The Best '80s Trends Making a Comeback Now

MaryKate Boylan, Cassandra Hogan, Emma Conroy
·3 min read
Photo credit: Hearst
Photo credit: Hearst

From Town & Country

Each era comes with its own styles that epitomize the time period, but has there ever been a more-maligned decade than the 80s? The permed hair didn’t help, but those bold styles seem to have particularly left their mark. Forty years later, however, fashion has started digging back into their favorite vintage pieces to bring back wide-brimmed hats, power suits, scrunchies, and even the infamous shoulder pads. Love it or hate it, here are our favorite trends that revive those '80s vibes for the 21st century.

Wide-Brimmed Hats

Photo credit: Bob Riha Jr - Getty Images
Photo credit: Bob Riha Jr - Getty Images

The wide-brim hat was one of the more surprising styles to become re-popularized in the 80s. It was commonly seen amongst those who dressed “boho chic,” which, yes, also existed then. Now a variety of finishes from straw to felt expands how a hat can be worn today.

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Scrunchies

Photo credit: Ron Galella, Ltd. - Getty Images
Photo credit: Ron Galella, Ltd. - Getty Images

Cue Carrie Bradshaw shrieking to Berger: “A scrunchie?!” Because yes, scrunchies are synonymous with 1980’s sitcoms and hyper-matching teens—not exactly the height of sophistication. But new fabrics like velvet and leather make the maligned hair accessory chic again and we bet even Carrie would approve.

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Power Suiting

Photo credit: Michel Dufour - Getty Images
Photo credit: Michel Dufour - Getty Images

In the 1980s menswear was the uniform du jour while women were smashing glass ceilings, holding their own on a three-martini lunch, and generally overturning the workforce status quo. In short, it was awesome. The power suit will never go out of style, so keep it simple and strong and you’ll make a statement without saying anything at all.

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Shoulder Pads

Photo credit: Steve Rapport - Getty Images
Photo credit: Steve Rapport - Getty Images

While the quarterback-styles of yesteryear are particularly haunting, their modern counterparts add an extra level of confidence to any outfit. They add structure to everyday pieces like t-shirts and blouses to make basic pieces more interesting.

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Puff Sleeves

Photo credit: NBC - Getty Images
Photo credit: NBC - Getty Images

This romantic style makes an appearance in classic films, such as Gone with the Wind and Anne of Green Gables. Available in everything from dresses to jumpsuits and even knits, puff sleeves are more interesting than a standard short sleeve—the style is fun and feminine without being too over the top.

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Rocker Glam

Photo credit: David McGough
Photo credit: David McGough

The rocker-glam look is back. Popularized by Madonna, we are seeing a return of avant-garde tulle skirts, crystal-encrusted accessories, and piles of jewelry. Pick and choose one aspect to highlight in an everyday look or go all in for an eye-catching ensemble.

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Ruffles

Photo credit: Ron Galella - Getty Images
Photo credit: Ron Galella - Getty Images

Think of this as the more eccentric cousin to the puff sleeve. This design element gives outfits a dash of texture and femininity, whether it is subtly moving hem or a bold wave.

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Neon

Photo credit: Tim Graham - Getty Images
Photo credit: Tim Graham - Getty Images

Princess Diana always knew how to push the boundaries when it came to fashion. Neon is the easiest way to broaden your sartorial horizons. Start with an accessory or a jacket and soon you’ll be putting together full-on looks.

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