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Vanna White Young: A Look Back at the ‘Wheel of Fortune’ Beauty’s Early Days

Check out looks that spell '80s fashion

Wheel of Fortune has been in the news a lot lately, given that Pat Sajak just hosted his final episode of America’s Game. After 40-plus years and over 8,000 episodes, the veteran TV personality is moving on to a well-earned retirement. While he’ll be missed, his sidekick, the lovely letter-turner Vanna White, has said she has no plans to leave.

Vanna White has been a fixture of the show for almost as long as Pat Sajak has, as she joined the show in 1982. Decades later, she’s remained a consistent presence in a fickle industry, and she’s still glamorous as ever.

No one else has a job quite like White. Over the years, plenty of people have called her role silly or superficial, but let’s face it: Turning the letters does seem pretty fun, and we wouldn’t leave that job either if we were in her shoes! On top of that, she’s always projected positivity, and we’re glad that in her many years on the show, she hasn’t been replaced with someone younger.

White started out as a model, and dabbled in acting. In 1982, after the original Wheel of Fortune hostess Susan Stafford left the show, White was chosen to be a substitute hostess, and shortly after that she got her big break when she was given a permanent position on the show that same year.

Vanna White young

It’s no exaggeration to say that White has been a source of fashion inspiration for over 40 years. Over the course of thousands of episodes, she’s worn more fabulous gowns than we could possibly count. Here’s a look back at some of young Vanna White’s best style moments.

Who wears short-shorts?

Vanna White at home in 1985
Vanna White in 1985Getty

A Patrick Nagel poster, hairsprayed bangs, a neon crop top, short-shorts and Reeboks. Does it get any more ’80s than that? We think not!

Lounging in style

Vanna White at home in 1985
Vanna White in 1985Getty

Normally we don’t approve of shoes on the couch, but when it’s Vanna in ’80s aerobics class style red Reeboks, we’ll allow it.

Ready for a workout

Vanna White in 1986
Vanna White in 1986Getty

Back when aerobics were all the rage, a photo shoot in a leotard and leggings was a necessity. While the belt serves no functional purpose, it does pull the outfit together!

Black-and-white elegance

Vanna White in 1986
Vanna White in 1986Getty

The ’80s wasn’t only about bright colors. Here, Vanna looks classically elegant in black-and-white (plus the obligatory shoulder pads).

A trendy two-piece

Vanna White in 1986
Vanna White in 1986Getty

This sparkling two-piece is the perfect fusion of clubwear and athleisure. Recently, matching sets like this have made a comeback, and we think the crop top and high-waisted pants would be just as trendy today.

Sensational sleeves

Vanna White in 1986
Vanna White in 1986Getty

An off-the-shoulder gold dress accented with a ruffly sleeve is a classic Vanna look. If you’re going to be turning letters, you better be turning heads too.

Denim on denim

Vanna White in 1986
Vanna White in 1986Getty

Vanna looks ready to go hang out at the mall in this double denim look. The animal print accents are the icing on the ’80s fashion cake.

Peplum perfection

Vanna White in 1986
Vanna White in 1986Getty

Peplum skirts and padded shoulders called back to the elegance of ’40s fashion. Here, Vanna looks like she’s posing for a classic movie star shoot.

Preppy and perky

The star in 1987
Vanna in 1987Getty

We’re not sure about the hat, but the popped collar and sweater draped over the shoulders are pure ’80s preppy chic.

A fashionable tie

Vanna White in 1987
Vanna White in 1987Getty

A sparkling tie necklace is an accessory we had forgotten about… until now. Thanks, Vanna!

Backless beauty

The star in 1988
Vanna in 1988Getty

This backless red dress is just the right mix of classic and seductive.

A pink power suit

The star in 1990
Vanna White in 1990Getty

Vanna looked ready for business when she promoted her perfume while wearing a Barbie-pink power suit.

Fab florals

The star in 1993
Vanna in 1993Getty

This colorful early ’90s floral print gives Vanna some easygoing tropical flair.

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