8 Ways to Nail The 80s Fashion Trend

June 27, 2018 by Rachel Aschenbrand-Robinson

When it comes to style, often the best way to predict the next big thing is to look to the past. And these days, after a long period (approximately three decades, to be specific) of being a punchline, 80s fashion is officially back — in all of its sharp-shouldered glory. Yes, the era of leg warmers, shoulder pads, and power suits is currently experiencing a serious style resurgence. Skeptical? That’s understandable. But embracing a throwback trend like 1980s fashion doesn’t have to mean looking like you’re ready for a costume party. Ahead, we outline eight ways to rock 80s style outfits the 2018 way.

1. 80s Style: Go Metallic

DRESS: BAJA EAST, EARRINGS: LIZZIE FORTUNATO, CLUTCH: DIANE VON FURSTENBERG

80s style was all about making a statement, which would explain why gold lame was everywhere during this era: High shine = high fashion. You can nod to the decade on your next night out with a sleek metallic mini dress. Complete with sculptural earrings and a retro envelope clutch, you’ll nail the 80s look in a fun, fresh way.

2. 80s Style: Flaunt Your Figure in a Bodycon Dress

DRESS: ST BY OLCAY GULSEN, EARRINGS: KATE SPADE NEW YORK ACCESSORIES, CLUTCH: ANYA HINDMARCH

The fitted bodycon was a quintessential 80s dress silhouette, worn by everyone from Cyndi Lauper, Demi Moore, and Brooke Shields. Get your 80s attire on in an updated version with sleek gold earrings and a colorful clutch that gives us all the retro video game vibes.

3. 80s Style: Get Flirty in Ruffles

TOP: ZADIG & VOLTAIRE, PANTS: FAME & PARTNERS, EARRINGS: WGACA VINTAGE
From flouncy party dresses to frilly blouses, ruffles made a regular appearance on 80s clothes and now these ultra-girly details have returned for another go-round. Don’t be afraid to get playful with this look. Pink and grey was one of the more popular color combos of the era so try both 80s trends at once in a bright ruffle blouse and tapered trousers. Vintage logo earrings finish off this sexy secretary-inspired look.

4. 80s Style: Embrace the Mom Jean

JACKET: IRO, TOP: COOPER AND ELLA, JEANS: LA VIE REBECCA TAYLOR, CLUTCH: MILLY

The tapered, high-rise jean was a core component of 80s denim fashion. Channel your inner Madonna by wearing this embellished pair with a black leather jacket and a slinky tank. To take your 80s outfits up a notch, you can always add accessories. Try a thick belt, a striped clutch that adds a chic pop of color, or even socks with loafers for a real retro 80s fashion vibe.

5. 80s Style: Slip on an Oversized Denim jacket

JACKET: JASON WU GREY, TOP: OSMAN, SKIRT: PATBO, BAG: ALLSAINTS

No 80s wardrobe was complete without a denim jacket, preferably in a looser oversized fit now more commonly referred to as a “boyfriend” shape. Be sure to layer yours over more fitted pieces like a t-shirt and skinny pants — or go for a corset top and mini skirt, both 80s classic clothing staples in their own right, and add a round bag.

6. 80s Style: Get Flashy in Hot Pink

DRESS: DIANE VON FURSTENBERG, CUFF: ALEXIS BITTAR, CLUTCH: LOEFFLER RANDALL

When it came to color, 80s fashion trends embraced brights in a big way — and hot pink was arguably one of the decades most favored hues. A bodycon one-shoulder dress in fuchsia hits several modern 80s fashion notes so you don’t need to add much else. Just pair it with a gold statement cuff and an animal print bag for extra sass and you’re on your way.

7. 80s Style: Have Fun with a Hit of Neon

BLAZER: RACHEL ZOE, JEANS: CITIZENS OF HUMANITY, BAG: ANYA HINDMARCH

Remember what we said about bright colors? In the 80s neon fashion added a shock of saturated shades to womens’ wardrobes. If going head to toe with highlighter hues isn’t your thing, opt for a power blazer — a staple piece of 80s fashion women — with a tee and jeans, then pop the look with a bold neon crossbody bag.

8. 80s Style: Make a Splash in Sequins

DRESS: MARK & JAMES BY BADGLEY MISCHKA, EARRINGS: LELE SADOUGHI, CLUTCH: SONDRA ROBERTS

There’s a reason the 80s is often described as the decade of excess. In addition to vibrant colors and voluminous silhouettes, glitzy sequins were a staple of 80s style clothing. Sparkle at your next special occasion in a shimmery mini dress, anchoring it with statement earrings and a sleek clutch.

Aspects of 80s fashion can still be incorporated into your modern day wardrobe. From power suits and ruffles to bright colors and mom jeans, look back to this decade whenever you’re in need of a style refresh.