My mom and her friend wearing Laura Ashley dresses to a wedding in 1984.
Not too long ago, Urban Outfitters came out with its collaboration with iconic '80s brand Laura Ashley. I'll be completely honest: It wasn't until I showed the pieces to my mom and aunt that I realized just how iconic the brand was—especially to my mom and her stylish group of friends. Immediately, my mom showed me the photo above of her and one of her best friends wearing Laura Ashley dresses to a wedding in 1984. How did I respond? By looking up Laura Ashley dresses on Etsy and ordering one for myself, of course.
The runways are always nodding to the festive time that was the '80s, and if the return of the decade is anything like that of the '90s, the resurgence of trends from this time is only just starting to gain steam. While the runways are definitely a place I get forward-thinking inspiration from, I decided when it came to the '80s trend, I was going to go back to the queen of fashion during her time: my mother. She and my aunt were called "the Vogue sisters" back in high school, so I guess I have to give them a little credit.
My mom and aunt with matching perms and wild jumpsuits.
I asked my mom to list off all the trends from the '80s that she thought I might still be into today. Some of the styles that made her list quickly got cut from mine, including sweatbands, colored plastic beads, and a few others I'd rather not mention. But as for the rest of her selects, I'd say they are pretty spot-on. Ahead, shop nine of the '80s fashion trends my mom wore back in the day—the ones that are still somehow cool in 2022.
"Shoulder pads and boxy shoulders, in general, were the staple of the '80s, and I was totally okay with that. The structure they gave a shirt or blazer was the look you had to have. I think they are weirdly flattering, as they make your shoulders wider than your hips, which is never a bad thing. If you threw on a blazer with shoulder pads over a dress or any bottom, you knew you were good to go."
Here are my mom and my aunt in their jumpsuits and oversize belts.
"Jumpsuits were my favorites in the '80s. They made getting dressed so easy, and I always felt so fashionable wearing them. I loved how tall they made me look too. The ones with big shoulder pads were even more flattering."
"As I started working in the '80s, wearing suits and pumps was a given. To make the stiff look more fashion-forward, one trend was to match from head to toe, including your shoe color. I must have had low-heel pumps in every color. Neutrals were not a thing. And of course, the pumps matched the hose, which matched the suit and so on."
Okay, so this isn't a prairie dress, but it's a photo that needs to be seen.
"Another trend I really loved. These dresses of the '80s were what we wore when we dressed up for any special event. They were feminine, pretty, and flattering. They made your waist look small too."
"The colored and patterned hose really made an outfit looked finished. If you took the time to perfectly match the color of your hose to your outfit or wear hose with tiny polka dots to match the print in your dress, you were happening."
"So scrunchies were the other accessory of the '80s that you could match to your outfit. I had them in every color because you had to. We needed them to put our big permed hair into a thick ponytail. We would wear them on our wrists too for the impromptu hairstyle change, and we could do that because they, of course, matched our outfit."
"We all wore pleated, high-waisted, acid-washed jeans in the '80s. This trend still baffles me. It was not flattering, but I guess it proves we were loyal to the trends. The big pockets were a perk though."
Light-Wash Denim Jackets
"The key to a stylish denim jacket in the '80s was the wash and the shape. If it wasn't acid or light wash, with big dolman sleeve and covered your butt, it was not going to impress anyone."
This is my mom and dad wearing acid-wash denim. Not quite sure I'm ready for this one to come back.
"Every item in the '80s was designed to make a big statement. Therefore, I wore ginormous glasses as well. Everything, including accessories, had to be big or would be drowned by the size of our big permed hair."
This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.
"Copy (200 words): Lauren Eggertsen is currently the editorial director of Who What Where and has worked at the company for nearly seven years, where she started as an associate editor and has since worked her way up. Lauren has over 10 years of experience in the fashion editorial space, starting her career with internships at Marc Jacobs, Marie Claire, and The Zoe Report, where she was later hired as their editorial assistant. Lauren has worked in the Los Angeles and New York Who What Wear offices but currently calls L.A. home. It is here where she leads and manages Who What Wear's fashion team and oversees all day-to-day editorial content and large tentpole moments. This includes all of the runway, trend, and shopping-driven content that ultimately helps to build a strong brand reputation within the industry. Lauren's role also includes helping to set the fashion direction for all original photo shoots and often styles many of the celebrity cover shoots, including big names like Sydney Sweeney, Lindsay Lohan, and Megan Fox.
She has also attended multiple fashion weeks, including New York, London, and Milan, where her personal style has been featured on sites such as Elle.com, HarpersBazaar.com, and Vogue.co.uk. She prides herself on discovering and supporting small brands and on her knack for a good vintage shopping find. When she isn't working, she enjoys researching and dining at reputable restaurants around both her neighborhood and the globe.
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