The '70s, '80s and '90s Trends That Are Selling Like Crazy


(Image credit: @bettinalooney)

It's true: What comes around tends to go back around eventually. Since we know that fashion is cyclical in nature, it should come as no surprise when we see trends resurrect themselves from the past—sometimes from decades in the past. Designers are always revisiting the archives in order to reinvent the wheel for the seasons to come, fixating on one decade or period of time before moving onto the next. In the past several years alone, we've cycled through '70s, '80s and '90s fashion trends, cherry-picking which silhouettes and motifs to bring into the present-day.

The great thing about vintage clothing is that if you hold onto an item for long enough, you just might see it come back into the style spotlight again. Or, like I did, you can take to raiding the wardrobes of your parents and grandma to borrow the original versions and source even more from vintage stores (coincidentally also the most sustainable way to shop). Once such vintage retailer is The RealReal, and its head of women's clothing, Sasha Skoda, is sharing the exact trends from these past three decades that are selling better than any others right now. Continue on to see (and shop) them all.

From the '70s…

Scarves: According to the data that Skoda shared, searches for scarves are up a whopping 162% and that the resale value is also on the rise, correlating with the current overall '70s trend. We've seen fashion girls styling silk scarves in creative ways, from tying them up "babushka" style over their heads to knotting them around their neck and even wearing them as a DIY crop top.


(Image credit: @claire_most)

Knee-High Boots: Knee-high boots blew up this past autumn and winter, rivalling ankle boots as the go-to boot silhouette. Skoda confirmed their popularity by informing us that interest in them has increased by 88% year over year.


(Image credit: @maria_bernad)

Tartan and Plaid: We'd argue that some version of check print and plaid is always "in," and right now, it's '70s-inspired tartan, which we've seen on everything from preppy pleated skirts to sophisticated trousers.


(Image credit: @naomielizee)

From the '80s…

Puffy Sleeves: No surprise here. Puff sleeves are an '80s trend we've definitely got behind, as it's just a pure delight to wear and pretty much always looks good, whether you splurge or save on it. Clearly, we're not alone here, since searches for this trend are up by 338%.


(Image credit: @bettinalooney)

Metallic: Though it hasn't gotten as much love as some other '80s styles, metallics are still definitely a thing right now. Skoda shared that they're earning 80% more interest this year, and when you look at the iridescent bags and party dresses at Paco Rabanne and Attico, it's not hard to see why.


(Image credit: @emilisindlev)

From the '90s…

Baguette Bags: We have iconic designer bags like Fendi's Zucca Baguette and Prada's Nylon shoulder bag to thank for this (wildly popular) revival. Demand for those two exact bags has skyrocketed, plunging all cropped shoulder bags into the spotlight with them.


(Image credit: @emmanuellek_)

Mules: We love it when a trend is as popular as it is easy to wear, and mules are just that. The '90s shoes go with everything from skirts to jeans, making them the ultimate wardrobe staple. No surprise, then, why mules, in general, are 145% more favourable than they were last year.


(Image credit: @_marisamartins_)

Next up, the biggest spring/summer 2020 fashion trends to know. 

This piece originally appeared on Who What Wear U.S. 


Anna is an editor on the fashion team at Who What Wear and has been at the company for over five years, having begun her career in the Los Angeles office before relocating to New York, where she's currently based. Having always been passionate about pursuing a career in fashion, she built up her experience interning at the likes of Michael Kors, A.L.C., and College Fashionista before joining the team as a post-graduate assistant editor. Anna has penned a number of interviews with Who What Wear's cover stars over the years, including A-listers Megan Fox, Issa Rae, and Emma Chamberlain. She's earned a reputation for scouting new and emerging brands from across the globe and championing them to our audience of millions. While fashion is her main wheelhouse, Anna led the launch of WWW Travels last year, a new lifestyle vertical that highlights all things travel through a fashion-person lens. She is passionate about shopping vintage, whether it be at a favorite local outpost or an on-the-road discovery, and has amassed a wardrobe full of unique finds. When she's not writing, you can find her shooting street imagery on her film camera, attempting to learn a fourth or fifth language, or planning her next trip across the globe.