The '80s Fashion Trends Stylists Can't Get Enough Of

Are you ready for sequins and shoulder pads?

It's no secret that fashion trends from the 1990s and early 2000s are having a moment like never before — but the alternative era isn't the only time period pushing for a renaissance. Amidst all the mom jeans and exaggerated flares, skort outfits, printed denim, and black dress pants, fashionistas are also making room in their wardrobes for iconic '80s fashion. Naturally, we're on the edge of our seats (re: glued to our phones) waiting to see which totally rad throwback threads fully come back around.

Princess Diana seated and wearing a pink sweater, capris, and loafers
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Part of the draw when it comes to the return of '90s and early aughts clothing is that these trends all play into nostalgia. With our own fond memories of bucket hats and, um, butt fashion, we simply couldn't resist — and, naturally, the 1980s offers more of the same. Even if you didn't get a chance to live out the decade in real-time, you'll definitely want to get in on round two. Key elements of '80s fashion include color, playfulness, and comfort — all the things we're loving at the moment.

Demi Moore wearing red Converses, argyle socks, black pants, and a blazer
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Just think about it: the '80s brought us fishnets and legwarmers, served up electric colorways and the naked dress, made a case for leggings-as-pants, and inserted shoulder pads into any blazer and blouse that designers would allow. Plus, it wasn't just the clothing that became historic: the women who made these looks their own are the same ones we draw inspiration from today. The '80s gave us Princess Diana's revenge dress and signature turtlenecks-under-sweaters moments, as well as Madonna's corsets and tulle and layered jewelry. Demi Moore and Molly Ringwald challenged gendered dressing norms, while Lisa Bonet advertised a cool, eclectic style.

Lisa Bonet wearing a hat, cropped green pants, and booties alongside Lenny Kravitz in a leather jacket
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

If you dig deep enough, there's an '80s aesthetic for every style preference. And while we'd absolutely advise looking to the archived celebrity looks of the time for inspiration, we also went ahead and reached out to a few fashion experts, getting their opinion on which '80s styles are trending — and, most importantly, how to wear these looks today.

Glam Rock

Person wearing a leather jacket, white shirt, loose-fit jeans, and boots
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The '80s were a vibrant and glamorous decade, especially within the music industry. To fully recreate that iconic glam-rock aesthetic, Tobi head stylist Joanna Angeles says platform shoes, metallic staples, leather fabrics — or better yet, faux leather — and lots of glittery accents are key.

"To take it to the next level, incorporate lace, statement belts, gloves, power suits, and oversized boxy blazers," Angeles tells InStyle. "Forget less is more — with the '80s, more is definitely more, and making a statement is always the way to go."


Person wearing a t-shirt and purple sequined skirt
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

For girls' night out or happy hour (or just because), Angeles says the '80s trend she'd gravitate towards would be a mini skirt decked out in sequins. "Pair with bold colored pointed toe pumps, a tucked-in, flowy white button-up, and chunky gold jewelry for an extra touch of glam."

Oversized Blazers With Shoulder Pads

Person wearing an oversized red blazer and jeans
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In an exclusive interview with InStyle, co-founder of JLUX, Christina Jaide revealed her number favorite style from the '80s to wear today is an oversized blazer with big shoulders.

"They're too good to move on from," Jaide declares over email. "If you are reaching for something oversized and you are sporting a smaller frame, give the look a try with a defined waistline. Adding a belt will ensure your shape is at the forefront of your look."


Person wearing a white body suit with a neon pink blazer and wide-leg jeans
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Teresa Jaide, the other half of JLUX, says a bodysuit is a fashion trend from the '80s that's appropriate for any occasion, especially when worn as a sleek foundation piece.

"I would recommend going from a top to a bodysuit when sporting a look where you don't want to bulge while tucking it in — such as a classic button-down — or when you're baring your shoulders," she tells us. "Having the extra support ensures your look stays intact. Try pairing your bodysuit with wide-leg trousers or even a flowy skirt. The tightness of the bodysuit will help balance out your look."

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