Don’t Be Scared Of The ’80s Revival – Here Are 5 Trends To Steal

Georgia Murray

From Seattle grunge to Kate Mossminimalism, every '90s aesthetic has dominated our wardrobe over the past few seasons. Same with the ‘70s (think corduroy, flared denim and Penny Lane-style suede coats) and the ‘60s (you can thank the V&A’s Mary Quant exhibition for all those Mary Janes and scalloped hems you’re lusting after). But the '80s? It’s the decade everyone thought would never return, banished to the annals of history with its garish neon spandex and hair metal rock. Yet the ‘80s are back, and there's no need to be afraid.

From Secret Cinema taking on Stranger Things to Joanna Hogg’s phenomenal film, The Souvenir, via the return of the mullet, we’ve seen nods to the ‘80s in entertainment and beauty, and the catwalks of SS20 were no different. Rollnecks layered under blazers à la Brooke Shields, chunky gold jewellery that channels a young Joan Collins, and Princess Diana heritage tweed and monochrome polka dots were all key features during fashion month. So while you might want to leave the backcombed ‘do and legwarmers in the past, there are plenty of wearable ways to pay homage to the era. 

From slouchy suits fit for Wall Street to retro jewel tones and high-glamour power shoulders, click through to find the trends we’re nabbing from the ‘80s archive.

Jewel Tones

From sapphire to quartz, the '80s threw up some pretty powerful shades. An antidote to our penchant for pastel hues, designers across the board, from Mugler and Balenciaga to Victoria Beckham, gave us a punchy colour-blocking '80s palette. Wear head to toe and with white accessories for the ultimate throwback.

Zara Satin Wrap Dress, $, available at Zara

Isabel Marant Étoile Frill Trim Dress, $, available at Far Fetch

& Other Stories Jacquard Puff Sleeve Wrap Top, $, available at & Other Stories
Metallic Bold Shoulders

Manmade fabrics thrived in the '80s but sequins, lamé and crepe were three particularly strong contenders. With a booming nightlife scene, one needed to stand out on the dance floor and shine as bright as the disco ball. Shimmer and sparkle in tandem with power shoulders made for one hell of a look, to which LaQuan Smith, Saint Laurent and Vivienne Westwood all returned for SS20.

Maje Clunny Ruffled Lamé Blouse, $, available at Net-A-Porter

Topshop Silver Plain Pussybow Blouse, $, available at Topshop

Ganni Metallic Jacquard Blouse, $, available at mytheresa
Statement Suits

Gone are the bookish tweeds and groovy kick-flare hems of our favourite '70s suiting. Trouser suits in the '80s were breezier and lighter, but no less statement. Think of Michelle Pfeiffer's white suit in Scarface and the shoulder-pad-heavy suiting in Heathers. For SS20, Agnona, Proenza Schouler and Annakiki gave us wide shoulders, long hemlines and paperbag-waist trousers. See you in the boardroom.


ASOS DESIGN Oversized Double Breasted Dad Suit Blazer, $, available at ASOS

Theory Double Breasted Grain De Poudre Wool-Blend Blazer, $, available at Net-A-Porter

Mango Pinstripe Suit Blazer, $, available at Mango
Polka Dots

Everyone from Virgil Abloh to Alessandro Michele has been inspired by Princess Diana's '80s looks over the past few seasons, and polka dots have reigned supreme (some say overtaking the ubiquitous floral print) for some time now. As evidenced by Elie Tahari, Balmain and Balenciaga at fashion month, you'll continue to go dotty long into 2020.

Vestium Vintage Vintage Polka Dot Dress, $, available at asos marketplace

& Other Stories Polka Dot Puff Sleeve Chiffon Blouse, $, available at ASOS

Kitri Lana Polka Dot Vintage Dress, $, available at Kitri
Aerobics Aesthetics

Let's get physical! Physical! The immortal words of Olivia Newton-John will be circling around your head this season, thanks to the return of aerobics aesthetics. Think Jane Fonda spandex, neon colour-blocking and thigh-high cuts, it's time to take your gym gear to the streets. Look to GCDS, Hermès and Chromat for inspiration: we're donning leggings with tank tops and an off-the-shoulder sweatshirt for extra Dirty Dancing vibes.

Lululemon x Roksanda Face Forward Define Jacket, $, available at lululemon

Nike Plus-Size Medium-Support Sports Bra, $, available at Nike

P.E Nation Full Court LS Knit Top, $, available at P.E Nation

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