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If you are stuck at home right now, dreaming of cocktails, dancing at the club, and going out with your friends, this article is for you.
Yes, it may be a little torturous to daydream about the partying days pre-COVID, but hey, it shall pass! And when it does? We’ll all be going out in full glam and will never take nightlife for granted again.
Let’s chat about the best 1980s club fashion outfits we can recreate in 2020. And hey, if you’re getting ants in your pants, turn your lounge into a club complete with low lighting, 80s pop tunes, and sticky cocktails.
Time for 80s fashion eye candy!
- 1. Metallic jumpsuits
- 2. Sequined dresses
- 3. Metallic spandex leggings and oversized sweaters
- 4. Rara mini-skirts and corsets
- 5. Double-denim mini and cropped jacket
- 6. Multiple accessories
- 7. Shoulder-padded blazers
- 8. Leotards and belts
- 9. Metallic tiered dresses
- 10. Glam-rock with a dash of gothic inspiration
- 11. Jeans, sneakers, and blazers
- 12. Spandex bodysuits
- 13. Clashing Patterns
- 14. New Romantics
- 15. Tight Bardot dresses and slouchy boots
- How to Wear Your Denim Shorts to a Party
- How to Dress Denim Shorts for a Party
- 16. Sleek and Polished
- 17. Go Off-Shoulder
- 18. Style Your Button-Down
- 19. Tie Your Button-Down
- 20. Crop it – and Top it
- 21. Rock the Coat
- 22. Denim on Denim
- 23. Dress it Up
- 24. One of the Boys
- 25. Sexy – Yet Covered
- 26. Go Over the Top
- 27. Partying in Stockings
- What Shoes Go Best With Denim Shorts?
- 28. Straight to the Point
- 29. Shine in Slingback Shoes
- 30. Sleek in Sandals
- 31. Trendy in Booties
- 32. Say it With Statement Heels
- How to Style Stirrup Leggings
- 33. Top-heavy loose layers and sneakers
- 34. Wrapped heels and a sweater dress
- 35. A bodysuit, wrap skirt, and flats
- 36. Layered under cargo pants with a tank or tee
1. Metallic jumpsuits
What’s better than a jumpsuit? A metallic jumpsuit. We’ve seen this look in recent years worn by the stunning Gigi Hadid, Kelly Rowland, Jennifer Lopez, and Tracee Ellis Ross.
- To keep the look in the vintage 1980s lane, go for gold lame, shoulder pads, collared tops, rolled-up sleeves, belted waists, and tapered pant legs with pleated volume at the hip
- Think of a loose-fitting boiler suit…but make it shiny
2. Sequined dresses
Remember Kylie Minogue in that teeny, tiny “XO” sequin dress? Iconic. Sequined dresses (and blazers, and pants, and tops) were big in the 1980s, celebrating the fun, camp, and bold atmosphere of long nights on the dance floor.
- Look for sequined mini dresses with wide shoulders and puffed sleeves, or sequined midi-dresses with thin straps and cowl necks for a whisper of disco (see 80s Diana Ross for reference)
- Tone down the Vegas-showgirl vibe with chunky heeled ankle boots or even cute sneakers
3. Metallic spandex leggings and oversized sweaters
Stay comfy on the D-floor with leggings and a sweater, 80s-style.
- Shop for metallic leggings and oversized, off-the-shoulder sweaters you can roll up at the sleeves
- Style it up with high heels, big hair, and full-glam makeup complete with sexy smokey eyes
4. Rara mini-skirts and corsets
A skirt and corset will always be a flirty, feminine party outfit no matter the decade, but it was certainly hot in the 80s (hello, Madonna!).
Plus, Carrie Bradshaw (in throwback, spinoff, and real-time episodes) wore this look, and Carrie is never wrong.
- Look for satin fitted tops and bustiers and pair with a tutu-style tiered skirt
- Pair with fishnets and heels for full-circle 80s party scene style
5. Double-denim mini and cropped jacket
Double denim was hot back in the day and has made a major comeback in recent years. The Canadian tuxedo is club-ready as long as the proportions, styling, and beauty choices are on point.
