Reviving the 1980s womens fashion trend

Get ready to step back into the 80s, as the fashion trend that once was, makes its triumphant return. From bold colorful outfits, shoulder pads, and over-the-top hairdos, retro fashion enthusiasts are embracing the decade with open arms. Women’s fashion in the 80s was a time for empowerment and pushing the boundaries of the norm. Whether you’re looking to add some vintage charm, a bit of nostalgia, or simply just seeking a refreshing change, this trend is for you. Let’s take a walk down memory lane and see how to revive the 1980s women’s fashion trend.

Reviving the 1980s womens fashion trend
Reviving the 1980s womens fashion trend

Understanding 1980s Womens Fashion

If you’re looking for inspiration for your wardrobe, you don’t need to look any further than the ’80s. It was a time of big hair, bold colors, and dramatic designs that changed fashion forever. Although the decade has come and gone, the styles remain iconic and still influence fashion today. Let’s dive deeper into the defining trends and characteristics of women’s fashion in the 80s to understand what made it so special.

The Defining Trends and Characteristics of Women’s Fashion in the 80s

If you’re thinking of ’80s fashion, your first thought is probably the shoulder pads. While some had small pads, others were big and bold shoulder pads creating broad shoulders in a strong silhouette. They were a signature piece of women’s power dressing, which was fully embraced in the corporate world. Power dressing was a term coined in the 80s that conveyed a sense of confidence and authority through fashion. Not only were shoulder pads in style, but so were oversized blazers and statement jewelry, like chunky earrings and layered necklaces.

Neon colors were also huge in the 80s. People weren’t afraid to be bold, and bright hues like hot pink, electric blue, and neon green were seen everywhere in fashion. Clothing, shoes, and accessories were all available in these shades, making them easy to incorporate into any outfit. The use of prints, graphic tees, and slogan tees were also popular. These styles were mostly seen in the punk fashion scene, which was a reaction to the formal, structured look of power dressing. Punk fashion included studded leather jackets, bondage pants, and t-shirts with bold graphics, and encouraged a rebellious, non-conformist attitude.

Another significant trend in the 80s fashion scene was the emergence of athleisure, where athletic wear transformed into everyday wear. Think nylon tracksuits, windbreakers, and trainers paired with everyday clothing. It was also acceptable to wear leotards and leggings as an outfit, not just for exercise classes. These comfortable clothing items emphasized the decade’s fitness craze, and people embraced the idea of being active and healthy.

To sum up, the 80s were all about power dressing, neon colors, punk fashion, and athleisure. These defining trends and styles enabled women to express themselves like never before and continue to influence fashion today.

Reimagining 80s Fashion for Today

The fashion of the 1980s was characterized by bold colors, big hair, and dramatic silhouettes. This decade was known for pushing the boundaries of fashion, with new fabrics, styles, and designs.

Elements of 80s Fashion

Modern designers and influencers have been taking elements from 80s fashion and transforming them into contemporary looks that are both stylish and wearable. Some of the key elements of 80s fashion that have made a comeback include:

  • Neon colors
  • Shoulder pads
  • Leather jackets
  • Scrunchies

These elements have been updated with new silhouettes, fabrics, and colors to create a fresh new look that appeals to a wide range of fashion-conscious consumers.

Updated Silhouettes and Materials

One of the ways modern designers are updating 80s fashion is by reimagining the silhouettes of classic styles. This means taking traditional shapes and proportions and reworking them to create a look that is modern and on-trend.

For example, the traditional power suit, with its exaggerated shoulders and boxy shape, has been transformed into a more streamlined and fitted silhouette that is more versatile and flattering. Similarly, the leather jacket has been updated with new materials and colors to create a look that is both timeless and contemporary.

In addition to updating silhouettes, designers are also experimenting with new materials to create unique and innovative looks. This means using materials like PVC, mesh, and vinyl to create a new take on classic 80s styles.

Overall, the reimagining of 80s fashion for today is a testament to the timelessness of great design. By taking classic elements from the past and updating them with new materials and silhouettes, designers are able to create looks that are both modern and timeless.

Incorporating 80s Fashion into Your Wardrobe

The 80s were a decade of bold fashion choices, characterized by bright colors, bold patterns, and exaggerated silhouettes. Incorporating these iconic fashion trends into your wardrobe today can help you stand out while adding a playful edge to your style.

