'80s Fashion Trends Are Hot For Summer & Here's How To Make Them Look Totally Tubular

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When it comes to throwback fashion, I am a '90s girl through and through. Chokers, combat boots, Goodwill-bought floral dresses—I love all of it. But '80s fashion trends have been revived for spring for a change, and I don't hate them. That's something I never thought I'd say.

Growing up, I always looked at the '80s as the most cringeworthy decade when it came to style. I hated the big, crunchy hairdos, primary color palette, shoulder pads, and gaudy buttons that looked like my grandma's clip-on earrings. Whereas the '70s were cool for their hippie handicraft items and the '90s were cool for their everything, the '80s just seemed wacky and tacky to me. (I knew nothing about disco culture until I was about 20 — platform shoes and all-sequined everything now have a very special place in my heart.)

You can imagine, then, that when I started to read that the '80s were back in fall 2018 and continued on their rise for spring, I was less than excited. that is, until I saw how designers were reimagining some of the era's most iconic trends. A combination of their creative genius and my changing taste resulted in me loving what was going down the runways, big shoulders, big hair, loud prints, and all. Here are three of the most iconic '80s trends that are back — it's time to rock them in the 21st century.

Puffy Sleeves And Shoulder Pads

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Brands the likes of Gucci, Stella McCartney, Christopher Kane, and Saint Laurent have embraced ballooning sleeves and statement shoulders to the max for spring. When done right, these styles can actually create a gorgeous sculptural effect, not to mention they scream boss lady. There's something about the strong silhouette they create! If you're opting for a shirt and pant/skirt/shorts combo, try looking for a top that has a more fitted bodice to balance out its large sleeves or shoulders. I love square necklines and deep-V necklines with puffy sleeves, but that's a personal preference. For dresses, anything goes, in my opinion, though if you're not super into wildly voluminous looks, stick to the same rule as above. Look for a dress that's more fitted around your bodice. That way, even if it flares out into an A-line skirt, there will be some sort of defined shape. I personally don't mind looking like a cupcake when I wear dresses and think puffy sleeves and a shapeless silhouette can look cool.

Bike Shorts

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Bike shorts will always make me think of my mom, Princess Diana, and Kim Kardashian West, in that order. My mom dropped me off at my first day of high school wearing an especially tight pair (I was mortified), Princess Diana rocked hers with oversized graphic sweatshirts and somehow looked cool, and Kim Kardashian has recently turned them into a fashion staple du jour. Kardashian West did, of course, do this with a little help from high fashion runways. I think bike shorts are the newest iteration of the athleisure trend, but they're being done in a decidedly buttoned-up way. On the runways of Dion Lee, Off-White, and Nina Ricci, they were paired with long blazers and structured jackets so that they just peeped out from underneath. This styling almost gave them the appearance of being pencil skirts, just way more practical and comfier versions. Follow suit and pair some long bike shorts with a smoking jacket-style blazer or oversized yet structured coat.


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Ah, tulle. I have such a love/hate relationship with thee. Growing up as a dancer, I wore my fair share of costumes featuring scratchy skirts and layers upon layers of netting. I grew to hate it. But thanks to the reimagining of the fabric by a slew of designers, most notably Molly Goddard, in my opinion, it's taken on a new potential. Entire dresses are now being made of of tulle that's been stitched and gathered into gorgeous designs. There are wispy ghost dresses, which are thin and sheer and show what's underneath them, and dresses featuring layers upon layers of the material that still look whimsical and light, not at all overbearing. They're certainly nothing like what your mom was wearing at her prom! I'd recommend wearing ghost dresses over a pair of high-waisted underwear and a matching bra if you're feeling extra, or a bralette and pair of slouchy boyfriend jeans for a more casual affair.