Fashion Whitney Houston's '80s Outfits Were Full of Timeless Fashion Lessons Here are 10 we'll never forget. By Samantha Sutton Samantha Sutton Instagram Samantha is InStyle's senior fashion editor. She joined the brand in 2019 and oversees the site's fashion coverage, including trend reporting, fashion exclusives, celebrity style interviews, and Fashion Week coverage. InStyle's editorial guidelines Updated on September 24, 2022 @ 04:53PM Pin Share Tweet Email Photo: Getty Images Whenever we hear the name Whitney Houston, we can't help but reflect on her spectacular career. Almost immediately, songs such as "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" pop into our head, and we suddenly feel the urge to rewatch The Bodyguard or 1997's Cinderella (arguably the best version), in which she played the Fairy Godmother. And, let's not forget the late artist's outfits — specifically, the ones she wore in the '80s. Houston stuck to a signature style, and never shied away from sequined, printed, and embellished designs. A true fashion icon. Looking back at some of the star's best looks from that decade, we realized they contained a handful of tips that would still come in handy today. No matter what you're dressing for, these 10 fashion lessons are worth keeping in mind. Ok, Wait — Julia Roberts Dressed Just Like Emily Ratajkowski Back in the '90 Reach For Sequins Getty Images Mini dresses, gowns, jackets — as proven by Houston, it doesn't hurt to choose something that contains a little (or a lot of) sparkle. The star embraced sequins both on stage and off, ensuring her outfits were not only fun but spotlight-stealing as well. Remember Classic Combos Getty Images On multiple occasions, Houston styled structured jackets with blue jeans. Even today, this outfit is a good go-to, whether you're heading to the office or going out for drinks. You can always switch it up by swapping out the bottom layer (a T-shirt, a turtleneck, or a sweater are great options) and completing the look with different shoe styles. Stick With a Scheme Getty Images This star was no stranger to monochromatic outfits, which, as we know, can be both sleek and simple. Houston always managed to find not-so-basic pieces to take her all-white look to the next level, whether it was a belted jacket or a hat. Go With Bold Prints Getty Images And, don't be afraid to mix them, either. Different types of florals or stripes paired with polka dots look great when styled together, too. Coordinate With Loved Ones Getty Images In the '80s, whenever Whitney made an appearance with her mom, Cissy Houston, the two opted to color coordinate. We're not saying you have to pull a matchy-matchy moment with your mom, spouse, or BFF, but hey — it's cute and makes for some great photo ops. Bring On the Volume Getty Images Houston was clearly a fan of tiers, ruffles, and floral embellishment back in the day, and in many ways, '80s fashion has returned. Go ahead and add that elaborate puff-sleeved top to cart. It's definitely something the style icon would approve of. Try a Standout Shoulder Getty Images Are you unsure what to wear to that wedding you were invited to? Find the happy medium between sweet and statement-making by opting for a design with an eye-catching shoulder detail, whether that's beads or an oversized bow. Know That Simple Can Be Sexy Getty Images Of course, Houston also knew that a solid-colored dress with a higher neckline was all that was needed to command a room. A pair of drop earrings didn't hurt, either. Add a Little Extra Getty Images Forget less is more — more is more in terms of accessories. As Houston showed us sometimes it's that final touch, like a headband or a scarf, that can give an outfit oomph and pull it all together. Keep a Leather Layer Handy Getty Images It's hard to think of an outfit that wouldn't be made better with the help of a leather jacket. Houston relied on this outerwear choice for both dressy and casual occasions and invested in blazer-like and moto options to complete her looks.