Accessorize with 80s-Inspired Pieces

If you’re unsure about incorporating 80s fashion into your wardrobe, start small by adding a few key accessories. A brightly colored scrunchie or hair scarf can add a playful pop of color to any outfit, while chunky jewelry, neon socks, or a studded belt can add subtle nods to the decade’s punk and new wave influences.

  • Start small with brightly colored hair accessories
  • Play up the decade’s punk and new wave influences with chunky jewelry, neon socks, or a studded belt

Embrace Bold Patterns and Silhouettes

If you’re feeling more adventurous, try experimenting with some of the 80s’ signature patterns and silhouettes. Puffy sleeves, oversized blazers, and shoulder pads were all popular during the decade, while bold prints like polka dots, animal prints, and geometric shapes dominated the fashion landscape. When incorporating these pieces into your wardrobe today, be sure to balance them out with more modern, understated pieces to avoid looking too costume-y.

  • Experiment with puffy sleeves, oversized blazers, and shoulder pads
  • Add a pop of color to your outfit with bold patterns like polka dots, animal prints, and geometric shapes

Make Classic 80s Fashion Staples Your Own

Finally, if you’re feeling particularly bold, why not embrace some of the decade’s most iconic fashion staples? Acid wash jeans, leather jackets, and high-waisted shorts were all popular during the 80s and can still look stylish today when paired with modern pieces. However, rather than trying to replicate a head-to-toe 80s look, make these pieces your own by adding unexpected details or pairing with unexpected pieces.

  • Embrace iconic fashion staples like acid wash jeans, leather jackets, and high-waisted shorts
  • Pair these pieces with unexpected or modern pieces for a unique look

The Best 80s Fashion Icons to Follow

Reviving the 1980s women’s fashion trend has become a popular topic today. Even though people can’t go back in time, they can still look to many of the most iconic fashion icons of this decade for inspiration. These women not only defined fashion during their time, but their styles and trends have continued to influence people today.


Madonna is one of the biggest stars to come out of the 1980s and her fashion choices shaped the decade. Her eclectic mix of pins, chains, and chunky bracelets made her a fashion icon. Madonna’s music videos featured many fashion risks, including lacy gloves, leather jackets, and short skirts. She was never shy about pushing boundaries which made her one of the most recognizable faces of the 80s.

Princess Diana

The late Princess Diana was an icon of elegance and style, and while it’s hard to pick just one outfit as her most iconic, the ones that stick out are those from the 80s. Diana’s clothing reflected her desire to represent the modern royal woman, allowing her to wear bold color combinations and statement jewels, such as pearl chokers and brooches. Known for her love of big-shouldered jackets and ruffled blouses, Diana’s style was unique and continues to be celebrated even today.

Joan Collins

Joan Collins epitomized the opulence and glamour of the 80s. Her portrayal of the formidable Alexis Carrington in the television series ‘Dynasty’ made her one of the most iconic figures of the decade. Joan Collins’ style was lavish and unapologetic, with furs, big hair, and bold jewelry. She was a trailblazer who paved the way for the power dressing trend of the 80s.

Cyndi Lauper

Cyndi Lauper was an 80s fashion icon who inspired many with her quirky style. Her signature neon-colored hair stood out among the rest. She was a big fan of layering contrasting colors and prints, which is one fashion rule that she broke with joyful abandon. Cyndi Lauper’s music videos were filled with unique outfits, bold accessories, and eccentric makeup. From brightly colored tutus to hair bows and oversized earrings, she was anything but boring.

Where to Shop for 80s-Inspired Fashion

If you’re looking to revive the 1980s women’s fashion trend, the first thing you need to know is where to shop. Here are some ideas to help you find the vintage and modern pieces that will make you feel like you’re back in the 80s.

Vintage Shops

If you want authentic 80s pieces, the best place to look is in vintage shops. You can find amazing gems that will make you stand out from the crowd. Here are some of the best vintage shops to look for 80s-inspired fashion:

  • Beyond Retro: Beyond Retro has stores in several locations in the UK and offers a great selection of vintage clothes and accessories that will transport you back to the era of neon and leg warmers. You can also shop online if you’re not able to visit one of their stores.
  • American Vintage: This store, based in Paris, offers a wide selection of vintage clothes, with a special focus on the 80s. You’ll find everything from bright sweaters to power suits. They also have an online store if you’re not able to make it to the physical location.
  • Rokit: Rokit has four stores in London and has been providing vintage clothing since 1986. They have a huge range of clothing from the 1920s to the 1990s, including plenty of 80s fashion staples like acid wash denim and shoulder pads.

