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Flashback: Eighties Fashion, the Fitness Edition

January 21, 2019

From left: Jennifer Beals in Flashdance (1983); Olivia Newton-John in the music video for "Physical" (1981); Cher, date unknown; Jamie Lee Curtis in Perfect (1985)

How much have trends evolved since the greats were teaching us fitness on our bubble TV screens? Let’s take a trip down leg-warmer lane with Kelly Florio Kasouf, VB contributing editor… Plus, get her recs to shop the look today. 

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Shop the Falk Tee

Jamie Lee Curtis: Striped Bodysuits


Big thanks to Jamie Lee Curtis and John Travolta in the 1985 pop culture hit
Perfect. It gave us ever-classic stripes, in varied sizes and cool hues, shimmery tights and, of course, incredible hip-thrusting. Rock the look today with the Falk tee and jeans.

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Shop the Olympia Sandal

Olivia Newton-John: Color-Blocking & Crop Tops

She may not have had her own fitness tapes, but the music video for “Physical” (1981) positioned Olivia Newton-John with the fitness greats. She was a master at Eighties color-blocking: electric blue crop top over a white leotard over fuchsia tights, the perfect combination of trends while complementing her best assets. Bring the look into modern day with the Olympia sandal—a color-blocked homage to Olivia's choice of neon blue. 

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Shop the Chase Sweater

Jennifer Beals: Off-the-Shoulder Tops


Coy Jennifer Beals, who sweated her heart out on every Eighties screen in
Flashdance (1983), made the cold-shoulder top famous. One part sporty and one part reserved, the look is timeless

Shop the Look

Shop the Faxon Pant

Cher: Shimmery Leggings & Leather Pants

How do you translate Cher's flashy fitness leggings—styled with totally rad neon arm and leg warmers—into ready-to-wear worn outside of the gym? Two words: leather pants. Which, by the way, Cher also wore during her Eighties heyday—although she took it one step further with high-waisted and cropped bedazzled goodness. 

Bonus: Read Kelly Florio Kasouf's essay Can You Feel It? Sweating to the Style of 1982. It's Jane Fonda vs. Tracy Anderson vs. Peloton.

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us size bust waist hip
00, XS 31.5 24 34
0, XS 32.5 25 35
2, XS 33.5 26 36
4, S 34.5 27 37
6, S 35.5 28 38
8, M 36.5 29 39
10, M 38 30.5 40.5
12, L 39.5 32 42
14, L 41 33.5 43.5
16, XL 42.5 35 45
18, 2XL 47 40 50
20, 2XL 49 42 52
22, 3XL 51 44 54
24, 3XL 53 46 56
US SIZE SHOULDERS BUST WAIST HIP
00, XS 14.25 31.5 24 34
0, XS 14.5 32.5 25 35
2, XS 14.75 33.5 26 36
4, S 15 34.5 27 37
6, S 15.25 35.5 28 38
8, M 15.5 36.5 29 39
10, M 15.875 38 30.5 40.5
12, L 16.25 39.5 32 42
14, L 16.625 41 33.5 43.5
16, XL 17 42.5 35 45
18, 2XL 17 47 40 50
20, 2XL 17.5 49 42 52
22, 3XL 18 51 44 54
24, 3XL 18.5 53 46 56
 Jacket Size Dickey Size

