest fashions for girls and juniors from 1983

REMEMBER THESE? Vintage jelly shoes were THE footwear for summer in the ’80s & ’90s


Pretty preppy fashions

The Fox – Build a collection of casuals and classics in colors that accent
The Fox - Build a collection of casuals and classics in colors that accent


Retro 80s-style tops

Superwear ’80s tops for girls – turtlenecks, tees, tipped collar tops, polos and more

ALSO SEE: Do you remember these shampoos & conditioners from the ’80s?

Superwear '80s tops for girls - turtlenecks, tees, tipped collar tops, polos and more


Lace-trimmed denim dress with puff sleeves and tiered skirt with a low waist

Lace-trimmed denim dress with puff sleeves and tiered skirt with a low waist

Fashionable dressy clothes for girls and tweens

Lace-trimmed denim dress with puff sleeves and tiered skirt with a low waist


Vintage 1980s dresses

Layered-lock dresses, plus plaid-smocked, striped knit and asymmetrical front dresses

Layered-lock dresses, plus plaid-smocked, striped knit and asymmetrical front dresses


School clothing for girls

Sleeveless V-neck sweater vests, ruffle-trimmed blouses, turtleneck tops and pointed collar shirtsSleeveless V-neck sweater vests, ruffle-trimmed blouses, turtleneck tops and pointed collar shirts


1980s activewear

Vintage styles of activewear tops, cardigan sweaters, baseball jerseys, print turtleneck tops and straight-leg jean

Vintage styles of activewear tops, cardigan sweaters, baseball jerseys, print turtleneck tops and straight-leg jeans


Cold weather gear

Chintz jacket with chest warmer, jean-style pants, jacket and ski vests and bib-top snowpants
Chintz jacket with chest warmer, jean-style pants, jacket and ski vests and bib-top snowpants


Vintage ski outfits for girls

Fashion nylon ski pants, snowmobile suits, jacket vests, striped ski hats and bubble ski mittens for girls

Fashion nylon ski pants, snowmobile suits, jacket vests, striped ski hats and bubble ski mittens for girls


Outerwear for girls from the 1983 JCPenney catalog

An ’80s four-in-one fully-lined parka with vest, and quilted jean-style cold weather pant

An '80s four-in-one fully-lined parka with vest, and quilted jean-style cold weather pants


Jackets for girls from the 80s

leece-look jackets, chest warmers, reversible jackets, poplin hats and scarf sets
Fleece-look jackets, chest warmers, reverisble jackets, poplin hats and scarf sets


Jackets and coats for girls from the 1983 JCPenney catalog

Trench coats, corduroy stadium coats, reversible hoodies and quilted puff coats with shawl collars

DON’T MISS: Hairspray from the ’80s: The key to that retro big hair look

Trench coats, corduroy stadium coats, reversible hoodies and quilted puff coats with shawl collars


Cozy and warm vintage outerwear for girls – coats, jackets and vests

Cozy and warm vintage outerwear for girls - coats, jackets and vests


Nightgowns and PJs for girls

Vintage sleepwear - geometric prints, screen-printed sleepwear, solid and striped knit pajamas


Retro character sleepwear

Retro ’80s nightgowns and pajamas for girls, including those with Garfield the Cat and Herself the Elf

Retro '80s nightgowns and pajamas for girls, including those with Garfield the Cat and Herself the Elf


Vintage Danskin leotards and wrap skirts for girls

ALSO SEE: How Jane Fonda’s workout videos & exercise empire got us fit in the ’80s

Vintage Danskin leotards and wrap skirts for girls


Clothes that have dance-appeal (1983)

Striped leotards, leggings, headbands and more for young juniors and girls

Clothes that have dance-appeal - Leotards and more for young juniors and girls (1983)


Fitness fashion for young teens

Sweatsuits for girls – retro athletic warm-up wear, knit tops and striped crewneck tops
Sweatsuits for girls - retro athletic warm-up wear, knit tops and striped crewneck tops


Fashionable ’80s-style fleece for girls

Fleecy sweatshirt material pants, miniskirts, jackets, dresses, and tops for girls ages 7 to 14

Fleecy sweatshirt material pants, miniskirts, jackets, dresses, and tops for girls ages 7 to 14


Kids’ fitness wear – sweatsuits and jogging outfits from the ’80s

Activewear and retro stylish jogwear — vest, pullover and sweatpants for girls

ALSO SEE: Vintage ’80s fashion tips for teens: Clothes that fit the shape you’re in (1982)

