Almost every era in modern history has had fashion trends that cycled back into style at some point, but sometimes it seems that the 80s have way more than any other. From bright neon colors to oversized silhouettes, the 80s was a bold and colorful fashion decade. It's no surprise that some of its trends have stood the test of time—or at least made a comeback in recent years.
Possibly one of the most surprising comeback fashion trends of the 80s is the neon color fad so reminiscent of the time. Whether you give a definitive nod to the era with a striking blazer or pay more subtle homage with bright sneaker laces, neon adds a pop of color to any outfit.
A favorite of Madonna and Prince alike, shoulder pads were a staple statement in the 80s, and now they're back. Often found on blazers, dresses, and sweaters, shoulder pads lend a structured, boxy style to your ensemble. This trend is a fun way to add a blast from the past to your contemporary wardrobe.
They were popular in the 80s, and overalls became the perfect outfit for DIY around the house in more recent decades. Now, though, they're a cool, vintage wardrobe essential that no longer sees the light of day only during deep cleans.
Whether you're heading out to do errands or you just enjoy the laid-back fashion look, overalls offer effortless style any day of the week. Of course, nothing beats classic denim, but everything from sweatpant material to sequins decorates this staple lately.
High-waisted jeans are comfy and flattering for all sizes and come in plenty of different styles. Whether you're kicking back in mom jeans or opting for a sleek skinny, this 80s trend has certainly cemented itself into modern fashion. Pair them with a crop top, tuck in a tee, or dress them up with a bralette.
Fun Fact: Princess Diana was a true style icon of the era for both her elegant "revenge dress" style, as well as her casual heading-to-the-gym pieces. The people's princess was frequently seen in high-waisted mom jeans with tucked-in tees.
Just as shoulder pads have returned, so has power dressing. In the era of "girl bosses", power dressing is a fashion trend in full swing today. If you've watched "Girlboss" or "The Bold Type" on Netflix, you'll know exactly what we mean. It's time to dress for the job you know you deserve: think blazers, pantsuits, and smart skirts—anything that makes you feel like you can take on the day and achieve your goals. Show the world who's boss.
Leg warmers aren't just for fancy dress and vintage aerobics videos. With the rise in athleisure, could leg warmers be on the brink of a comeback? We think so. Although they're no longer available in neon colors, you can add neutral pairs to leggings to create a stylish outfit for the gym or roller disco (also making a comeback!)
Oversized blazers were huge in the 80s, and they are a perfect accessory for a bougie night out in 2023. Channel your inner Janet Jackson with razor-sharp shoulder pads and a velvet blazer. While the past 10 years have been all about bodycon and skinny jeans, oversized silhouettes are in right now. Bootcut jeans or baggy sweats are ideal for spending weekends with friends.
Denim jackets have never really fallen out of fashion, but they were huge in the 80s. Tina Turner was often seen in her iconic denim jacket with leather pants (another trend that seems to have made a comeback) on stage. Now, you can get these jackets in just about any color, but the classic blue denim is a must-have. Layer it over sweaters in the Winter or smock dresses in the Summer for a casual look.
Madonna in the 80s is an instantly recognizable icon. She was the queen of the velvet scrunchie, too, paired with fishnet gloves and crosses on chains. Scrunchies were a popular hair accessory in that decade. Then, they became the preferred way for parents to do up their kids on school photo day (and cause tons of embarrassment a decade later).
Now, they're back and better than ever. Available in pretty patterns, bold prints, or classic neutral tones, scrunchies offer a practical way to tie up ponytails and messy buns in retro fashion.
Crop tops were a popular choice for women in the 80s, and now they have returned in full force. Whether you opt for a classic T-shirt or a more daring style, a crop will show off your midriff and add a touch of sexiness to your outfit. You can wear this top with high-waisted jeans or a skirt—it is a versatile choice that you can dress up or down.
While 80s fashion trends have made a comeback in recent years and don't seem to be disappearing soon, you can and should make them your own. Tailor 80s trends to your personal style by mixing and matching the old with the new. Thrift shops and online thrifting apps are the ideal places to hunt for pieces you can coordinate with your current wardrobe.