- Trawl Etsy for an acid wash mini skirt, (preferably with a ruffle) and a matching cropped denim jacket with puffy shoulders and fringing along the chest
- Wear with a crop top or lace long-line bra, ¾ leggings, pointy heels, and neon accessories
6. Multiple accessories
If all-out 80s style just isn’t your thing or you’re limited as to what you can find, make it work with accessories.
- Keep your base outfit simple, such as cute jeans, a top, and heels as a blank canvas for layered accessories
- Pile up bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and style your hair with faux flowers, headbands, or a hat embellished with brooches
7. Shoulder-padded blazers
80s blazers were designed to give women a bold and dominating silhouette (girl power!), with shoulder pads, voluminous sleeves, and often an oversized, menswear-style shape. Some were cropped, with a cinched waist and double-breasted buttons, others were boxy and long.
- Wear a wide-shoulder blazer with a pair of ripped, tight jeans, cowl neck tank, and heels for no-nonsense partying
8. Leotards and belts
Workout-style clothing isn’t only for the studio or the gym, it’s just as at-home in the club if you style it right. Hey, we live in a world where yoga pants and gym tops are considered brunch wear! I mean if Jane can do it and look amazing so can we!
- Wear a spandex leotard with an elasticated belt cinching the waist. Pair with skinny jeans and heels, or a mini wrap skirt and tights.
9. Metallic tiered dresses
Be a 1980s prom princess for the night!
- Wear a strapless metallic mini dress with a tiered skirt, ruched bodice, and sweetheart neckline
- Modernize the look by pairing with ankle boots, rockstar-style messy hair, and a smokey eye
10. Glam-rock with a dash of gothic inspiration
Get moody for the night and channel glam-rockers like the guys from Poison, Pat Benatar, and Def Leppard.
- Find tight leather pants, mesh tops, and leather sleeveless jackets
- Style with colored hair (or a high-quality wig)
- Fuse the look with goth with red lips, ultra-dark smokey eyes, contoured cheeks (with red blush), full-length black lace gloves, and multiple layered cross necklaces
11. Jeans, sneakers, and blazers
Be a clean-cut, preppy college guy or gal for the night.
- Look for light-wash blue denim jeans, fresh white sneakers, and a colored blazer
- Wear a pale pink polo shirt with a sweater tied around the shoulders (like Carlton from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air)
- Make it a little edgier with a short crop-top underneath for a little peek of skin
12. Spandex bodysuits
The bodysuit is a beloved item in the current decade, as a clear revival of an 80s staple. Not only are bodysuits flattering but they’re great for layering with almost anything whether it’s club-worthy or gym-ready.
- Wear a plunging spandex bodysuit in metallic silver or gold, layered over a plain cotton tee (tight so it doesn’t bunch up), with high-waisted, wide-leg pants and heels
13. Clashing Patterns
The 80s were clearly all about fun, big, bright, bold trends, where more is certainly more. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (though it started in 1990 it was still a fantastic reference point for 1980s hip hop fashion, and preppy style as demonstrated by Hilary).
- Cut a youthful path by layering busy patterns and bright colors for the club, such as a tartan skirt with a polka-dot shirt and an animal-print hat
- Or, try striped wide-leg pants with a floral blouse and beaded beret
14. New Romantics
The New Romantics style was feminine (or androgynous), over the top, and ornate. The look featured plenty of ruffles, silk, lace, velvet, leather, and foppish styles referencing the dandies of long-ago periods.
- Pair tight leather pants with knee-high boots, a ruffled blouse, brocade waistcoat, velvet military jacket, and a silk scarf
- Use a pale foundation and carve out the cheeks with opaque, angular blush
- Think Boy George, Spandau Ballet, and David Bowie
15. Tight Bardot dresses and slouchy boots
A sexy way “to 80s” at the club is with an off-the-shoulder, tight Bardot dress paired with slouchy boots (check out the Bananarama ‘Nathan Jones’ single cover for inspo!). The guitar-wielding ladies in the ‘Addicted to Love’ video are also a timeless reference for this club vixen aesthetic.
- Layer a Bardot dress with sheer black tights for a slinky, figure-hugging look, and complete it with glossy red lips and dramatic kohl-rimmed eyes
Also Other Articles That You Maybe Interested In:
How to Wear Your Denim Shorts to a Party
Denim shorts are definite must-haves for every woman. Since they come in a variety of styles – from minis to Bermudas – it’s easy to build a collection around these summer-worthy bottoms.
