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At the end of this post, you will find our pick of all the best 80s necklaces for you to add to a fancy dress costume. You can jump straight to this section using the link below…
But first, we want to explore the different types of necklaces people were wearing back in the day.
What were the most popular necklaces of the 1980s?
Religious cross and crucifix necklaces and long-layered necklaces with chains and beads were made popular by the 80s pop star Madonna. Chunky gold rope chain necklaces became popular within the hip hop community. Gold jewellery was popular with both men and women, and necklaces with meaningful pendants and charms were commonplace. Plastic and neon necklaces were also popular in the 1980s, and sometimes included geometric shapes such as triangles and squares.
The 1980s saw a resurgence of religious symbolism in jewellery, thanks mainly to Madonna. Madonna was often seen wearing add a catholic cross necklace with chains and rosary beads, white (pearls), silver and black beaded necklaces.
Madonna wearing layers of black and silver rosary beads necklaces in Desperately Seeking Susan.
Cyndi Lauper also wore beaded necklaces in a mixture of long and short lengths, although these were in an array of different colours.
Long, Layered Necklaces
Long, layered necklaces were a prevalent trend in the 1980s. These necklaces featured multiple strands of chains, pearls, or a combination of both. Long chains were often adorned with large pendants or charms, adding a touch of individuality to the layered look.
Neon Plastic Necklaces
The 1980s was the era of neon colours and plastic materials, and this trend extended to jewellery, including necklaces. Neon-coloured plastic necklaces, often in the form of beads or chunky geometric shapes, were a staple in the wardrobes of many 80s fashion enthusiasts.
Gold Rope Chain Necklaces
Chunky gold rope chain necklaces also saw a rise in popularity, and these were very much a part of the growing 80s hip hop scene, with bands such as Run DMC, Salt-N-Pepa embracing the look.
But Gold jewellery in general was very popular during the 1980s.
The Controversial VW Badge Necklace
In 1986, Mike D from The Beastie Boys started wearing a large Volkswagen emblem attached to a chunky gold chain-link necklace. This fuelled a surge in thefts of VW badges from cars, as fans tried to emulate the look.
Pendants with sentimental or meaningful symbols were an essential part of ’80s fashion. Heart-shaped lockets, peace signs, and yin-yang pendants were popular choices. These necklaces allowed wearers to express their values and beliefs through their jewelry, making a personal statement beyond mere aesthetics.
Buy 80s Necklaces
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