80s nostalgia is strong. The music scene featured some of the most iconic artists ever, such as Madonna, Prince, Michael Jackson, George Michael, Cyndi Lauper, Tina Turner, David Bowie, Whitney Houston, and Eurythmics, among many others. While the songs released during that time are now decades old, they remain fan favorites and provide endless inspiration for musicians nowadays as well. The 80s are also known for their cinematic magic, with several cult classics released during the decade, including Mad Max 2 and Beyond the Thunderdome, E.T the Extra-Terrestrial, Blade Runner, Back to the Future, Return of the Jedi, The Color Purple, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and the Breakfast Club. 

The marker of the 80s is that they remain a time of individuality and self-expression, hence why the impact of the era’s fashion trends stays so alive today. Subcultures became popular during the 80s, with punk, goth, metal, and rap gaining vast followings among young people. However, there are also several fashion staples that appeared during the 1980s and which remain popular to this day. As the 2020s rolled in, it became clear to everyone that an 80s fashion revival was in the works. Here’s how to shop the trend for a look that feels both fashionable and unique. 

80s Revival: Getting fashion inspo from the decade in 2024
Photo by Hannah Morgan on Unsplash

Leather and denim 

Both leather and denim are popular due to their ability to be part of both minimal styles as well as highly intricate and distinctive looks. This is due to the materials’ versatility and ability to create clothing with very classic and simple designs, as well as asymmetric, patchwork, and embroidered apparel. The sky’s the limit here, and if you’re looking to bring 80s accents into your clothing, you must make sure you own both. And it’s not just about the classic jackets, but also jeans and trousers. The baggy fits that are so popular nowadays actually come from this era. You won’t go wrong with a leather dress if you’re looking for a statement piece that feels a little more futuristic. 

You can get more inspiration for this look from a nostalgia-fueled show that aims to keep the spirit of the 80s alive. Stranger Things is always popular due to its timeless appeal, and it also provides viewers with solid fashion inspo if you’re willing to pay attention. Fan favorite Eddie Munson wore a look featuring both denim and leather in the show’s latest season, which many fans took to replicating and DIY-ing on their own. You can even get a vinyl figure of the character that features the same look. 

Diverse shoes 

Many different styles of shoes were popular during the 1980s, showing once again that it was one of the best times for fashion. Sports shoes weren’t invented in the 1980s, but this is the first time premium athletic shoes reached the markets. Many of the sneakers released roughly thirty to forty years ago remain wildly popular, with original pairs selling for millions of dollars nowadays. They were especially popular among people invested in hip hop fashion and were often worn with bucket hats, oversized jackets, and T-shirts. 

Sturdy Doc Martens boots were also popular due to the fact that they are well-made and sure to last for a long time. On top of that, they feature a contrast stitching detail that many people find appealing. Cowboy boots were also trendy during the 80s and were paired with anything from jeans to flowy dresses and skirts. Jelly shoes are one of the quirkier designs that are now more of a niche trend among fashion lovers. 

Power dressing 

Power dressing and a focus on professional fashion were more commonplace during the 80s as more women began to enter the workforce. Wide-legged slacks and matching blazers became widely popular during the 80s, with some women preferring suits featuring knee-length skirts as well. Black became a more prominent color, being directly associated with professionalism and the white-collar environment. Blouses were also habitually worn in the office environment, typically in a contrasting hue compared to the rest of the suit. 

As for shoes, it was during the 80s that formal footwear became more comfortable and equipped with soles that were more flexible and offered better support for the bones and joints. Kitten heels were the preferred alternative for many women employed in offices. Therefore, if you’re feeling uninspired about what to wear to the office or want something a little more formal than tailored sweatpants with an elasticated waistband, you can look more into 1980s office wear. If you’re feeling bold enough, you can also emulate the trend of the large shoulder pads for a daring silhouette. 


Minimalism was popular during the 80s, particularly during the earlier years, representing a backlash against the bright disco of the late 70s. There was less emphasis on accessories, something that naturally gave rise to the emergence of trends that were entirely unisex. Minimal attire is popular in the 2020s as well, with many people looking to create smaller, capsule wardrobes and invest in versatile pieces that can be worn with each other instead of constantly shopping for something new. 

Sweaters of all kinds were popular during the 80s, whether crew neck, turtleneck, or v-neck varieties. Puffer jackets, faux furs, trench coats, velvet blazers, and high-waisted trousers are a few unisex items that amassed popularity in the 80s and remain relevant today. Crop tops were also a unisex item back then. 


The 1980s saw the beginning and development of a fitness craze, and while other fashion trends may have been more minimalistic and subdued, it was all about bright jewel tones with the aerobics crowd. The trustworthy and comfortable leggings and biker shorts have remained timeless staples ever since and are unlikely to go out of fashion anytime soon. Stirrup leggings, spandex costumes, off-the-shoulder sweatshirts, leotards, leg warmers, elastic headbands, and velour tracksuits were all part of the fitness craze of the 1980s and can inspire your next gym look as well. 

The 80s are coming back in full force this decade. If you love fashion and enjoy experimenting with clothes, you know how much the decade has to offer regarding sartorial choices, from poet shirts to slip miniskirts. 

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