It’s Official — The ’80s Are Back Thanks to These Fashion Essentials
The ‘90s has had plenty of time in the spotlight, and now it’s time to turn your attention to yet another fashionable decade: the ’80s. This super glam era, dominated by daytime metallics, tongue-in-cheek graphics and neon overload, will have you itching to pull together a capsule wardrobe. (Pssst: Madonna-inspired tutus, leg warmers and scrunchies may or may not be involved.) With the exception of exaggerated shoulders (hard pass), we’ve uncovered 26 double-tap-worthy style essentials. If you ask us, all the costume jewelry and over-the-top — but TOTALLY necessary — add-ons will be a nice change of pace from the past year’s prevailing grunge aesthetic.
1. Wildfox Racing Stripe Ayala Pants ($154): Um, rainbow racing stripes? YAS, please.
2. Marc Jacobs Paradise Tee ($175): Doesn’t this embellished tee just make you want to dance with somebody? Cue the Whitney Houston tunes and slip on a frothy pink tutu — just add some tough-girl biker boots and a denim jacket for a pretty-in-pink spin.
3. Lazy Oaf Scribble Spot Dress ($100): Quirky doesn’t even begin to cut it when describing this multi-colored frock. Pair alongside towering suede creepers, fishnet tights and a red beret (’cause why not?) for instant style cred.
4. ASOS Tall Night Silver ’80s Ruffle Mini Dress ($88): Proceed to channel your inner ‘80s prom queen with this frilly metallic dress that calls for ankle-strap steppers and oversized hoops. For maximum impact, glittery eyeshadow and a neon color-block ski jacket wouldn’t hurt either.
5. UNIF Giggle Top ($88): We love the name and fancy the rainbow smileys even more. A neon coral anorak, an electric yellow cross-body bag and extra large hoops will have you spreading happiness and stopping traffic wherever you go. How could you say no to that?
6. Urban Outfitters Holographic Quarter Strap Platform Sandal ($59): You’ll just want to have fun in these chunky holographic platform sandals! Team ‘em with neon ribbed socks or go full-on Zenon, Girl of the 21st Century with futuristic separates — namely, a metallic leather skirt and matching bomber.
7. Mamadoux Art School Colorblock Crop Top ($58): This abstract color-block top is practically out of an episode of Saved by the Bell. The cropped fit makes it perfect for pairing alongside high-waisted mom jeans and neon pink platforms for a low-key date night.
8. Topshop ’80s Pleated Bodysuit ($75): Did someone say ‘80s-inspired pleats? We’re so down, especially if this semi-sheer bodysuit is part of the equation. Day or night, work or play, looking flawless like Cindy Crawford will be easier said than done when you add a patent mini skirt or relaxed boyfriend jeans for a slay-worthy look.
9. Samantha Pleet Bite Me Bodysuit ($159): Wear this kitschy bodysuit to Jazzercise or take it out for a spin on the town with your fave embroidered jeans. Either way, the fangs embroidery is guaranteed to slayyy on the streets.
10. Front Row Shop Colorblock Oversize Faux Fur Coat ($118): Remember, more = more. The next time you’re feeling uninspired by your closet of snoozy neutrals (yawn), simply reach for this Cruella de Vil-esque topper that’s giving us all the feels. As if the animal print patch wasn’t enough to turn some heads, it’s the highlighter yellow and blush pink panels that scream bona fide ‘80s style maven.
11. Zara Cropped Sweatshirt With Text ($23): From here on out, let your clothes do ALL the talking. Cropped and ready to mingle, it’ll also serve as the ultimate conversation starter when hanging by the watercooler. Just sayin’.
12. Metallica Nibbled Tee by And Finally ($50): This distressed Metallica tee is designed for the groupie in all of us. You know what’s missing, right? A swishy metallic pleat skirt and Crayola-bright plastic hoop earrings will have you rockin’ out in no time.
13. Silence + Noise Metallic Runner Short ($49): This just in: Once you work out in metallic runner shorts, plain ol’ track pants simply won’t do. (But then again, who’s to say these bad boys have to be restricted to the gym?) For an extra pep in your step, an iridescent windbreaker and retro LA Gear sneaks will absolutely be in order.
