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Try some 80s fashion trends that never went out of style

March 22, 2016

Mash up 80s fashion trends with your current wardrobe, reinvented by designers for today’s fashionista with timeless elements like high waisted pants and power suits. 


Don’t be shy about sourcing yourself some 80s fashion classics like power suits, high waisted jeans and other key fashion trends that have been reimagined for today’s dressing and read on for links to retailer sites that give you all the choices you need to rock your 80s look.

80s fashion trends

The key fashion trends of the 80s live on today in both clothing throwback-with-current mashups and modern interpretations of original classics.


80s fashion and style is indelibly stamped on our popular culture psyche with references in throwback movies, trending TV shows like “Stranger Things”, vintage music and timeless celebrities from that decade who continue to rock our world, like Cher and Madonna.


Some of these timeless 80s fashion trends include:


  • The Sloane Ranger preppy style as personified by Lady Diana, with full, ruffled blouses, demure printed dresses, plaid knee-length straight skirts and woollen vests worn over button-down shirts.


  • The punk rock style of music icons like Kiss and Boy George, with their neon-bright face paint, gaudy-coloured hair, hard-rock metal accessories and lashings of black leather.


  • The quintessential 80s fashion of Madonna with big, permed and teased hair wrapped up in a large floppy bow, a moto jacket over a short froufrou skirt, layered over leggings and Doc Martins and finished with red lips, blue eye shadow and black or white lace finger gloves.


  • Power suits ala Maggie Thatcher and the ladies of “Dynasty” and “Dallas”, with their exaggerated shoulders (heavily padded), nipped-in waists and straight skirts or trousers.


  • The  eighties fashion trends of slinky, silky and sexy dressing set by supermodels like Christy, Naomi, Cindy and Linda.

1980s Madonna style

1980s Madonna style

80s fashion and links to retailer sites

Source yourself some original throwback eighties fashion pieces or get some reinvented spins on 80s fashion trends at the various links to retailer sites provided below:


  • At Etsy, you can browse through literally millions of vintage fashion garments and have your pick of 80s high waisted jeans, 80s “Mom” jeans, 80s power suits and blouses and so much more of 80s fashion.


  • Check out Rusty Zipper for 80s options from original vintage 1980s prom dresses to 1980s accessories and shoes to finish your eighties fashion look from head to toe.


  • Head on over to the global Asos marketplace to rewind your fashion back to the 1980s with formal fashionable vintage 80s dresses, batwing shirts, sharp tailoring and other 80s fashion.


  • At the world’s largest virtual shopping site – Amazon – you will find fashionable 80s products of all kinds and at all price points. Affiliate marketing programs provide you with additional perks and benefits when sourcing your eighties fashion.

80s Fashion Looks to Rock Today

Some 80s fashion trends never went out of style, so pick your favourites and mash them up with your current wardrobe for a retro-modern spin on the fashion of the 80s:


Stone wash
  • Rock a pair of high waisted stone washed jeans with a cropped graphic T-shirt tied up at the waist, yellow kitten heel pumps and a polka dot scrunchie-scarf tying up your ponytail and you have the perfect mix of 80s fashion reworked for today.


Sloan Ranger
  • Take the Sloan Ranger look out for a spin by pairing an 80s prairie-style lace-edged white blouse with your dark wash skinny jeans and throw a blue cardigan over your shoulders for that finishing preppy touch. Don’t forget the dark brown loafers to complete your look.


Jane Fonda-style
  • Rock some Jane Fonda-style 80s fashion Lycra leggings or a neon-bright body suit at your next yoga session to stand out from the crowd. Add striped leg warmers and a gaudy sweat band to hold your hair off your forehead for a true throwback look.


Power suits
  • Source yourself the jacket of an 80s fashion power suit and pair this blazer with your favourite skinny jeans or pants and a white button-down shirt for your day wear look that combines confident style with casual chic. Pick your fashion power suit blazer in a bright solid like red, turquoise or Kelly green to give it some edge.


Summer getup
  • Build yourself an 80s fashion summer getup by pairing acid wash jeans with a cropped slogan T-shirt layered over a brightly coloured tank and completing your casual streetwear style with classic white trainers.


  • Another way to rock 80s fashion with your current wardrobe is by adding some DYI patches or pins to your favourite denim jacket, jeans or crossbody bag. Go crazy and add as many patches or pins as you want, in any combo you like, making your garment one-of-a-kind!


body suits
  • Source yourself a vintage 80s body suit from any online 80s fashion marketplace and wear it tucked into your boyfriend jeans for a sexy-slouchy combo. Add a chunky oversized sweater or a moto jacket for outdoors and layer on some long pearl necklaces – more is more! – under that jacket or sweater, for when you are ready to rock the dance floor.


And as we take a step further into this unique period in fashion, we’ll discover one of the most colourful decades in twentieth century fashion. Possibly one of the most notable decades for a mixture of print, colour and texture, 80s fashion certainly made an impact and a memorable vintage inspiration for modern-day styling.

Lady Di, The Leonardo Prize

Lady Di, The Leonardo Prize

An explosion of colour and print

80s fashion was an explosion of style and design and it wasn’t just the hair that made big news during this iconic decade. Music idols enforced an individual style example with Boy George, Madonna and David Bowie experimented with a fusion of colour and texture.


Arguably one of the easiest vintage fashion styles to choose for fancy dress, there’s so much more to 80s fashion that neon leg warmers and colourful tutus. Take a look at why this period in fashion was one of the trendiest and influential decades for promoting individual style.

Textures and Layering

This decade reinforced the saying ‘bigger is better’ as fashion saw an influx of full layering and vivacious texture. The puff-ball skirts, structured shirts and oversized sweaters completed a multi-layered outfit, perfectly matched by big hair and accessories.

The 80s Power Suit

The 1980s started the trend of the power suit and during this decade with the help of shows like Dynasty, sharp styling was in. To create an even bigger statement, shoulder pads made an appearance to highlight an extreme silhouette.

Annie Lennox of the Eurythmics

Annie Lennox of the Eurythmics

Androgyny in 80s fashion

Individual styling and personal characters shone through during the 80s and pop icons such as Annie Lennox and Grace Jones showcased a masculine look with a feminine twist. Suits, ties and cropped hair combined with a touch of glamour – red lips and corset style basque gave it a feminine touch with a sharp masculine style.

Rock Star Influence in 80s fashion

The rebellious side of the 80s made waves with rock bands of the time sporting what now seems like the stereotypical rock attire. Ripped jeans, band tees, leather jackets were a massive hit with the younger generation. Madonna also played a huge part with her provocative yet edgy look being copied by fans around the world.

Modern vintage inspiration in 80s fashion

Designers are always recreating vintage looks as the strong influence of particular decades proves a powerful mix when styling with a modern twist.


Balmain used 80s print and texture in the collection of spring/summer 2014 with oversized hounds-tooth jackets and sleek pencil skirts and more recently autumn/winter 2015 collections saw a revival of colourful combinations and metallic texture on the catwalks of Olivier Rousteing.

An 80s Revival

The 80s does have a slight stigma of bold, brash and outlandish fashion and to a degree this is true yet the decade highlighted a strong style presence highlighting that an anything goes vibe and individual character makes the trends of the era really pop.


80s fashion represents a fun, lively desire to showcase individual style and on trend fashion, something that was accessible to everyone whatever your budget.


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Power styling of the 80s