Reviving 80s Fashion: The Hottest Trends, Icons, and Styling Tips for 2024

Reviving 80s Fashion: The Hottest Trends, Icons, and Styling Tips for 2024

People love 80s style whether it’s big hair, vivid colors, or flashy designs. In fact, people love it so much that there has been a recent resurgence in 1980s fashion in the last few years with people adopting certain 80s color palettes, stone-washed high-rise jeans, retro accessories, padded shoulders, and other 80s clothing. 

Capture believes that preserving culture is just as important as preserving memories for over 12 million families. That’s why we put together this guide to revive 80s fashion in 2024 so you can join in the revival yourself! 

Keep reading to learn about popular 80s fashion trends, iconic fashion icons of the decade, where to buy retro clothing today, and how you can rock 80s outfits for every occasion in 2024. 

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80s fashion is captured on old video cameras, popular television shows, MTV music videos, and the most popular 80s movies. When looking back, you’ll spot everything that was popular in the 80s including iconic fashion trends that are now making a comeback. Here are some of the most 80s dresses, colors, and articles of clothing.  

Neon and vibrant colors

80s colors include bright neon, vivid patterns, and subdued pastilles. Colors like electric blue, acid yellow, and neon pink were everywhere and found their way onto all fashions from button-up shirts to sweaters, headbands to hairstyles, and everything in between.  

Shoulder pads and power suits

As women’s fashion adjusted to the growing number of women who worked, shoulder pads and power suits became fashionable. Women’s blazers, blouses, and dresses all started to adopt shoulder pads or a broader appearance to promote power in the growing female workforce.  

Acid wash jeans and denim jackets 

If you go back and watch some of the most popular 80s horror movies, you’ll see that the youth of the time wore acid wash jeans and denim jackets. Layering started to get popular as well and while leather jackets were also popular, it’s the complete Levi denim looks that evokes nostalgia for the 1980s. 

Leg warmers and scrunchies

Dancing and aerobic clothing were super popular in the 1980s and people started wearing leg warmers and scrunchies with cardigans, jeans, tights, and everyday streetwear. For actual dancers and exercise fanatics, leotards were also quite popular to complete the entire aesthetic. 

Graphic tees and band merchandise

Graphic tees and crop tops with logos and images from the biggest brands, stars, and music groups of the 1980s were very popular. Whether you had a branded t-shirt from Adidas or adopted New Wave fashion or Punk fashion with band t-shirts, graphic tees are an essential part of 80s fashion. 

Iconic 80s Fashion Icons

Some of the biggest icons of the 80s were models of new fashion trends and developing styles. For example, Madonna promoted a provocative style defined by haute scrunchies, tutus, and leather bodysuits. This style expanded into the mainstream and incorporated into the upside-down triangle dress silhouette of the 80s. 

Princess Diana also had a massive influence on 80s fashion. Not only did she incorporate shoulder pads and elegant dresses into her style, but she also promoted the combination of classy clothing with Reebok or Nike footwear, encouraged fancy-casual trends, and eye-catching fashion choices for any situation. 

Another icon for 80s fashion is Michael Jackson whose signature looks were mimicked for pictures taken with the best and worst 80s cameras.  Kids, teens, and adults alike adopted the short above-the-socks pants, bright white socks (that evolved into neon colors), sequined leather jackets, and military-style accessories. 

Finally, not only did 80s movies popularize some of the most common 80s sayings and cultural phenomena, but many of them directly influenced fashion during the decade. For example, “Flashdance” encourages leg warmers and off-the-shoulder tops and “The Breakfast Club” promoted separate styles for brains, athletes, basket cases, princesses, and bad boys. 

Don’t forget Tom Cruise in “Risky Business” with his pale-pink button-down, underwear, and socks! Other movies and TV shows that influenced 80s fashion include “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “Footloose,” and the iconic Miami Vice style.  

How to Rock 80s Clothing Today

If you want to adopt the 80s style in 2024, then it’s best to add some of the most iconic styles to modern outfits. That’s the best way to evoke the 80s without going overboard. For example, you could wear an 80s pullover sweater with modern Levis or you could choose modern swimsuit styles that use geometric shapes and bright neon colors.  

Mixing and matching vintage 80s clothing and contemporary pieces can be a lot of fun. Experiment with different scrunchies, leg warmers, brightly colored socks, windbreaker tracksuits, swimwear, graphic tees, and other vintage clothing and see how you can incorporate it into your modern wardrobe.  

You might also try to get some modern takes on old 80s cars, technology, toys, and other cultural icons. You can even recycle VHS tapes from the 1980s and make them into fashion statements like purses, headbands, and more! Make sure you don’t forget the graphic tees of 80s bands like Devo, The Police, Def Leppard, Poison, Blondie, and Bon Jovi.   

80s Clothing for Different Occasions

If you want to wear 80s clothing in 2024, you still need to make sure it matches the occasion whether that’s in an office, at an 80s party, or for casual streetwear. Here are some suggestions for different situations.  

If you want 80s streetwear, wear stone-washed denim, sweaters, headbands, and t-shirts with graphics or bright neon colors. This should deliver the vibe while also being comfy and casual. If you are planning on working out, then you can introduce windbreaker clothing into your outfit.  

At the workplace, you will have to go in a different direction. For women, shoulder-padded blouses and suits, jumpsuits, and broad-shouldered slim waist dresses. For men, high-waisted slacks, suspenders, and thin blazers should perfect the outfit. For a more casual work setting, you can also wear Members Only jackets.  

Now, if you are going to an 80s theme party or want to dress totally 80s for Halloween, then you can go all out. That means you can try the more outrageous styles like parachute pants, Mr. T chains, extremely brightly colored tights, eye-catching scrunchies and leg warmers, wide headbands, and, of course, big hair wigs. Try bringing an iconic 80s accessory too like a Walkman cassette player, big bow headband, fanny pack, or even a vintage camcorder.  

Where to Buy Authentic 80s Clothing

You can buy authentic 80s clothing as well as new takes on old styles from vintage shops, thrift stores, and antique shops in your area. You might even be able to find a retro boutique or specialty store that carries some trendy 80s fashion items.  

However, you can also search for 80s fashion online and find some great places to browse. While big name online marketplaces like Etsy and eBay often have some great 80s fashion, you can also check lesser-known ecommerce stores like Beyond Retro, Rusty Zipper, or Ragstock.  

Finally, don’t forget to ask friends and family if they have clothing from the 80s sitting around in basements, closets, and attics. You never know what you might discover! They could have authentic shoes, dresses, and jackets alongside organized photo collections, long-lost toys, and all sorts of other great stuff! 

Conclusion

There’s no doubt about it, 80s clothing is totally radical and that’s probably why it’s becoming more popular not only for nostalgia, but also for younger generations who love the aesthetic. You can still buy authentic 80s clothing like neon headbands, scrunchies, pastel sweatshirts, leg warmers, stone-washed jeans, leather jackets, and so much more to adopt a bodacious 80s style for yourself. 

If you want to make sure your memories from the 80s and other decades last forever, Capture can preserve your home movies, photos, and film reels as high-quality digital copies. Click here to learn more! 

 

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