Although denim shorts are geared towards more casual outfits, you can pair them with more sophisticated garments as well. And as long as you follow this guide, you’ll be able to dress your denim shorts stylishly for a night out with friends!
How to Dress Denim Shorts for a Party
Contrary to popular beliefs, you don’t need a dress or a mini skirt to go out and party. You can still look good – maybe even better – with these glitzy denim short outfits.
16. Sleek and Polished
You don’t necessarily have to throw on a lot of things to create a party-perfect denim outfit. Just look at this model – who looks very simple yet pretty in her elegant black top.
Like her, you can create a party-ready ensemble by pairing your shorts with an exquisite top. (Tip: You can easily get this from your ‘work outfit’ side of the closet).
For the finishing touch, just put on your shades and your ruby red lipstick. Put on your favorite heels and you’re ready to dance the night away!
17. Go Off-Shoulder
As previously mentioned, you can easily create a party-worthy denim outfit without going all out.
Case in point: wearing an off-shoulder top, such as this one, is more than enough to make you look party-ready! Like the model, you can add elements such as a hat and cowboy-style belt.
As for the shoes, going comfy is best. You can do this fashionably with a pair of booties or flat gladiator sandals.
Also read: How to Style Off-the-Shoulder Dresses…
18. Style Your Button-Down
Pairing your denim shorts with a button-down top can help you achieve a chic look. But did you know that you can take this ensemble to a party as well?
Yes, you can make this possible with just a few touches.
Like the model, all you just need to do is reveal your sexier side by unbuttoning the first 3 (or 4, your choice) buttons of your top. As this will expose your bra underneath, make sure to wear a sexy one (the model’s lacy black bralette is a good example).
Top it all off by rolling your sleeves sloppily and voila – you’re ready to paint the town red!
19. Tie Your Button-Down
Indeed, there’s a lot of things you could do with your white button-down.
Apart from the outfit mentioned above, another trend you could try is to wear it like a tie top. Like the model, it’s all about gathering the ends together in a dainty knot.
While a tie-front top is good enough by itself, you can layer it with a bandeau or bralette – just like what the model did. You can also wear it in an off-shoulder fashion – just like what this pretty lady did with hers.
20. Crop it – and Top it
Kendall Jenner knows a thing or two about fashion (and parties), thus making her one of the best references for denim short outfits.
The model rocks her Bermuda shorts with a simple bandeau top and an oversized leather jacket. Like her, it’s good to add a pair of unique shades as this will come in handy for a hangover!
Keeping true to Kendall’s style, make sure to wear this outfit with stunning heels. With this pairing, you can easily rock a party – whether it’s hot or cold.
21. Rock the Coat
A stylish coat is not only for the office – it’s for your party-hearty outfits as well! In fact, all you need to do is get rid of your trousers (or skirt) after work and replace it with your favorite denim shorts.
As seen on this model, elegant outerwear can be paired with ripped denim shorts or ripped jeans. That said, this ensemble should be your top choice for an after-work party.
Like the model, you can finish the look with a pair of bejewelled sandals. Then again, you can wear your office shoes if you don’t have another pair to wear! But you need the coat!
22. Denim on Denim
A lot of people fear the denim-on-denim pairing become some people view it as tacky. Gigi Hadid, however, shows that like her, you can rock the trend like a pro.
Taking inspiration from the runway beauty, you can create a party-ready look by wearing a more ‘polished’ short with an elegantly designed denim top.
Remember: denim on denim is already over the top. As such, it’s best to keep the accessories simple. A cute bag – and sexy pair of heels – are more than enough to achieve this trending look.
Also read: How to Style Denim-on-Denim…
23. Dress it Up
Do you have a dress with a very high slit? Then you should try to wear it out with your denim shorts.
Like the model, a frock like this offers much coverage – without effectively covering much of your legs.
Perfect for summer parties, this get-up allows you to enjoy 2 garments – your denim shorts and high-slit maxi dress!
Styling tip: For a boho feel, wear this with booties. For a more elegant touch, go ahead and wear this ensemble with a pair of strappy heels.
