Recycle the best fashion trends of the 80s for today

Many children of the 80s were glad to see the decade’s fashion go: all the glitter and harem pants were considered bad taste up until recently. It was just too soon, and all that stuff just looked old fashioned and cringe-worthy. But now, some 20 years on, we’re finally ready to welcome back the good stuff, and forget about the bad (power shoulder pads in particular). Here are some of the best rock’n’roll fashion trends of the 80s that you can recycle and wear right now:

80s michael jackson inspired fashion look

Image source: Michael Jackson | Street Peeper

Michael Jackson was an icon back in the 80s, and he pretty much rocked every jacket he wore. The varsity jacket is still very popular today, and it’s become a unisex trend we often spot on street style blogs. You can still pick them up in high street stores and pictured here, the sporty jacket is worn with high heels, a red dress and a tiny clutch, totally changing its initial purpose.

80s rock and roll fashion trends madonna style

Image source: Madonna  | Style Cab

Showing off your midriff was huge in the 80s. Madonna was clearly a great influence on the decade’s style, with her cross necklace and messy hair! We’re just relieved that the belly button remains hidden these days, with the high waist + crop top combination being most popular and slightly easier to pull off. This street style look above is a classy and modern way to wear a cropped top without looking like you’re trying to emulate your teenage sister!

80s fashion inspired by tom cruise

Image source: Tom Cruise | Street Gazing

The 1980s meant a big high for Ray Ban sunglasses: their Wayfarers and Clubmasters were popularized in such movies as Risky Business (starring Tom Cruise above) and quickly became a cult item. The brand had a downfall afterwards, but they’re now the most popular sunglasses in the world. Every celebrity and every person you know owns or wants a pair and I bet you’ve got a pair of this style of sunglasses at the back of your accessories drawer! Dig them out for summer 2014 and not only will you look awesome but you’ll be saving all those wrinkle-lines from squinting in the sun – just check their UV rating which might be below standard if they are really old-school.

80s rock fashion looks cindy crawford

Image source: Supermodels | Golestaneh

The most rock’n’roll thing in the 80s to wear must have been leather pants. Tight, and with a mid or high waist, those bad boys were hot as can be on supermodels Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer. These days, they’ve become a bit more casual, but we’re happy to say they’ve also become more comfortable, due to technological advancements. How about raiding your big sister’s wardrobe or rummaging through Oxfam Fashion online to find a genuine 80s or 90s pair?

80s rock and roll fashion for men Axl Rose
Image source: Axl Rose | Stylogasm

Just when you thought everyone stitched their jeans back together, they’re back, and bigger than ever! In the 80s, they were the prerogative of rock fans, but now torn jeans have become a staple in every woman’s (and some mens) wardrobe. If you’re brave enough, you could tear up your own jeans but don’t go ruining a favourite pair! If you’re not sure whether this trend is for you, maybe you could pick up a reasonably priced pair of jeans from a charity shop and have a go at customising them yourself.

I hope you too can take inspiration from some of the 80s trends that have made their way back into fashion again for 2014 and let me know if you try out any of these celebrity-inspired looks. Perhaps you already have some torn jeans or cropped tops at the back of your wardrobe from the first time round? Don’t be afraid to wear them again to create an authentic 80s or 90s look without spending a penny! And when people ask where you got your new outfit, you don’t have to tell them that they are your teenage cast-offs, you can simply say “it’s vintage” and impress everyone!

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

2 thoughts on “Recycle the best fashion trends of the 80s for today

  1. Haha I have just got a dress with some smaaaall shoulder pads so I guess I’m getting into the 80 look more and more 😉 let me know what happens with the leather trousers if you decide to go for it X

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