How To Channel Your Inner 80s Fashion Icon This Party Season

If ever there was a fashion era I wish I’d been born into, it’s the 80s. Vibrant colours, bold shapes, bright whites and big hair. The more I think about the glamorous trends of the eighties, the more I consider asking for a time machine this Christmas.

There’s no better time than the festive season to embrace fashion from the 80s. It’s one of the more playful nostalgic trends within the industry and with nuances of the era including big shoulders, (shoulder pads optional), oversized jewellery and more sequins than ever before, the popularity of the trend at this time of year comes as no surprise. According to Pinterest, the trend saw an increase of 87% at the end of last year. 

Photo Credit: Zara

You’ll never hear us dismiss the power of the LBD in it’s entirety but on this occasion, we are encouraging an update to the wardrobe staple. While they’re key for smarter occasions also prevalent at this time of year, injecting your party season wardrobe with a hint of the colourful 80s wouldn’t go amiss. Channel icons like Madonna, Tina Turner and Cher whose style choices made significant waves throughout the 80s.

This time around, ruffles and bows are the way to go with the LBD upgrade. Think structural waves for a twist on the classic LBD look, adding a touch of metallic detailing. Keep in mind, the aim is to give a nod to the festive season (tinsel et al) without being mistaken for an actual Christmas decoration yourself. 

While in the mindset of playing with structural dressing, a spangly one shoulder dress ticks all the right glam boxes. Plus the asymmetry of the dress means they need very little in terms of accessories – easy. 

Of course, we couldn’t forget the beloved sequins, fashion’s patron saint during the party season. In the space of the last few weeks the high street has become awash with sequins. Zig zags and star motifs keep sequins relevant right through until the end of party season while darker hues and velvet accessories allow you to nail two trends in one sitting.

Photo Credit: Topshop

For the brave among us channelling the 80s demands the return of the lamé dress. Silver, gold or any metallic shade, removal of the shoulder pads and slight tweaks to silhouettes  give lamé clothing the 2018 update it needs before being party ready again. Remember, less Elton John on tour and more Studio 54, party girl chic. 

Metallic Satin Midi Dress, £85 at & Other Stories

Kickstarting the party season in true style is the release of this year’s biggest high street and designer collaborations, most of which feature multiple references to the biggest trends of the 80s. Topshop’s sequin-laden collection in collaboration with New York born, British based designer, Michael Halpern consisted of high impact glamour, electric neon, sequin patterns and a show-stopping disco ball jumpsuit. The 80s aesthetic of the 28-piece collection has every party season outfit sorted for the next few weeks. 

Although half the size of the Topshop x Halpern collection, the 14-piece collection from Warehouse and Ashish didn’t let the 80s fashion gurus down. Similarly to Halpern, the collection includes a sequin-spangled aesthetic complete with pops of primary colour and standout piece, a pillar-box red sequin gown plus appearances from sapphire blues, canary yellow and sparkling silver. Studio 54 vibes all round. 

Niamh Crawford-Walker

Niamh is a freelance writer covering fashion, beauty and lifestyle articles. Her work has appeared in IMAGE magazine, image.ie and Emirates Woman. Niamh is also a blogger at niamhserena.co.uk and podcast host of Werkin’ On It.

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