16 Best ’80s Outfits That Inspire All Wardrobes Today
Summary – The ‘80s outfits we all know and love are making a comeback on runways. Brands and designers must take note of the most popular trends from the era. With these styles, you can get just the boost of creativity and inspiration you need for your fashion label.
The ’80s was the era of the young urban professional, power dressing, and of course – shoulder pads. The sartorial gems of the era inspire fashion designers and brands even today. Here are some of the ‘80s outfits that still make their way to mood boards, runways, and closets.
1 – Wide Leg Pants
Cotton twill chinos or wide-legged pants are popular for their smart silhouette. These pants have a relaxed feel and are super-comfortable – a clear win-win for the working person.
2 – Animal Prints
Bird patterns, zebra stripes, and leopard prints are just some of the animal prints that made a statement back in the day. These are making a big comeback – and fashion brands would do good to stock up on them. Skirts, blouses, scarves, headbands, and pants—name it and it looks great with animal prints.
3 – Oversized Denim Jacket
Back in the day, celebrities donned oversized denim jackets in commercials, music videos, and TV shows. And the style is going strong to this day. The key is using the perfect material that gives a baggy look without being ill-fitted.
4 – Bold Shoulders
Shoulder pads or accentuated shoulders with a softer look were a hallmark of the ‘80s outfits. Dresses with bold shoulders made quite the statement. Needless to say, these styles are being re-explored on runways.
5 – Denim-on-Denim
Denim jackets with jeans and denim innerwear layered with denim jackets were a hit in the ‘80s. Denim-on-denim style also made an appearance in Ralph Lauren’s Spring 2023 ready-to-wear collection. Thanks to the plethora of options available, from pants to jackets, shirts, and shorts, this style is one of the most exciting to explore for fashion brands.
6 – Nude-Colored Dresses
Whether it’s Kim Kardashian and her sisters or the inimitable Cher, translucent dresses have always been a red-carpet hit. A more popular version of this is the nude-toned dress. To do justice to the trend and make it inclusive, brands should focus on getting the shades right for each wearer.
7 – Monochrome Power Suits
Fierce, confident, and perfect for the boardroom – there’s something about an ’80s-inspired power suit. The style has created a stronghold on the runways. These can be made from bright colors or neutrals and can be fashioned into different styles.
8 – Puff Sleeves
Puff sleeves that taper toward the wrist were a rage in the ’80s and made a big comeback in recent years. These make quite a style statement and can also be paired with a jacket. With this style, the options for brands are endless. From crop tops to dresses to jackets, there’s no end to outfits one can create with this style.
9 – High-Waist Mom Jeans
High-waist mom jeans can be fun and flirty or practical and great as loungewear. It all depends on the styling. This style is a favorite and can be transformed from casual to classy with ease.
10 – Bomber Jackets
Bomber jackets are popular with celebrities such as Bella Hadid, Hailey Bieber, and the like. Cotton, wool, and suede are popular choices of fabrics. The jackets usually come with a nylon shell and polyester interlinings. A varsity jacket with a bomber fit could add a unique twist, we believe. The jacket would be shorter, like a bomber, but the style and material would be that of a varsity jacket.
11 – Lace Trims
Wide-legged trousers, dresses, and skirts – all look gorgeous with lace trims. Brands like Valentino and MiuMiu have used this versatile element in their legendary collections of wedding gowns. A line of lace-trimmed apparel would do good for any fashion brand. Adding lace detailing to non-traditional silhouettes, like jackets and pants, could add a unique twist.
12 – High-Cut Swimsuits
High-cut swimsuits were some of the sexiest beach outfits in the ‘80s. And now, they’re back with a bang. What’s more, they’ve inspired the more common high-cut bodysuit look that’s popular with fast fashion brands like H&M. The bodysuits look best with denim shorts or baggy jeans.
13 – Spandex Suits
The Jane Fonda-esque workout suit of the ‘80s is still just as popular, thanks to how the fabric hugs the body just in the right places. It’s excellent as activewear and can be fashioned into tights, shorts, and yoga pants.
14 – Sheer Tights
The timeless classic beauty of sheer tights and leggings is reminiscent of Joan Collins or Princess Diana. These are often made from nylon and are alternatives to thicker leggings. They’re classy and beautiful yet understated.
15 – Thick Socks
Thick socks are made from woolen knit and can be used to stave away the colder weather, or just as a fashion statement. Pairing thick socks with high-hemmed pants is a cute new trend that has caught on.
16 – Baggy Cropped Trousers
Whether printed or single-tone, baggy cropped trousers or pants were and are popular. They’re loose along the legs and perfect for almost any event. A line of well-crafted baggy cropped trousers would do well as casual or semi-formal clothing.
Bringing ‘em Back in Style
With retro fashion, one never knows what might just click. These ‘80s styles can help brands create the collection of their dreams. The secret is making a statement without trying too hard. After all, the ‘80s were all about comfort clothing in bold silhouettes. And who doesn’t want some good old ‘80s glam!
- ‘80s fashion was about bright colors and short hemlines.
- Some silhouettes from the ‘80s are making a comeback, such as wide-leg pants and bold shoulders.
- Denim, power suits, sheer fabrics, and flesh-toned apparel have been going strong as return trends from the ‘80s.
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