Name a bolder, more vibrant decade of fashion than the 80s. We’ll wait.
With neon colors, loud patterns and funky silhouettes, 80s fashion has earned its iconic status. The name of the style game was making a statement—from shoes to clothes and hair to accessories.
So what better way to create a standout wardrobe than by looking at our favorite styles (and style icons, of course) of this era?
Inspiration Behind 80s Fashion Trends
The fashion trends of the 80s were heavily influenced by the pop culture of the time. From the glitz and glamour of the disco era to the punk rock movement, 80s fashion was a reflection of the social and political climate of the decade.
The rise of consumerism and materialism also played a role, with people looking to make a statement through their clothing and accessories. Fashion was all about showcasing your individuality and expressing yourself—basically, wearing your personality on your sleeve.
Popular 80s Fashion Trends Making a Comeback
Bold, color-rich styles are once again in demand. Each of the top trends below draws inspiration from the popularity of the 80s with a modern-day reinvention.
From the runways to the street, many designers are incorporating the exaggerated elements of 80s fashion into their collections.
From oversized tops and jackets to statement jewelry and neon accessories, 80s fashion is back on the scene without a doubt.
Jelly shoes: These colorfully playful 80s shoes are the epitome of the decade. Made of a comfortable, flexible plastic material, jelly shoes were the must-have. For the most retro look, add these 80’s style jellies to your closet. Or for a more contemporary take, try these on-trend heeled sandals or chunky platform sandals. They’re authentic 80s designs made for today.
Power dressing: The two words that say it all. Bold suiting in punchy colors to match. What does that mean today? Sharply tailored blazers and pants in bright colors. Coordinate a suit like set or boldly contrast. Instant statement dressing.
Neon colors: From hot pink to electric blue and highlighter yellow to acid green, the on-trend colors of the 80s turned up the visual volume. Whether you choose softened brights or go full neon, you can infuse color into your look with anything from bright jelly shoes to a few brushes of a dazzling nail polish.
Statement denim: No 80s closet was complete without acid wash jeans, extra high rises, and slouchy silhouettes. Acid wash, with its unique light and dark patterns is showing back up in denim jackets whether they’re cropped or oversized. Ultra high rise jeans fitted through the waist and hips and looser through the thigh and leg are an essential to give that snatched look
Shoulder pads: Who could forget? A defining feature of the 80s, they’re making a more subtler show today adding structure and volume under tees, jackets, dresses and more.
Chunky jewelry and accessories: Statement accessories that coordinated to clothing for a complete outfit was signature 80s style. Big earrings, stacks of rings, bauble necklaces, corset belts, and sequin bags are just a few popular accessories from the 80s making their way back into style today.
Fashion Icons of the 80s
To really get on-board with 80s style, you have to know the fashion icons. Pop culture heavily influenced the 80s fashion trends and these superstars brought the glitz, glamour, pop, and punk to the stage.
Madonna: This pop diva set the bar for 1980s fashion, making a statement everywhere she went. Wearing oversized blazers, leg warmers, fishnet stockings, lace gloves, and large hair bows, Madonna was all about eclectic style. From edgy punk rock looks to over-the-top neon outfits, Madonna inspired women across the world with her fashion choices, which continues to this day.
Cher: Of course, Cher’s 80s hair is nothing short of icon. Big and curly, Cher inspired so many to opt for curly perms. And while perms aren’t back, embracing your curls and styling your hair with big volume is. And we can’t forget her skin-baring outfits. Cher’s influence can be seen with today’s trends of bodysuits, cutouts and sheer material.
Tina Turner: Tina Turner brought the bold. A fan of the mini dress, statement denim, and sequin, she knew how to dress in a mood-boosting look. No closet is complete without a fun going-out dress, denim jacket and some sparkle, á la Tina.
Popular 80s Shoes You Need Now
Footwear in the 80s was just as bold and eclectic as the rest of the decade's fashion. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t just as in style today with some contemporary updates.
Jelly Shoes: These are the perfect on-trend shoes for summer. Retro and fun, you can find them in a variety of colors and designs. Whether you’re going for a beachy look, going to a music festival, or just want to add a statement, jelly shoes are ones you need to add to your closet this year.
High-Top sneakers: Such a classic. Pair these with a sporty or casual look. For extra edgy 80s style points, add some bright high-top sneakers to a power suit.
Platforms: Extra height, extra statement. Platform shoes became more mainstream in the 80s with bold, chunky designs on sandals, boots, heels and more—and are popular as ever now. Want to make the boldest statement? Rock some bright jelly platforms.
Heels with Substance: Between workwear and streetwear, women often wore flashy high heels that precisely coordinated with their outfits. Platform heels with thick soles and wide chunky block heels are back on-trend today in playful colors.
80s Colors to Incorporate into Your Wardrobe
Neon, neon, and more neon. But also earthy tones and powdery pastels. The 80s were characterized by a playful, eclectic mix of colors that reflected the playful, anything-goes spirit of the time.
And we can’t forget the patterns and prints. Bold color blocking, buzzy geometric patterns, and animal print are all quintessential 80s style. Infuse these statement-making shades into your look from shoes to accessories and everything in between.
Is 80s fashion coming back in 2023?
Yes, 1980s fashion is definitely making a comeback in 2023. Already shoulder pads, neon hues, edgy denim, power suits and jelly shoes are returning in full force.
Blending nostalgia, comfort, and statement style, trends from this iconic decade are being embraced by fashion designers and fashion lovers. Tastemakers across the fashion world are taking inspiration from 80s style and incorporating it into their wardrobes at this very moment.
And while style is a constant evolution, the 80s are here to stay (and we’d say they never really left).