I was born in the late 1980’s but I’ve always felt more like an 80’s baby than a 90’s baby. My favorite films are from the 1980’s, I listen to 80’s rock on the daily, and even though I shudder at some of the fashionable items worn back then (acid wash jeans, anyone?), I love the bold rebelliousness of it all. While I may not miss the gigantic shoulder pads, I’m usually pretty happy to see an 80’s trend resurface. I’ve seen everything from off-the-shoulder tops and mini skirts to high-waisted jeans and legwarmers come back around and be worn by a younger generation, or, by those of us who remember when it appeared during our growing up years (let’s not pretend these didn’t come from even further back!). When I’m feeling particularly nostalgic for the 80’s, I might pull out some 80’s style gear and wear it around for a while. But lately I’ve been intrigued by the idea of making my own 80’s “retro” clothing, or at least repurposing items found at the thrift shop and reclaiming them for my favorite decade.
If you’re looking for some 1980’s inspiration for your wardrobe, you can comb the web over for hours in search of just the right look, outfit, or accessory. Or, you can browse through our curated list and save yourself time so you can get started sooner on your fabulous 80’s ensemble. If you’re wanting to DIY, you can find several ideas on All Free Sewing, including sewing up a pair of sweater leg warmers, a high-waisted mini skirt, and a belt. This is a great option especially if you have some thrift store finds that didn’t fit or perhaps didn’t live up to your expectations. You can also use “retired” clothing, like clothes that have been grown out of by the kids, or stuff you wore a decade ago that you still love but aren’t sure how to use. You could also hit up local antique stores and scrounge around for some vintage fabric. There are plenty of older crafters who decide to rid their basements and garages of bolts of fabric, and if you’re lucky, you can hit gold and have authentic materials with which to create the 80’s wardrobe of your dreams.
Going for a more complete look? You can find several tutorials on YouTube that will teach you how to not only make 80’s wear, but do a total makeover with hair and makeup. We particularly enjoyed the tutorials from Sammy Davis, who showed us how to pick out 80’s-esque items from the thrift shop, and Petite Pear Style’s instructions on how to create an 80’s style shirt (off the shoulder, of course). If you have tops but want pants, skirts, or dresses, you can check out the free patterns available on Va-Voom Vintage or Modern Sewing.