‘80s Fashion Trends That Are Making a Serious Comeback
Whether you were born in the '80s or not, there is no denying the decade had a huge impact on fashion. From oversized blazers to shoulder pads and doorknocker earrings – everything was big in the '80s.
While some looks should not resurface (beauty trends like hair crimpers, for example), many '80s fashion trends are making a comeback.
Thankfully most of the trends are toned-down versions of the original – think patchwork denim or off-the-shoulder silhouettes – but we won’t judge if you’re going for the OG '80s styles.
Here are some of our favorite '80s fashion trends that are making a serious comeback.
The fabric of '80s proms, shiny lame is easily one of our favorite 80s fabrics. Modern takes on lamé include one-shoulder dresses and bomber jackets.
Though it originated in the '70s, patchwork denims popularity continued well into the '80s. Thanks to its quintessential American aesthetic, patchwork denim has been revitalized to today’s fashion in the form of jeans and patchwork denim jackets.
Remember the phenomenon that was Juicy Couture? Velour was popular long before the early '00s tracksuit. If you were fan of the '80s – or '00s – you’re in luck because the fabric is back in a major way. Even Juicy Couture is getting back on the wagon with a collaboration with VFILES in 2018.
THE jean of the past several years used to be known as “mom jeans” in the '80s. The skinny, low-rise jeans of the early '00s are being replaced with looser, high-waist styles as a nod to the '80s.
The staple hair accessory of the '80s – often donned with super teased hair – is back. Rockstars like Madonna and Steven Tyler were a fan of the trend in the '80s and now “It” models are wearing headbands on the streets and runways.
This is an '80s trend we can totally get on board with. Statement jewelry – think over-sized clip-on rhinestone earrings, necklaces, and bracelets – was very popular in the '80s as it went perfectly with colorful eye shadow and big hair.
An edgier trend of the '80s, acid wash denim reflected the ‘rock and roll’ culture of the decade. We’re all about this trend – our Acid Wash Denim jacket is a perfect nod to the '80s with a modern twist.
While animal print of the '80s was totally over-the-top, today's animal print is (thankfully) a bit more refined. Where '80s babies mixed a whole lot of loud patterns, today's animal print comes in the form of statement or accent pieces. After all, Jenna Lyons said it best, “As far as I’m concerned, leopard is a neutral.”
Easily one of the most well-known trends of the '80s, shoulder pads used to be passé. But, designers are bringing back the silhouette in a modern way – think extra padding in the shoulders but on a fitted blazer to keep the chicness.
The logo trend never really went away, but the '80s were known as a pivotal point in logo-wearing history. Everything from Harley Davidson to Coca-Cola to Disney’s Mickey Mouse could be seen on '80s clothing.
Synonymous with the '80s club scene, mesh is making a major comeback in, well, the club scenes. Club-goers and celebrities alike can be seen wearing mesh crop tops over bras with cut-off shorts.
All the rage in the '80s, colored sunglasses are popular again in colors like red, blue, and yellow.
Another trend we can easily get on board reviving: bomber jackets. Both leather and nylon bombers reached peak coolness in the '80s thanks Top Gun (1986). The same silhouette applies today but often includes modern details like bright colors or statement accent pieces. Check out our own collection of bomber jackets here.
Neon was everywhere in the '80s. Often seen in workout videos (think Richard Simmons) in the form of bright sweatbands, leg-warmers and leotards, today's neon include dresses, tops, and yes, workout clothes.
High-Cut Swimsuits and Bodysuits
Ever seen Baywatch? Then you are more than familiar with the bright-red, high-cut swimsuit. Today's swimsuits are taking note and featuring similar silhouettes. And, the same goes for bodysuits.
Graffiti artists Jean-Michel Basquiat and Fab 5 Freddy were widely popular in the '80s – even being featured in Blondie’s ‘Rapture’ video. Spray-painted clothes were popular in the '80s hip-hop scene and can now be seen on high-fashion brands like Balenciaga and Burberry.
Even if you aren’t the biggest fan of the '80s, we’d bet that you wear - or would considering wearing - at least one of these trends from the fashion-forward decade.
What is your favorite fashion decade?
Thanks Cosmopolitan for the inspiration for this article!