7 Ways to Do the 80's Right. Seriously. Trust Me.

  ALIX  BLACK HOUSTON BODYSUIT. Bona Drag. $225. (I've been obsessed with this piece for over a year.)

Here's the thing, how many times have you said (or heard someone say), "I only do a decade once. I wore X the first time, so I'm not doing it again?" 

As a personal stylist for women, I've heard a collection of those fashion "true-isms." Get rid of something that you haven't worn in a year (myth). Plus size women shouldn't wear X (myth). And, of course, you can't do the same decade or piece twice (myth). I say all of this to encourage you to believe that yes, my Dear Reader, whether or not you lived through the 80's, there are ways you can integrate 80's inspired trends into your modern wardrobe and love them. Here are just a few. 

7 Ways to Integrate 80's Inspired Trends

into Your Modern Look

 There's more to Debbie Allen than this photo. Give it up for  the speech!

 Out From Under Keyhole Cutout Bodysuit. Available in two colors. Urban Outfitters. $38.

1. Bodysuits (aka Leotards).

About a year ago, I found a life-changing body suit for a client and it peaked my interest. More recently, one of my clients really inspired me to embrace the body suit. Fans of Donna Karan are all too familiar with the piece as a standard go-to that easily pairs with a wide variety of options and travels well. I could easily write about this all day long. For now, I'll say this: Consider pairing a bodysuit with a skirt, high waisted pants, under a vest, with distressed skinnies, trousers or joggers for a start. It's a more flattering and polished alternative to a long sleeved tee. Also, before you order, pay close attention to the coverage for your backside. Ensure you are buying what's comfortable for you and remember you'll need to unsnap it before you use the restroom. I've found that in general, searching for leotards rather than bodysuits means you'll find options with more coverage but likely less design features. 

 FLAT PATENT FINISH LEATHER ANKLE BOOTS. Several colors and similar styles available. Zara. $89.

 DVF Miles Boots. DVF. $448.

2. Skinny Heeled Boots.

Thank you Pat Benatar. For those of you on the email list, you've likely seen my current obsession with the skinny heel. The short version, aka the kitten heel, is especially functional on Northwest Streets and pairs beautifully with jumpsuits, cropped pants and skirts or dresses. 

 Mara Hoffman Herbarium Button Shirt Dress. Amazon. $330.

 Tropical One Shoulder Dress. Ann Taylor. Was: $149. Now: $79. 40% off with code: PSST.

3. Tropical Prints a-la Miami Vice. 

These have been going strong for months now. Don't be afraid to bring out your inner Miami resident with some wild prints. You know I've been rocking the Mara Hoffman for some time now and she's a great way to see these prints done right. But, much more affordable brands are doing it, too. If you keep the print proportional to your size, you'll be happier with how you are photographed. (Larger frame= larger print while petite frame = petite print). But, don't be afraid to go full force if you feel so inclined. If you carry your weight on your bottom half (triangle), be sure to balance out those crazy print pants with an eye catching top (bright or light colors, more skin showing). 

 Seriously?! This is from a website about the history of Miami. It's everything.

 THE MODERNIST BLAZER. Lane Bryant. $59.

4. White Blazers also a-la Miami Vice.

Let's face it, Crocket and Tubbs never disappoint. Don Johnson gave us more than Dakota Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas gave us more than... Oh, well, he was super cool and the major heartthrob at my school growing up. (Who doesn't still know their names?) Anyway, what I'm trying to say is, yes, go for the white blazer. I love mine with the tropical prints. You know when you'd normally wear a tropical print top and white pants? Switch it up. Go for a tropical jumper and a white blazer (with nude wedges) or tropical pants and a basic white tank plus the white blazer. Finish that look with sandals. This piece elevates your look and makes you feel more polished. Plus, you are warm when the sun goes down. 


 Stirrups! FUSEAU LEGGINGS. Zara. $69.

5. Um, Spandex, sort of.

I know. You are losing your mind right now. I hear you through the screen. Before American Apparel went under, I had a long conversation with myself about whether or not I would purchase a pair of grey spandex pants. It seemed insane; but I really wanted them. Sadly, I didn't pull the trigger, but the good people at Zara read my mind and we'll be seeing spandex pants this fall. Here's where I'm going with this: For the fashion forward among you- if you've loved your leather or faux leather leggings, consider grey spandex pants and an oversized grey cashmere sweater. Low top white sneakers or high quality black leather mules or booties finish off the look. Yes, it's crazy and not for everyone. But if this speaks to you, there's a reason why.

 Debbie Harry.

 Valeria Sweater. Club Monaco. $149.

 Contemporary Bodycon Dress. Forever 21. $15.

 Bananarama! If it's wrong to have every album on vinyl, I don't want to be right.

 Hide and Seek Sweater. Available in multiple colors. Free People. $128.

6. Off the Shoulder or One Shoulder. 

Again, Pat Benetar or Debbie Harry or how about my favorite band in junior high and also my first concert, Bananarama? All these women knew how to pull off sexy off the shoulder sweaters or sweatshirts with a bra strap or tank top showing or with a bare shoulder. I love this look for your effortlessly cool and slightly edgy loungewear at home. Yes, you can wear it out for drinks with a great pair of wide leg cropped silk pants and mules or you can just keep it for home. Regardless, you'll look and feel super hot. 

 Do I look thin? That's because the shoulders are more prominent:)

 ASOS TALL Shoulder Pad Long Sleeve Selenia Midi Dress. ASOS. $87.

 Blank NYC Faux Leather Jacket. Nordstrom. $98.

7.  Bold Shoulders. 

Over the last year and a half or so, you've likely noticed that leather jackets and some tops and dresses have super bold shoulders. For many women, this makes them think of Michael Jackson and off they go. For me, I immediately am reminded that this look minimizes your stomach by giving the impression that your shoulders are broader. Here's a shot of me rocking a leather jacket with bold shoulders last year at a Leading Women in Technology Event. I'd love to say I was the best dressed mentor there, but with two of my clients also participating, that wouldn't be the truth. 

And there you have it. The 80's. It's happening. Now, it's also happening to you. Let me know what you think.


P.S. If you are interested in joining the Universal Standard event, sign up

P.P.S. We had a whole lot of fun at the Poplin client event last weekend. Check out photos and videos here to see some unstoppable women.