Designers have attempted to make '80s fashion happen on countless occasions to no avail, or at least not to the level of success that both the '90s and the early aughts have experienced in recent years. It wasn't until last October—when Anthony Vaccarello's spring/summer 2023 runway collection for Saint Laurent debuted—that the possibility of a revival with significant bearing began to gain traction. His fall collection gave the final push.
Strong shoulders, power suiting, and aviator jackets dominated the French label's fall offering, sending viewers through the space-time continuum back to the era of Madonna music videos, Jane Fonda workouts, and Top Gun, the original. But of all the pieces displayed on the runway, the ones that truly solidified the return of '80s fashion were the oversize oblong cuff bracelets that adorned nearly every model's wrist at the show.
Ever since, it's felt as if all of the chicest, most eye-catching outfits on my Instagram feed feature that one accessory—an '80s-esque cuff bracelet or bangle in shiny gold or silver. Saint Laurent's designs from spring are a common pick, but they're certainly not the only ones finding success. Small jewelry brands such as Agmes and Alexis Bittar have introduced styles of their own, as have fast-fashion brands like Mango and Zara. Most iconic are the various versions of the Bone Cuff, designed by Elsa Peretti in the '70s for Tiffany & Co., that have been returning in flux and experiencing a surge in popularity on secondhand designer retail sites like The RealReal.
Suffice it to say, all signs are pointing toward an '80s revival of epic proportions, and the chicest way to get involved is with one of the 30 cuffs below.
Photo:Saint Laurent/Launchmetrics Spotlight
Despite the exquisite nature of the ready-to-wear that debuted at Saint Laurent's fall 2023 show, the accessories were what shined through most prominently, specifically the chunky gold cuffs.
Peretti began designing jewelry for Tiffany & Co. in 1974, creating over 30 collections that, to this day, remain icons of the jewelry house, from Bean to Mesh to the one pictured above, Bone. Peretti's Bone Cuff, decades after it was created, is experiencing a dramatic comeback, one that it wholly deserves.
Alaïa is equally responsible for the resurgence in popularity of '80s-inspired fashions. The brand's new creative director, Pieter Mulier (the spring 2022 collection was his first collection), designed pieces for fall 2023 that sculpted each model's waist, emphasized their shoulders, and accentuated their long legs, three things '80s pieces were known for. On the arms of many of them were sculptural cuffs, worn traditionally on the wrist as well as above the elbows for a chic alternative to the expected.
Next time you're wearing a simple suit, give it a little something worth talking about by adding a gold cuff bracelet and tucking one sleeve into it slightly so that it's always visible. Trust me—it'll make a world of difference.
What's great about this trend is the range of prices and styles that are currently available. Invest in a classic Bone Cuff or an of-the-moment style by Saint Laurent or Alaïa, or dabble in the trend for less than $50.
I don't often associate Simkhai with jewelry, but the New York–based brand's fall 2023 collection changed that entirely. Catch me building out my bauble drawer at its SoHo store come fall.
The over-sleeve cuffing trick is one of my all-time favorite styling hacks, especially when it's done with statement bracelets and a simple dress or top, allowing the jewelry to really stand out.