Apr 182017

If summer 2016 bought us 70s styling then 2017 is definitely all about the 80s and what a box of fashion oddities and delights are being unleashed on an unsuspecting crowd that missed out the first ‘Hammer’ time round.

Everything is back – from shoulder pads to oversized shirts and not forgetting Adidas originals shoes, the must have accessory for any right minded fashionista, restyled for 2017 without losing any of that cool Bel Air edge.

So let’s take a trip down memory lane and check out the top 80s trends that are hitting the high street this summer.

Image from primpicha

Shoulder pads

Power dressing was big news back in the 80s as women began to assert themselves and their position as equals within the workplace. Women were starting to take positions of power and Dallas brought us shoulder pads that an Olympic ski jumper would be proud of. Shoulder pads are back – perhaps not with the same knife edge cut of 30 years ago but the broad shoulder is definitely back in fashion and perhaps this is a reflection of how women are feeling at the moment in a world dominated by political uncertainty, war and unfair immigration policy.  Will the return of the shoulder pad signal the rise and rise of women’s lib, if not a more gentle version?

Mini Skirts

If shoulders were big, skirts were tiny in the 1980s. Women seized their sexual liberation by wearing decency defying denim with pride and a touch of satisfaction.  In 2017 the mini skirt hardly seems riske given the surge in ever more revealing outfits worn by celebrities such as Miley Cyrus but it is going to be a summer staple this year so polish those pins and get strutting your stuff.

Picture from the Daily Mail archives

Leg Warmers

With all of those mini skirts it was inevitable that in the 80s we were cold! Never fear though fashion gave us the answer in the leg warmer. They began life teamed with lycra body suits worn by fitness fanatics such as Jane Fonda but soon ditched the aerobics class and moved into the pubs and clubs and brought with them the strangest neon woolen accessory perhaps ever imagined.  Leg warmers have enjoyed a surge in popularity despite no one really knowing what they’re for – luckily however the lycra all in one has remained firmly where it belongs, back in the wardrobes of 1980s TV fitness freaks.

Massive Earrings

Like dodgy hood ornaments we flaunted our stretched lobes laden down with fake gold, glitter and tassels like homemade kindergarten art projects. If earrings weren’t ridiculously big, uncomfortable, impractical and gaudy then they didn’t belong on the ears of any serious fashion follower. Massive earrings make their return with all of the drawbacks they had the first time round only now with the fashion for multiple ear piercings there are just more holes to fill up with jangling jewellery.

Fingerless Gloves

Madonna was the Queen of the fingerless glove but they weren’t just popular in pop culture, they seemed to purvey every genre of music from the new romantics like Adam Ant to rock. Again another fashion question mark in that as most were made of lace and fingerless they didn’t really function that well as gloves but hey if they made you feel like Lady Chatterley and meant that you could safely ride the subway without fear of touching something suspect they were good news all round.  What’s more in today’s touch screen world there is no need to remove them when texting or using your tablet so they are designed to be gadget friendly!

Adam Ant courtesy of the BBC

Parachute Pants

With the yoga explosion over the last decade it was inevitable that parachute pants would soon make a comeback. The great thing about their cut is that they failed to flatter anyone so it didn’t matter what size or shape you were you looked pretty ridiculous wearing them so they were definite fashion levellers. Happily for 2017 they have returned with a better cut, in more subtle prints and colours and with less of a contrast between the stomach cutting waist band and billowing bottoms that made it difficult to negotiate stairways. In the 1980s parachute pants were designed for men but in 2017 it is women fashion labels that are picking up the design so perhaps this is the explanation for the slightly more refined styling?

Members only jackets

If you wanted to be part of the club you had to own the jacket.  No substitute or imitations would do in the 80s. They were worn loose with the sleeves pushed right up to the elbows – which has handly been designed into the modern versions with cut down sleeves that prevent baggy excess material but lose some of the original laissez faire styling of the proper members only jackets.

Oversized tops

Like everything in the 1980s tops had to be big, colourful and completely shapeless. It was androgyny at its best and the look was everywhere from TV sitcoms to your Mom and Dad. If they had buttons they could be worn open over another layer of baggy material or if a single layer could be teamed with a belt to give the illusion of a wait underneath all of that ruffle. They are a festival fashion staple in 2017 – worn over leggings or tights with pithy slogans and clever prints, the oversized top has become even bigger reaching almost dress status. They are also great for hiding that post-dinner tummy so unlike some of the other trends that have found their way back into our wardrobes the oversized top has some real value – just stay clear of the belt.
So the 1980s are back with a vengeance – it’s nice to see the return of colour, expression and experimentation in fashion – something the 80s cultivated to the extreme. If you want to really rock the 80s look don’t forget the gaudy makeup, permed and tousled hair and chewing gum. Well maybe not!


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