24. One of the Boys
If you plan on hanging out with your boys, then why not channel their style into your denim short outfit? Like the model, you can achieve an androgynous look with a button-down top, a sleek blazer, and a necktie-like implement.
While this style is very casual, you can add some feminine touches along the way. For example, you can go for brighter colors instead of this black-centric style. Another option is to wear heels rather than the usual sneakers.
25. Sexy – Yet Covered
Model Hailey Baldwin is a force to reckon with – especially when it comes to fashion. Here, she shows the reason why. Here, she easily created an upscale look with the use of simple denim shorts.
Although her bralette and short pairing are very casual, Hailey glammed it up with an oversized blazer. Not only did it make her look posher, but it also gave her coverage for cold nights.
Like Hailey, you can top off this look with a unique pair of mid-calf boots.
26. Go Over the Top
Think you can’t take your denim shorts to an upscale party? Well, you better think again. If you’re anything like Kendall Jenner, you can easily make an impression at any red-carpet party.
As seen on the model, it’s all about pairing your denim shorts with the most over-the-top blouse you could ever have. In her case, it’s a one-shoulder top with a long train.
Styling tip: If you can’t get your hands on a gala-worthy top like Kendall’s, you can always try puff-sleeve blouses, embroidered tops, and other garments that are very unique.
27. Partying in Stockings
It’s hard to party in shorts – especially when it’s cold outside. That’s why you need to follow Alexa Chung so that you can dance the night away with no worries at all.
The model makes this possible with her black stockings – which keep her comfy and warm together with her chunky boots.
Apart from wearing stockings, you can also keep your top part fashionably warm by wearing a funky long-sleeved top. For more coverage, you can wear it with a jacket or coat too!
What Shoes Go Best With Denim Shorts?
When it comes to shoes, the possibilities are endless with denim shorts. In fact, these shoes can help you create multiple looks – even if you only have one pair of shorts in your closet.
28. Straight to the Point
If you’re petite or have short legs, wearing flats with denim shorts is quite an issue. However, you can enjoy this comfort in a more flattering way with pointy-toe flats.
As seen on the model, pointy-toe shoes can help you create a chic look – even with a very simple outfit. To make things better, it can also make your legs look longer (especially the nude-colored ones!)
With pointy-toe shoes, you can party ‘til the break of down without achy feet!
29. Shine in Slingback Shoes
A pair of slingback shoes is the perfect mix of casual and formal elements. With this, you can make a good fashionable impression in your denim short outfits.
Just like the model, you can keep comfy in these shoes – especially if you go for the kitten heel height. And should you go for higher pumps, you’ll remain comfortable as long as you pick the block-heeled kinds.
Remember, you can go matchy-matchy like the model – or work on a color that contrasts your outfit (say, a black slingback shoe with a white blouse).
30. Sleek in Sandals
Want to feminize your tattered or boyfriend-style denim shorts? Apart from wearing a girly top, pairing it with sexy sandals is the way to go.
Flaunting such a style is this beautiful model, who exudes a punk rock flair with her leather jacket and rolled-up jeans. She did, however, managed to keep it sexy with her sleek sandals.
With this style, you can look lady-like – even if you’re wearing loose, male-inspired pieces.
31. Trendy in Booties
Want to be a head-turner just like model Candice Swanepoel? Then make sure to wear your denim short outfit with a rocking pair of booties.
The model goes to show that with a pair of snakeskin booties, you can look perfect – even if you have a very simple get-up. As you see, she isn’t even wearing jewelry!
Styling tip: Don’t’ have snakeskin booties? Worry not as a pair of colorful or decorated boots is sure to work just as well.
32. Say it With Statement Heels
With statement heels, you can look stunning – no matter how plain your denim short outfit may be.
Just take the case of this model, who opted for a simple white top and ripped denim shorts. She did, however, kept her look classy with a pair of statement heels.
Styling tip: While you can always opt for a black pair, you can make more waves by picking a brightly colored shoe (yellow or magenta, perhaps?)
Your denim shorts are versatile pieces you can dress up – or down – depending on the occasion. And with these fashion ideas, you can party like a trendy rockstar!
