20 Style Tips On How To Wear ’80s Inspired Fashion Without Looking Like You’re In A Costume

If you pay any attention to the fashion industry, you may have noticed that 1980’s style is coming back. Actually, ’80s trends have been making their way back for a few months now, but this is set to be their big comeback year, which sounds, admittedly, kind of terrifying. I don’t know about you, but when I think about the ’80s, I think of big hair with lots of hairspray, comically huge shoulder pads, neon Spandex, and the kind of bulky power suit that makes you wonder where the hell trends come from. Imagining those items in today’s world just doesn’t seem to fit. Is it even possible to wear ’80s trends without looking like we’re in a Halloween costume?

Of course it is! We’ve done it with the most unlikely of ’90s and early 2000’s trends, as well as so many other decades, and we’ll do it now too. ’80s fashion can definitely be fun and bold and loud, but it’s also possible to make it look more chic and understated when you add a modern twist. The key is to take one trend and incorporate it into your look rather than putting a whole bunch of trends together at once, which can be overwhelming. The outfits below each have a specific trend that give them more of an ’80s vibe – animal print, shoulder pads, denim jackets, mom jeans, bold color, destroyed denim, etc. And hey, don’t get too caught up in this stuff – as always, have fun with your look and wear what feels good for you. A little inspiration doesn’t hurt, though, so here are a few style tips on how to wear ’80s inspired fashion without looking ridiculous:

animal print, power suits, big denim jackets, drop crotch pants, fanny packs, faux fur, metallics, mom jeans, lots of color, blazers, neon, shoulder pads, ruffles, ripped jeans, cuffed jeans, loafers, crop tops, big turtlenecks,

1. Animal print is back! It was big in the ’80s, meaning we’ll probably start seeing it more often. Pick one printed piece – like this skirt – and pair it with more casual pieces to keep the look low-key.

2. Opt for “mom jeans” over skinny jeans – high waist denim with a looser fit has much more of an ’80s vibe to it. A crop top keeps the outfit from looking too bulky.

3. Go for a new spin on the all-white outfit that was popular in the ’80s. This girl really nails it with a monochromatic look of light/off-white shades.

4. If you’re feeling bold, add some shoulder pads into your look. Make them look more modern by picking an article of clothing that has shoulder pads and is also more fitted, like the black blazer below:

5. Start pegging and belting your mom jeans. Two super popular ’80s denim looks were cinching high waist paints in at the waist, and pegging the bottoms. With a sleek shirt and heels, this actually looks really cool.

6. Another big denim trend: light washes rather than dark washes, especially in a more boyfriend cut. Again, pegging (or cuffing) really gives this kind of denim an ’80s feel.

7. Buy an oversized denim jacket rather than a fitted one – the look should say “I borrowed this from my dad,” if that makes sense. I like how oversized denim jackets look layered over big sweaters.

8. Choose bright colors over all neutrals. The ’80s weren’t afraid to get colorful! You can wear a neon piece, or something like this yellow sweater.

9. You should also keep color blocking in mind, with bright shades of course. Ashley’s sweater is fun and always stands out.

10. Take on the power suit! There’s no reason you shouldn’t. You can keep this looking more modern by picking fitted pieces and opting for neutrals or all black.

11. If the whole suit thing feels like too much for you, then just start incorporating blazers into your outfit – they were big in the ’80s. You can wearing a blazer with jeans.

12. Or you can delve a little deeper into ’80s trends with an oversized blazer worn as a cardigan.

13. Fanny packs have been trying to become more popular for a while now. Maybe this is their year? As retro as this might look, they are super useful.

14. Try some faux fur, something that was pretty big in the ’80s. A black faux fur coat looks cool and modern.

15. Metallics were also big. I love the look of a metallic blazer or jacket paired with neutral shades. 

16. Whether you want to look ’80s or not, ripped denim is a big trend this year. Light washes and baggy, high waist fits look super dated, but also really cool?

17. For some reason, big turtlenecks always remind me of ’80s fashion. This is perfect for chilly winter weather.

18. Pairing your light wash mom jeans with a tucked in graphic tee and combat boots is pretty ’80s – and also really cool and comfortable.

19. If a fur jacket is too much for you, try a faux fur vest – over an oversized denim jacket, of course.

20. Ruffles were big in the ’80s. Keep them looking more modern with a ruffled blouse.

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