How to Make Normal Clothes Look Like '80s

By Christi Aldridge

The '80s were an audacious fashion era. Bright colors were mixed with chunky jewelry, parachute pants and shoulder pads created dramatic silhouettes. Contemporary fashion often draws influence from this irreverent decade because it definitely makes a statement. Here's how to tastefully infuse your everyday wardrobe with some '80s flair.

Jeans torn at the knee
credit: Vera_Petrunina/iStock/GettyImages

Ripped Jeans

We have '80s glam metal bands to thank for the effortless, deconstructed look of ripped jeans. You can distress your own denim. Or, look to fast-fashion retailers or high-end designers to find your perfect pair—both have been championing the look for many, many seasons now, and it doesn't look like it's going anywhere.

Shoulder Pads

Extreme shoulder pads were worn by women on popular shows like Dynasty—which, by the way, is being rebooted. Sew shoulder pads into blazers and jackets. The bigger, the better.

Leg Warmers

Leg warmers actually don't feel that retro anymore. Go to any barre class and you'll definitely see some chic women rocking them. They don't even have to be restricted to workouts; they can be scrunched down over tight jeans or layered underneath boots.

Statement Jewelry

If you love to accessorize, '80s style is definitely for you. Pile on some bold bangles, oversized earrings in geometric shapes and chunky necklaces.

Bolo Ties

Speaking of accessories, don't be afraid to try out a bolo tie. They can actually look super cute on men or women. Just keep the rest of your outfit simple and classic to balance the look.

Off-the-Shoulder Sweatshirts

Pay homage to the epic '80s flick Flashdance. Cut the collar off of a sweatshirt and pull it off of one shoulder. So sexy. While you're at it, fold the cuffs of your jeans up a little bit.

Neon

Bright colors like neon pink, green, orange and yellow were very popular and still evoke a wave of '80s nostalgia. These loud hues can definitely add an element of fun to a modern wardrobe. If it's your style, go for it!