’80s Fashion is Back, and We’re All for It

Lauren Reho
4 min readMay 6, 2021

It’s not just a phase. That’s right. The ’80s were a time for over-the-top hair and makeup, wild fashion, a whole lot of confidence and, of course, rock ’n’ roll. We are #living for this decade and are so excited that its style trends are making a dramatic comeback.

Here are a few of my favorite trends from this fashion-forward decade.

Chunky Sneakers

You may know them as dad shoes, too. When they’re paired with simple leggings or boyfriend jeans, chunky sneakers will never fail you. You can even pair it with a T-shirt dress or a slip skirt for a sporty-chic look. They are the perfect accessory to give a couple extra inches of height to any outfit. Did I mention how comfortable they are? We can definitely learn a thing or two about comfort from our dads’ shoe choices in the ’80s.

Denim Jackets

This is easily one of the greatest fashion trends of all time. Denim jackets can be thrifted from anywhere and always add extra charm to an outfit. Some denim jackets have sweatshirt hoods that can make your look a bit more relaxed, and others are fully covered in bright pins and patchwork that can be personalized to fit your personality.

Bold Makeup

Go bold or go home. I’m not talking about Eurythmics eyeshadow or the David Bowie lightning bolt painted on your face, but a little pop of color can really take you back in time. Jump outside of your comfort zone and use an eyeshadow palette or a new lip color that aren’t typically something you’d choose. Who knows? It might just become your new obsession.

Fanny Packs

This is the perfect accessory to keep your phone, wallet, keys and lip gloss all in the same spot. Did I mention that fanny packs can be worn around your waist or across your chest? As my mom would say, her fanny pack is the “command central” and is the key when it comes to convenience. Having many different brands and styles to choose from makes shopping for fanny packs so much fun.


There are so many patterns and so many shades available. This ’80s comeback trend is perfect for girls who not only want an extra layer of warmth, but an extra layer of retro vibes, as well. These jackets are even suitable for the rainiest of days which make them perfect for #Rainesville weather here at UF.

Mom Jeans

Comfortable and stylish — what more can we ask for? From Monica Geller on Friends sporting this look in the streets of Manhattan to Cindy Crawford killing the game with her high-waisted mom jeans in the classic Pepsi commercial, this look is timeless. Pair your mom jeans with a cute tank or polo and belt it to really achieve this 1980s classic.

Big Sleeves

My mom approves of this one. Enough said.

Tiny Sunglasses

Talk about a game changer. Tiny sunglasses totally add a whole new level of fierceness to any look! You can opt for any color or frame shape and it will surely to make your look pop.

Oversized Blazers

These are so classy and chic. Layer them with matching pants to go for that sophisticated look or throw them on top of some jeans for a more casual campus stroll.

Band Tees

Let’s go back to the time when rock ’n’ roll was everything. Music from this decade was the greatest of all time (I promise I’m not biased), so why not continue to wear classic tees with the logos of these incredible bands? For some reason, the Aerosmith, Mötley Crüe and Queen logos always seem to look perfect with whatever outfit I already have on.

Statement Earrings

Hoops, I’m looking at you. Like I said earlier, this decade is all about being over-the-top and confident in style decisions, which makes a pair of statement earrings essential. If Madonna can rock a pair of earrings nearly the size of her face, then so can you!


Edgy? I think yes. Whether you’re sporting the #bikerbabe look or just going for a heavy metal glam with rhinestones and spikes, this look is a must. A simple leather jacket or vest can add so much to a classic tee and jeans.


I think we can thank Princess Diana for this trend. This look is perfect for the girl on the run. Whether you’re hitting the library for a quick study sesh or running back-to-back errands all day, athleisure will be there for you. Grab your favorite sneakers, high socks, spandex and sweatshirt and you’re all set. I definitely wear this look too much.

Big Hair

Big hair. Big dreams. Let the teasing begin. It takes a lot of work to make your hair look just as good as Farrah Fawcett’s. Just like the ’80s was full of life, your hair should be full of this vibrant energy and enthusiasm, too.

Bright Colors

Why go monochromatic when you can go bright and bold? Whether it be a statement belt or some festive scrunchies — color is definitely in. Mix and match bright colors to let your inner Carrie Bradshaw come out!


Yes, you heard that right, and I know exactly what you’re thinking. Make Cher Horowitz proud and try out a plaid on plaid look every once in a while. No one will ever top the “Clueless” cover, but we can still try to be just as stylish, right? Ugh, as if!

Out with the old and in with the new? No, I think it’s time to bring out the old and let these ’80s style trends sink in for a while. Try it! I’m sure you have a whole lot of options right from the comfort of your mom’s closet.