8 Trends That Prove the ’80s Are Totally Back

Perrie Samotin
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8 Trends That Prove the ’80s Are Totally Back
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Photo: Getty Images

Ah, ’80s fashion. Some might say no era’s style is as equally loved and hated as the period from 1980 to 1989. It was a time filled with legwarmers, high-cut spandex, sequins galore, and lots and lots of neon. You’ve probably noticed there’s been a pretty heavy resurrection of ’80s fashion trends both on the runway and the street lately. It’s a risky look—but if you know how to interpret the style, it’s totally possible to pull it off without looking like you’re going to a costume party.

MORE: Hope You Like the ’80s! Saint Laurent Is Bringing Them Back in a Big Way

From Balmain’s giant shoulder pads to It-girl-approved pegged pants, take a peek at eight distinct ’80s trends that have started to come back around over the past few years.

MORE: 10 Celebs Who Are Wearing Spring’s Pink Eyeshadow Trend

Originally published November 2015. Updated February 2017.

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Shoulder pads
The butt of more than a few fashion jokes, serious shoulder pads have been a giant don't since their '80s heyday. However, thanks to buzzy labels like Balmain (pictured)—which incorporates strong shoulders into almost every piece—it seems the trend is making a comeback. To keep it from looking too dated, skip the voluminous pants and try a silky shoulder padded blouse tucked into high-waisted skinny jeans and a killer pair of heels or platforms.

Photo: Getty Images

Diane Kruger rocking some serious shoulder pads.

Photo: Getty Images

Customized denim jackets.
If you didn't have an oversize jean jacket covered in airbrushed art, pins, or patches in the '80s, you probably were doing something wrong. Cut to over two decades later, and bold denim is totally back. Whether you score a legit style from the '80s, or customized your own, make sure the denim's not too dark, and the cut is fairly large.

Photo: Imaxtree

Miley rocking an airbrushed stone-washed jean jacket.

Photo: Getty Images

Mirrored Sunglasses
Cliché interpretations of "the future" were a large part of the pop culture landscape during the '80s (ahem, Max Headroom) and bright, reflective, super-mirrored sunglasses played into that in a big way. Recently, they've resurfaced to the point where they're not even a trend anymore, just a preferential style.

Photo: Adam Katz Sinding

Mirrored shades are as common as aviators these days

Photo: Vanessa Jackman

White Heels
During the 1980s, white boots and pumps were it—the skinnier the heel, the better—and were worn by everyone from OTT Cyndi Lauper wannabes (with legwarmers) to high school prom-goers (with ruffled mini dresses.) After that, they were widely considered to be garish and pretty much disappeared. During the last few seasons, though, we've seem come back in a very big way, with labels like Isabel Marant and Céline creating their own versions, and street style stars pairing them with pretty much everything, in every season.

Photo: Getty Images

White pumps are having a serious comeback.

Photo: Getty Images

Gold lamé
During the 1980s, giant lamé jackets, poofy dresses, and shiny skirts were par for the course. Now, the fabric has calmed down quite a bit, with designers like Karen Walker (pictured) using it on camis, shorts, and culottes paired with neutral staples.

Photo: Imaxtree

A simple gold wrap dress at Saint Laurent Spring '14.

Photo: Imaxtree

Pegged Jeans
The coolest '80s kids sported cuffed pants, but not just any cuff—they had to be tightly-rolled in a style known as pegging. It's not as easy as it sounds—here's a tutorial—but we're seeing folks get back on board with it, from It-girls to brands like J. Crew.

Photo: Song of Style

Even fashion stars like Miroslava Duma are pegging.

Photo: Getty Images

Wide Waist-cinching belts
In the '80s, these were worn with everything from high-waisted balloon pants to party dresses, and designers like Isabel Marant and Balmain can largely be credited with making them modern again.

Photo: Getty Images

A look from Isabel Marant's Fall '15 runway.

Photo: Imaxtree

Glitzy Sequins
The '80s aren't associate with excess for nothing: Glitzy sequins were a staple of the decade, and thansk to designers like Balmain, Ashish, Rodarte, Jill Stuart, and even J. Crew, they're back. A good rule of thumb when playing with this trend? Choose one statement peice, and keep the rest of your look fairly basic.

Photo: Imaxtree

Long-sleeve sequin shirts have an '80s feel, but look super-chic with modern pieces.

Photo: The Blonde Salad

Ruffles
Considered too girly or too dated for decades, we're seeing a serious ruffle resurgence, thanks to designers like Rosie Assoulin, Balmain (pictured), Isabel Marant, and more.

Photo: Imaxtree

Isabel Marant style with some serious ruffles.

Photo: Imaxtree

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