Flashdance Style

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Flashdance Style

The 1983 film Flashdance was an instant phenomenon in the United States. It not only created a new fashion style instantaneously embraced by females of all ages, but also introduced the world to actress Jennifer Beals and the wholesome but sexy character she played who welded by day and danced by night. The "look" consisted of worn-in sweatshirts ripped at the neckline that slipped off the shoulder casually, revealing some but hinting at more. Combining comfort with sexuality, the style also embraced an athleticism for women by making workout wear sexy. In the early 1980s, punk music and its fashions were starting to fade, and break dancing was the new fad—and with it, a new style was born: sportswear worn as everyday wear. Moving away from lace and other classic feminine clothing, the Flashdance look celebrated a new kind of woman, independent and down-to-earth, athletic and sexy.

—Sharon Yablon

Further Reading:

Bailey, Bill, and Frank Hoffman. Arts and Entertainment Fads. New York, Haworth, 1990.

Fresh, Mr. Breakdancing. New York, Avon, 1984.

Sewall, Gilbert T., editor. The Eighties: A Reader. Reading, Massachusetts, Addison-Wesley, 1997.

Traube, Elizabeth G. Dreaming Identities: Class, Gender, and Generation in 1980s Hollywood Movies. Boulder, Westview Press, 1992.