Modern Designers

If you don’t want to go all out with vintage, you can look for modern designers who have reinterpreted the 80s in their collections. Here are some of the best designers to check out:

  • Balmain: Balmain is known for its luxury rock-chic aesthetic and their collections often include elements of 80s fashion, like bold shoulders and metallic fabrics.
  • Tom Ford: Tom Ford’s collections often feature 80s-inspired pieces like sequin dresses and leather jackets. His designs are perfect for the modern woman who wants to add a touch of 80s glamour to her wardrobe.
  • Moschino: Moschino’s collections are always playful and fun, and they often include nods to 80s fashion. Look for their bright colors and bold prints to add some 80s flair to your outfits.

Reviving the 1980s women’s fashion trend is all about finding the right pieces that will make you look and feel like you’ve stepped back in time. Whether you opt for authentic vintage or modern reinterpretations, remember to have fun with your fashion choices and embrace the bold, colorful spirit of the 80s.

Making 80s Fashion Work for You

The 1980s made a significant impact on fashion and culture, and even today, it is a major source of inspiration for many designers. However, pulling off a retro look is not always easy. The key is to take inspiration from the 80s trends and make them work for you and your personal style.

Adapting 80s Fashion Trends to Suit Your Style and Body Type

The key to pulling off a 1980s look is to make it work for you. This means adapting the trends to suit your style and body type. You can take inspiration from the 80s fashion icons such as Madonna, Princess Diana, and Joan Collins while still being true to your individual style.

If you are petite, try wearing oversized blazers or shoulder pads to add volume. If you are tall, embrace high-waisted pants or maxi skirts to elongate your legs. If you have an hourglass shape, consider wearing bodycon dresses or structured blouses to accentuate your curves. The goal is to find what works for you and use the 80s fashion trends as a starting point.

Staying True to the Adventurous Spirit of the Era

One of the defining characteristics of the 1980s fashion was the bold and adventurous spirit. This was a time when self-expression and individuality were celebrated, and fashion was a way to showcase that. To stay true to the adventurous spirit of the 80s, don’t be afraid to mix and match patterns or colors. Experiment with statement pieces such as metallic jackets or neon accessories.

You can also incorporate 80s-inspired details such as shoulder pads, ruffles, and bold prints into your outfits. Remember, the 80s were all about having fun, so don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new.

Tips for Creating a Modern 80s Look

  • Combine vintage pieces with modern styles: Mix your vintage 80s finds with modern pieces for a fresh and updated look.
  • Choose quality over quantity: Invest in high-quality pieces that will stand the test of time.
  • Accessorize with an 80s twist: Add a pop of neon or a chunky bracelet to your outfit for an 80s-inspired vibe.
  • Balance out bold pieces: Pair statement pieces with neutral items to create a balanced look.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions Answers
What are some popular clothing items from the 1980s that are making a comeback? Some popular clothing items include high-waisted jeans, oversized blazers, shoulder pads, scrunchies, leggings, and neon colors.
How can I wear 1980s-inspired clothing without looking like I’m in costume? The key is to mix modern pieces with vintage styles. For example, pair high-waisted jeans with a contemporary crop top or a structured blazer with a fitted skirt.
Are 1980s fashion trends only for women? No, men can also incorporate 1980s fashion trends into their wardrobe. Some popular styles for men include retro sneakers, bomber jackets, and graphic tees.
How do I accessorize with 1980s-inspired clothing? Accessorize with chunky jewelry, bold sunglasses, and statement belts. Don’t be afraid to mix and match patterns and textures for a fun, eclectic look.
Where can I find vintage 1980s clothing? You can check out thrift stores, vintage shops, or online marketplaces like Etsy or Depop. You can also create your own vintage-inspired looks by shopping for retro-style clothing from modern retailers.
Why is 1980s fashion making a comeback? There is a nostalgia for the 1980s amongst young people who never experienced the decade. Additionally, the 1980s were a time of bold experimentation in fashion, and many of the styles and trends from that era are still relevant and influential today.

Thanks for reading!

We hope you enjoyed learning about the revival of the 1980s women’s fashion trend. Remember, fashion is all about having fun and expressing your personality, so don’t be afraid to take risks and try out new styles. Be sure to visit us again for more fashion tips and trends!

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