Thami Kwazi
Lifestyle Print Editor
3 minute read
7 Aug 2019
3:21 pm

The 80s fashion trends that are making a comeback

Thami Kwazi

Denim on denim is a trend that continues through to current times. It’s an ’80s throwback that isn’t going anywhere soon.

Picture: iStock

I recently started watching the Netflix series Stranger Things, purely because it came highly recommended.

What’s fascinating is the cult-like phenomenon the show has birthed, inspiring ’80s paraphernalia and a chart-topping soundtrack on Spotify.

Stranger Things is a modern-day X-Files combined with an elongated episode of The Goonies movie. The story is of four boys from a small town in America in the 1980s involved in activities that can be described as strange.

So strong is the revival of ’80s nostalgia that the world has latched on to the fashion trends of the bygone era.

Picture: Levi’s

Respected jeans brand Levi’s always hits the trend on the head and this time they’ve designed a Stranger Things range that caters for fans.

The ’80s-inspired threads are a mix of the clothes worn on the show, as well as incorporating a touch of the four lead characters who start out as 12-year-old boys.

The adult range brings the old into the new and, judging by the popularity of the series now in its third season, fans will be just as receptive to the range as they have been to the series.

The fashion of the ’80s hasn’t only made a comeback on the small screen and can be seen on designer runways and in the designs of sports brands that hold clout.

Picture: Superdry

Nike launched a range of retro windbreakers and trainers and hip-hop artists can be seen wearing the windbreakers and caps commonly worn by the modern Braamfontein set.

In its latest range, Superdry has incorporated ’80s style denim shirts with stitched-on cartoonish motifs and stamps giving the ultra trendy urban wear a more whimsical flair that could appeal to more trend-based wearers.

Denim on denim is a trend that continues through to current times. It’s an ’80s throwback that isn’t going anywhere soon. This includes denim jackets.

Watches became a big trend in that era and Swatch made its name with colourful and creative faces. Tom Cruise’s role in the 1986 movie Top Gun made aviator sunglasses sexy, then and now.

Picture: Air Jordan

The high-top sneak trend of Air Jordans continues. The first pair launched in the ’80s was named after basketball player Michael Jordan because it looked like he was flying when he was performing a slam dunk.

The basketball sneakers have continued to make an impact on streetwear and some of the retro styles have been revived for new wearers.

Adidas have released the Stan Smith tennis shoe that goes with almost anything.

The Kangol bucket hat has made a strong come back, reminiscent of the Run-DMC and LL Cool J rap era. The hats look better paired with an Adidas tracksuit and Super Star Shell Toe sneakers.

The side sweater from the movie Flashdance has also made a return, as has the side ponytail worn by singer Sade and the teased curls of Donna Summer.

Side sweater. Picture: Pinterest


  • Shop at thrift shops for fashions of yesteryear.
  • Wear all types of denim together.
  • Wear brightly coloured caps and windbreakers.
  • Wear T-shirts and sweaters with bold prints.
  • Wear sportswear head to toe.
  • Get a good pair of aviator sunglasses.


  • Get your hair teased – no one is reviving that trend.
  • Wear shoulder pads.
  • Wear shiny satin blazers with a satin skirt.
  • Wear velvet mixed with lace.
  • Get spiky blond streaks in your hair.
  • Get your hair chemically permed.

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