Activewear and retro stylish jogwear - vest, pullover and sweatpants for girls


Pouch-pocket tops, Spalding striped tops and Spalding brand pleated pants

Pouch-pocket tops, Spalding striped tops and Spalding brand pleated pants


Fashion fitness and leotards

Fashion fitness and leotards for girls from the '80s


Cable-knit tights, opaque tights and rib-knit tights for girls

Cable-knit tights, opaque tights and rib-knit tights for girls


Socks for girls and teens

Terry sports socks, crew socks, tube socks and knee-highs

SEE MORE HERE: These retro 1980s socks, knee-highs & other sassy sock styles went beyond black & white

Knee-high socks for girls, terry sports socks, crew socks, tube socks and knee-highs


Underwear basics for girls

Also rib-knit short sleeve shirts, value-pack briefs and panties for every day of the week

Underwear basics for girls - print vests, vests and panties and thermal underwear


Clothes and undergarments for girls from the 1983 JCPenney catalog

’80s-style training bras for pre-teens and slips for girls of all ages
'80s-style training bras for pre-teens and slips for girls of all ages


Fancy vintage ’80s clothing for young girls

Fancy vintage '80s clothing for little girls


1980s clothes for girls

Ruffle-trim overalls, jumper and blouse sets, skirts and blouses and corduroy vests and pants
Ruffle-trim overalls, jumper and blouse sets, skirts and blouses and corduroy vests and pants


Outdoor wear for girls

Storm Plus parka-style jackets and bomber-style jackets, plus snow pants, hats and mittens
Storm Plus parka-style jackets and bomber-style jackets, plus snow pants, hats and mittens


Snowsuits, snowmobile suits, ski jackets, ski mittens and ski hats for girlss

Snowsuits, snowmobile suits, ski jackets, ski mittens and ski hats for girls


1980s classic clothes

Stiped boatnet tops, cardigan sweaters, layered-look tops and no-iron classic shirts

ALSO SEE: Converse vintage shoes: The old-school Chucks, sneakers & athletic footwear

Stiped boatnet tops, cardigan sweaters, layered-look tops and no-iron classic shirts


Cozy vintage ’80s jackets for little girls

Cozy vintage '80s jackets for little girls


Little dresses and top and pants sets for kids

Little dresses and top and pants sets for kids


Preppy vintage ’80s styles for young girls

Preppy vintage '80s styles for young girls


Cartoon & character clothing styles

Famous names include Garfield, Smurf, Herself the Elf, Strawberry Shortcake, Care Bears and other characters kids loved
Garfield, Smurf, Herself the Elf, Strawberry Shortcake, Care Bears and other character clothes for little girls


Girls Only clothing

Retro ’80s striped shirts, corduroy pants, corduroy jackets, French-terry tops and corduroy jumpsuits
Girls Only clothing - striped shirts, corduroy pants, corduroy jackets, French-terry tops and corduroy jumpsuits


It’s sweater season!

Crewneck sweaters, Oxford-cloth shirts, hooded cardigan sweaters and cute cat-pattern cardigan sweaters
Crewneck sweaters, Oxford-cloth shirts, hooded cardigan sweaters and cute cat-pattern cardigan sweaters


Superwear – durable sportswear for little girls

Superwear - durable sportswear for little girls


Vintage 1980s Levi’s clothes

Vintage Levi’s clothing for little kids – plaid blouses, denim jeans, striped tops – plus corduroy jeans

Vintage Levi's clothing for little kids - plaid blouses, denim jeans, striped tops - plus corduroy jeans


Little girls (4-6x) clothes from the 1983 JCPenney catalog

Windowpane blouses, print blouses, and corduroy pants, shorts, jackets and jumpers

Windowpane blouses, print blouses, and corduroy pants, shorts, jackets and jumpers


Sweet retro decorated clothes for little kids

Rainbows, hearts, apples, flowers and butterflies on cute clothes for little girls
Rainbows, hearts, apples, flowers and butterflies on cute clothes for little girls


Fashion from the 1980s: overalls and turtlenecks

Corduroy bib overalls for little girls, with turtleneck tops and plaid-trimmed work shirts
Corduroy bib overalls for little girls, with turtleneck tops and plaid-trimmed work shirts


Active playwear for little girls

Turquoise and rose for playful results
Turquoise and rose for playful results - Active playwear for little girls