14. Kate Spade Whimsies Triceratops Ear Jackets ($58): Yes, yes, those are exactly what you think they are. These metallic purple triceratops ear jackets are the piece de resistance you didn’t know you needed, but now won’t be able to live without. Try and stop us from reaching for them every. Single. Day.
15. Vans Denim Belt Bag ($25): Festival season came early for the girl-on-the-go with the ‘80s sensibilities to match. No longer restricted to the mom crowd, this denim belt bag featuring playful patches will accompany you on a women’s rights march or a trip to the flea market.
16. Zara Tulle Midi Skirt ($36): Less ballerina-in-training, more runaway bride (or better yet, a young Carrie Bradshaw), this twirl-worthy tulle skirt is speaking to our inner “Material Girl.” Take it there with an eclectic leopard print cardigan, a graphic tee and a paint-splattered top-handle satchel for the lewk of the season. Make ’em stop and stare, we say!
17. H&M Ruffled Blouse ($50): OTT ruffles? Check. Stand-up collar? Check. Eccentric, ‘80s-inspired print? Triple check. If this billowy blouse doesn’t read HBIC, then we don’t know what does. Round out your throwback look with a patent leather skirt, metallic silver ankle boots and big hair.
18. Silence + Noise Ally Neon Chunky Cardigan ($98): Let’s hear it for ‘80s-inspired fluorescents that can be spotted at least a mile away. The hot pink chunky knit cardigan will have you reaching for an off-the-shoulder sweatshirt and high-performance leggings just in time for barre. Come after-hours, a sequined slip dress will be non-negotiable.
19. Nasty Gal Ursula Hoop Earrings ($18): Rad hoops, where you at? These gold, textured earrings will straight-up slay at a black tie gala or an upcoming GNO. All that’s missing is a modern-day power suit for a getup that reads ‘80s-Hollywood-starlet-in-the-making.
20. Sam Edelman Stanley Block Heel Mules ($100): Between the retro palette and bohemian floral print, these orange block heel mules are this close to coming home with us. Don’t wait until the official first day of spring to whip these steppers out — they’ll pair splendidly with cropped denim flares and a deconstructed button-down.
21. Zara Frilled Skirt ($70): Too many frills? No such thing. Gear up for an ‘80s-themed dance party with this high-waisted ruffled skirt that’s all about dialing up the drama. Play it cool with a simple tee and some mid-heel ankle boots for a look that’s so 2017. But actually.
22. Nasty Gal Laser Kitten Triangle Squiggle Pin Set ($12): You had us at ‘80s-inspired triangle squiggle pins. Take one guess as to how we’ll be styling these babies. Hint, hint: A vintage Levis denim jacket may be included for a too-cool-for-school vibe.
23. ASOS Leather Look Mini Skirt With ’80s Waist ($46): A sultry off-the-shoulder top + a leather mini = full-fledged ‘80s babe in training. Got it? Just don’t forget an It girl-approved faux fur leopard print coat, a bold pout and perfect textured curls. Flawless would be an understatement.
24. Dolls Kill Dream Collector Patch Skirt ($55): If the ‘90s were devoted to a DIY punk aesthetic, then the ‘80s paved the way for personal flair. Let it be known: There’s nothing blasé about this frayed-hem denim mini featuring sequined patches (that pineapple, though!).
25. UNIF Comet Skirt ($135): For an entrance that’s like “whoa,” DO team this glitter-flecked mini with a sheer top and celestial-inspired accessories. Add a bright puffer vest, turquoise tights and light-up kicks for a getup that gives new meaning to the phrase “to the moon and back.” Style on, babe.
26. Free People Double Time Crew Sock ($18): Undoubtedly inspired by The Runway’s 1976 hit, these cheeky crew socks with a sporty undertone will look bomb teamed with some cropped flares and old-school kicks. Or better yet, let ‘em peek out from your boardroom trousers for a look that’s hella cool. Sorry, not sorry, HR.
Will you be channeling your inner ‘80s babe this season? Follow us on Pinterest for more upcoming winter style inspo!
Brit + Co may at times use affiliate links to promote products sold by others, but always offers genuine editorial recommendations.