Do you still think Jake from Sixteen Candles is a hunk? Believe strongly that “No one puts Baby in the corner”? Still thirsty for Tab? Then you, my friend, must be loving the current 1980s renaissance seen on fashionistas around the globe. In Europe and in the U.S., 80s-inspired fashions can be seen on the hippest of the hip … and some of us that are not so hip.
I’m not saying that people with perms and mullets—people who have not updated their look since the 80s—are living large now. It’s an 80s renaissance after all. Fashion designers are looking back at the 80s and sampling from the most beloved trends of that decade. And, I think they have done it better the second time around—thankfully.
Originally, I was shocked at my first leggings-with-lace sighting. Paired with a mini and ballet flats, I was shaken to the core. Okay, that’s a little dramatic, but I vividly remember turning to my friend and saying, “I wore those the first time and I’m not wearing them again!”
Back in the day, leggings with lace and minis were the ultimate. This look was so hot with a pair of Sam and Libby’s. You know, the flat shoes that came in a rainbow of colors and featured a huge bow on the toe? I loved that look. It was rad! Well it’s back, and is more sophisticated because now we call them “ballet flats,” which already sounds better–––but the spirit is the same.
Once I got my head around seeing leggings and leg warmers, I am now a fan. Seriously, why did these ever go out of style? Even though I am not super toned, or even toned, I do wear leggings. I go sans lace, as it’s just too much of a throwback to my youth. And … I heart leg warmers. With skinny jeans (another retro 80s classic) or leggings, they are hot! Wear them paired with a cute animal print (Zebra is my beast of choice), and a pair of ballet flats, and you, as my sister says, will be “rocking that look!”
80s inspired pieces are everywhere right now. Off the shoulder tops have been revived, to be sexier than ever. And the big bags that have been popular for a few seasons are now crescent shaped with plenty of embellishments—again. Seen with studs and metal hoops, these bags are hot. In the 80s you might have stored your hair pick to touch up your perm and your blue mascara in your saggy, crescent bag. Today that hobo bag might house your blackberry and double as an incognito diaper bag—you go, hot mama!
I was recently leafing through a British fashion mag and noticed large fringy scarves were making an appearance––or rather reappearance–––on the runway. They were worn the old school way with the ends wrapped around your neck and the point facing down with the fringe flaring. The magazine called these print beauties “keffiyeh” and claimed that the cool girls were wearing them with their hair tucked in the scarf.
In those same glossy pages, the men were in a 80s time warp as well. Big hair and skinny jeans were all the rage. Could the 80s fashion hit parade be drawing in the dudes as well? The jury is officially out, but I have spotted parachute pants and Swatch watches a plenty.
Even 80s hairstyles have been retooled. Side ponytails—my personal fave—used to be sporty, sassy, and teased to the max. Now, ponytails are sleek and worn on the side at the nape of the neck. The mullet is back as well, which I never thought I would see. Short, stylish, and ultra hip, a true hipster can only carry off the new mullet. The fashion forward are not wearing it the same way as the “business up front and party in back” cut of yesterday. The redesigned mullet is much trimmer … and not permed, thank you very much. I was shocked, however, to see a woman wearing a big pink clip-on bow on the side of her head a couple of days ago! I mean, sure I wore them the first time around—but some things belong in the past!
I’ve decided that a few vintage 80s pieces are great, but a whole outfit that I saved from the 80s won’t put me in the fashion fast lane. The new pieces are 80s “inspired,” not “copied,” and the new fits and fabrics make a big difference. I can’t wait to see what technology developments will do for the shoulder pad!
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