80’s Vintage Chic for Today’s Dame
Vintage style is nothing new. Culturally we have a propensity to look back and capitalize on what worked way back when. With the success of Netflix’s Stranger Things and Glow, the whimsy and electricity of the 80’s have made a potent comeback. Style icons like Cyndi Lauper, Pat Benatar and, of course, the enduring visual statements that Madonna continues to make, formed perhaps one of the most amped-up eras of American fashion.
Vivid prints, bright colors, and quirky accessories are all back on the menu this season. Jewel tones, when balanced carefully with muted hues, can also provide some exciting pops to what had previously become dull and drab. Of course, not everything about those days really works today. Say no to mullets and acid-washed denim. Toss those Member’s Only jackets and dance your way back to the thrilling days of the 80’s with some updated and deliriously sublime pieces.
THE LAID-BACK LOOK
Let’s start off with something casual. Summertime gives calls for fewer layers and so you’ll need to simplify in order to make the bold statements of 1980’s chic. Madewell’s Gingham Tier Mini Skirt has John Hughes fun all over it. With an a-line construction, this linen/cotton number is super breezy and easy to throw on. The black-and-white check pattern can be paired with something bright and colorful up top or, if you want to follow Madwell’s suggestion and keep it muted, their Courier Button-back Shirt in Gingham Check is an excellent way to go. A blousy button-down that recalls that oversized men’s shirt style that Molly Ringwald rocked in many a flick, it’s an adorable combination of schoolgirl sweetness and devil-may-care panache. The back bears some striking drama with a panel that can either be buttoned up or left open, giving the world a peek at some skin.
Stirrup pants might give you pause, but we assure you that this 80’s staple can and has stormed its way back on trend. Think of them like leggings 2.0. Urban Outfitters has a dazzling update on stirrup pants with the Out From Under Stirrup Legging, which can work both as leisurewear or matched with a sexy crop top (go on and indulge yourself and rock an off-the-shoulder look). The Out From Under Leggings are available in black and jewel-toned sea foam green. You’ll need a chunky bracelet to complete the ensemble, so take a long look at Agme’s Sheila Cuff, available at Barney’s. Handcrafted with a soft satin finished underside, this glimmering sterling silver bauble has an iconic 80’s asymmetrical wave shape that will surely keep passersby stuck on you.
Madewell Courier Button-Back Shirt in Gingham Check, $69.50
WORK WEEK WEAR
Step things up around the office with some 80’s inspired work attire. While we don’t necessarily stand by shoulder pads under your blouses these days, the extra fabric in your tops can allow for great mobility and keep you comfortable all day long. The structure is also essential here, evoking power and showing your co-workers that you mean business. Abercrombie’s Garment Dyed Shirt is a prime example of this. There’s a beautiful lived-in texture and a curved hem along the bottom that works both tucked in and left completely fancy free. Available in navy, white, and a glorious deep olive, it works under a blazer or as the main event with a crisp pair of slacks. It also can be dressed down with jeans for the weekend or with a skirt for evening.
For a great blazer, check out La Perla’s Z/Short Cotton Jacket. Available in both black and white, this immaculately tailored masterpiece will serve you for a long time. Made from pristine cotton, it breathes well in warmer weather and is intricately constructed with darts along the midsection to flatter your natural waist.
La Perla Z/Short Cotton Jacket, $1,100
For evening wear, let’s turn up the heat. Have some fun why dontcha? Pat Benatar’s penchant for sexy, asymmetrical tops drew our eye to & Other Stories’ Frill One Shoulder Top. With some of that Spanish- influenced frill that seemed to be everywhere in the 80’s, it’s cut from dreamily soft tencel fabric in bright pink and features one elegant long sleeve and a bare opposing side.
Back in the day, the one-shoulder move was quintessential. Fashion in the 80’s was just as much about pops in shape as it was color, and so asymmetry floated into the foreground. & Other Stories’ One Shoulder Dress is a spectacular ode to Debbie Gibson. It’s a little black dress with a white swash out in front. There’s also a tip of the hat to mall culture in the cutout on one side at exactly the place on your ribs where a crop top would hit.
& Other Stories Frill One Shoulder Top, €49