80s Fashion in 2017


They’re ba-aack! No, not a poltergeist, though never say never. The Angels, Starsky and Hutch, Wonder Woman and Babewatch all came back so why not Poltergeist? I’m talking about the 80s. Aye-Carumba!

I think we can all agree that the 80s was a decade of fun-filled fashion experiments. It was an era of champagne wishes and caviar dreams. It was a decade where material girls flaunted their St. Tropez, rotisserie-hued, sun smacked you in the face, tanned skin. Where shoulders were so broad that linebackers wanted to know where their ladies shopped. It was a time where everything that’s bigger in Texas got bigger across the rest of continent. Mercy!

So what’s a modern girl to do with all that 80s fashion fussiness and take it into 21st century style? Here’s my 101 on what’s worth trying and what should be left as a blast from the past.

Parachute Fabric:

Nylon coats have made a big comeback. The once popular nylon jacket with 80s inspired details like pockets and zippers, in pastel tones, is a Throwback Thursday must-have to incorporate into your wardrobe today. The look is as current then as it is now.


Yo fluo, what do you know? Fluorescent is back! Fashion dabbled in electric neon brights back in 80s and it has made its way back into the mainstream. However, rather than being quite so fluorescent, consider taking it down a notch. Think less Vegas and more Miami Vice. To take it to 2017, maybe avoid doing the socks or fingerless gloves. A great way to pair neon colours is with black and white stripes or tone it down with dove grey. Graphic tees are another modern take that works well. I’m currently a fan of the 80s band rock t-shirts or slogans like Brunch Club or All that Glitters. And animal prints ground the look like nobody’s beeswax. If you feel a bit shy to wear the super bold colour, try it in a necklace, bracelet (goomies) or nail polish.

The Power Suit:

Back in the 80s, one of the ways that women made their stance as a key player in the office was by wearing a power suit. And while we haven’t seen a lot of power suits over the last few years (decades really) in favour of separates, this year they are back in droves. Wear it in top-to-toe colour. Think pants and a blazer in baby blue, kelly green, orange, hot or pale pink. Hello! 1980 meet 2017.

Double Denim:

We’ve been touting the double denim for the past few years, but this year the jackets are bigger and more reminiscent of the 80s with patches, crests, personal art, sequins and buttons. Pair it with your jeans or a jean skirt and with your Chucks, Stans, Superstars or Nike kicks and a pastel, graphic tee. This is definitely a blast from the past that you want to try out today, but keep it in a lighter wash.


Dynasty’s Alexis Carrington may have done it best when it came to 80s style metallics, but don’t let this throwback throw you back. Metallics are current for 2017. See Metallics article for tips and tricks on how to wear it.

Boxy Blazers or Oversized Coats:

We call them the boyfriend blazer nowadays, but the boxy blazer and oversized  coat have been a hot commodity for the past few years.

Pleated Pants:

We said we’d never wear pleats again because it showed off your poof, but as I said earlier, never say never.  Here are some tips and tricks to live and die by. Do it in a highwaisted style (unless you are shortwaisted then avoid, avoid, avoid) and with a wide belt cinched at the waist. It will actually thin the middle. Another great trick is to pair pleated pants with a loose blouse in a delicate fabric, with an oversized blazer for a men’s inspired look or a slightly drop pleat where the front is flat and the pleat starts below your waistline and a little further down. If you’re young, try it with a crop top. If you are old, don’t.


Ruffled blouses and t-shirts have never been bigger then in the 80s and finally they are making their much deserved comeback. Look around and they are everywhere in the stores. They look cute with just about everything. They are pretty lady-like, but I like it best when it’s styled in an edgy, street-style look to make it a little less sweet.


The 80s loved the little furry detail like a lucky rabbit’s foot or raccoon tail clipped to your purse. There must have been a whole lot of three-legged bunnies and tailless raccoons running around the forest back in the day. Yeesh. Since we seem to be a little more humane (but maybe I live under a rock), may I recommend a faux-fur pompom to clip on your tote, backpack or purse, and maybe just a round ball of something that isn’t quite so literal. Poor little critters.

So there’s your 2017 take on how to do the 1980s, be it for the first time or doing it all over again. Now you know and knowing is half the battle. This message will self-destruct in 30 seconds.

Carolyn Bissett




1 Comment

  1. Looks a little familiar!

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