The Retro Fashions of the 1980s Returning With Some Ambivalence

Every time an old era of fashion returns to haunt us there is a rush to the thrift stores and vintage shops to be the first to own the latest and greatest retro fashion find. Currently retro 1980s fashion is the thing. Of course you can now go to the malls and buy the reworked fashions but what fun is that?

The new 80s retro look includes tights or stretch pants and long shirts with slouch socks or leg warmers and tennis shoes. If your shirt has an oversized neck opening and slouches down one shoulder, so much the better. Guys can go either way with shirts either tight and sleeveless or loose with several buttons open to show off their gold chains and necklaces.

A business casual look from the 1980s would include tapered tight trousers, a blouse that was loose and flowy and a jacket with immense shoulder pads, straight cut with pockets and rolled up or pushed up sleeves. Be sure to pop the collar for the coolest look. If you want to wear a skirt it should be a short pencil skirt also worn with the big jacket. You can also wear a wide belt that hangs a little loose to the side. Low cut boots with spikey heels and high heels in general are great for an 80’s dressier look.

Hangin’ out with the guys? Get out the parachute pants. No you’re not going sky-diving. Rip-stop nylon or cotton is ok. Bright patterns, baggy with cinched legs is the look. If you don’t want to go with the parachute pants then you can achieve a similar look by cinching your trousers at the cuff and roll them up. Just be sure you have your high top tennis shoes on. Oh, and don’t forget, big hair is not just for women!

Ready to go dancing? Unroll your Cindi Lauper poster, slap it up on the wall and get out your old Prince Album. Get dressed up in your glitzy tight skirt and spike heeled low cut boots.  Slip on your fingerless lacey gloves, tease up your hair, pop your collar and Walk Like an Egyptian out the door to the nightclub.

You can wear exercise clothes anywhere as long as you pretend you are going to the dance studio and you have on a head band. Just pretend that you are Jennifer Beals from Flashdance. Top off your exercise outfit with a baggy, partly ripped knit shirt and you definitely have the look. Be sure to pull it down one shoulder.

I have not yet seen Fly-trap bangs and Mullet hairstyles reemerge, thankfully, but I am not sure that they won’t soon be seen in the halls of high-school and college campuses. 

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Sara Writes
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Posted on Apr 26, 2012