The 80s Trends You’ll Actually Want to Try

Forget the dodgy perms and the shellsuits, here are the ‘80s trends we actually want to make a comeback…

How can we sum up the ‘80s? It was the decade of excess –  and the fashion to match. With big hair and even bigger shoulder pads, there were a lot of memorable style moments. Though admittedly some might live on in our parent’s photo album rather than our wardrobe!

Despite a few styles we’d rather forget (legwarmers, we’re looking at you…), the ‘80s had a a number of iconic styles which continue to influence fashion nearly 40 years on. Think bold silhouettes, colour and detail for days – nothing was ever too much.  Whether it was Gucci’s look-at-me prints to Valentino’s glitzy partywear, this season’s runways made it clear that the Eighties were back, in a really, really good way.

The New Animal Print

Multicoloured Zebra Print Midi Dress £30

The 80s were all about OTT prints – and what’s more eye-catching than animal print? From leopard print to zebra, the louder the better.  A zebra print dress could scream ‘80s, but by opting for an elegant midi length it brings it up-to-date. Layered with a pop of millennial pink tailoring takes it straight to the top of our new season wish-list.

The New Brights

Yellow Lock Chain Cross Bag £26, Orange Lock Chain Cross Bag £26, Cobalt Lock Chain Cross Bag £26

Wake your wardrobe up before you go go (…sorry!) with brights. Back in the 80’s Crayola-hues highlighted lycra, leggings and legwarmers. However,for a more contemporary way to wear brights, try a statement accessory. Pair a bold bag with your favourite jeans for an instant outfit pick-me-up.

The New Sequins

Tall Chocolate Sequin Slip Dress £45

If anything sums up ‘80s partywear, it’s sequins. But forget those questionable prom dresses from your favourite teen flicks, as this season’s runaways showed that sequins are all-grown-up. Think outside the heavily-ruffled box and choose an elegant sequin slip for your next party outfit. Make styling equally as sophisticated and layer with a crisp white  shirt underneath.

The New Punk

Leopard Print Faux Print Coat £69, Black Rhinestone Mini Skirt £28

Hands up if you own a biker jacket?  We thought so… Punk fashion became embraced by the mainstream in the 1980s and is still present today. This season it’s less about safety pins and more about sleek studding. When it comes to layering, head in a cosier direction with another ’80s essential – the faux fur coat.

The New Power Dressing

Ochre Checked Jersey Jacket £32

Power dressing was all about commanding attention – think oversized fits, sky-high heels and shoulders so big they practically needed their own cubicle. While shoulder pads safely remain in the past, the ’80s statement blazer is still big business for AW18. Nowadays it’s likely your dress code is more relaxed, so wear yours at the 9-5 with a go-to knit.

In the mood now to rock out to your favourite power ballad? Look the part and discover even more must-wear ‘80s trends our The Trend Edit


Emma Leyland

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