This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
It’s no news that fashion is cyclical. As soon as we tire from one trend, another old favorite comes back into play. Take the last few years as an example — we saw the resurgence of the ’90s, now we’re dabbling in the early-aughts, and (thanks to last Fashion Week) it’s clear that the next decade to be revived is the ’80s. Specifically, the super-glam pieces of the ’80s, like miniskirts, extreme shoulder accents, and animal prints. But, as with any comeback, the way these items come back into the spotlight is not entirely identical to how they first appeared.
To help you manage the ’80s so you look badass and not like you’re wearing a costume (because let’s face it, a lot of these bold trends can be tough to pull off), we’ve put together five outfits that show you how to bring the decade into the millennium. Click through to see how it’s done. Warning: Leg warmers not included.
The ’80s were wild, and loud colors and patterns reigned supreme. Animal print is currently having a huge comeback, but this time around, the key to making it work all depends on how you choose to integrate it into your outfit. Styling here is key. A good way to ease into the trend is by way of a printed coat. Pair it with more casual items, like your go-to jeans and a hoodie, to offset the pattern’s bold nature.
Vlone Black Hoodie, $200, available at Vlone; Helmut Lang Patch Pocket Boyfriend Jeans, $348, available at Intermix; Shrimps Lassie Faux-fur Coat, $468, available at MatchesFashion; Gucci Horsebit Slingback, $595, available at Gucci; Common Muse Verra Knot Ring, $39, available at Common Muse.
Underwear As Outerwear
One of the easiest ways to get in on this look is by layering a corset on top of a casual T-shirt (go oversized!). Instead of navigating a true lingerie piece à la Madonna circa the ’80s, try a corset-inspired belt for a more modern take on the look. Finish it off with casual cropped jeans and boots, and you’ve got a look that’s Kardashian-Jenner-worthy (and really, is there anything more “now” than that?).
Urban Outfitters Lil Uzi Vert Tee, $28, available at Urban Outfitters; Rachel Comey Fletcher High-rise Slim-leg Cropped Jeans, $180, available at MatchesFashion; Mango Cotton-Wool-Blend Coat, $299.99, available at Mango; Camper Eckhaus Latta Boot, $205, available at Camper; ASOS Leather Lace-Up-Front Corset Belt, $37.58, available at ASOS.
Fitted, one-shoulder tops (with shoulder pads, obviously) did their thing in the ’80s. Now we’re seeing some of the coolest brands adopting that silhouette, but in the form of less-structured knits. Wear by themselves or with a short-sleeved tee underneath. It’s flawless either way.
Re/Done Hanes Perfect T-shirt, $78.50, available at Browns; Jacquemus One-Sleeve Cardigan, $271, available at Farfetch; J aeger Wool Trousers, $99.19, available at John Lewis; Acne Studios Triple Leather Sneakers, $500, available at Net-A-Porter; Cos Metallic Socks, $9, available at Cos.
Shoulder pads are an ’80s staple. We’re starting to see loud shoulder accents everywhere — on blouses, on dresses, on blazers (we’ve even seen structured shoulders on Vetements sweatshirts). Since the look is coming in hot, why not get in on it now? Try a super-elegant, loose, and boxy suit to get the job done (bonus points for making it cold-weather-proof and layering a light puffer on top of it all).
Tibi Silk Blazer, $695, available at Tibi; Tibi Silk Straight-leg Pants, $595, available at Tibi; Uniqlo Women U Lightweight Down Jacket, $49.90, available at Uniqlo; Aska Gasteau Boots, $425, available at Aska; Justine Clenquet Lea Palladium Earrings, $83.22, available at Justine Clenquet.
In the past few years, we’ve been celebrating the return of maxi and midi skirts. But the ’80s were all about the mini, so it’s now time to show off those gams as we celebrate super-short hems. As with the other looks, try wearing a mini with more casual pieces. The contrast makes for a cool daytime look (and really, it works for nighttime, too).
Huf Roscoe Raglan Grey Shirt, $34, available at Huf; Courrèges Short A-line Skirt, $598, available at Farfetch; Zara Masculine Coat, $189, available at Zara; Topshop Artichoke Sock Boots, $140, available at Topshop; Opening Ceremony Cashmere Torch Beanie, $75, available at Opening Ceremony.
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