When I think about ’80s outfits, my mind goes straight to the Hollywood and MTV darlings who defined the fashion of the decade, like Molly Ringwald and Madonna. I also remember the “older girls” I looked up to IRL — specifically my older brother’s friend Erica, whose ultra-hip hand-me-downs I tore into when they arrived at my doorstep in big, promising plastic bags each season.
While the ’90s are so right now, let us never forget the oversized sweaters and exaggerated headbands that made ’80s style just so…fun. Here are four iconic ’80s outfits you can use to inspire a modern look with an old-school edge (’80s hair optional).
1. Layered, Off-the Shoulder Tops, Oversized Skirts, Boots, and Bangles
Molly Ringwald sported this look in “16 Candles,” the iconic 1984 John Hughes film that introduced lovable geek Anthony Michael Hall to the world. Take a pair of scissors to a couple of short-sleeved tees to achieve this effortlessly cool layered look that somehow doesn’t look dated. Molly wore a boho-inspired midi skirt and brown boots to complete the outfit, and finished things off with layered bangle bracelets, some of which went up to her forearm. I would wear this look tomorrow, albeit a little more tailored. Here’s some inspiration via Polyvore.
2. Denim vests, Button-Down Blouses with Rolled Up Sleeves, and Jeans
Denim is timeless, but pop-star Tiffany made it her signature staples. (Yes, I’ve always been more team Tiffany than team Debbie.) One of my favorite Tiff looks comes from the cover of her “Could’ve Been” single. Her loose-fitting peach blouse (peach was HUGE in the ’80s, but it’s less about the color and more about the look) was effortlessly cool underneath a denim vest and completed with a simple pair of jeans. If you wore this exact outfit today, you’d look just as amazing as she did in 1987. I think we’re inspired now.
3. Statement Headbands with Oversized Sweaters
Lisa Bonet embraced the bohemian side of the 1980s, and she’s often overlooked as one of the defining style icons of the ’80s. On and off ‘The Cosby Show,’ Lisa was knows for her charmingly haphazard layers and her hair experimentations, which she often complemented with in-your-face headbands, which are definitely back on trend. One of our favorite 1980s Lisa looks is this headband-and-oversized sweater ensemble, which makes a big impact with little effort.
4. Crop Tops and High-Waisted Jeans
I’ll be the first to admit that everyone’s ’80s girl-crush, Alyssa Milano, made some questionable fashion choices in her hey day. But she was a fan of the crop top, which is a modern-day fashion must-have. In this look, she paired her crop with high-waisted jeans (a la Taylor Swift), and while her pastel colors and patterns scream datedness, the overall look can be (and is often) modified into a style that’s very right now. Skip the cuffed jeans and you’re good to go.
Do you have favorite ’80s look that still holds up today? Tag us on Instagram @britandco.
(Photo via Wikipedia.)