Conservative Dresses in a Not-So-Conservative Time

1980s Laura Ashley Dress

1980s Laura Ashley Dress

The 1980s were an interesting and wild time in American fashion history. With characteristics like oversized, asymmetrical, shoulders pads, wide cinch belts, and the use of stripes and tartans, it can be somewhat surprising that in the same decade, Laura Ashley and Ralph Lauren came out with conservative and feminine clothing.

Laura Ashley’s 1980s dresses were known for incorporating the English Rose into designs and generally feeling quite romantic. Sometimes described as Old World or neo-Victorian, the designs were a contrast to the other fashions shown at the runway.

Ralph Lauren’s designs took influence from the simpler times. His 1980s looks are described as pioneer or prairie style which was a stark contrast to the mainstream ’80s fashion which was was always pushing boundaries. The prairie skirt was introduced in 1978 but didn’t take off until the 1980s.

At Rubber Soul Vintage, we have some pieces that look similar to the prairie and neo-Victorian styles, so if you are in San Diego, CA, be sure to stop by. And if you can’t stop in, websites like the Find and Etsy can be very helpful.

Cyndi Lauper in the 1980s shows the obvious contract of styles going on in the decade

Cyndi Lauper in the 1980s shows the obvious contrast of styles going on in the decade.

Laura Ashley dress photo found here. Cyndi Lauper photo found here.


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