How to Style Stirrup Leggings
There are leggings, and then there are stirrup leggings, those miraculous creations that hook under our feet oh-so fashionably. Yes, stirrup leggings were a staple of 1980’s workout fashion, but they’re back! And this time, they’re on the street and in the bar as well as at the barre.
Even Celebs like Victoria Beckham wearing them, I mean they are back in fashion in a big way!
Read on for our top four ideas for styling stirrup leggings!
33. Top-heavy loose layers and sneakers
Celebrity inspiration: The Olsen twins have always wowed with their baggy, slouchy, bohemian street style (and their impeccable, achingly-expensive fashion line The Row). Ever in need of fashion tips for “I just threw this together but I am somehow achingly chic”? Mary Kate and Ashley are your girls.
These stylish women are gifted at draping their bodies with layered, oversized tops in contrasting colors and textures. This is a genius way to approach stirrup leggings as it balances the body-con tightness of the legs with the free and easy abundance of the upper half of the outfit.
- Start with a long-line lace bralette and an oversized blouse with the top few buttons undone to peep the lace beneath
- Add a classic black blazer or leather jacket over the top, preferably in a loose fit
- Try a denim shirt worn open over a marble grey tank, with a charcoal long-line suit jacket over the top
- Wear with heeled boots, pumps, or even street-ready trainers
- If opting for heels or boots, wrap the stirrup under them to make the most of the feature
34. Wrapped heels and a sweater dress
Celebrity inspiration: Ariana Grande is like a walking example of how to style oversized sweaters with heels, (and one of the best pop vocalists of today, of course!).
While you may not be keen for knee-high stiletto boots a la Ariana, you can switch them out for our beloved stirrup leggings and a killer pair of heels.
- Pick a sweatshirt that is truly oversized and long enough to fall below your derriere, a little off-the-shoulder action is excellent too
- Elevate the look from uber-casual to street-glam by choosing a sweater with embellishments, or add a statement earring or necklace
- Choose a pair of closed-toe pumps or even high mary-janes or T-bar heels for a 1920s aesthetic
- Wrap the stirrup of the legging under the shoe so the stirrup is a visible focal point of the look
35. A bodysuit, wrap skirt, and flats
Celebrity inspiration: Carrie Bradshaw wore the quintessential ballerina-inspired outfit of the 1990s in the opening credits for ‘Sex and the City’. We’re taking her fluffy skirt and tank as inspiration and layering it with stirrup leggings and a cute pair of flat ballet-style shoes.
- Look for a tulle, ballet-style skirt with a little volume and a high waist
- Try a different color for your stirrup leggings (as a break from black!) such as pale pink, nude, or even a subtle print such as fine metallic vertical stripes
- Layer with a ballerina-style cropped wrap cardigan for cooler days
- Find a pair of ballet flats in a matching hue to create a monochrome look, or opt for a metallic, sparkly pair to play up the fun, feminine aesthetic
- If you can’t forgo your heels, or you want to break up the sweetness, try a pair of heeled ankle boots (they solve any fashion quandary)
36. Layered under cargo pants with a tank or tee
Celebrity inspiration: Kaia Gerber (the daughter of our favorite 90s bombshell Cindy Crawford) makes baggy cargo pants look chicer than a Chanel suit. She pairs them with a plain tank or tee and looks amazing beyond belief.
- Try camo-green cargo pants in an extra-baggy style and pair with a white fitted tank or tee to play with proportions
- Because only the bottom of the stirrup will be visible, try a bold pop of color such as a neon yellow or pink for eye-catching contrast
- For cooler months, add a blazer or cropped leather jacket, or choose a long-sleeved merino or cashmere fitted top
- Make it night-ready by adjusting your shoe choice and makeup look; a pair of pumps or heeled boots and a smokey eye
- This is an awesome way to make a gym outfit street-friendly during colder months or when you’re just not in the mood for wearing leggings as pants! Throw your cargos over the top before and after your workout…done
Let’s steal Kaia’s style and make it more interesting by layering with stirrup leggings underneath. Inspired? I think so. This is a fantastic way to try stirrup leggings trend in Winter, as it offers that extra layer of warmth and coverage, while still maintaining that unique peep of style at the ankle.