Winters Past

20th Century Fashion from Deco to Disco

Embracing the Eighties

Is there any decade easier to mock, sartorially speaking, than the eighties? It’s  legacy is a sort of fashion punch line. I get it. MC Hammer pants,  Lycra unitards, acid wash denim, pretty much anything worn by Joan Collins can come as a shock after the casual, easy style we’ve grown used to.

But take a deep breath here because the 80’s are back.

I say, this time around, lets do the eighties right.

There were some amazingly fabulous designs during that decade. But each eighties fashion statement is SO BOLD that you only need one piece at a time to rev up a modern outfit. You can’t mix a crop top with huge door knocker ear rings and a fanny pack without creating a costume-y vibe.

Here’s the key to the eighties redux: pick one thing, one really bold, outrageous eighties thing, and let it do the talking. Keep everything else quiet.

Any time fashion revisits a past era, it does so with the benefit of time and distance. As with wearing vintage from any time period, moderation is the key if you want to keep it modern.

Here are some eighties signature styles to get you started:

a big wide belt


a power suit

a boxy jacket, or a trench coat

a glittery sequined or metallic top.

Choose one. Now, add this one piece to your outfit.

Big, bold ear rings with a simple dress? A big shouldered jacket with jeans and a sold tee? Nice. And there’s this: if you’re wearing a touch of the eighties, you will need to keep your hair simple.

Here are some ladies doing the eighties right:

how to wear vintage eighties

One eighties trend per outfit is like a single shot of espresso. 

And here are just a very few of the eighties pieces I have in the shop:

 vintage eighties

Grab your eighties mix tape (maybe some Duran Duran, Simply Red or the Eurythmics) and add a touch of the eighties to your outfit.


Author: Winters Past

I am a vintage clothing shop owner living and working in rural north Florida. I believe in adding a little vinegar and molasses to my greens, having my coffee outside whenever possible, and mixing something vintage into every room and every outfit.

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