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The 1980s were a period of diverse changes in the fashion world, moving away from many of the fads and crazes of the 1970s, the early 80s saw a fashion revolution, a time when people embraced new fashion ideals and created a unique sense of style unlike anything that came before it.

Embracing trends like turtlenecks, leg warmers and jelly bracelets and taking inspiration from early 80s fashion icons like Madonna, the early eighties was an exciting time for fashion.

Ditch the Disco Trend

The 1970s fashion world saw the rise of the iconic disco look, but the eighties fashion scene saw a move away from this style. Eighties fashionistas instead embraced a minimalism vibe. Singing sensation Sade was fan of the minimalism look back in the eighties, while today you can see the look worn to perfection by celebrities like Elizabeth Olsen.

Don’t Have Too Much Bling

This idea leads on from the minimalism vibe that rose to prominence in the early eighties. If you are looking to embrace the early eighties minimalism look, then keep jewellery simple and to a minimum.

Knee High Boots

Knee length boots are again a very versatile style, they look great when styled with a mini skirt and add an extra touch of style when worn over a pair of skinny jeans and paired with a denim jacket.

While in the 80s Kylie Minogue was a fan of this look, today stars such as Reese Witherspoon have been seen stepping out in this iconic style.

Active Wear!

The idea of active wear as a highly versatile outfit option has seen a real comeback in recent years with the rise of active wear giants like Lululemon, but in the early eighties active wear was just as important in anyone’s wardrobe. As shown by stars like Jane Fonda, velour tracksuits or tight body suites was the material of choice for eighties active wear with activewear and arm bands key outfit pieces.

Avoid Thick Belts

In the early eighties world of fashion, wide, over the top belts were to be avoided, instead a simple, thin belt was all the rage. A thin belt style looks great on a pair of jeans or trousers to bring another element to a casual outfit or when added to a dress to accentuate the waist. While stars like Madonna rocked this look in the 80s, it is still popular with celebrities like Selena Gomez today.

The Rise of the Straight Leg Trousers

In the seventies flared jeans may have been all the rage but the early eighties saw the rise of the straight leg trousers. The early eighties style gets major points for versatility, when paired with a crop top it has effortless casual vibes while when styled with heels and a silk top is perfect for any formal event. For more style inspiration check out the 80s band Bananarama or current star Margot Robbie who has worn this look to perfection.

Don’t Underestimate the Jelly Bracelet

A look that was popularized by the ever-iconic Madonna, the jelly bracelet was a new look for the eighties that soared to new heights of popularity. For this early eighties style take your inspiration from Madonna herself and pair this accessory with a white t-shirt and some drop waist overalls, top off the look with a bandana headband or newsboy cap for an early eighties look with a touch of rebel vibes.

Faux Fur

While real fur may not be such a good idea, eighties fashionistas knew that the faux fur look was one that was always a good idea. As demonstrated in the 80s by stars including Vanessa Williams, faux fur coats added a luxurious element to any winter look. Still insanely popular today, celebrities like Miley Cyrus, Arianna Grande and Kendall Jenner all embrace the faux fur look.


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Keep the Colour Palette Simple

Once again, this style comes from the move away from disco and the rise of the early eighties minimalism look. Colours for an early eighties look should be kept simple and not too bright, neon colours are to be avoided while tones of brown, cream, tan and orange are all great choices when embracing an early eighties inspired style. Julia Roberts could often be seen in a combination of these colours back in the 80s.

Embrace the Sweater Look

Early eighties fashionistas knew that as winter came and the weather grew colder, fashion didn’t have to suffer. Crew and V-neck sweaters were both popular looks, styling an oversized crew neck sweater with a pair of simple jeans or trousers is a great outfit while a classic V-neck looks great styled with a skirt and heels. While popular with Madonna and Kylie Minogue in the 80s, this style is a modern favourite of stars like Karli Kloss and Kendall Jenner.

The Trendy Turtleneck

The turtleneck is one item that should never be underestimated when embracing an early eighties vibe. When styled under a blazer for a chic, sophisticated look or paired with high waist jeans for a casual outfit, this style was a favourite of stars like Molly Ringwold in the 80s and is still loved today by celebrities including Taylor Swift and Elizabeth Olsen.

The fashion world of the early eighties was one of iconic trends and styles that are seeing a major comeback in the fashion scene of today. The early eighties had a trendy style for whether you were hitting up a night club, having a casual weekend afternoon or heading out for a formal event.

Whether you choose to channel Madonna and rock some jelly bracelets, try a trendy turtleneck or style your outfit with some knee-high boots, the early eighties will have you looking great for whatever you have planned.

About The Author

May can usually be found reading a magazine and that will be more than likely a fashion or environmental magazine. When not absorbed in the latest gripping articles on fashion or eco living, May is a fashion writer who is passionate about two things fashion (especially 80s) and the environment. May believes in looking and feeling good whilst living an eco friendly lifestyle. In her spare time she loves cooking, playing her guitar and going for country walks. May lives in the UK and enjoys spending time with friends, family and her two adorable cats.

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