Following the new health-conscious trend sweeping the nation, fashions from the dance and aerobics studio leapt out to the streets in the 80's. Forget Xanadu, Fame and Jazzercise...nothing was more influential to the active-wear craze than a simple gray sweatshirt worn by Jennifer Beals in the 1983 dance drama Flashdance.
What a feeling when your sweatshirt slipped off of one shoulder and set the maniac in you free! Even if you’d never danced before, it was the simplest trend to copy: take one old sweatshirt, cut off the neck and the sleeves, and let the ultra-wide neck naturally slip off the shoulder. Voilà—instant dancer! Or at least you looked like one, especially if you paired it with the ever-popular legwarmers, sexy headband, and your hot pink L.A. Gear hi-tops!
It wasn’t long before manufacturers caught onto the craze and began selling special Flashdance-inspired active wear. Like all good marketing tools, a cut-up sweatshirt sold better—and for a higher price—than the average bargain basement wear. The movie might have slipped into oblivion had it not been for this memorable style.