Ah, the 1980s. Some might say no era is as equally well-loved and reviled, fashion-wise, as the period from 1980 to 1989. It was a time filled with legwarmers, high-cut spandex, Alexis Carrington-endorsed sequins, and (of course) lots and lots of neon. But, given fashion’s cyclical nature, there’s been a pretty heavy resurgence of a number of 80’s fashion trends both on the runway and on the street—and if you know how to interpret them, they look anything but dated.
Don’t worry, we all fell victim at one point or another, let’s remember some great and some ‘not-so-great fashion’ trends (we still can’t believe that was a thing) and how the gurus of today have brought them back in a much less embarrassing way.
1. Shoulder Pads
The decade’s most prominent silhouette was the one that turned your body into an upside-down triangle. Add a couple giant earrings and a big belt, and you’ve got yourself an office power suit.
The ’80s were filled with sweatbands and headbands worn, for some reason, straight across the forehead. Was everyone really sweating that much under their shoulder pads? Now we can pair them with a chic and clean outfit – tennis vibes all round!
3. Acid washed jeans
Who didn’t have at least three pairs of acid washed jeans in their closet? This is one trend from the ’80s that actually came back — in cutoff shorts form, naturally. Somehow, we couldn’t get enough of acid-washed denim, and still can’t; designers like Balmain, Roberto Cavalli, and more have sent bleached jeans down the runway.
4. Iron-On Patches
The 80’s was the era of DIY… if it sticks, it works. Sequins, beading, tassels, patches, iron on anything – personalisation was the way to self-expression. These days a little playful dungaree or denim jacket with a few patches shows a touch more restraint.
5. Disco Pants
What better way to spend your Friday nights than at the disco… we can’t seem to gather how dancing in thick and tight lycra was comfortable? Nevertheless, they seemed to be the best choice to show off your moves in. American Apparel fearlessly brought them back into pop culture and soon, they were back again in skinny leg form as a street-wear staple.
If you’re feeling a little less bold, here’s a subtle way to bring back the 80’s into your own wardrobe. Hair accessories were all the rage back in the day, why with all that perm to tie down there’s no wonder. Now the humble and versatile scrunchie is getting its spotlight in high-fashion. Who knew!
We love a good bright colour, but glowing in the dark isn’t exactly ideal. Most people in the 80s thought, if you’re going to do it, you might as well wear it every colour of the rainbow! Now a statement block colour is seen on the cutting-edge runways.
Can you think of any we may have missed?