The ’80s have gotten a bad rap when it comes to fashion — it’s no secret that there were plenty of style lows (bad perms, leg warmers, stirrup pants, and blue eyeshadow just to name a few of the worst ’80s style mistakes), but there were also some cute ’80s fashion trends (yes, neon can be fun!). Now modern-day designers are embracing the decade by taking inspiration from the era of shoulder pads and big hair, but reworking the top 1980s trends in cool ways for 2020. Whether you’re hunting for ’80s costume ideas for Halloween or you’re interested in incorporating some of the decade’s hottest looks into your everyday ensembles, we pulled inspiration from recent red carpet looks to separate the good from the bad — and show you how to dress to excess in fresh new ways.

80s costume

Pastel Suit & Sneakers

Cue the theme song! This candy-colored suit on Claire Foy still makes sense in 2020, thanks to the flattering cut and pops of white. Wear it with high-top sneakers or dress it up with fancy heels.

Get the Look: Pastel Suit

This structured short suit is work appropriate, making this look extra versatile.

Get the Look: White Sneakers

We think every woman needs a classic white sneaker in her closet. They pair well with everything: suits, jeans, workout gear, or even a little black dress.

80s outfits

Colorful Leather Jacket & Statement Belt

Hats off to Celine Dion for embracing some of fashion’s more intimidating throwback trends. Here she is the height of ’80s chic in head-to-toe leather. We love the burgundy color of the jacket and the cinched waist adds extra polish.

Get the Look: Colorful Leather Jacket

If you think you can’t pull off a red leather jacket, think again. This deep burgundy isn’t too ostentatiousand goes great with jeans or leather leggings.

Get the Look: Statement Belt

The width of this belt makes it look more expensive than it is, while the gold accent means you can pair it with black  brown accessories — so versatile.

Belt Bag

Never thought we’d see a belt bag on the red carpet. But Sarah Jessica Parker looks polished with this leather Chanel version. Note that this style of bag will be a game changer at any cocktail party — you can maneuver hands-free for the night.

Get the Look: Belt Bag

The ’80s versions were “Dad at Disneyland,” but today’s belt bags are more polished. This affordable crescent-shaped version is just the right size.

octavia spencer peplum top 

Peplum Top

We love the cut of this bright pink top on Octavia Spencer. It’s so flattering when paired with a simple pencil skirt and can also work well with jeans.

Get the Look: Peplum Top

This top comes in multiple colors and can be dressed up or down. Add a belt for a more polished look.

Windbreaker & Statement Sunglasses

Jane Fonda made workout wear a thing back in the day. Gwen Stefani modernizes the track suit by pairing with jeans and statement sunglasses. It’s kitschy, but still cool.

90’s Windbreaker

This color-blocked windbreaker is the perfect layering piece. Pair with jeans or leggings for a casual weekend look.

charlize theron, 80s outfits

Acid Washed Jeans

It’s easy to veer into fashion victim territory with acid washed denim, but Charlize Theron tones it down with a polished blazer and pointy-toe pumps.

Get the Look: Good Vintage Shibori

This wash goes perfectly with a simple tee. Dress the jeans up with polished accessories or pair with a chambray shirt if you want to lean into the ’80s look.

cute 80s outfits

Big Bow

Bows can sometimes read too young or girlie, but this number on Candace Cameron-Bure is super sophisticated thanks to the luxe fabric.

Get the Look: Big Bow

This affordable dress is a scaled down version that comes in multiple colors.

cute 80s outfits


Lisa Rinna is pulling off an ’80s trifecta with the graffiti jacket, metallic pants, and belt bag. Not an easy feat!

Get the Look: Metallic Pants

When paired with an understated top and simple strap heels, these shiny pants make just the most chic statement.

cute 80s outfits

Neon Hues

Neon is one of the more intimidating ’80s trends, but Eva Longoria pulls it off thanks to the length of this dress and simple accessories.

Get the Look: Neon Hues

The sleek silhouette of this dress tempers the bold color. Pair it with gold jewelry and nude sandals for a chic tonal look.

cute 80s outfits

Puffy Shoulder Top & Statement Earrings

was the gold standard when it came to ’80s glamour. Here, Ashley Graham channels Alexis Carrington Colby while looking modern at the same time.

Get the Look: Puffy Shoulder Top

This is just enough sleeve puff to add drama without going OTT. For an evening look, pair with a sleek pencil skirt, or go more casual and wear with jeans.

Get the Look: Statement Earrings

Remember the White Diamonds commercial where Elizabeth Taylor takes her earrings off and says, “These have always brought me luck?” These are definitely channeling that vibe.

cute 80s outfits

Metallic Blazer

Metallics are definitely having a moment. We love the high/low treatment Jada Pinkett Smith is giving this gold number. Shine on!

Get the Look: Metallic Blazer

This silver blazer has a great boxy cut and looks so sleek when worn over an all-white ensemble — but you can also totally take a page from Jada’s book and wear with jeans for an edgier feel.

cute 80s outfits

Polka Dot Dress

We love Jaime King’s big polka dot moment. The one shoulder tempers the sweetness and the coordinating belt is on point.

Get the Look: Delphi Polka-Dot Silk-Crepon Camisole

When it comes to ’80s-inspired polka dots, go big or go home. This graphic camisole looks great with a pop of color (think pink bag and shoes) and a bold red lip.


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