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7 Fashion Trends from the 80s Making a Comeback

Beautiful fashionable woman wearing trendy pink big square sunglasses, chunky chain, stylish turtleneck. Close up studio portrait. Copy, empty space for text

7 Fashion Trends from the 80s Making a Comeback

Reflecting back on fashion trends of the past, one thing becomes clear: Are the big ones ever really gone? Think about it. When a trend gets big enough, its reach becomes immeasurable. Thousands upon thousands of clothing items, all abiding by the pattern or style of the moment. That sort of thing doesn’t just go away. No, no: It goes to the back of the closet or down in the storage bin, only to resurface again. Just look at these fashion trends from the ‘80s making a comeback for proof.

When you think of the vibrant era of fashion that defined the 1980s, what do you picture? Probably a lot of bold hairstyles, iconic clothing trends, and plenty of eye-catching colors. All of these and more are experiencing a triumphant resurgence in the modern fashion scene. Whether it be a nostalgia ploy, a newfound appreciation, or a well-deserved revival, these seven iconic fashion trends from the ‘80s are here to stay once more.

Bomber Jackets

Still from Top Gun: Maverick.
The bomber jacket is one fashion trend from the ’80s that won’t go away.

Thanks to Top Gun: Maverick and Goodwill hunts alike, the ’80s staple that is the bomber jacket is currently enjoying another popularity surge. Known for its oversized look and its sleek sheen, these jackets have been welcomed back onto the scene with open arms by consumers both young and old.

Athleisure

You don’t even have to be working out to sport some activewear.

If you’ve been around a Lululemon or Athleta in recent years, you’re already well aware of how popular athleisure clothing is. The thing is, this trend began a good forty years ago in the 1980s. And yet, here it is, back again. Alluringly blending the line between comfort and style, athleisure is a hugely popular fusion of athletic wear and everyday fashion that many have indulged in at least a time or two.

High-Waisted Jeans

High waisted jeans featured in 2022's Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
High-waisted jeans are back in style (along with other fashion trends from the ’80s).

While skinny jeans certainly had their time in the spotlight throughout the 2010s, it’s now practically unstylish to put on a pair today. Now it’s all about the high-waisted, loose-fitting jeans. Here’s the thing, though: The ’80s started the love affair with high-waisted jeans first. (Nothing wrong with rekindling the affair, of course… but still. Give credit where credit’s due.)

Scrunchies

Winona Ryder and Kim Walker in the movie Heathers from 1988.
For some, scrunchies just scream the ’80s movie

Heathers

.

Whether you’re using it to secure a ponytail, adorn a braid, or simply wear it on your wrist like a bracelet, scrunches are having themselves a moment here in the 2020s. Four decades after they first cornered the hair accessory marketplace, scrunchies are experiencing a very nostalgic comeback. It makes sense: the playful, fabric-covered elastics are great for both casual and dressed-up looks.

Fanny Packs

Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, and Stephanie Hsu in a scene from 2022's Everything Everywhere All at Once.
The 2022 film

Everything Everywhere All at Once

made good use of a fanny pack.

Sure, plenty of these fashion trends from the ‘80s making a comeback deserve to return to the spotlight. They’re stylish, they’re practical… why not bring them back? That said, fanny packs are decidedly more practical than stylish. Nevertheless, they’re actually having a moment right now. It goes hand-in-hand with the athleisure movement. In fact, many top brands such as Lululemon are doing their own take on the fanny pack.

Overalls

Still from the 2023 film Bottoms featuring overalls.
Overalls are popping up everywhere again, just like it’s the 1980s.

Think twice the next time you want to toss out a farmer joke whenever you see someone sporting a pair of overalls. A mix of both casual and cool, the ‘80s overalls trend has officially re-entered the conversation in the 2020s. And it’s about time, too. They’re a laid-back yet stylish option for everyday wear, and this current revival brings a fun touch of nostalgia to boot.

Mullets

Mullets featured prominently in The Lost Boys from 1987.
Once thought lost to the 1980s, mullets have been found again here in the 2020s.

It’s the one fashion trend from the ‘80s nobody ever expected to see again (outside of the context of a punchline): the mullet. This once-controversial hairstyle has somehow pulled off a bold comeback. The real kicker? People are actually embracing it without a shred of irony. It’s fantastic to witness. It even had a moment to shine on the latest season of Netflix’s Love Is Blind. It’s always been synonymous with the ‘80s, but now the ‘20s get to share some of the credit.

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