Fleecy winter clothing for little girls

Fleecy winter clothing for little girls


Fashionably preppy clothing for little girls – sizes 3 to 6x

Fashionably preppy clothing for little girls - sizes 3 to 6x


Jeans and denim for eighties girls

Super denim and super cord jeans for long-lasting sportswear fashion
Super denim and super cord jeans for long-lasting sportswear fashion


Vintage Noelle jeans for young juniors and girls (1983)

Vintage Noelle jeans for young juniors and girls (1983)

ALSO SEE: The unlikely history of Levi’s jeans – or, how clothes from 150 years ago are still fashionable today


Retro clothes for girls

Twill jumpsuits, corduroy jumpsuits, overalls and an overall-striped top set
Twill jumpsuits, corduroy jumpsuits, overalls and an overall-striped top set


Back-to-school clothing

The hottest ’80s styles for teens and tweens – ruffle-trimmed plaid blouses, striped knee-high socks and sweatshirt tops

The hottest '80s styles for teens and tweens - ruffle-trimmed plaid blouses, striped knee-high shocks and sweatshirt tops


The inexplicable ’80s revival of pseudo antique newsboy-style pants – for girls

The inexplicable '80s revival of pseudo antique newsboy-style pants - for girls


Fashionable fitness gear for girls from the 1983 JCPenney catalog

Warm-up separates – jogging pants and sweatshirts for girls, in bright pink, bright blue and grey

Warm-up separates - jogging pants and sweatshirts for girls, in bright pink, bright blue and grey


Vintage 1980s girl’s clothing

Hunt Club jeans, denim skirts and Oxford cloth dresses in blue and pink

Hunt Club jeans, denim skirts and Oxford cloth dresses in blue and pink


Designer jeans for girls from 1983

Popular designer jeans, including Gitano, Chic for Girls and Sassoon 5-pocket jeans – plus a Jordache leather belt

Popular designer jeans, including Gitano, Chic for Girls and Sassoon 5-pocket jeans - plus a Jordache leather belt


Grade-school and junior high fashions for girls

Levi’s bib-front blouse, corduroy jeans, Buffalo plaid blouse, denim jacket and jeans – plus a Sassoon shoulder bag

Levi's bib-front blouse, corduroy jeans, Buffalo plaid blouse, denim jacket and jeans - plus a Sassoon shoulder bag

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Fashion for girls in the 1983 JC Penney catalog

While skirt lengths make little fashion impact, layered legs of colorful socks and stockings play an important role in back-to-school fashions.

“Colored and patterned stockings are an important fashion statement for all ages this year,” says Bloomquist. “The younger set wears them with minis, or together with a different color anklet.”

Knee socks, anklets and stockings range in a variety of colors from fuchsia to French blue — while argyles, rugby stripes and mini-prints have a strong foothold in the sock department. These are shown sock over sock, sock over panty stockings, and legwarmers over tights in contrasting colors.

As fall signals a new fashion season, color becomes a fashion entity. In first class is fuchsia, mallard blue, turquoise and combinations of royal blue and yellow, or purple and jade.

Little girls in outfits from fall 1983

“Students are going for color this season,” says Agnes Lund, division manager of the children and pre-teen departments of Sears. “The girls seem to prefer the bright lavenders, and the boys like strong, bright colors.”

Corduroy jeans are a fashionable solution to most back-to-school dilemmas… Cords are reintroduced this fall in a multitude of colors, such as grape, magenta and green for girls.

Perhaps as a spinoff to this color category, many designer jeans manufacturers have introduced black denim jeans as an alternative to the blues. In fact, many of today’s blue jeans are styled much like casual dress pants.

Bloomquist notes that status (or designer) jeans are in vogue once again; however, they’re dressier jeans with regard to design.

Lund agrees, saying, “the kids of today are much more concerned about their clothes — the fit, the color and being coordinated and stylish.”

Fall styles for tweens and teens for 1982

Topping off many of this fall’s back-to-school clothes is the sweater. Available in such variations as vests, crewnecks and cardigans, the sweater is rated the strongest fashion statement nationwide.

The total sweater picture shifts its focus to leading looks: argyles, checks, jacquards, Fair Isle patterns, novelty knits and year-round cottons.

While many of these sweater looks are layered for practical reasons, layering is also used as a designer technique to introduce more color and texture to school clothes. As more patterns are used, the monochrome shades become an important link to a color-coordinated wardrobe.

– Adapted from an article published in the News-Press (Fort Myers, Florida) -August 21, 1983

NOW SEE THIS: 284+ retro women’s shoes from the ’80s

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