00

00 - 14

0

00 - 14

2

00 - 14

4

00 - 14

6

00 - 14

8

00 - 14

10

00 - 14

12

00 - 14

14

00 - 14

16

16 - 24

18

16 - 24

20

16 - 24

22

16 - 24

24

16 - 24

us size bust waist hip
00, XS 31.5 24 34
0, XS 32.5 25 35
2, XS 33.5 26 36
4, S 34.5 27 37
6, S 35.5 28 38
8, M 36.5 29 39
10, M 38 30.5 40.5
12, L 39.5 32 42
14, L 41 33.5 43.5
16, XL 42.5 35 45
18, 2XL 47 40 50
20, 2XL 49 42 52
22, 3XL 51 44 54
24, 3XL 53 46 56
us size bust waist hip
00, XS 31.5 24 34
0, XS 32.5 25 35
2, XS 33.5 26 36
4, S 34.5 27 37
6, S 35.5 28 38
8, M 36.5 29 39
10, M 38 30.5 40.5
12, L 39.5 32 42
14, L 41 33.5 43.5
16, XL 42.5 35 45
18, 2XL 47 40 50
20, 2XL 49 42 52
22, 3XL 51 44 54
24, 3XL 53 46 56
us size bust waist hip
00, XXS 31.5 24 34
0, XS 32.5 25 35
2, XS 33.5 26 36
4, S 34.5 27 37
6, S 35.5 28 38
8, M 36.5 29 39
10, M 38 30.5 40.5
12, L 39.5 32 42
14, L 41 33.5 43.5
16, XL 42.5 35 45
18, 2XL 47 40 50
20, 2XL 49 42 52
22, 3XL 51 44 54
24, 3XL 53 46 56
 US SIZE WAIST HIP
23 23 34
24 24 35
25 25 36
26 26 37
27 27 38
28 28 39
29 29 40
30 30.5 41.5
31 32 43
32 33.5 44.5
15 36 46
16 38 48
18 40 50
20 42 52
22 44 52
us size waist hip
00, 24, XS 24 34
0, 25, XS 25 35
2, 26, XS 26 36
4, 27, S 27 37
6, 28, S 28 38
8, 29, M 29 39
10, 30, M 30.5 40.5
12, 31, L 32 42
14, 32, L 33.5 43.5
16, 15, XL 35 45
18, 16, 2XL 40 50
20, 18, 2XL 42 52
22, 20, 3XL 44 54
24, 22, 3XL 46 56
us size waist hip
00, 24, XS 24 34
0, 25, XS 25 35
2, 26, XS 26 36
4, 27, S 27 37
6, 28, S 28 38
8, 29, M 29 39
10, 30, M 30.5 40.5
12, 31, L 32 42
14, 32, L 33.5 43.5
16, 15, XL 35 45
18, 16, 2XL 40 50
20, 18, 2XL 42 52
22, 20, 3XL 44 54
24, 22, 3XL 46 56
 US SIZE EUROPE UK
5 35 3
5.5 35.5 3.5
6 36 4
6.5 36.5 4.5
7 37 5
7.5 37.5 5.5
8 38 6
8.5 38.5 6.5
9 39 7
9.5 39.5 7.5
10 40 8
10.5 40.5 8.5
11 41 9
 US SIZE BUST WAIST HIP TORSO
XS 32-34 24-26 34-36 58.5
S 34-36 26-28 36-38 60
M 36-38.5 28-30.5 38-40.5 61.5
L 38.5-41.5 30.5-33.5 40.5-43.5 63
XL 41.5-43 33.5-35 43.5-45 64.5
2XL 47 40 50 70

Conversion Guide

VB US NUMERIC

VB US/INTL ALPHA

IT

FR

UK/AU

CN

KR

00/24

XXS

34

32

2

150/72A

33

0/25

XS

36

34

4

155/76A

44

2/26

XS

38

36

6

160/80A

44-55

4/27

S

40

38

8

165/84A

55-66

6/28

S

42

40

10

170/88A

66

8/29

M

44

42

12

175/92A

77

10/30

M

46

44

14

175/96A

77

12/31

L

48

46

16

180/100A

88

14/32

L

50

48

18

185/104A

88

16/15

XL

52

50

20

190/108A

99

18/16

2XL

54

52

22

195/112A

-

20/18

2XL

56

54

24

200/116A

-

22/20

3XL

58

56

26

205/120A

-

24/22

3XL

60

58

28

210/124A

-

How to measure the body:

Size Guide Diagram

How to measure the body:

  1. Shoulders: measured from shoulder blade to shoulder blade
  2. Bust: circumference measured at the fullest part of the chest
  3. Waist: circumference measured at the smallest part of the waist
  4. Hip: circumference measured at the fullest part of the hips (or 8” down from the waist)
  5. Sleeve length: measured from the center of the back of the neck to the wrist
  6. Inseam: measured from the top of inside the leg to the ankle
Have questions about sizing? Contact Us.

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