UK Markets closed

1980s fashion trends that are making a comeback


Time to get nostalgic and reimagine these ’80s-inspired pieces.

Colourful leather
If you’re the kind who likes to play it safe with black or brown leather, it’s time to think again. Leather in bright, vibrant hues—often in a head-to-toe look—is making a comeback this season. While bright leather can be an intimidating trend, you can start off easy with a burgundy leather jacket, which pairs well with leather pants/leggings/skirt, or even jeans.
Photograph: acide/ Instagram

Puffy shoulders and sleeves
This Disney princess meets the cast of Dynasty trend is catching on for its quirky appeal. Tap into this bold trend when picking a party dress or even a statement top to pair with a skirt/jeans and sneakers. They’re a great way to add some 1980s glamour and drama to your look without looking OTT.
Photograph: silviatcherassi / Instagram

A metallic dazzle
Metallic outfits are once again enjoying their time in the sun. Think head-to-toe lamé outfits that help you dazzle without going all out on sparkles and sequins. If you want to be adventurous, you can pair metallic jackets, coats, and tops with jeans. A boxy metallic blazer over a solid dress looks sleek and also makes for an edgy look. Or make a chic statement with metallic pants, a simple top and strappy heels.
Photograph: luizanoronha_ / Instagram

Bows, the bigger the better
Bows are signature 1980s, and this time they’re oversized. You’ll spot them on dresses, jackets, hair accessories, and shoes. To tone down the very girlie vibe, pick luxurious fabrics or pair with jeans or a blazer to balance things out.

Photograph: lindatol_ / Instagram

Neon hues
This trend has been around all year and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. Is the trend too bright for you? Make it wearable by adding neon colours in smaller doses, like in your shoes or accessories, and then building up to bigger pieces like tops, jackets, and dresses.
Photograph: sorayabakhtiar / Instagram

Acid wash jeans
When it comes to channelling the 1980s jeans trend, the wash is almost as important as the cut. Acid wash jeans are all the rage at the moment and this is trend that’s super easy to incorporate into your wardrobe. For a causal look, pair the jeans with a bright neon top or a crop top—a high-waist, mom-fit works best for this look. You can also broaden this trend to include other key acid wash denim pieces like an oversized jacket, ripped shorts, and skirt.
Photograph: allepadilha / Instagram

Diamanté bling
This throwback to the 1980s is super fun. Think diamanté accessories, embellished sunglasses, belts, jackets, bum bags… diamantés are on everything! You can step it up a notch and add a touch of glam to anything you wear with these sparklers.
Photograph: Versace / Instagram

For the love of polka dots
This print dominated the 1980s and is once again making headlines. It’s also an easy way to slide in to the ’80s trend. Look for dresses or tops in bright, bold colours with large polka dots—big dots is key. Pair with sleek accessories for a classic look.
Photograph: barefootbrazencurations / Instagram