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When it comes to ’80s fashion, we have a (surprising) amount to be thankful for. While the decade hasn’t influenced our wardrobes for a long time, in recent months, we’ve come to the realization that all the most current trends today are courtesy of the ’80s. And if you’re sitting there with a raised eyebrow, it’s worth noting that at the end of last year, the trend had seen an 87% increase on Pinterest.

Now, if you’re not too familiar with the nuances of this era, there are a few standout looks we’re sure you’ll recognise: big shoulders, white jeans, underwear as outerwear and oversized jewellery. It was the decade of the power dresser but also of punks. It gave us Madonna, Tina Turner and Cher, plus numerous other superstars whose sense of style influences many in 2017. Especially when the decade is being referenced left, right and centre for spring/summer 2018.

Don’t believe us? From the fact that Princess Diana’s archive is inspiring some of the world’s most influential designers to the more basic resurgence in women wearing blazers with jeans again, we’ve found 25 A-list images that prove these ’80s fashion looks are as current now as they were then. Keep scrolling to click through our gallery of iconic ’80s outfits.

  1. Bodysuits

Style Notes: This is classic ’80s Madonna, but the underwear/bodysuit look is bang on the money for now. You can forgo the pearls; just wear yours with some high-waisted jeans for a night out.

2. The Naked Dress

Style Notes: As if we needed any more proof that Cher is the ultimate style queen, here was the star doing the naked dress before everyone was doing it at the Met Gala (and every other awards show going).

This is a great compromise if you don’t want to be entirely exposed.

3. Turtlenecks

Style Notes: Brooke Shields was America’s number one sweetheart back in the ’80s, and here she proves exactly why with those girl-next-door looks. Layering that checked jacket over a shirt and a roll-neck is exactly the kind of street style we saw during last fashion week.

4. Sheer Dresses

Style Notes: The Jenner/Kardashian clan have already got this look down—and there are sheer dresses all over the spring runways. But the originator of this style? Another Kim. Kim Basinger.

5. Structured Shoulders

Style Notes: Okay, so the term “structured shoulders” is just another way for us to say “shoulder pads” and attempt to not freak you out… but we’ve seen a real trend towards this look. Shout-out to Courteney Cox for wearing this on the red carpet pre–Monica Gellar days.

6. Corset Belts

Style Notes: Avid readers of this site will know that we’ve already tried out this corset-type look. And while Kim Kardashian West has been a major factor as to why it’s gotten popular again, we can’t deny that Cyndi Lauper may have started the trend. Also: those zebra shoes.

corset belt

Unsure about corsets? Fear not, this belt is perfect for wearing on top of an oversize sweater.

7. Statement Necklaces

Style Notes: Joan Collins is so incredible in this snap. Is there anything we don’t love about it? Answer: No. The jacket, the simple black top, the red lippie… However, it’s the gobstopper necklace our magpie eyes focus on. Joan knows the power incredible jewellery has in pulling together an outfit.

8. Herrington Jackets

Style Notes: There were so many incredible outfits we could have included from Princess Diana, but we settled on this “country casual” one. The heritage check on her jacket and matching skirt are classic attire. Not only has this Harrington-style jacket made a comeback in hipster circles, but we’re also seeing plaid coats EVERYWHERE. Coincidence? We think not.

9. Stand-out Socks

Style Notes: Want to know the real way to update your outfit to be 2018-ready? Just add socks, à la Meg Ryan. Yes. Really.

10. Powersuits

Style Notes: Grace Jones will never be anything less than fierce, but this incredible look has been seared onto our minds. Who wouldn’t want to look so focused in a razor-sharp piece of tailoring? (Purple makeup optional, of course.)

11. High Shine Latex

Style Notes: When Kylie Minogue went through her bad-girl stage, she wore a lot of high-shine minidresses like this. Get inspired by investing in 2018’s version with a great miniskirt (they’re selling out everywhere right now).

12. High-waisted Jeans

Style Notes: We have some serious love for high-waisted jeans. Tina Turner pulls this look off with aplomb, and we have to agree: Bauble earrings and a white vest are great accessories.
Consider these a real investment.

13. Lightweight Slouchy Trousers

Style Notes: Well, how else do you expect to show off your socks? Thanks to Demi Moore for inspiring us all those years ago.

14. Sheer Tights

Style Notes: Debbie Harry has brought us many a trend. But during the ’80s, we got to see her in chic little black dresses, which she accessorised a flash of low denier at most times. And in case you didn’t know, that kind of hosiery is news again.

We’re obsessed with this high-tech hosiery brand.

15. Big Gold Power Buttons

Style Notes: We’ve seen this trend start to appear on trousers, from old-school joggers to jeans with shiny gold buttons, as well as on the classic Balmain blazers that remain forever popular. Jerry Hall’s gold buttons down her nautical blazer and accessorised with gold bracelets made for the ultimate ’80s power look.

16. Off-the-Shoulder Tops

Style Notes: True, Goldie Hawn didn’t invent the off-the-shoulder style, but she knew how to do it right.


17. Leggings

Style Notes: Joan Jett will never be anything less than cool. Her punk-inspired ensembles often involved oversize jackets and skintight trousers. While leggings have definitely come on a bit since then, take inspo from this look and pair your leggings with a leather jacket this weekend.
These will never go out of style. Want more style inspo? Here are the seven trends you need to know about for spring/summer 2017.