Frankie Says Relax: 80s Vintage Is Back! Here’s How To Rock It

By Chantal Brocca

It went  under fire during the 90’s when people woke up after being so ‘extra’ for a whole decade, but it sure as hell never went away – although some trends it sprouted are sticking around when we really wish they wouldn’t (G strings, GO AWAY). Yep, I’m taking ’80’s fashion.

I remember being ten, watching TV and asking myself what was happening on MacGyver’s head and why his lady-loves sported gravity defying hair so big, it could have doubled as protective headgear (was that the purpose?). I didn’t realize then that EVERYTHING was big in the ’80’s – big shoulders, big trousers, big earrings, big fanny packs.

Big – and gaudy. So, so gaudy. Let’s not forget that the key word here is “extra.”  This decade of excess had one very important objective – power. The point of power silhouettes was to give the impression of towering over someone else: you were IT, you definitely did not pass by unobserved, you were respected, you had mun-ay. An aspect that gains all the more significance when we connect it to both the huge Thatcher-induced unemployment crisis in Britain, Reaganomics and of course, women’s empowered entrance into the previously male-centric corporate world.

The whole world seemed to be in a frenzy for money and wealth, taking notes whilst watching Dynasty.  The 1987 movie Wall Street’s infamous phrase ‘Greed is Good’ permeated culture and  the Yuppie was born. But guess what? This decade of decadence is back.

2017 is living the peak of that whole 80’s OTT with clashing colors, bright neon eye shadows, velvet all over the place, cool kids rocking fanny packs – FANNY PACKS – and paperbag trousers, tied with rope, preferably.

One good thing about all this is that we’re not going to have to go and actually buy something new – we can just go and get the real deal by thrifting a little bit. I don’t know about you, but I’m super digging neon windbreakers at the moment…

If you don’t happen to know where your local vintage store is (where have you been??) dig into these magical online shops, where we found everything from scrunchies to shell suits.

How To Rock An 80s Vibe Today

1. Fanny packs galore

And the  fuglier the better. Only now we’ve found new creative ways to wear them aka. over the shoulder. If you don’t have a dorky uncle’s wardrobe to scavenge through, online vintage retailers have a nice selection worth checking out.

Get one here.

2. Graphic slogan  tees

This one makes sense – slogan T shirts were  the 80s versions of internet comments boards. The only way to make a political statement in the politically shitty 80s.

Get one here.

3.  Multi colored blouses

Flowery, feminine and a clash of colours. Best worn under an oversized blazer. Own it.

Find one here.

4. Oversized blazers with big shoulders: a MUST

And a lapel so big you could fly. Clearly, wasn’t going to miss that one.

Find one here.

5.  All hail nylon, king of active wear

Dirty dancing, hip hop and super sexual aerobics videos were all the rage. Whilst you may turn a few heads and spark a few Borat jokes if you come to yoga class in a Jane Fonda thong thrown over some neon yellow tights, shell suits carry some super street cred in major cities today. But hey, who am I to judge?

Find your bliss here.

6. SO much bling

The 80s were already the age of seriously conspicuous  consumption. But when Hip Hop style really hit the mainstream, jewellery got huge – even the likes of Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel were making jewels that were so big, it was basically a bank deposit you wore on your body. If you can find some of that vintage jewellery goodness today, it actually IS a good investment!

Find some treasures  here.

7.  Designers of the decade

Lacroix. Gaulthier. Yves Saint Laurent. Helmut Lang. Armani. Versace. Galliano. They were all big in the 80s – and finding their classic vintage pieces is a great investment.

Find some  here.

8. The return of the scrunchy

What better way to tame your huge, permed hair? Pop one on and channel a Breakfast Club vibe.

Get one here.

9. Just neon

No further description needed. Just…neon. From tees to tights, bags to belts. Do it.

Get some here.

10. Animal (faux) prints

The more exotic the more fabulous. Zebra, leopard, tiger –  none of that monocolor please. And if you manage to team that with lime green leggings you’re totally getting the vibe.

Get it here.

11. Lace  everywhere

Think Madonna and Material Girls. In general, whatever it is you pick out from the decade, it  needs to find its way onto 80% of your body.

Get a gorgeous vintage lace blouse here.

12.  High waisted trousers

These are seriously hot right now – undo the top button and tie with a rope for that ‘paperbag trouser’ look that was just tearing up the runways – especially Stella McCartney’s. Clearly, she was feeling nostalgic!

Get a pair here.

13. Shiny/glittery/sparkly – you get it

Shine bright like a diamond girl. All that glitters is indeed gold – lame, that is! Just check out this sparkly maxi dress – love it!

Get one here.


Chantal Brocca
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