The ’80s Are Coming Back in Style

By Jonathan Lee


Pop culture has always heavily influenced fashion. So it should come as no surprise that this year’s trends will reflect the backward direction in which our society is moving, for better or worse.

For the first time since former President Ronald Reagan, a screen star turned controversial Republican politician will be running America. Meanwhile, Club Kids are making a comeback in New York’s nightlife scene; synthesized music is catching a new wave thanks to the hit Netflix series “Stranger Things”; and “Dynasty,” the prime-time soap that epitomized 1980s glamour, is getting a reboot.

When it comes to fashion trends, designers incorporate elements of pop culture in the marketplace, which consumers also incorporate in their everyday lives. Two of the latest trend forecasts for 2017 suggest that everyone will be wearing ’80s-inspired clothing this year, in line with the current cultural shifts reminiscent of that decade.

“The 1980s will be huge — everything from power suits and slouchy tailored trousers for office wear, through to off-the-shoulder looks, activewear and [over-the-top] ruffles,” according to a report from retail analytics firm Edited. “Micro trends will also be big (embroidered and appliquéd denim that looks almost customized, band tees, ruffles, feature sleeves and stirrup trousers).”

Edited predicts that 2017 will be defined by deconstructed trousers, corsets for layering, kick-flares and revealed shoulders in womenswear, while menswear will feature embroidery and badges, distressing on jersey tops, athleisure and ’90s nostalgia. Streetwear (“especially overhead branded and slogan hoodies”) will also be a major unisex trend.

Pinterest’s in-house analytic team also analyzed the top emerging trends for 2017. While Pinterest’s researchers expect bell sleeves to replace off-the-shoulder tops, both sources agree that the ’80s are back in a big way.

“Other big shifts were in political Ts (no surprise there), backless shoes — and not just the mule — and multiple earrings,” according to Women’s Wear Daily. “That goes hand-in-hand with the popularity of Eighties-style trends, such as high-tops, peg legs and denim skirts.”

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