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8 Fashion Trends from the '80s That Are Cool Again

Here's how you can rock retro trends in 2018.
8 Fashion Trends from the '80s That Are Cool Again
Here's how you can rock retro trends in 2018.

The '80s was a vibrant and bold decade that reminds us of all things glitzy and glam. As the colorful retro years come back to life, we're bound to see how designers are reimagining its iconic trends to fit today's fashion scene. Below, we list eight of the most popular '80s trends that are both super wearable and cool again. 

1. Shoulder pads

Sharp and bulky shoulders are back, and they're no longer categorized under ill-fitting clothes. These overstated shoulder lines are now seen as an armor-like detail that's a foolproof way to achieve a more masculine silhouette.

How to wear it: If you're not keen on shoulder pads in sharp, tailored suits or metallic blazers like Balmain's take on the trend, reach for suits done in softer fabrics like linen. Its softness will balance the bulkiness; cinch it to accentuate your waistline so you don't lose your shape.


2. Power suits

Tweed, plaid, and tailored suits were popularized in the '80s as girls were finally allowed to be part of the working force. But today, suits are no longer made for office hours. Power suits are now considered a more polished alternative to casual attire.

How to wear it: When choosing a suit, try to veer away from neutral hues and be open to playing with prints and bold colors. More importantly, make sure it fits you like a glove to avoid looking lousy and uncomfortable.

3. Animal print

Perhaps the boldest '80s trend yet, animal print is often referred to as a tacky fad. This year, it's time to give the animal kingdom a second (or even third and fourth) chance.

How to wear it: The trick to pulling off such a loud print is to wear it one piece at a time. Either you make the animal print your statement piece (choose a dress, a top, or a coat perhaps) or wear it as an accent (like a bag or a belt).


4. Oversized everything

The '80s was notorious for its excessess and its muchness. Maximalism was at its height back in the retro years in the form of jacket silhouettes, embellishments, materials, colors, and even layers. But now, we've refined the big '80s attitude by practicing strategic restraint that results in maximum impact sans the tacky overall appeal.

How to wear it: Want wearable exaggerated silhouettes? Target a specific area only and strike the perfect balance. 

5. PVC

Life was fantastic in plastic back in the '80s. Vinyl provided a glossy finish to outfits that are made more eye-catching and unique. 

How to wear it: If you're not ready to commit to a head-to-toe plastic look, dip your toes into the trend by copping vinyl add-ons instead, like belts, bags, booties, hats, and even coats.

6. Bike shorts

Princess Diana knew what she was doing when she stepped out in public wearing a pullover and a pair of bike shorts. While cycling shorts are not the top choice to wear as bottoms, street style stars are definitely making us reconsider.


How to wear it: Treat the body-hugging shorts like a pencil skirt and wear them with structured tops. You can take a sartorial cue from Off-White or keep it super casual like Aimee Song, who paired the bike shorts with a simple button-down and some chunky sneakers.

7. Bold colors

It wouldn't be the '80s without a splash of color. The desire to stand out was expressed by wearing a ton of fuchsias, magentas, yellows, and greens.

How to wear it: Today, infuse a little bit of the '80s boldness to your mundane outfits by wearing jewel-toned pieces.

8. Sheer

Sheer tops made with mesh and tulle were popular fabrics for prom dresses back in the '80s. Now, the whimsical fabric can easily be stitched into a more modern iteration. Ruching and overlayering are favored less and less; instead, designers the delicate sheer material with structure. Think wispy sheer pieces you can easily layer on even in the summer.


How to wear it: Try wearing a sheer dress over a bra top and a pair of boyfriend jeans. Or, level up your monochrome dressing skills and finish a one-tone ensemble with a ghost jacket.